Ingredient Spotlight: Coconut Oil
The divine smell of coconuts always makes me feel like I'm on a tropical island and is so uplifting. Coconut oil has been used for centuries in countries where coconuts grow naturally (e.g. Pacific Islands, South Asia). A favourite cooking and skincare oil of many communities around the world, this oil has also gained much popularity in the west.
Coconut oil is a great beauty all-rounder. You can use it as a massage oil, in your hair or even to remove make-up. The oil is very nourishing for the skin, leaving it silky smooth and soft.
Here are my top reasons to start including coconut oil to your skincare routine:
Tropical Body Oil
The properties in coconut oil are antibacterial + anti-inflammatory + hydrating + protecting. Coconut oil is excellent as a body oil, it's naturally antibacterial and very nourishing, making it suitable for all skin types. The oil helps lock in moisture and assists in balancing the skin. It also helps improve the skin's barrier functions, which helps keep skin healthy & protected.
Also great as an anti-inflammatory, Coconut oil can help treat skin conditions such as eczema and acne and reduce redness & itchiness. It's a cooling oil that feels great on irritated and stressed skin.
After-Sun Body Oil
For those of you who love spending lots of time in the sun (like me), Coconut oil has very mild protective properties (ca. SPF 4), but it's better used as an after-sun hydrating oil, rather than a sunscreen.
It doesn't replace sunscreen during a full beach day, because it can't absorb rays effectively enough. But it can help calm your skin. It is a cooling + soothing body oil to help nourish your skin after spending time in the sun and in the ocean.
Tropical Skin Food
Want to give coconut oil a try? You can simply buy 100% virgin coconut oil and use it straight from the jar, or you can get products that use coconut oil in their formulation, adding the benefits of this oil to the finished product.
One thing I would recommend when purchasing coconut oil or products containing coconut oil, is to make sure it is 100% natural (virgin) coconut oil + unrefined + free from fragrances. When I say fragrances I only refer to synthetic, artificial fragrance and not pure essential oils (which are great for skincare). Unfortunately, with the rise of popularity, some products that use coconut oil, include a lower quality oil (e.g. refined, scented). Pure virgin coconut oil, gets hard below 25C degrees and has a strong coconut smell to it - so if you are using it in cooler weather, simply place it in a bowl of hot water and let it melt, then scoop away.
The beautiful, hand-made brand 'ili skincare uses only 100% organic coconut oil & it makes their coffee scrubs & body oil smell divine! The Sea Salt Soaps from Kopa Kauai are also made with 100% organic coconut oil, which make a luxurious shower soap and leaves the skin feeling hydrated and soft.
Happy discovering, Mermaids! 🐚