Even the best multipurpose beauty products have nothing on coconut oil. It is the beauty universe’s genie in a bottle - By Parizaad Khan Sethi
Coconut oil is having a bit of a moment. One gigantastic mother of all moments. You can’t scroll through Instagram or read a wellness blog without being hit by a jar of the extra-virgin, cold-pressed variety (the best kind; both Kama Ayurveda and Forest Essentials make them). We couldn’t be happier, because the hype is totally proportional to its awesomeness. Here are surprising ways in which you can put it to use.
Dandruff shampoos suck the life, joy and oils out of your scalp while being just plain depressing. Instead, massage your scalp with coconut oil plus a few drops of tea tree oil (also a potent flake fighter). Coconut oil is a fatty acid machine, and almost 50% of that is lauric acid, a bacteria-, virus- and fungi-annihilating powerhouse. Try and wash it out with a sulfate-free shampoo (regular ones dry out distressed scalps).
If you’ve managed to quit harmful aluminum-containing deodorants and still want to be seen (not sniffed at) in public, mix equal parts coconut oil with baking soda. Smear on a thin layer to make body pong a bad memory.
The old Ayurvedic ritual of oil pulling has regained an audience. If you can stomach swishing around a mouthful of coconut oil for 15-20 minutes, it’ll help deep cleanse teeth, prevent decay, lift stains, ward off heart disease and detoxify the entire body.
Forget virtual reality headsets—coconut oil alone can simulate a luxe spa experience. Mix in coffee grounds or sea salt to make a body scrub (gently massage into your lips as well), use it as a massage oil, or recruit a family member to give you a scalp massage (tips are optional).
Problem skin soother
This nutty oil helps eczema and psoriasis as the microbial bodies that cause them are banished. Cracked lips and heels are also mended (Vitamin E at work again).
Sunburns are calmed and pacified by the oil’s anti-inflammatory action. Coconut oil even has a natural SPF of 4 or 5, but that’s nowhere close to the required digits (go no lower than SPF 30).
A scoop of this melty goodness is a highly satisfying way to take the day off, as it dissolves even waterproof makeup and clingy sunscreens. Wipe it off with a warm washcloth and follow with a facewash or cleanser.
Coconut oil heals damaged elbows and cuticles, rehydrates fried hair and revives the skin in general. As for the face, if you’re acne prone, go easy friend, as it won’t help the zit situation. Under eye and lip use is permitted. Dry, flaky peeps can flip out and douse themselves.
is a beauty and wellness editor based in New York. She was the former beauty editor at Vogue India and now serves as a contributing editor for the magazine. At age 5, Parizaad fell in love with an old cream blush she found in the back of her mother’s drawer, and has been in awe of the transformative power of beauty ever since. When she’s not writing about beauty, she researches advances in skincare as a hobby, and is constantly guinea-pigging herself in the name of beauty.
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