We’ve all heard about how great coconut oil is for hair and for dry skin, not to mention for health, but Liz TAw – a hair stylist and beauty expert to stars such as Gary Barlow - says that there is far more to this versatile oil than people currently realise. In fact, Liz is such a fan of coconut oil that she has teamed up with coconut water brand Vita Coco to become their brand ambassador for their soon-to-be-launched Vita Coco Coconut Oil. Here she tells us ten unique and creative ways to get more coconut oil into your day.
1. Miracle make-up remover
“I love to use coconut oil as my evening cleanser – it’s a quick, easy and a gentle way to remove make-up and leaves skin feeling clean and nourished. To gently melt away your base, eye make-up and lipstick residue, take a teaspoon of the oil, warm it in your hands to transform it into a liquid and gently massage it into your face and neck. Use a flannel and hot water to gently remove and rinse, and repeat until your skin feels squeaky clean.”
2. Squeaky-clean balancing cleanser
“Those with oily, acne-prone skin are often worried about applying oil to their face. In truth, the antibacterial qualities of coconut oil help make it a gentle and effective way to treat and balance acne-prone skin, unlike aggressive foaming cleansers that can aggravate the delicate skin on your face and encourage production of excess sebum to protect and replace the oil you’ve stripped away. Adding a couple of drops of tea tree oil to your coconut oil will further enhance the antibacterial levels of your cleanse. Massage the product into dry skin then remove thoroughly with a hot flannel”.
3. Hydrating pre-shower body treat
“I keep a big jar of coconut oil in my bathroom and always use it before I jump in the shower. Slather it all over your body, including areas prone to the formation of bacteria such as your armpits and in-between your toes. The deodorising and antibacterial qualities mean you can ditch your body wash, shower as normal and your skin will not only feel clean but also extremely moisturised. Coconut oil on its own has a wonderful scent, but I also like to add a few drops of essential oil into my pre-shower pot. To create this at home, liquify the coconut oil by placing your Vita Coco in hot water (ensuring not to get any water in the jar), then add a few drops of essential oil, mix well and allow to cool. Rose and geranium smell divine and are ideal for dry and sensitive skin, but you can play around with other blends to suit your mood and skin type. I recommend lavender before bed and neroli and lemongrass in the morning for their reviving and uplifting properties. The possibilities are endless so have fun with it!”
4. Glow-boosting body scrub
“I must admit it’s a struggle not to eat this refreshing and hydrating body scrub when I’m making it! Gently melt about 3 tablespoons of coconut oil gently on the hob until it’s liquified. Remove from the heat and add 2 tablespoons of coconut milk, 3 tablespoons of sugar, a teaspoon of lemon juice and a tablespoon of lemon zest. Mix thoroughly until all the ingredients are well combined and transfer into a glass jar. To use, massage into dry skin (or damp skin for a gentler exfoliation), shower and rinse thoroughly. This natural, grainy scrub will effectively buff away dead-skin cells to help you achieve a gorgeous glow.”
5. Delicious whipped body butter
“Your skin will love this moisturising whipped body butter made of all natural ingredients. Mix 3 tablespoons of coconut oil with 3 tablespoons of shea butter, 3 tablespoons of cocoa butter, 3 tablespoons of olive oil and 10 to 15 drops of lavender and ylang-ylang essential oil. Excluding the essential oils, combine the ingredients in a heat-proof bowl over a pan containing a small amount of water. Bring the mixture to a medium simmer, stirring the ingredients constantly until they melt together. Once melted, remove the bowl from the heat and allow to cool, before transferring the mixture to the fridge for around an hour, until it starts to harden but still has a level of softness. Using a hand mixer, whip the ingredients for around 10 minutes until the mixture resembles thick whipped cream, add your essential oils and whip again. Store your body butter in a sterilised glass container and slather on for silky smooth skin.”
6. Totally tropical Baobab lip balm
“I love using Vita Coco Coconut Oil as a lip balm on-the-go. I also like to make my own flavoured blend by melting a heaped tablespoon of coconut oil gently on the hob and adding a teaspoon of baobab powder – a delicious, antioxidant rich, vitamin C-packed super fruit – and a drop of orange oil. If making this at home, mix well, pour into a little glass jar and leave to set. It’s easy, tastes great and is good for you instead of ingesting chemicals that can be found in some lip balms.”
7. Blissful coconut massage stones
“Coconut oil massage stones make a unique relaxing pick me up. Gently heat some coconut oil, add a few drops of your preferred essential oil, pour the mixture into chocolate moulds and leave to set to create small, massage stone-inspired shapes. For a blissful at-home treatment, massage skin with the coconut stones in your palms and they will slowly melt into massage oil. After the massage, use a hot flannel to towel of excess oil.”
8. Fragrant flaky scalp treatment
“To treat a flaky scalp, melt about 3 tablespoons of coconut oil gently in a saucepan. Allow to cool, add 5 drops of tea tree oil and stir until fully blended. Apply the mixture to your scalp (I recommend transferring the mixture into a hair colour applicator bottle for ease) and massage well. Cover your hair with a shower cap or plastic wrap and leave for a couple of hours, before rinsing and shampooing with a gentle formula 2-3 times to ensure all of the oil has been removed. Apply conditioner from mid lengths to ends and rinse as usual.”
9. Super-sweet nourishing hair mask
“I have very dry frizzy hair so this weekly dose is my Sunday morning ritual. The treatment adds shine and silkiness to my hair, helping to keep it bouncy and healthy. To create at home, warm solid coconut oil to liquify and add a couple of drops of sandalwood and rose essential oils. Apply to damp hair, combing through to distribute, before wrapping in a hot towel or shower cap and leaving to penetrate for an hour. You can also leave the remedy on overnight for an intensely hydrating treatment. Rinse, shampoo twice and condition as usual - I prefer to use a fragrance free shampoo and conditioner to maintain the gorgeous scent of the mask.”
10. Skin-loving brush cleanser
“Make-up brushes can be a haven for dirt and bacteria, but the anti-fungal and conditioning properties of coconut oil make it the ideal brush cleaner. Massage the oil onto your make-up brushes, then rinse off excess product with a gentle cleansing shampoo. The result? Soft, clean tools that will improve make-up application and help keep skin clear.”
Vita Coco Coconut Oil is launching here in the UAE in January 2016 – at approx Dh30 for 250ml. For further coconut oil inspiration, visit their website www.swearbyit.com.