Coconut Oil: Your Secret Beauty Weapon

BY Rachel Hynd TIMEFebruary 1, 2015 PRINT

We are what we eat, according to the old adage. But increasingly, we are what we absorb.

While most of us are conscientious of what we put past our lips, many of us are also looking to reduce the amount of chemicals we apply to our skin and which seep through our pores each and every day.

After years of trial and error while searching for those “ultimate products” that seem to work best for us and that we simply cannot live without, it turns out most of these drug store beauty potions are loaded with chemical concoctions that have been linked to cancer.

As an all-over moisturizer, keep a jar of coconut oil handy near your shower.

Our body is often unable to protect itself against these chemicals and we can only detoxify so many harmful substances. Over time, these chemicals can build up in our tissues and mutate cells. This can create a perfect storm ripe for germs and infections.

Considering the number of products we use each and every day, it is wise to start replacing as many synthetic products as we can with natural, but equally as effective alternatives.

It wasn’t easy to part with so many of the tried and tested beauty essentials I had added to my arsenal over the years, but to my surprise I have been able to reduce the number of bottles on my shelf without sacrificing the way I look on a Friday night.

I’ve even managed to shrink my cosmetic bill by using unrefined, organic virgin coconut oil on my skin.

Coconut oil has received a lot of attention over the past few years and yet, has not fully caught on in our health and beauty marketplace despite its versatility. Although it has received high recognition for its ability to help boost metabolism for weight loss and poor thyroid functioning.

Coconut oil can withstand high heat without oxidizing when used in cooking. While we’ve discovered the wonderful cooking properties of coconut oil while women in the tropical regions of Africa, the Caribbean, Sri Lanka, and South India have known for centuries about the beautifying effects of coconut oil, giving them luminous, flawless complexions and shiny hair. It is the age old beauty “secret.”

Coconut oil is appealing because it has so many applications. It is inexpensive and its smell is both sweet and enticing. Due to its molecular composition, it is easily absorbed by the skin to smooth out roughness, dryness and wrinkles. Or, if your skin tends to be a little on the oily side, it can have a drying effect that absorbs excess oil, bringing the skin back into balance.

Coconut oil is loaded full of antioxidants. With regular use, it can help in the prevention of free radical damage from the sun, which appears on our skin in the form of brown “age” spots and wrinkles. It also helps maintain skin elasticity.

As well, it is anti-fungal and anti-viral. Scientists have touted coconut oil as one of the best available ingredients on the market to use as a base for soaps and lotions for these very reasons.

When choosing a coconut oil, make sure it is unrefined and organic, which is best for your health. (Shutterstock)

Here Are Some Excellent Suggestions You Will Love and That Will Simplify Your Life With Coconut Oil:

  • As an all-over moisturizer, keep a jar handy near your shower. Before drying off with a towel, apply the coconut oil to damp skin. The oil works as a water sealant, keeping the moisture locked in. Then simply pat yourself dry.

  • Try using it as a gentle, effective eye make-up remover, even for stubborn waterproof mascara.

  • Use it before and after sun exposure to protect and soothe skin from harmful UV rays

  • It is a remarkable hot oil treatment for those with damaged hair or dry scalp (dandruff). Gently heat the oil and massage it into scalp and hair. Don’t forget the ends! Leave it on over night for the ultimate deep conditioning treatment. Remember to cover your pillow with a towel. Then just shampoo it out in the morning.

  • Before retiring for the evening, try applying it to your face, hands, elbows, knees and feet. Wear hand gloves and socks to wake up with an ultra soft experience.

  • Use it to moisturize cuticles while relaxing in front of your favorite TV show.

  • Slather on chapped, winter lips.

  • Mix with a coarse sugar or salt to make your own economical body scrub.

  • Finally, because of its anti-viral, anti-fungal properties, it can be used to soothe and help heal eczema, fungal infections between the toes and when applied underarm, can prevent body odor.

Buy a large jar and divvy it up into a few small containers and place in areas of your home where it is easily accessible; one in the bathroom, bedroom, kitchen, etc. When choosing a coconut oil, make sure it is unrefined and organic, which is best for your health. As well, ensure that the company uses sustainable growing methods.

As coconut oil becomes a part of your world, you will be thrilled at all of its uses.

That’s not to mention how tasty fish can be when cooked in coconut oil or how excellent it tastes drizzled over popcorn.

This article was originally published on

 *Images of “coconut oil” and “SPA” via Shutterstock

Rachel Hynd
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