By Kate Cheng
Whether we’re freshening up after taking the red eye or just looking for new ways to reduce the number of plastic bags used at security, there are never enough reasons to use a multi-purpose product. Coconut oil is the new way to get a moisturiser, a split-end saver, and a healthy cooking oil in one tiny bottle – a little really goes a long way! For best results, get a ‘cold pressed’ version, so no outside heat has tampered with the product. Get decanting people, this one’s going to become a healthy plane food essential for sure.
Facial and Body Moisturiser
On its own, or mixed into your favourite cream, coconut oil is wonderful for its versatility. Straight from the tub, its silky soft consistency makes for a soothing lotion, good for preventing and treating stretch marks and sunburn. It even can help heal scars and speed up skin’s recovery process for superficial wounds. As a facial moisturiser, its concentrated, serum-like texture is perfect for the horrifically dry winter months. If you have oily or combination skin, however, and find that direct application clogs pores, it’s best to mix a few drops into your cream or perhaps even in a homemade lotion stick for best results. You can even use it as a base for a facial or body exfoliator.
…Or Just Moisturiser Generally
Dry ends, be gone! Much like its sister, Argan oil, coconut oil is great for applying on damp hair to lock in hydration. A fantastic idea for an intensive hair treatment: coat dry strands in coconut oil, leave in shower cap for 5 – 15 minutes, and rinse through. It also works in small dabs on dry lips as an SPF 8 lip balm, or massaged onto cuticles, elbows, cracked heels…the list goes on.
If you’re trying to avoid parabens and sulphates in your cosmetic products, then look no further than coconut oil for an all-natural makeup remover. Oil cleansers have been the new rage for a while now, for their ability to break up and loosen dirt and makeup particles better than a foaming formula, and for penetrating the skin for maximum bacteria extraction. Coconut oil is nature’s answer to Shu Uemura – rub in circular motions onto dry skin and rinse with warm water.
To continue within the cleansing theme, coconut oil is also excellent for oil pulling, an ancient practice rooted in Ayurvedic medicine that uses oil to extract toxins from the body, supposedly improving skin issues and alleviating headaches and hangovers! It also apparently improves oral health by whitening teeth and removing plaque. Dubious efficacy, but don’t knock it till you’ve tried it! When all else fails, this product is also a great massage oil; with its delicate scent, it’s perfect for getting hard knots out of muscles while doing in-flight exercises!
On Salads, in Drinks, for Cooking…
You’d be forgiven for forgetting, but coconut oil is first and foremost, of course, food! Its medium chain triglycerides, processed by the body differently from other types of fat, means that it has been used to treat diabetes, to boost the immune system, and even to lower cholesterol. Versatile enough to be drizzled on top of your salad or as a healthy substitute for milk or cream in coffee, coconut oil adds a subtle sweet taste while giving an extra burst of energy. Unlike other oils, it has a high smoking point, so is safe to use when cooking on high heat, such as when deep frying. Coconut oil also contains many fat soluble, and therefore easy to digest, vitamins: A, D, E and K. We recommend pairing 1 tablespoon with a handful of pumpkin or chia seeds on spelt bread for a quick afternoon pick me up.