You can’t go on Pinterest without scrolling over a coconut oil hack or seven. It smells delightful (think: piña colada without the hangover), moisturizes skin and hair and even plays a major role in all those keto desserts we’re currently obsessed with. But have you ever wondered exactly what it does for your beauty routine? Here’s everything you need to know.
What is coconut oil?
This might sound obvious, but coconut oil comes from the meat of mature coconuts. It’s dried and then pressed to extract a superfood-like beauty oil that can be used to hydrate skin, smooth hair and deliver essential fatty acids to our bodies.
What are the benefits of using coconut oil?
There’s basically too many to count (for real). But here’s the gist: Coconut oil is chock-full of fatty acids, which have a ton of internal health benefits like boosting your immune system and preventing heart disease, according to researchers at the University of Cambridge. They also externally calm inflammation and have antibacterial properties (hence why it makes a great moisturizer).
How do you use coconut oil?
Use it as a deep conditioner: Next time your hair is in need of a little extra TLC, skip the pricey hair masks and opt for coconut oil instead. Use a teaspoon or two on damp hair, massage into scalp and twist into a topknot. Let it sit as long as possible (bring on the bath bombs and tub-side vino) before rinsing and shampooing as normal.
Use it as a cleanser/makeup remover combo: Kill two birds with one stone by applying it to your face as an oil cleanser to remove dirt, grime and face makeup. Then go in on your waterproof mascara by dabbing a cotton ball in some softened coconut oil and swiping across your eyes.
Use it as toothpaste: Because coconut oil has antibacterial and antifungal properties, it naturally kills germs and freshens breath, and it even whitens teeth. Want really pearly whites? Brush with a mixture of one part coconut oil and one part baking soda.