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The hot trend of coconut oil – what’s all the fuss about?

Coconut oil provides a chemical-free, natural moisturiser for head-to-toe softness and amazingly you can also use it as a shaving cream, lotion, hair conditioner and lip exfoliator.

The hard and hairy coconut’s oil can also be consumed and according to studies it can help to control weight and cholesterol and fights off illness-causing bacteria. So whether you use coconut oil as part of your beauty regime, or whether you use it as a superfood, the range of benefits is amazing! Discover the fuss for yourself!

Over the last few years, coconut oil sales have sky-rocketed. In fact, sales at Sainsbury’s alone were up 442% last year – and with the claims of being an all-purpose product for beauty and health, along with famous faces such as Gwyneth Paltrow waxing lyrical about the wonders of the natural oil, it comes as no real surprise. But just how can you incorporate it into your daily routine? We headed to the kitchen to uncover all…

Majestic Moisturisation
Renowned for hydration, coconut oil can quench thirsty skin, using just a small amount, and makes a fantastic all-over body moisturiser. This oil of the (skin) gods also is believed to be 15 times better for skin breakouts than benzoyl peroxide, thanks to its fatty acids and plethora of antibacterial and antifungal properties. Just dab onto any problem areas and voila; within a few days that niggling spot should be no more!

Us ladies of a certain age can rejoice as coconut oil is also packed full of antioxidants (including vitamin E and vitamin A), which can slow down ageing and those dreaded wrinkles. Hooray!

How to use: simply rub a small amount of coconut oil between your fingers and apply to clean skin for a healthy, hydrated glow!

Coconut-ty Conditioning
While most of us may have used ‘coconut’-inspired haircare products in the past to moisturise our tresses, our new favourite beauty must-have is proven to not only condition locks, but also prevent breakage and even promote hair growth! Make the most of this mighty oil by creating an overnight mask! Melt up to four tablespoons of the coconut oil (depending on hair length and thickness) between your palms and massage into wet hair. Then cover with a towel/ shower cap and leave overnight. Wash off and style as normal to reveal stronger sexy hair.

Long Luscious Lashes and Eyebrows
Just as with your hair; coconut oil is fast becoming a must-use product on eyelashes and eyebrows as the oil is gentle enough touse around the sensitive eye area and it helps lashes/ brows to grow and look volumised. Instead of buying that expensive mascara, make a natural boosting serum for a fraction of the price.

Method: Pour two tablespoons of coconut oil, castor oil and sweet almond oil into a container and mix well. Using either a cotton bud or clean mascara wand, apply the serum to the lashes and brows, before going to bed. In just a few weeks’ time, your brows and lashes should look thicker, fuller and healthier!

Cooking With Coconut Oil
Whether you replace your current cooking oil with this super oil when frying or roasting, or choose to get creative and use it instead of butter on toast, adding it to smoothies and coffees (for an energy boost!) or even using it when baking ‘healthier’ snacks, the options are endless!

[box type=”shadow” align=”” class=”” width=”600″]Must try recipe: Vegan chocolate orange truffle bites

First, grease a small rectangular glass dish with a small amount of coconut oil and line with baking paper. Heat 200g of coconut oil until melted and then add in 100g of cocoa powder, whisking until smooth. Stir in 6tbsp of maple syrup, 2tsp of vanilla extract, 1tsp of orange extract and a pinch of salt until combined, then stir in almost all of the 60g of goji berries, leaving a small handful for decoration. Pour into the glass dish and finish with the remaining goji berries and refrigerate for an hour. Then cut into slices and enjoy! [/box]

By Shelley Welti

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