I love coconut oil. I use it every day, for all sorts of everything
In the Bath – S gets dry skin, or sensitive skin, or eczema, or something. The GP wasn’t too sure what it was, he just gave us a big tub of cream, and some emollient for the bath. The list of ingredients in both was fairly long, and since S likes to drink her bath water, I wasn’t too keen on putting a bunch of chemicals in there. So I decided to give the coconut oil a try. It seems to be working a treat!
Arm pits –
Remember that epilator I was sent to review
? Well I started using it on my arm pits. It’s great for not having stubbly arm pits, but not so great for not having ingrown hairs. I’ve found that if I rub some coconut oil in before bed time, it makes it easier to use the epilator in the morning, but also (so far) I’ve not had any ingrown hairs! Genius.
Hair – Shhh, don’t tell anyone but I bleach my hair. I know, it’s hard to tell, right? This means I end up with a lot of dry hair, split ends and general nastiness. The night before I intend to wash my hair, I rub a some coconut oil into the ends of my hair. If I’ve forgotten to do that (I am pretty sketchy), I rub a little of it into the ends of my hair after washing it – instead of any of this expensive, new-fangled stuff. As long as you don’t put so much in that it makes your hair greasy, it can work wonders. And instead of spending a fortune on post hair masks, just whack a whole load of coconut oil on your hair, rub it in really well and then put a shower cap on for a couple of hours. Works a treat, and probably costs less than a pound.
My Skin – I tend to suffer with dry skin in the winter months, and it can be itchy and horrible. I used to go through all sorts of body moisturisers which I would slather on after a bath or shower each morning. Now I’ve found that if I put a pot of coconut oil into the shower, it’ll heat up to liquid while I’m showering. Then, before I get out or even reach for a towel, I rub the coconut oil into my body. Instant baby soft skin, at a fraction of the cost of all these body butters and creams I was piling up.
Make-up Remover – I am very lazy with make-up. I can’t be doing with all these posh make-up removers. If I’m wearing waterproof mascara, I’ll make the effort to use a proper remover. The rest of the time, I just rub some coconut oil into my face, then wipe it off with some cotton wool. Make-up remover and moisturiser in one. Despite being oil, it doesn’t give me spots either, which is handy.
Any time you would normally use olive oil, sunflower oil, vegetable oil – any kind of oil – you can use coconut oil instead. For stir-frys and pancake making, greasing tins, but also in recipes. I’ve been experimenting with using coconut oil instead of half the butter in a brownie recipe. Because coconut oil is more liquid at room temperature than butter, it gives the brownies a much more gooey texture – which is always a win. You can also use it in salad dressings, though this works better in warmer weather because coconut oil can be somewhat solid in the cold.
Food – Since I discovered how to make oaty pancakes for breakfast, we’ve had them pretty much every morning. Before serving them up to S, I spread a thin layer of coconut oil on them. This makes them deliciously gooey, as if I’d spread masses of butter on them, but it’s healthier – and when her food is smeared all over her face I know it’s actually doing some good for the eczema she sometimes gets there!
With Vitamins –
This probably sounds a bit odd to most people. I’ve spoken before about the supplements I take
. Whenever I remember, I also take a spoonful of coconut oil with the vitamins. This apparently helps your body to absorb the vitamins etc. It also has about a million other proposed benefits when taken regularly – helping with depression, digestion, links to symptoms of autism and arthritis, for allergy symptoms, yeast infections, even mental alertness.
A word on which coconut oil I use
I buy two or three different kinds of coconut oil.
The Asian supermarket in town does a large, cheap tub of it which I use for cooking – but it tastes a bit soapy so I don’t use it for anything where I would normally taste it, or on my skin/hair. It costs about £4 and lasts for ages.
Tesco have coconut oil on the shelf next to the cooking oils now, which is handy. It costs around £7. I either buy it from there or the health food shop. I use this one for taking with vitamins, and anywhere food-related that I can’t use the soapy-tasting one. I also use it if I’m putting it directly onto S’s skin.
Superdrug do a tub of coconut oil in their hair aisle, for a couple of pounds. This one has a bit of perfume added and is not fit for consumption, but I use it on my hair, in S’s bath, etc. It lives in the bathroom, and I buy 3 or 4 at a time because I go through them so quickly.
You might well balk at the cost of coconut oil, if you were adding it onto your regular weekly shop. But when you consider all the things it can replace it actually doesn’t work out so expensive. You can stop buying olive oil or sunflower oil, poncy hair conditioning treatments, body moisturisers, bath oils, make up removal lotions. It can be used in coffee or tea instead of milk (though I find that’s something of an acquired taste) or spread on bread instead of butter. You can use it mixed with other things to make toothpaste or natural deodorant. And its proposed benefits are huge.
What are you waiting for? Go and buy some!