The Beauty Benefits of Coconut Oil

The Beauty Benefits of Coconut Oil

I've long espoused the beauty benefits of coconut oil, primarily because it's an insanely good moisturizer with heavy-duty potency. As someone who suffers from dry, sensitive skin, I'm not always responsive to run-of-the-mill body lotions and creams that contain a laundry list of unpronounceable ingredients. So when I was first introduced to pure coconut oil, I jumped at the chance to test it out.

In short, it worked like a charm. It's slick, so it's not something I suggest using all over the body, but it's a downright miracle worker when it comes to healing dry patches and even soothing minor cuts and burns. Of course, I'd heard about coconut oil being more than just a skin treatment, but I hadn't really delved into that side of it until recently. I regret it now, because I would have saved tons of time and money by keeping my regimen coconut oil based. Here's what this fabulous natural product has done for me lately…

It smoothes my hair. Like a wildebeest, my thick hair tends to do its own thing. Sure, I can walk out of the salon with a mane worthy of the stars, but at home I'm pretty much a slave to my beloved flat iron and heat protectant spray. Enter coconut oil, which has, quite magically, transformed my hair into the sultry-smooth curtain I often see flying across the screen during a Pantene commercial. I simply apply it an hour before showering and let it sink in. An optional warm towel wrapped turban-style is a luxury, but not an absolute necessity in my experience. I find it's helpful to shampoo a couple of times to get the oil completely out, followed by a cold water rinse. The payoff is soft, glossy hair that's easier to style.

It softens my face. I've used coconut oil as a face mask for a couple of years now, and I can say with great certainty that it has effectively eliminated issues like eczema and occasional bouts of psoriasis. (Ask anyone who suffers from either condition—they aren't easy to beat.) About 10 minutes before I hit the shower, I apply coconut oil from my forehead down to my neck, taking care to avoid my eyes (it has a tendency to drip as the bathroom warms up). I rinse it off with a gentle brown sugar scrub and warm water. The result: baby-soft skin that I'm confident looks as good as it feels.

It soothes my heels. We all know the importance of foot care, especially as we ease into the warmer months. Suddenly, toes are on display, pedicures are a must, and cute sandals are unavoidable. To the rescue comes coconut oil! With regular use, it softens and soothes rough heels and tired toes after a long day of walking in heels. As something of a heel junkie, I can all but promise nothing feels better than massaging gentle coconut oil onto tired feet at the end of a long day.

It removes my makeup. Oh, my—what a find! If I never have to spend another penny on a run-of-the-mill makeup remover, I'll be thrilled. Coconut oil works like a charm to remove it all, from stubborn mascara to stay-put foundation, with ease. Just warm the coconut oil and pour some onto a soft cotton pad. Rub the pad over the entire face and revel in how phenomenally supple your skin feels at the end of the day. Makeup removal isn't optional, in my opinion, so this makes a very necessary step all the more enjoyable.

It acts as a shave cream. This is one of those proceed-with-caution tips, since coconut oil does have a tendency to leave the shower-floor slick. But as a shaving cream on any part of the body, it has proven to be extremely effective. It leaves behind the anticipated soft skin, with a smooth finish that I have honestly never experienced with any sort of shaving cream. Cuts seem to be a thing of the past, and there have been no issues with ingrown hairs or burning. Bonus: There always seems to be a touch of oily residue left behind on the skin post-shower, so go ahead and massage that in to enjoy extra-smooth skin that lasts for hours.

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