“ Brand: Coconut Connections / Type: Cooking Oil „
Here we have a high quality natural product with many different uses. This coconut oil is a great alternative to butter, margarine or any other cooking oil and is much better for you than dairy products. There isn't much you can't do with it. It works well as a butter substitute to spread on toast or put in baked potatoes; it can also be used for frying and is very stable at high temperatures. If you want to roast vegetables in the oven, it does that, too, although if you like very crispy vegetables, it probably isn't the oil of choice. One thing I find it particularly good for is cooking omelettes as it stops them burning and becoming attached to the pan!
There has been concern about coconut oil being bad for you because it's a saturated fat, but after fairly extensive research, I believe it differs from other saturates because of its medium chain triglycerides. (I won't ramble on about these in this review, but they are easy enough to Google!) This also means that it does not contain any trans-fatty acid, and the numerous health benefits of coconut oil are widely reported.
I originally bought this product for one of my dogs, (who often seem to appear in my reviews), because when she came from the rescue shelter, she had dry, flaky skin and a dry coat that was out of condition. She had a small amount on her food every day and it wasn't long before her coat was shiny and her skin was back to normal. (Conveniently, dogs seem to love this stuff.)
My main use for coconut oil now, however, is as a moisturiser. It's excellent for dry skin because, being totally natural, it actually seems to penetrate and hydrate the skin instead of sitting on top of it. Many conventional moisturisers contain unnatural ingredients, which, whilst appearing to be rich and creamy when you apply them, ultimately dry the skin out further, thus creating a vicious cycle. What's interesting is that this oil is also ideal for oily skin. According to advocates of this product, this is because it regulates the skin's natural sebum prodcution. Whatever the reason, with oily skin being an irritation for years, I was thrilled to discover that it does actually work. In fact, it is far better than all the oil-free moisturisers I have used, and is the only product that has ever really worked. It's worth noting that many people who have experienced this same result have said that initially, they find that their skin is slightly more oily than usual until it finds its natural balance. In addition, because this is a gentle, natural product, you can use it around the eye area, on lips, and really anywhere you like, without causing that "heavy" feeling.
This seems like an expensive oil to buy if you're going to slap it around all over your face and everything you eat, but a 440ml tub costs approximately £14.99 so when you work out how much you actually use - and the cost of the average premium brand moisturiser - it seems pretty reasonable to me.
When buying coconut oil for consumption, of course, organic and virgin is best, but some companies actually sell "extra virgin" coconut oil, although it would seem that this is a term taken from the olive oil industry and that it is actually just a marketing ploy. In other words, coconut oil cannot be "extra" virgin.
According to the producers of this product, it will become cloudy below 24°C and solid below 18°C, and should be stored away from direct sunlight. Personally, I think if you are using it in the kitchen, it's more convenient if you can keep it on the cooler side so it doesn't become runny and get spilt, and is easier to scoop out. On the other hand, if you use it as a moisturiser, it is better slightly warmer as it melts into the skin more easily.