Virgin Coconut Oil or VCO is one of the most underrated, best kept beauty secrets, at least in this country. Case in point: it is damn hard trying to restock on this amazing find, and I live in the tropics where coconut trees can easily line the streets. This to me translates to small, irrelevant local demand for VCO. Thus leading producers to ship the white crystalline goodness elsewhere in the world where people are willing to pay. (This economics lecture leads to somewhere relevant, I promise)
This HAS to change! People have to know why VCO deserves space in every woman’s dresser. It all starts, however, in the kitchen.
As a super food, Fitnessblender states that the coconut fruit is able to “help regulate blood sugar, fight heart disease, speed up weight loss, and improve the immune system”. All that on top of being yummy. As a cosmetic, VCO can “dramatically recover the condition of both skin and hair, prevent wrinkles and make your tresses stronger and shinier.” It acts as a moisturizing, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal agent, all without the chemical baddies of your favorite brands. And since VCO goes through no other processing/magic apart from getting cold-pressed, your local tub is not only organic but is also waaay cheap.
How to use? Let us count the ways:
1. Make up remover – work a coin-sized dollop on your skin, with extra love and attention on the eyes and the lashes where the waterproof agents are. Massage gently and add a bit of water to emulsify. Wipe away with a clean, damp wash cloth. Rinse and repeat until your skin feels squeaky clean and smells a little bit like dessert (2-3 times should do it). The true test for me was removing Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation. That bad boy sits on the pores like a mask, which is great until it is time to remove it. VCO was able to clean it all off, no fuss. Same thing for all the waterproof mascara brands alternating on my lashes.
2. Eye cream – I’ve tried a handful of brands from drugstore to higher end. Nothing absorbs faster and feels softer in the morning than VCO. Apply gently on the eye lids, under and around the eyes (where space for the crow’s feet are reserved). My dark rims are getting lighter with each application too, if I say so miself.
3. Moisturizer – this is the bit that scared me the most. I have really oily, breakout-prone skin, and applying more oil seems like a surefire recipe for a hot mess. Quality essential oils are not the enemy though, so I’ve tried applying VCO, albeit more on the dry corners than on the T-zone where the oil glands flourish. VCO absorbs really quickly and leaves barely any residue. Status report: no break out thus far. But still as a precaution, I use it only at night and alternately with other oil-free creams.
4. Lip balm – well it is yummy. Swipe a bit of VCO on your puckers, let sit for a while then slough the dry flakes off for a great lipstick base in the morning. I do like peppermint on my lip balm though, so I still swipe on the Human Nature lip balm after.
5. Deep/leave on conditioner – the more determined ones can replace their weekly hair masks with VCO and apply it the same way: massage into hair and scalp, cover with a towel for 30 minutes or so, then rinse off. The lazier ones (me) can massage a dollop on the ends of the hair (where all the splits and dry bits are) at night and sleep on it. I massage a bit more oil before I hit the shower. Then shampoo per usual and skip the conditioner. Or be lazier and just massage a thin layer on your hair post-shower. Voila, shampoo commercial hair.
6. Body lotion – yes, you will smell like a tropical dessert, and maybe that is not your thing. I alternate this with the Human Nature Healthy Lotion because that one smells like flowers and is also sans the disgusting mineral oil. But I feel that VCO is more potent and is thus more moisturizing, specially against ingrown hair on legs.
Pictured above is the Seda Virgin Coconut Oil Jelly that myself, my 2 sisters and my mother have been sharing for the past month. We have about 2 tubs between us and the bottoms are in sight. I’ve tried the Internet on where to buy this and Google has failed me. If anyone knows where and how I can repurchase, I would appreciate the information.
In case this beautiful tub of VCO jelly is really out of my reach, a good old bottle of organic cold-pressed VCO is the alternative. Available in supermarkets and drug stores and usually marketed as a health food drink, applying VCO in its liquid form promises to be messier, but all the benefits should far outweigh the small inconvenience.
Photo credits to owners.