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Coconut oil is one of those star ingredients that has garnered swathes of gushing press in recent years - with everyone from celebrity stylists to beauty and wellness bloggers hyping it as a wonder ingredient. Whether you’re adding it to your green smoothie or slathering it onto your skin and hair, it’s achieved cult status among natural beauty devotees. So what makes it so special, and how exactly should you be using it as part of a natural beauty routine?
Coconut oil is made from the creamy white flesh of the coconut (the delicious bit you eat). Our tropical superstar is naturally antibacterial and antifungal, boasts excellent moisturizing properties and can penetrate hair better than other oils. If you buy it from the grocery store, make sure that you’re buying pure, unrefined coconut oil - not one with any nasty additives. Opt for an ‘extra virgin, raw’ version. This means the oil will be cold pressed, which keeps all the lovely nutrients intact.
Here, some of our favorite ways to use coconut oil…
first layer: eye makeup remover
Waterproof makeup is essential: weddings, sad films, chopping onions…What isn’t essential are the traces of it that we can’t remove at bedtime. Luckily, your wonder buddy coconut oil is there to save the day. A little warmed oil on a cotton pad will help to break down even the toughest of mascaras - leaving you free from panda eyes.
second layer: lip balm
Coconut oil tends to be solid at room temperature, which makes it a great texture for lip balm - add to that its amazing moisturizing properties and you’re in for the perfect pout.
third layer: hair masque
Coconut oil is an excellent hair moisturizer that works best as an intensive mask for dry or tired hair. To try it at home, melt two tablespoons of coconut oil and massage into the scalp and hair. Wrap your head in a warm, damp towel and leave on for 30 minutes before washing hair as usual. Say hello to your nourished, glossy tresses. You’re welcome.
fourth layer: cleanser
For a coconut cleanse, warm a teaspoon of oil in you palm and massage gently onto your face. Soak a face cloth in warm water and hold over face. The warmth will help the coconut oil to melt away any excess oils and grime from the skin. Then use the cloth to wipe away the coconut oil - leaving a gorgeously clean, massaged and moisturized face. It’s worth noting that coconut oil does rank on the comedogenic scale meaning it could in some cases block pores. If you have a tendency towards breakouts but still want to enjoy a natural cleansing oil, try sweet almond or safflower oil instead.
fifth layer: moisturizer
Going nutty can be skin plumping too. Coconut oil is a great emollient which improves the barrier function of the skin (it keeps water in), and fights inflammation.
sixth layer: body scrub
Shaving can cause the skin on legs to become dry. One of our favorite remedies for scaly pins is a hydrating coconut scrub. Mix a tablespoon of sea salt or coarse sugar with a small handful of coconut oil and use to slough off dead skin. The result is super smooth, moisturized legs.
A little plug: anokha's almond cleansing milk contains coconut and sweet almond oil which deeply cleanse for silky, nourished skin.
All this and more at www.anokhaskincare.com .
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