Coconut oil’s a funny thing – it’s health and beauty benefits have long been extolled by doctors, dermatologists and your grandma alike, but ask someone who lives in the age of lab-produced miracle serums and you’re more likely to get greasy hair associations at best. Still, if Miranda Kerr and Gisele Bündchen are to be believed (and I would totally believe anything that 5’11, super toned Brazilian with legs for days were to say), coconut oil is having a major beauty moment – especially the extra virgin, organic kind. It’s even the starring ingredient in many a skincare and makeup line – think cult favourite RMS Beauty and Bundchen’s own Sejaa.
So let’s give this legendary overachiever a chance, shall we? Here are 15 things you can do with the stuff.
1/15 A DIY hair mask
Mix equal parts organic coconut oil and honey, heat gently, apply to your hair (paying special attention to the ends) and let it do its thing for half an hour before shampooing off.
Turn it into a DIY spa treatment while you wait and apply a bit of the leftovers to your face for a moisturising mask, especially if you have dry skin.
2/15 Around your eyes
The skin around our eyes is paper thin, which means it wrinkles faster than the rest of your face. Looking to delay the process? Dab some coconut oil under your eyes and over your eyelids before bed for heavy-duty hydration.
3/15 As a breath freshener / general detoxifier
Sure it takes some getting used to at first, but swishing a teaspoon of the oil around your mouth for 20 minutes every morning whitens teeth, freshens breath and, if proponents of oil pulling are to be believed, helps deal with everything from cavities to arthritis.
4/15 Body Oil
Swap your body moisturizer for a jar of the yummy scented stuff; the extra virgin kind sinks into the skin without greasiness and is chemical-free, to boot.
5/15 Lip Balm
Coconut oil works great on chapped lips thanks to its high fat content, so the next time you find yourself out of 8 Hour Cream, give some of this stuff a go.
6/15 On your nails
Dry, flaky cuticles aren’t fun for anyone, but you can soothe them (and add some much-needed moisture to your nails, which is why your cuticles are splitting in the first place) with a dab of coconut oil.
Who doesn’t want skin that glows? RMS Beauty’s Living Luminizer is one of the most popular face highlighters of all time, and you know what it’s made of? Coconut oil, and not much else. If you’re not willing to wait the 20 days it takes to ship to you, make do with coconut oil instead, straight from the bottle – on your cheekbones, above your eyelids (but under your brows), and right above your upper lip.
8/15 Makeup Remover
This oil works super well to remove heavy makeup; apply all over your face, let it sink in, and then wipe off with a cloth. Follow with a non-foaming cleanser, and you’re done with the whole 15-minute post-party cleansing routine for good.
9/15 Body Scrub
Body scrubs are great for soft, smooth skin, but the best kinds are the ones that contain a teeny bit of oil so you don’t have to hit the moisturiser after. If you’re in the mood for a bit of DIY, add some sugar to an equal amount of coconut oil, throw in an essential oil like lavender, and have at it.
10/15 Shaving Oil
No kidding. Your razor will glide over your legs, the hair will come right off, and you won’t even have to do a round of moisturiser after. Plus, your calves will look all nice and shiny when you’re done.
11/15 On Your Hair
Those baby hairs around your forehead that won’t lay flat? Nothing a swipe of coconut oil can’t fix. It’s also a great frizz-fighter, so you’ve got shiny, frizz-free, well-behaved hair with just one product.
12/15 Makeup Brush Cleaner
The next time you’re giving your makeup brushes their weekly wash, dip them in a bit of coconut oil, wipe off the excess, and then wash normally with your brush cleanser. Coconut oil has antibacterial properties, while conditioning natural bristles the same way it conditions regular old hair.
Mix equal parts coconut oil and baking soda, and maybe a few drops of cinnamon or mint oil for flavor, and brush away to healthier, whiter teeth- the natural route.
14/15 Soothing Sunburns
If you pushed the beach bum bit a little too much on the last vacay, smear coconut oil on those sunburns to cool off the areas and prevent them from peeling too much.
15/15 As deodorant
No, really. We got this tip from a model on a shoot once, who swears coconut oil makes for an effective, non-greasy deodorant - when used right. To use it the correct way, she recommends patting some onto your underarms after a shower when your skin is still damp, letting dry (this is the bit that takes a while - anywhere between 10 - 20 minutes) and then getting on with your day. No grease, no stains on your clothes and, to hear her tell it, no B.O!