Following on from this post, in which I explained my recent foray into the world of coconut oil and its mythical powers, I decided to write a little post on how I’m getting on with my tubs of coconut oil, and whether I feel it’s worth the hype being lavished upon it. As I mentioned previously, I bought my über-glam plastic tubs in the foreign food aisle in Tesco for €1.99. You can buy coconut oil for as expensive as you’re willing to pay, particularly in health shops. While I haven’t tried any of the pricier options, I really can’t see them performing any differently to my bog-standard pure coconut oil, except for the inclusion of a coconut scent. As much as I love all things coconut-scented, I doubt I’ll be paying the guts of €20 for the privilege…
I’ve been using coconut oil predominantly as a make-up cleanser, and I’ve been very impressed with how every last bit of foundation just melts away as I massage it in. Being honest, it feels far more luxurious than the average micellar water, and much gentler too. Ever try to cleanse with a cotton pad that’s too dry? None of that with coconut oil, I tells ya! On top of that, it makes short work of waterproof mascara and liquid eyeliner, which is ideal if your eyes are prone to sensitivity, or you don’t like pulling at them. With the weather being so warm here in Ireland lately, the oil has softened and I’ve simply been scooping out a €1-sized blob of coconut oil, massaging it in for a minute, and then wiping off with a hot cloth. Simple as that. I do follow it up with a clay-based cleanser, to ensure there’s absolutely nothing left to clog my pores, but generally my skin feels very clean even before the second cleanse.
While coconut oil is too heavy for me to use as a daily facial moisturiser, I’ve found it to be the business for stubborn, thick dry areas like elbows and ankles. You only need to spread a small amount on the area and, sure enough, it’ll be softened and soothed in no time. I have an unfortunate patch of dermatitis/psoriasis/pain-in-the-neck-itis at the front of my scalp, right on the hairline. Some nights I apply lashings of coconut oil directly onto the patch, and wash it out in the morning (making sure to shampoo twice). The itchiness is soothed really nicely, which is a godsend, and the entire area is far less flaky and gross. Coconut oil is possibly the cheapest intensive moisturiser out there; you’d be mad not to try it!
Another nifty little use for coconut oil is leg shaving. It’s possibly the least glamorous but most basic form of personal maintenance, but coconut oil makes it that bit easier. Just smooth a dollop onto wet skin and off you go. I was worried it would make things very slippy, resulting in a nasty nick or too. But it’s just as easy as using shaving foam (or hair conditioner, in my case…), and no cuts in sight yet! I love using it during a luxuriant bath, actually. I find I can get a closer shave using coconut oil and, perhaps the best part, it leaves a residue on the skin that sinks in and moisturises with minimal effort. If I can shave my legs and moisturise them in one go, then I’m one happy, lazy girl.
Lastly, I’ve been using coconut oil here and there in my cooking. While I’m not completely sure about its nutritional value, I believe that coconut oil contains more good fats than regular cooking oil, and is supposedly one of the best fats to cook with. I find it perfect for frying chicken and vegetables for stirfries and curries, and I’d imagine it can be used in place of olive oil in almost any recipe. I’ve been supplying my boyfriend’s house with coconut oil for their cooking, as they can’t buy it in their local Tesco… it’s not just some girly fad, apparently!
I have even more experiments planned for my humble tub of coconut oil. One of these days I’m going to buy lavender and tea tree essential oils, and mix a little of both with the oil to create a hydrating, antibacterial, soothing, spot-fighting treatment for my skin. Also, if my hair starts to dry out while I’m on my holidays in Spain, my coconut oil will be waiting diligently at home to put my locks to rights once more. Where there’s coconut oil, there’s a way…
How do you use yours?