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12 benefits and uses of coconut oil for glowing skin, hair and health

Consider it your one stop shop for beautifying yourself

coconut oil
Chloe Best
Lifestyle Features Editor
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Coconut oil benefits for our skin, hair and overall health are endless. Science says it's all down to its anti-fungal, antibacterial and antimicrobial qualities which work to deliver effective results, but on a more superficial level, it's the key to getting the ultimate glow. Cheryl Cole, Rochelle Humes and Kourtney Kardashian all swear by a daily dose - and here's why you should too. 

SEE: 5 coconut oil desert recipes to try

Coconut oil for skin: 

1. As a moisturiser

Organic coconut oil can be applied from top-to-toe as an all-natural moisturiser, or make like Cheryl and put some in a hot bath so it can sink into your skin and leave it feeling soft and hydrated.

RELATED: Cheryl's top beauty trick for new mums

2. As a make-up remover

You can get even more use out of your trusty jar of coconut oil by applying it as a make-up remover, too. Scoop a pea-size amount out of the jar and rub between your fingers until it becomes a liquid and there's a light coating of it on your fingertips. Gently spread over your eyelids and lashes, then massage into your skin in a circular motion to remove all other make-up. Use a warm, wet cloth to wipe off any excess oil and then splash your face with warm water to finish. The result should be a clean, hydrated face with no need for expensive cleansers or wipes.

3. As a cleanser

Use coconut oil as a way to cleanse your face when you wake up in the morning. It's both hydrating and detoxifying, and will work to remove impurities without drying out the skin. 

4. As a lip balm

Melt a slather of coconut oil between your index and middle finger and apply to your lips for an instant hit of hydration.

Cheryl Cole swears by coconut oil 

Coconut oil for hair:

5. As a serum 

Use sparingly as a hair serum. It'll work better than shop-bought serums since it's entirely silicone free and won't leave any residue or build-up.

6. As an intensive hair mask

Run a teaspoon of coconut oil through wet hair and leave it overnight for an intensive conditioning treatment that will leave your hair feeling smooth and repaired.

WATCH: Lucy Mecklenburgh unboxes her beauty must-haves

Coconut oil for health:

7. Boost your immune system

Coconut oil contains a unique composition of fatty acids – around half of which are Lauric Acid, which is particularly good at killing bacteria, viruses and fungi. When you ingest coconut oil it forms monolaurin – another substance which has been shown to kill the yeast Candida Albicans, a common source of yeast infections.

8. As cooking oil

Frying meat and vegetables with coconut oil will not only give it a great taste, it's a great source of healthy fats.

MORE: Gizzi Erskine shares her favourite coconut recipes

9. Improve oral health

Gwyneth Paltrow is among the celebrities who rely on oil pulling for a bright and healthy smile. Swilling some of the oil around your mouth for up to 20 minutes, three times a week, is said to lift the bacteria from the surfaces of the mouth and has been found to reduce plaque.

Coconut oil for baby:

Coconut oil is ideal for use on babies' gentle skin

Coconut oil is a versatile ingredient that is ideal for use on babies' sensitive and gentle skin, either for baby massage, as a body wash or even to treat cradle cap. These tips from The Groovy Food Company reveal how...

10. To treat cradle cap

Gently rubbing a small amount of coconut oil into the affected area (approximately half a teaspoon) every other day can help soothe and clear the skin. The coconut oil acts as an intensive, all-natural moisturiser.

11. As an organic baby wash

Swap soaps and shower gels that feature synthetic ingredients for an organic baby wash made by mixing equal measures of coconut oil, organic castile soap and water. Gently massage the soap over your baby and clean with lukewarm water.

12. For baby massage

A great way to help your baby's digestion and aid sleep, baby massage is a relaxing treatment for little ones. Using coconut oil ensures your baby's skin isn't exposed to any potentially harmful chemicals and is effectively moisturised and nourished.

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