It feels like everywhere we turn at the moment, someone somewhere is praising the many amazing coconut oil benefits.
Coconut oil has grown in popularity over the last few years, with brands steadily introducing it into their ranges of products. Not only does it have several health and beauty advantages, but coconut oil is also known as a super food, thanks to the variety of vitamins and fatty acids it contains which are great for repairing the body.
Although one of the main uses for coconut oil is as a cooking ingredient, there are a whole host of other ways you can really get the benefit of this sweet-smelling oil. The best part? A small tub starts from as little as £1.50, so you can get involved in the coconut oil craze without breaking the bank.
Still a bit unsure? Take a look at these coconut oil uses - you'll be a convert in no time!
As a hair-growth promoting mask
Coconut oil is said to be great for hair growth. In fact, blogger Farah Dhukai says that she managed to double her hair growth from six inches per year to 12 by applying a blend of coconut oil and cayenne pepper that she'd stored in a mason jar.
It helps hair to grow thicker too, and the vitamins and fatty acids found in the coconut oil will also help to repair your scalp and remove sebum build-up from too much hair washing.
If your hair is feeling a little dry, coconut oil can also be used as a deep conditioning treatment. Just make sure you warm it before you apply it so it slides onto your hair easily.
To moisturise your skin
If you suffer from dry skin, or just want to give yourself a bit of a radiant glow, then moisturising yourself with coconut oil can really work wonders.
Warm up a bit of coconut oil in your hands and lather it on your body, making sure the driest parts of your body, such as elbows, get a lot of attention.
As a make-up remover
A small blob of coconut oil mixed with water can help take your make-up off at night. The oil is good for breaking up water resistant substances like mascara so slides off easily. Models are also said to use it as a make-up remover - if it's good enough for them, it's good enough for us!
To help when you cook
If you're looking for a healthier version of olive oil then coconut oil wins hands down. It contains mainly saturated fat, which is able to withstand higher temperatures - therefore allowing us to keep the healthy fats in our diet.
The taste of the coconut also means that it will give your cooking a lovely new flavour, too.
As a teeth whitener
If your teeth are looking a little less white than you would like them to, you can use coconut oil to whiten your teeth naturally. The lauric acid in the oil kills the bacteria found in plaque and it's also said to help with gum health and keep your breath smelling fresh.
Swish a tablespoon of coconut oil around your mouth every morning, just like you would with mouthwash, and see your teeth turn to pearly whites.
To de-puff eyes
If you can't afford the expensive stuff them coconut oil is a great alternative to help reduce lines and puffiness around your eyes. Apply a very thin layer under your peepers before bed and wake up feeling and looking refreshed.
To ease chapped lips
If you suffer from chapped lips or love applying a layer of lip salve to dry lips every now and again, then a swipe of coconut oil is a great alternative. The minerals in the oil help to eliminate dryness and bring lips back to life.
To help soften cuticles
Coconut oil can also help if you're looking to give your nails a little TLC. Rubbing the oil on the cuticles will help to strengthen them, plus you can give yourself a little DIY manicure before you apply that nail varnish you have your eye on.
As a body scrub
Mixing coconut oil with sea salt can help you make the perfect DIY body scrub, leaving you with baby soft skin. Just mix one cup of sea salt with half a cup of coconut oil and stir until you get a paste consistency. The mix should last you a while and it's great for pre-shaving too.
To keep legs fuzz free
Speaking of which, if you don't have any shaving foam to hand or soap feels to dry on your legs then coconut oil a great leg shaving alternative. All you need is a teaspoon of the oil for each leg, make sure you rub it in then wash your hands before you start shaving. Best of all it will leave your legs feeling silky smooth afterwards.
To banish cold sores
If you get a cold sore and don't have your treatment handy then you'll be thankful for this coconut oil use. Dab a little on the sore and it should disappear within a few days. The oil contains capric, caprylic and lauric acid - which contain disinfectant and antimicrobial properties that help to ease the infection.
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Sarah is a freelance journalist, writing for various women's magazines and national online consumer titles including the BBC and The Daily Mail, for over 10 years. Sarah has interviewed CEO's, real-life case studies and celebrities. Writing on everything from travel to fitness, and business to beauty - some of her features have been read by millions of people - in just one day.
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