Visiting one of my girlfriends in London last week, I saw a funny looking jar in the bathroom…one that I usually find in my kitchen. Sitting there a top some beauty products was a big mason jar full of coconut oil ready for slathering on her bod post shower. She raved, so I had to try. Admittedly I’ve thought about it before and used it on my feet as an over night treatment, but never thought to try it as a full body moisturizer… more on that in a moment…
Why Cook with Coconut Oil?
I’ve been cooking with coconut oil for a few years now – and it is the only oil I use to cook with. Why? Well, coconut oil is one of the few plant oils that is nearly completely saturated and it has a higher smoke point so it is not so easily damaged by high heats. While olive oil is a healthy oil at room temperature (great for your salad dressings), once you heat it, the oil oxidizes (it has a lower smoke point) and the good molecules in the oil turn into nasty free radicals. So when you’re frying your best bet is to use a small amount of unrefined coconut oil.
Beauty Benefits of Coconut
Coconut oil has a lot of benefits for your beauty too – because of its lauric acid content it supports your thyroid function, and the caprilic acid is a natural anti-fungal warrior (think candida). Beyond that, it naturally acts as an antiviral and helps to boost your metabolism.
So, it enhances your beauty from the inside out, but how does it work to beautify from the outside? Well, as a full body moisturizer, it works beautifully. I use a thin layer on my skin at night and have had great results over the last couple weeks. The best part is, you know that by using an unrefined and organic coconut oil, no chemicals or other nasty stuff is absorbing into your skin — and — your skin is able to breathe. Oxygen is always good.
Coconut Oil Hair Treatment
As a hair treatment you can create a coconut oil hair mask for dry ends or massage into the scalp to treat dandruff (because of those anti-fungal properties). To create the dry hair treatment mask, simply slather on some coconut oil onto slightly damp hair, wrap it up in a towel and relax for a few hours. When you’re done, shampoo and condition as normal. You can do this once a week to keep split ends in check.
Which Brand Do I Use?
At the moment I’m using Cocosa Pure Organic Coconut Oil – but it is tough to find in North America. You will be able to find an abundance of perfect alternatives in the local Whole Foods or any health food store. Prices range widely, but you can likely find a good 500 ml jar for $12 USD or less.