The thought of coconuts usually conjures up images of far-away tropical, palm fringed beaches. In recent times however, this bountiful fruit (yes, it is a fruit!) has exploded in popularity and is now used the world over for a myriad of reasons.
Coconut is a delicious and healthy food that can be prepared in a variety of ways but things get really interesting when coconut is processed into an oil. Used in cooking, coconut oil has many proven health benefits but did you know it also makes an amazing ingredient for beauty products and toiletries?
At Sophie’s Barn we’re big fans of coconut oil. From cleaning soap to shampoo, it’s used in loads of our products. Its versatile nature and the fact it’s packed full of nutrients makes it one of our favourite ingredients.
We love it so much we’re going to share some of our favourite uses for coconut oil so you too can start benefiting from it straight away:
Deep conditioning hair mask
It’s fantastic for hair. Hugely nourishing, the unique fat composition of coconut oil makes it super beneficial for certain hair types.
Use coconut oil as a deep conditioning mask by coating your hair in the oil, leaving it for an hour or two (or even overnight if your hair is especially dry) before rinsing out with warm water. After rinsing, shampoo and rinse your hair two or three times to get rid of any residual oil, leave your hair to dry and enjoy extra shiny, smooth locks!
Face and body moisturiser
The natural antioxidants contained in coconut oil makes it a fantastic moisturiser and helps in reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
The trick is to only apply a small amount on dry areas of the face and body and do so straight after your bath or shower to lock in moisture.
Coconut oil is an absolute whiz at removing even the most stubborn makeup from your face. Even waterproof mascara is no match for coconut oil!
Apply a dab of oil to a ball of cotton wool or makeup remover pad and gently wipe across your face to remove the makeup.
Baby bum cream
Nappy rash is no fun for baby and no fun for you either. Some of the available creams are very thick and smell unpleasant as well as containing loads of synthetic chemicals.
Coconut oil is water repellent so creates a barrier between baby’s bum and the nappy helping prevent nappy rash. The oil’s natural anti-fungal properties also help keep fungal infections at bay too.
You can make yourself a gorgeously indulgent DIY body scrub using nothing but coconut oil, salt and lemon juice.
Here’s my favourite fast go-to recipe:● Melt two tablespoons of coconut oil● Add a tablespoon of any fine salt ● Add a squeeze of lemon juice Mix well and store in a sealed tub at room temperature.
Shaving your body hair is a boring job and can often leave your skin dry and irritated. By using coconut oil as a shaving oil you’ll be protecting the skin as well as leaving it silky smooth and moisturised.
Simply smooth a thin layer of coconut oil on the area you wish to shave. Get to work with the razor and rinse afterwards.
If you’ve got kids, it’s likely you’ll be acquainted with the joy of head-lice. These annoying little critters can be removed with over-the-counter remedies but these are often strong-smelling and filled with chemical nasties. Worse still, head-lice are slowly becoming resistant to these remedies.
Fortunately there’s a much gentler alternative. Using coconut oil, you can make your own effective home remedy for removing head-lice:1. Rinse the hair with hot water2. Warm coconut oil until it’s a liquid consistency (but not too hot to apply!)3. Apply liberal amounts to the hair, covering it thoroughly4. Cover head with a shower cap and leave on for eight hours or more (overnight is best)5. Remove shower cap and using a fine-toothed comb or special nit comb, do a thorough job of combing the hair and removing the suffocated nits. Pay particular attention to the scalp and any eggs that might be lurking. If you don’t remove the eggs you’ll still have a head-lice problem once they hatch6. Shampoo and rinse hair to remove coconut oil7. Wait a few days, repeat process if necessary Chest balm When autumn arrives and all the kids go back to school, you can almost guarantee to be saddled with a nasty cold or two.A chest rub can be a handy remedy to help clear congestion, stuffy noses and sinus pain but did you know you can make your own? Take two tablespoons of coconut oil and mix in five drops each of eucalyptus oil and peppermint oil to create a powerful and gorgeous smelling chest rub! There’s no doubt about it, coconut oil is a wonder-food and should be a staple of any bathroom cabinet as well as kitchen cupboard. Its uses are practically endless and we’re sure that once you start using it, you’ll love it as much as we do!