Coconut oil, due its high saturated fat content was branded as unhealthy and artery-clogging which could cause heart diseases. This claim has been widely disproved by the scientific community and it is now being hailed as one of world’s healthiest cooking oils. Though it may take time, perceptions are slowly changing as people are beginning to realize its tremendous benefits. Coconuts and coconut oil have always been a part of the cuisine in tropical countries like
India (South) and and even today coconut is indispensable in their diet. For now, let’s leave aside the health benefits and focus our attention on the beauty uses of this wonderful oil. South Indian women swear by it. They attribute their dense, long, raven black hair and a flawless, clear complexion to good genes and the liberal use of coconut oil in their diet and beauty regimen. Sri Lanka
Coconut oil pre-bath massage
Technically what makes it a good oil to use for cosmetic purposes and skin care is its chemical formulation. Its small molecular structure allows for easy absorption through the skin, giving it a soft, smooth texture and hence is an ideal treatment for dry, rough and wrinkled skin. Unrefined Pure Virgin coconut oil is extremely high in antioxidants that can penetrate deep into the underlying tissues of the skin to prevent and protect against the formation of free radicals that make the skin lose its elasticity. Regular application protects the skin from developing ugly spots and blemishes caused by aging and overexposure to sunlight. That’s why this oil is regarded as the best natural ingredient lotion for the skin. It’s also very inexpensive and is easily available. The lovely smell and feel of virgin coconut oil is so enticing that you will fall in love with it.
Coconut oil pre-bath massage
One of the previous posts The luxury called ‘oil bath’, had elucidated how a pre-bath whole body massage with oils, better known as ‘Abhyanga Snana’ in Ayurvedic terminology keeps the skin soft, young and supple for years. After bath, just pat yourself dry; do not rub your skin vigorously with the towel so that your skin retains a bit of oiliness. This oil-massage is also highly recommended for people with extremely dry skins, persons of all age-groups and for all skin-types in winter. And if you do not have the time to indulge in an oil-massage everyday do remember to add a few drops of coconut oil to your bath water.
Coconut oil as an after-bath moisturizer
Coconut oil can work as an excellent skin moisturizer if applied immediately after a shower. Oils such as olive, jojoba or coconut oil, and Vaseline (petroleum jelly) sit on top of the skin and lock in moisture, thus acting as a water sealant. That's why they work best when applied to damp skin. Keratosis pilaris, a skin problem can be alleviated with the regular use of coconut oil on body after a bath while the skin is damp. People suffering from mild to moderate Xerosis due to some defect in their skin’s barrier have a dry, rough, scaly, and itchy skin. They should regularly moisturize their skin with pure coconut oil after bath to deal with this condition effectively.
Coconut oil for other skin problems
An external application of coconut oil also relieves eczema symptoms. It can also help in conditions like fungal infections in toes, athletes foot. As an under-arm deodorant it helps to prevent body odour.
Coconut oil to protect your skin and hair from sun damage
If you can’t help venturing out in the hot sun often, then apply coconut oil to your scalp as a protection from the harmful and drying effects of the UV rays and also do not forget to soothe your skin afterwards with a liberal application of aloe vera gel to which a few tsps of coconut oil is added.
Coconut oil in face packs
Do not forget to add a few drops of coconut oil in your face-packs in winter, if you are above thirty and if you have dry to normal skins.
Coconut oil to cure cracked heels
For cracked heels, combine coconut oil with petroleum jelly (Vaseline) and apply over those areas before going to bed.
Coconut oil for dry, flaky lips
Dry, flaky lips can also be rejuvenated with a liberal application of pure coconut oil on them.
Coconut oil for dark elbows and knees
Take half of squeezed lemon and pour half a teaspoon of coconut oil in lemon skin, rub on dry and dark elbows and knees to help with spots.
Coconut oil to remove eye makeup
Use it to remove eye makeup by gently applying it on damp cotton wool and delicately remove it with gentle inward motion.
Coconut oil for hair
Coconut oil can be used as a pre-shampoo hair conditioner. Warm the bottle of coconut oil by placing it in a container of hot water and then take a few drops of this warm oil in your palm and massage it gently into your scalp. It smells nice and as mentioned earlier its small molecular structure allows for easy absorption into the scalp. You can leave it overnight. This oil-massage also ensures a peaceful slumber and is especially recommended if you have trouble falling asleep easily. Shampoo it off the next morning and it will leave your hair with a smooth texture. If you do not like to keep it the whole night, then apply it a few hours before washing your hair and cover your head with a shower cap to allow deeper penetration. But you can get better results only by leaving it overnight. This treatment with coconut oil is as good as an expensive hair treatment at the salon. Coconut oil application also helps with dandruff problems too and hence much preferable to other strong medicated shampoos. You can also prepare many herbal oils using coconut oils as the base. For instance, this Aloe-oil helps with split ends and this Amla (gooseberry) hair oil and hibiscus-based hair oil not only promote hair-growth and prevent premature graying but also help with insomnia.
Curry leaves hair oil for premature graying
Curry leaves oil also delays premature graying of hair. Here’s the procedure of preparing it. Take a bunch of curry leaves and grind it with little water to get a paste. Add this paste to 2 cups of coconut oil and heat the mixture till all the moisture evaporates. After it cools, store it in a bottle. Use this to deal with gray hair problems.