It’s the most popular oil used in cooking at the moment, but coconut oil is giving chefs and beauty bloggers something in common – UNIfied’s Rosie Collingwood takes a closer look
Coconut oil has burst into the foodie scene in a big way over the past couple of years, but it’s not just cooking that people are using it for. It can be used in a whole range of interesting ways; it’s healthy for your skin, hair and nails as well as every other part of your body.
People are often a bit wary of some of the others ways of using this oil – it does seem strange using it in cooking and in your skincare routine after all. Let me put your mind at ease.
Which coconut oil should you use?
You can use any raw coconut oil (they’re sold in every supermarket and health shop), but my oil of choice is Lucy Bee.
It’s extra virgin (unrefined and unprocessed), raw (which means it has all of its nutritional goodness), and Fair Trade certified.
Follow Lucy Bee to check out some of the tasty recipes created using the oil, as well as video tutorials for some of the beauty techniques I’m about to explain to you.
So, aside from cooking, what else can I do to make the most of my jar of coconut oil?
1. Oil pulling
This is an ancient Ayurvedic technique, but it’s something more people should be doing for a healthier mouth. It pulls all the nasty toxins from your body, gives your teeth some extra shine and freshens your breath.
You’ll need a big spoonful of coconut oil, pop it in your mouth, swish around your teeth and gums for 10-15 minutes, then spit into the bin when you’re done. It’s important not to swallow it, so the toxins leave your body and your drains don’t get blocked. It’s a simple as that. Do this a couple of times a week for consistent results.
2. Makeup remover
This is great for removing a mascara that won’t budge. Spread a pea size amount of coconut oil over your face, then use a cotton pad to wipe it all off. This leaves your skin feeling fresh and clean, with none of the potentially nasty chemicals on that could be lurking in your usual makeup remover.
3. Soothe a sore throat
Stir a spoonful of coconut oil into your hot drink to soothe a nasty sore throat. Tea, coffee, hot chocolate – it’s up to you.
4. Face massage
This only takes a couple of minutes, but it relaxes you and gives your skin a real boost. With a tiny bit of coconut oil on your fingertips, massage your pressure points. With a lot of focus on the areas around your eyes which can perk them up when they’re looking tired. Additionally, It makes your skin feel and look radiant.
5. Body scrub
For this easy to make scrub, mix together a tablespoon of coconut oil, a tablespoon of Himalayan salt, and around 10 drops of an essential oil, such as rose oil. Then, brush the scrub all over your body using a dry body brush. If you don’t have one of these, you can always just use your hands. Or you can buy one – The Body Shop sells them for £8.
This one sounds weird but it does work. A lot of deodorants leave me with a nasty rash so instead, I rub a little bit of coconut oil under my arms. As it’s natural, it’s good to my skin and lessens the risk of irritation.
7. Or you could just add it to your diet
Coconut oil is amazing for both frying and roasting. I never cook with any other oil now, and truly felt the benefits it gives to my health. Everyone will slip up and still have a greasy takeaway at some point (especially us students) but incorporating coconut oil into your diet will leave you feeling great.
If you’re a bit wary that the coconutty taste will be too much, try cooking a simple egg with it first and see how you like it.