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If you've read some of my previous reviews then you've heard me talk about my daughter that suffers with exzema and dry skin patches. We were offered a free pot by a friend to try as she raved about it, she is also a rep for organic wholesale goods so knows her stuff. We thought we'd give it a go and now use it for EVERYTHING!!
Appearance... Coconut oil is an off white creamy solid consistency at room temperature and melts to a colourless oil at body temperature. It smells like coconuts which may surprise you! As this oil melts at low temperatures you may want to store it in the fridge during warmer days, to prevent it melting in your pot (and sloshing when you remove the lid.
Uses.. Here are some of the hundreds of uses, but will elaborate on uses I've tried and tested at home.
1. Moisturiser - simply scoop some out of the pot and apply all over your body, including neck and face. The oil does not remain oily or sticky on your skin and soaks in well.
2. Eye cream - apply under the eyes to reduce puffiness, bags, and wrinkles.
3. Preshave - coconut oil will prep skin for the pending damage caused by shaving. This is an amazing alternative to shaving foams, although can make your bath slippery!
4. Aftershave - coconut oil will help heal your skin after shaving without clogging pores. My partner uses this and is completely addicted, saying it helps heal razor burn.
5. Deodorant - coconut oil alone can be used as a deodorant, but even more effective in combination with cornstarch/arrowroot powder and baking soda!
6. Hair Conditioner/Deep Treatment - use as a leave in hair conditioner by applying a teaspoon of coconut oil to your ends and then running your fingers through your hair to distribute the rest! For a deeper treatment, rub in a tablespoon of coconut oil onto your dry scalp and gently work through to the ends. Put a shower cap on to prevent transfer onto bed linens and leave on overnight. I do this once a week - coconut oil particles are small enough to be absorbed into the hair shaft, not unlike argan oil.
7. Hair Gel/Defrizzer - rub a little between your palms and either scrunch into hair (for curly hair) or finger comb in through from scalp to ends (for wavy/straight hair).
8. Toothpaste - there are numerous recipes out there but I just mix coconut oil and baking soda and dab a little of the mix on my toothbrush. I use this as a natural teeth whitener! It works!
9. Make up remover - use a cotton swab and a dab of coconut oil and you would be amazed at how well it works, and no nasty chems!
10. Chapstick - just rub a little into lips and it not only acts as a softening agent but it also has an SPF of about 4 so you get a little protection!
11. Massage Oil - pretty simple; grab some and rub!
12. Lubricant - it is an all natural, perfectly safe personal lubricant. Not compatible with latex!
13. Sunscreen - amazing and also has a natural SPF!
14. Stretch Mark Cream - coconut oil is great at nourishing damaged skin.
15. Nipple Cream - works great to nourish cracked, sore, or dry nipples. Apply to a cotton ball and leave on your nipples between feedings. I found this good for when using a breast pump to lubricate the nipple.
16. Nappy rash - very comforting on a rashy bum with no harsh chemicals. Also safe for cloth nappies.
17. Cradle cap - apply thickly and leave on baby's head, and remove after 5 mins with a cotton wool ball.
18. Body scrub - mix coconut oil and sugar together and rub all over! Rinse off and your skin will be super soft! You can add in essential oils if you would like a specific smell. I also add Manuka honey for chest and back areas (great for acne)
19. Healing - when applied on scrapes and cuts, coconut oil forms a thin, chemical layer which protects the wound from outside dust, bacteria and virus. Coconut oil speeds up the healing process of bruises by repairing damaged tissues.
20. Insect Bites - when applied directly to a bug bite, coconut oil can stop the itching and burning sensation as well as hasten the healing process.
21. Skin problems - coconut oil relieves skin problems such as psoriasis, dermatitis, and eczema. We apply to both our children after a bath.
22. Swimmers Ear - mix garlic oil and coconut oil and put a few drops in affected ear for about 10 minutes. Do this 2-3 times a day and it usually works within one or two days.
23. Stress Relief - relieve mental fatigue by applying coconut oil to the head in a circular, massaging motion.
24. Digestion - the saturated fats in coconut oil have anti-bacterial properties that help control, parasites, and fungi that cause indigestion and other digestion related problems such as irritable bowel syndrome. The fat in coconut oil also aids in the absorption of vitamins, minerals and amino acids, making you healthier all around. We have a spoonful every morning instead of yoghurt drinks (we have cut down on dairy)
25. Fitness - coconut oil has been proven to stimulate your metabolism, improve thyroid function, and escalate energy levels, all of which help decrease your unwanted fat, while increasing muscle.
26. Nose bleeds - coconut oil can prevent nose bleeding that is caused by sensitivity to weather such as extreme hotness and extreme coldness. This condition happens when the nasal passages become dry because of cold or dry air resulting to burns and cracks in the mucus membranes so bleeding happens. To prevent this just put coconut oil in you nostrils. Coat your finger with coconut oil and then lie down and coat your finger inside your nose. Doing this will strengthen and protect the capillaries in the nasal passages. A Vitamin C supplement will also help prevent nose bleeding.
27. For breastfeeding moms, consuming 3 ½ tablespoons of coconut oil daily will enrich your milk supply.
28. Helps with weight loss & controlling cravings.
29. Helps keep blood sugar levels stable and/or helps with cravings in those with diabetes.
30. Eczema - in addition to taking it internally, many have success applying it externally, some don't. We have also found it amazing for Keratosis Pilaris, give it a go!!
This is really only some of the 100's of ways you can use this amazing stuff!
After using coconut oil for roughly a year now, I would highly recommend keeping a pot of it at home. When people tell me about their ailments, I always ask if they've tried coconut oil - sometimes received with some pretty blank looks! It really is a magical mixture, we've found it amazing on our daughters skin, and will be purchasing another pot, once this one is finished.
I bought coconut oil for the first time after reading about it on a website to do with hair care. I have long hair which I am growing and also trying to get rid of the damage on the ends. Coconut oil is supposed to be one of the only oils with particles small enough to actually penetrate the hair. My main reason for buying this was for my hair so while this didn't really mean much to me, it sounded like a good thing! In simple terms, your hair can actually absorb it and use it to do good to the hair.
I first used this quite a few years ago now, after literally abusing my hair! My hair had already been bleached, dyed, highlighted and then dyed again multiple times but I decided to bleach my thick, dark hair six times in a week... (What was I thinking?!) needless to say, it was a disaster. I knew it would damage my hair but I still thought I could repair it after with conditioning treatments. The bleach left my hair dry, stringy, extremely damaged and breakable. My curls were dragged out and my hair was just limp, lank and dead!!! After a few months of this, I decided to dye my hair dark again, chop a lot of it off and just try starting again.
One of the first products I used when I got serious about repairing my hair was virgin coconut oil. I had used the regular conditioning treatments from Boots and Superdrug but I needed something better. I was also looking for something more natural. After loads of research on the internet about repairing damaged hair, I knew I definitely needed this.
Virgin coconut oil usually comes in a plastic or glass jar. Mine came in a plastic one and a twistable plastic lid. When I opened it, I realised that the coconut oil is solid. When you get a little lump of coconut oil out (you don't need too much) it starts to melt in your hand. The melting point for this is pretty low, a warm room softens it a lot. Your hand melts it and a very warm room can change it to a more liquid consistency too. So, even though this is solid in the jar, it's easy to manage because of the low melting point. When it is cold, it does take a little bit longer to melt, so I rub it around in my hands more. I have also put the tub in hot water before to melt it and make it a liquid so I can use lots of it on my hair easily. This isn't necessary but was useful for me because I wanted to saturate my hair in it.
The smell of coconut oil is slightly coconutty, it isn't a strong scent though, like with coconut fragranced products. It's quite light but this does vary a bit between jars or brands. The thing I really, really hate about coconut oil is that it can start to smell bad quite quickly, I keep mine in the fridge now and that prevents that. I used to put this in my hair before putting my hair up so it didn't look greasy and then go out. I do this now and again in the winter now but never in the summer... The reason for this is that it started to have a rancid smell, it was absolutely horrible and I couldn't wait to wash it out! In the winter I've never had this problem though. If I put quite a bit on, my hair goes hard when I am out in the cold! This is because of it being a solid oil at colder temperatures. This oil isn't perfect, luckily my hair isn't in terrible condition any more so I don't have much of a need to have it in my hair when I go out.
There are a few different ways that I use this in my hair. One way is to completely saturate my hair in it and then leave it for a while, from half an hour to overnight before washing my hair as normal. I don't really find that I need to use more shampoo or anything but I know some people do so that does vary from person to person. When it's washed out, my hair feels stronger and less breakable. It also feels a bit thicker which is great and definitely in better condition. I don't really get soft, smooth results from this, I find it to be more for strengthening the hair than moisturising it and making it soft but it does help with dryness.
Along with the good results I have got from this, I've also had a bad result. It does make my hair stronger and less breakable but sometimes, either if I use too much or if I use it too often (it can be hard to judge this...) my hair becomes quite brittle and feels dry and crunchy which really isn't nice. This isn't because it is damaging my hair though, after a few annoyed Google searches I found out it was because it had overloaded my hair with protein. I gave my hair a good shampooing and a lot of conditioner and my hair felt better and softer. Luckily, it was easy to reserve those bad effects but they were annoying and unpleasant. The most important thing I have found out about this is that it's a million times better when you use it on damp hair. It seems to lock the moisture in and give softer and smoother results. I never use it on dry hair any more and that definitely helps a lot.
I also sometimes put a little bit on the ends of my hair to smooth them and treat them. Another thing I do is smooth a small amount through my mid-lengths and ends before styling as normal and it seems to protect my hair from the elements and smooth it a bit.
I would definitely recommend this to anyone who has some damage in their hair, whether it's from using heat, dyes, perms etc. It really helped my hair and mine was an extreme case! I think it can definitely do some good to most peoples hair.
An award winning product from the 2013 Beauty Insiders' Choice, I was impressed to receive a bottle of the Dr Organic Virgin Coconut Oil monoi moisture melt body oil. It came in the Latest in Beauty box I sometimes buy and I loved the fact that it could be used for a number of tasks.
Coconut oil; Tahitian Gardenia Flower extract; papaya seed oil; mango butter; cocoa butter; orange fruit ectract; bergamot fruit oil lemon peel oil and Vitamin E.
Can be used on skin, hair and nails for deep moisturising or massage treatments.
I was really confused when first went to use this and it was a sort of parafin consistency that did not want to leave the bottle! It came in a class bottle and looked quite posh but other than sticking my finger down the neck of the bottle, I couldn't get more than a finger nail of product out. Then I consulted the back of the box it came in and found directions for use guiding me to immerse the bottle in warm water to melt the contents for use!
Is an intensely hydrating and soothing moisture melt. Complete body, skin, hair & nails indulgence, an exotic tropical treatment that penetrates easily, helping to rehydrate the deeper layers of the skin. It is excellent for daily use on the entire body as well as an intensive weekly conditioning agent. It is solid at room temperature but once warmed it becomes a fine oil that absorbs easily into the skin, leaving it beautifully moisturised.
It's a fact
Coconut oil can be successfully used in cosmetic products for the treatment of wrinkles and to fight the skin aging process. It improves hydration, firmness and tone, nourishing deep into the skin epidermis. It also protects against cell damaging free radicals. Coconut oil is an excellent conditioner for the hair; it deeply nourishes damaged hair and promotes healthy growth of the hair.
This product is a bit of a pain to use in that you have to melt it first but it does make it an ideal travel product as it is less likely to leak in your bag! Once melted, it's a dream to work with and such an amazing multi tasking product too. I have used this on my skin and nails (but not hair as I don't feed my hair oil at the moment) to great effect and feel it really conditions the skin and I haven't even mentioned the divine smell of this oil! I have also used a melted drop or two in the bath as an oil and this is a really lazy way of oiling the skin without massaging it in.
Holland and Barrett sell the moisture melt in the same 90g bottles for £8.99 or currently an offer for two bottles at £13.48
I would definitely recommend this product and at this price it delivers a premium and quality product for a fair but not extortionate amount. I am quite hooked on this stuff now. The smell is light and not overpowering but has a definite holiday aroma to it. As an oil for the body a small amount goes a long way so the price paid is well worth it. I am loving this body oil and find it a bit unusual in that you have to melt it but it is worth the extra few minutes for the results and versatility.
I won a 500g jar of Viridian Organic Raw Virgin Coconut Oil recently and being a fan of coconut oil both for external and internal health I was quite happy to receive it but then I'm a fan of coconut in general be it the juice/water, milk, cream/fat, oil, vinegar or flesh (and my parrots enjoy the husks for play housing). The first thing I noticed was the quality of the packaging which made the product a lot heavier than other coconut oils I've bought. It's a dark blue, thick glass base which stays cold with a metal screw on lid - I appreciate the dark colour because it keeps the sunshine from apparently deteriorating the quality of the oil over time. There's also a sticker on top which says 'Soil Association Organic Food Awards 2012 - Winner' which was nice to know and a quick search told me that it was one of Viridian's new products.
I looked up the price and found that it was quite expensive at £14 for 500g, a fair bit more than I usually pay online or in store (up to £17 for 1kg) but I know that the Viridian brand stands for high quality/purity products that are carefully produced and from what I've seen of the coconut oil it is indeed a cut above the rest I've tried. For starters it has a stronger smell and slightly richer taste. The texture looks crystallized, something I rarely see in other coconut oils. Usually I don't notice a visible texture as the solidified oil is quite smooth but I can clearly see the lines/shapes in this one. Also, it's quicker to liquefy at body temperature and absorbs into the skin the fastest without leaving greasy marks on things I touch yet stays very solid in the container. Speaking of the container, something about its construction keeps the coconut cooler and solid. Additionally, most coconut oils I've used (when used alone) soften the skin but don't necessarily make it look smoother/softer especially on the hands and feet but this one does make my skin look a bit more youthful.
As a body scrub (see end notes) it works nicely making my skin feel a bit more toned and moisturising it enough to reduce the amount of after bath/shower emollient needed. I haven't tried it on my hair yet because it's Winter and in cold weather coconut oil tends to go stiff, even after it's been absorbed, and makes my hair look like straw until I'm indoors in the warmth when it suddenly goes soft and shiny. This one may be different but I'm not quite willing to try it and end up looking like Worzel Gummidge outside lol.
In regards to food use I've tried it on both cold and toasted yeast free breads with fruit spread and peanut butter, and in my homemade chocolate spreads (see end of review) and it spreads very nicely both cold and warm. The taste is nicer than the others I've used, it's hard to describe but even though the taste is fuller bodied it's more subtle and less 'coconutty' meaning that it blends better with the other flavours and doesn't leave an aftertaste that is often not very appealing and a little gloopy on the tongue. I haven't tried it in cooking yet so I don't know how it holds up in higher temperatures and for longer periods (though remember that coconut is an oil best left for the end of the cooking process rather than from start to finish).
I can't say that I feel any healthier eating this brand of oil but I don't feel any worse either but I know that it passes the muster because it passes my cat test. Yep that's right - my feline 'lil sis loves coconut oil, ever since she saw my mother using it on her skin some time ago. Now she always goes for my mother's jar even though she has her own portion, she not only eats it (which she didn't learn from us) but uses it to groom her fur and yes her fur is even softer for it. That's not surprising given that coconut oil is high in 'good fatty acids' e.g. Omega 6 & 9 and Lauric acid and is very nutritionally dense in health benefits such as easing digestion and weight loss/maintenance.
So far I'd give this a 4/5 simply because I haven't tried it on my hair or for cooking yet but suffice to say its prospects look good.
For more information you can find the product here: www.viridian-nutrition.com/shop/100-Organic-Raw-Virgin-Coconut-Oil-P534.aspx and it shows that the price for the smaller jar is £10 for 180g therefore making the 500g version a better buy for those who regularly use coconut oil.
For those interested in ethically minded companies here's a quick quote from one of their many 'about us' and 'philosophy' pages give you an idea of what they're about; 'At the heart of Viridian Nutrition is a philosophy that cares for the natural products movement supporting organic growing, the essential nature of health and whole food stores, the respectful preservation of ancient health traditions and the sensitive introduction of innovative complementary health foods, supplements and concepts.'
Coconut oil for chocolate spread (how I make it, roughly):
Base - 3-4 tablespoons raw cacao powder, 2 tsps coconut oil and 1-2 squeezes/dollops argave nectar or date paste (usually more date paste is needed than argave).
Toppings (if any) - fruits, fruit juice or fruit spreads e.g. berries, a bit of grape juice or a bit of pure fruit spread; and/or nuts e.g. uncooked/unsalted/unsweetened peanuts, walnuts or hazelnuts.
Mix whatever variation you have together in a jar and enjoy, whilst leaving any left in the refrigerator.
As a body scrub:
Simply mix equal amounts of coconut oil, shea butter and molasses (dark Brown) sugar or 1 part coconut oil, 1 part shea butter and 2 parts sugar. Then rub the end product over your skin whilst in the bath/shower (though of course make sure you're not under the water whilst using it or you won't get much on your skin). A little goes a long way so you don't need to make much unless you plan to store it for more than one use - you can also modify the amounts depending on what you prefer and add other ingredients such as ginger, oatmeal or essential oils.
Thanks for reading my review, I hope you found it interesting and helpful and please note that I've also posted it on my blog. Many thanks again and regards - ciao!
I have terrible cystic pimples that appear every few months and one of the things suggested for it was extra virgin coconut oil. Desperate for something I popped onto amazon and bought some. £10 for a rather large tub. A day after ordering it and some more research into it I discovered that some people say it makes it worse.
Oh no! I thought as it had already been dispatched, I have just gone and wasted a tender......luckily though I haven't.
I haven't used it at all on my face but after reading a bit more on it I have started applying it to my hair and a couple of scars.
For my hair, it is quite long, reaches the mid of my back and my hair has been dyed for many many years. Also due to a bad experience when I was a child and the fact I am a big wimp, I don't like going to have my hair cut very often. This means I tend to be prone to dry and split ends in my hair. What I do now is after I have washed and conditioned my hair, I semi dry it so it is just a bit damp and then I apply some coconut oil to the ends. After just a couple of goes it has gone really silky which I love.
On my skin I have a couple of scars which I have applied this too regularly for the past few weeks and I feel like they have faded. They'd haven't disappeared significantly but they have faded a bit.
When you get the tub of coconut oil, please be aware that this will be solid, I find if I use a finger to push it a bit a chunk will dislodge and melt in my hand. So although it is oil, don't expect a liquid and be aware it can change consistency on room temperature.
I've always been a beauty bargain hunter and am never afraid to try out new things. One of my favourite hair care products will always be natural oils. I've tried a number of deep conditioning, reconstructing hair conditioners, treatments and masks but using natures own has always given me the best results.
Also, I never understand why people fork out up to £50.00 for hair oils that are advertised as containing coconut or argan oils when you can buy those oils in their pure state for much, much less!
I first came across the use of coconut oil when I was about 7 years old and my mother had a massive tub of it which she used to melt in her hands (coconut oil is a solid white substance at room temperature but melts into a light oil on contact with skin) before rubbing into her scalp and leaving it there over night. She has done this weekly for as long as I can remember to moisture and relieve dryness and itching of the psoriasis she suffers from on her scalp. She has found much relief through using natural oils for skin problems and many people actually swear by coconut oil, as well as olive oil, castor oil and argan oil etc as a natural moisturiser and to relieve skin problem such as eczema without harsh chemicals.
Personally, I've always used coconut oil, along with other oils mentioned above, as natural hair products. My favourite use, and the most effective, is most likely using coconut oil for a hot oil hair treatment. I usually warm up a couple of spoonfuls of coconut oil, maybe with a little almond or olive oil, and smear this over damp or dry hair. Generally, I try to keep the hair mask on for as long as possible. Coconut oil is one of the best oils for penetrating the hair shaft, not just coating the outside of the hair. Providing that I am using coconut oil alone (with no other added oils), it is light enough to rub into and massage the scalp without leaving the roots oily after washing. This scalp massaging will help to stimulate hair growth as well as moisturise tight or dry scalps. One of the main reasons I prefer coconut oil over other oils for a hair mask is the fact that it washes out extremely easy in comparison to thicker oils such as olive oil.
Another hair use for coconut oil is to use it as a shine serum, smoothing serum or leave in conditioner. Depending on how fine or greasy your hair naturally is, coconut oil can really nourish the hair when used after washing when hair is wet to seal the cuticle and hold in moisture which is easily lost from damaged and porous hair. It is great for keeping ends of the hair hydrated and temporarily seal split ends. It can be used in small quantities as a detangler to stop hair from ripping when brushing, or even as a glossing serum after styling rubbed between palms and smoothed over the finished style.
I have also used coconut oil as a sort of shaving aid in the place of foam which really protects the skin while shaving and locks in the moisture from the bath/shower. I like using it as a body moisturiser though it can be a little greasy for a few hours until it all sinks in, for this reason I tend to avoid using coconut oil on my face though I sometimes use it as a natural lip balm which works great. Some people use coconut oil to remove make up and for oil cleansing but I have never tried this. It is great to use on dry elbows and knees also.
I know there are other methods in regards to natural oil use including massages and oral consumption. I haven't tried any of these methods in benefiting from coconut oils so I cannot comment on them.
Another thing that I think is important to mention is the importance of buying pure natual oils, usually described as 100% pure, food grade and cold pressed. Many oils have added petroleum or paraffin to bulk out the product and increase sales profit. Most oils are cheaper to buy pure than through a company which adds them to their cosmetics so nobody has an excuse not to give them a go! My 500ml pot of coconut oil cost me about a fiver on Ebay INCLUDING postage and packaging. You can't say no! :)
One of my friends, which have the loveliest of skin, gave me a little secret of hers - consuming two tablespoon of extra virgin coconut oil (EVCO) a day. But she highlighted that it HAS to be cold pressed, and labeled as EVCO. No less. I thought, why not give it a try and read up on the EVCO.
Coconut oil as a miracle cure?
For consumption: I first started using EVCO for the purpose of having beautiful skin, and true enough, after just two tablespoon at night, I woke up and my skin was, pretty soft. I thought that it might be a pseudo effect, so off and on, I will stop taking EVCO and when my skin becomes slightly horrible again, I just take it and the softness comes again. I took it every night for one month (and received compliments), but got worried about the oil driving the fatty levels in my body high after going to see a beautician (although studies shown that it doesn't), so I now only consume it when cooking, or externally.
Face and body moisturizer: I rub some coconut oil onto my palm, to put it on my face at night, after cleansing and toning, before moisturizing. I love the coconut smell, so it is a plus for me. While it was pretty oily when I first put in on, the next morning, my skin was plump and soft. I sometimes use it to remove eye makeup and to clean my lips. I went up a notch and searched on youtube for "Tanaka facial massage" and used the EVCO to do the facial massage. After just a week of doing the massage, my friends complimented on my slimmer looking face, and I have been doing this ever since before moisturizing (unless when I am lazy of course). On my body, the EVCO gives the same effect. My boyfriend loves touching me the next day and complimented on my smooth skin. ;) The rough edges of my elbow and knee is instantly smoothened.
On hair: Coconut oil has been used on hair in many tropical countries for centuries. The Indians, which I think have some of the most luscious and beautiful hair in the world uses coconut oil often on their hair. I tried some coconut oil on hair once a week, massaging it for 15 minutes, and have much softer and darker hair after, with more manageable dandruff control.
Oil pulling: I've read about oil pulling from one of the websites, and decided to give it a try with EVCO. Oil pulling is meant to be taking out toxins from your body through your mouth, which should heal your acne, gives you whiter teeth, extra energy and help with some other health problems that you may have such as migraines etc. How oil pulling works is that you put some oil in your mouth, and swish it around for 15-20 minutes. While doing that, you will feel some "things" coming out of your throat (usually phlegm, but said to be toxin too) and you are supposed to dispose whatever "things" that come out of your throat and trying not to touch or swallow it. You can only do it with an empty stomach. I usually flush it down the drain. For me, I did feel the phlegm coming off my throat and a little energized. And my teeth did get whiter. Oil pulling needs discipline, and after one month of doing it, I got tired.
- Verdict -
Many testimonies have highlighted the benefits of EVCO and swear by the product. I love using EVCO as moisturiser for both face and body, and as a massage treatment for face and hair. However, being psycho-ed by the media about how fats are bad for you, it took me off consuming it, but I've read many people getting many diseases healed just from its consumption. And my friend with beautiful skin swears by it. For the oil pulling, I think it works to get phlegm out of your throat and whitening of the teeth, but as for healing, it is an affordable try.
About a year ago I was watching the TV and heard an expert say that coconut oil is the best natural moisturiser that there is. I'm usually hesitant about using new products as I have sensitive skin, but since it only contains one ingredient which is totally natural and can be eaten, I eagerly bought some in my local health food shop to see what all the fuss was about. It was cheap in comparison to other moisturisers costing £2 for 100g which really impressed me. I couldn't wait until I got home to try it so I impatiently unscrewed the lid and scraped some out and rubbed it into my hands and put some on my lips. I was expecting it to smell like coconuts, but it didn't - it didn't actually have any scent. My usually dry hands instantly felt soft and any dry patches disappeared! It also felt nice on my lips - not greasy like some lip balms. From that day I was hooked.
I admit it: I'm a coconut oil addict.
I started using this magical oil as a moisturiser but I soon found out that coconut oil has actually been used for centuries and is regarded as one of the healthiest oils to eat. This is because it is made up of "medium chain fatty acids" which are easily absorbed into the body - the closest to those found in breast milk. In fact coconut oil is often used in baby formula, and in sports drinks and energy bars. About 50 years ago coconut oil started receiving some bad press as word was getting around about the unhealthy nature saturated fats, of which coconut oil is one. However, the research was carried out on hydrogenated coconut oil which undergoes a refining process that alters the make-up of the fatty acid chains and creates harmful trans-fatty acids. Virgin coconut oil that has not undergone any refinement is actually regarded as one of the healthiest oils.* So far I haven't tried cooking with it, but I have heard some very good things and I intend to experiment with it soon.
Over the summer I found I needed to store my pot of coconut oil in a cool place as it melts at 24 C and my home is hot (I have an indoor cat so can't open the windows very wide... that's another story!) It's easier to apply when it's got a buttery texture and it can get quite messy when it liquefies. I tried keeping it in the fridge at one point but it went rock hard and I could barely get any out of the pot (!) so if your home is very warm I'd simply recommend keeping it in a cool cupboard away from direct sunlight.
In terms of texture, have found that some brands of coconut oil differ slightly. So far I've tried Natures Aid Coconut Oil which cost around £2 and Neal's Yard Organic Coconut Oil which I believe cost about twice as much. I was seduced by the lovely glass jar in Neal's Yard, which I later found to be totally impractical for carrying around in my handbag, so I shall stick to the cheaper stuff that comes in a plastic tub! The more expensive coconut oil did feel smoother and more uniform in texture but I didn't notice any difference on my skin at all. Sometimes I found some grainy bits but this is just from where the oil has melted and solidified but it rubs into the skin perfectly well. Next time I need to stock up I'll probably head to Holland & Barratt and buy one of their massive tubs for £12 (and transfer into handbag-friendly smaller jars) which can be used in cooking too. (I imagine that the other tubs of coconut oil are actually fine to eat but haven't been prepared in conditions that meet food standards).
I've found that coconut oil differs from other moisturisers in that it doesn't absorb into the skin immediately but it does give long lasting softness. I tend to use it on my body after a bath in the evening, but if I wanted to put my jeans on straight after, I'd probably have to wait a little while for it to sink in to the skin before getting dressed. But I'd much rather do this than use a standard body moisturiser containing countless unpronounceable substances. The reason those moisturisers are non-greasy is that they contain chemicals that give this effect. Since using coconut oil I've noticed that my skin is softer and smoother. In the past I've had to religiously apply body moisturiser every day to combat dryness and I've a sneaky feeling those companies add in chemicals that make our skin addicted so we have to keep on using them! But now if I don't use coconut oil for a day, my skin doesn't feel tight and dry, so I feel it has longer lasting moisturising benefits. (Actually I'm not the only person who thinks this! See the second source below.*)
Coconut oil can also be used on the hair and I have a couple of friends who swear by this. I don't have the right hair type for this though - I need to create as much volume as possible! But my friends with coarser hair use it as a nourishing treatment once a week (applied on dry hair then shampooed out) and also as a serum to add shine. I've also heard that it works well as a scalp treatment to get rid of dandruff. I've used it on my face at night a number of times and I wake up with lovely soft skin but I would steer clear of it on the face during the day as I don't think make up would go on very well.
I would totally recommend using coconut oil in the place of a body lotion/moisturiser, hand cream and lip balm. It's cheap, 100% natural (no nasty chemicals!) and in my opinion it keeps skin softer than other products I've tried. If you're conscious about eating healthily then it's worth reconsidering what you use on your body too, as it will ultimately penetrate through the skin. My mum now uses it on her body and my husband says it keeps his hands soft... It's great for the whole family!
I use virgin coconut oil regularly as a skin care product and I can't praise it enough.
Over time I have tried many products to moisturise my skin with but for about 2 years now I use virgin coconut oil and I can't praise it enough. There is nothing healthier and better for you then natural plant oils.
Is very interesting to buy and try different brands as the oils themselfs can differ a bit, some types even smell slightly as coconuts. It depends where it comes from and method of extraction.
The coconut oil melts at about 24° C. Otherwise especially in cold weather it has a buttery texture and looks white. When you touched it melts on the skin to an oily texture. If your bathroom is colder in the winter you can cut it into small chunks and use them for all over the body application as it will just melt wonderfully on skin contact and nourish it. Works best when applied over damp skin then you can gently take some off with a towel.
Instead of hands cream you can use coconut oil to moisturise them.
On the long run it will save you money and keep you healthier, you won't be absorbing chemicals from the usually cosmetic products.
You can use this oil also on the hair to soften it or for split ends. Simply massage gently a bit into the ends and leave on for 3 hours, after that wash as you normally do. Hair will feel softer after.
Is also very good as a moisturise for the face and eyes used alone but apply sprinkling, 2 or 4 drops maximum is enough fro the whole face area. There is some controversy that it might clog pores and cause acne but I can tell you from my own personal experience that it does not, and I used it when I had some mild acne on my face and it helped it fade away. Some people also say it can cure acne but I would say mix it with some essential oils like Tea tree and it will, just make sure it won't turn sold for a while so the Teat Tree can blend all the way trough it. 3 drops of organic pure Tea Tree oil drops for 10ml virgin coconut oil should work wanders. Your skin will glow.
Strangely I have never ate it but it tastes good when I moisturise my lisps with it.
Oh and it also has a Sun Protection Factor of 4, I know is low but better then nothing.
This is a great oil and has helped me with my thyroids and general health.
Since Ive been taking your coconut oil my energy has increased so much that Ive joined a sports centre over 50s classes and go twice a week.
I have also started taking Salsa lessons.
The condition of my hair is fabulous. I could not achieve the same results with hair products costing 10s of pounds.
I purchase my oil from http://www.coconut-oil-uk.com <a href='http://www.coconut-oil-uk.com'>Virgin Coconut Oil</a>