Top 5 Ways to Use Coconut Oil for Skin Care
Whether you're looking for an eco-friendly alternative to commercial skin-care products or you just like its beachy scent, coconut oil is an all-natural way to keep your skin healthy. Thanks to its high vitamin-E content and antimicrobial properties, coconut oil is a skin-care powerhouse, battling everything from dry skin to acne to dandruff.
Look for organic extra-virgin cold-pressed brands of coconut oil. "This means it's less processed and will have retained as many nutrients as possible, without any additives," says Vanessa Farquharson, author of Sleeping Naked Is Green. You might want to pick up two containers on your next shopping trip: one for your pantry and one for your beauty kit.
Say goodbye to dry feet and elbows; coconut oil's rich consistency makes it an ideal body moisturizer. Plus, it absorbs quickly, which means your skin won't feel greasy afterward. And because of its many vitamins and minerals, Toronto-based holistic nutritionist Tara Miller also recommends coconut oil as a facial moisturizer.
2. Antiaging cream
We all know that too much sun can damage our skin. But according to Miller, coconut oil can help. "Its high antioxidant content protects the skin from free-radical damage caused by the sun and other environmental stressors, making it a great antiaging tool," she says. (Just make sure you don't skip your regular sunscreen.)
Thanks to its naturally occurring antimicrobial properties, coconut oil does a great job of killing off bacteria. "Most deodorants contain artificial fragrances and ingredients that kill bacteria because it's the bacteria that cause odour," says Farquharson. As an alternative, consider coconut oil to freshen up just before bed, after an evening fitness class or mid-afternoon on a hot day.
4. Acne fighter
Here's another reason to use coconut oil on your face: those antimicrobial properties that keep underarm bacteria at bay can do the same for acne. Plus, it's filled with anti-inflammatory compounds that can reduce redness and puffiness.
5. Dandruff treatment
If you're prone to a flaky scalp in the winter months, coconut oil can help. According to Miller, just massaging coconut oil into the scalp has been known to cure dandruff. She also recommends using it as a conditioning treatment.
"Our hair absorbs essential proteins and nutrients very easily from coconut oil, which not only repairs it but also protects it against further damage," she says. To prevent split ends, rub a small amount of coconut oil into the ends of your hair five to 10 minutes before your daily shower, then shampoo it out.