Wednesday, February 3, 2016

My greatest discovery of 2015: Virgin Coconut Oil

It's not rocket science and yet as usual, I am very late to the party. I've long known about the many uses of VCO (or virgin coconut oil) but never paid enough attention to it until last year. In an effort to downsize and fit everything into my backpack, I've turned to VCO to address my skin care and moisturization needs.

What is VCO?

Coconut oil is an edible oil extracted from the kernel or meat of mature coconuts harvested from the coconut palm. Take a trip to your local beauty outlet or grocery and you'll find numerous virgin coconut oil brands on the shelves.

What I've learned tho is not all oils are created equal: some are more fragrant (sweet like latik, like this one), some are more easily absorbed, while some are almost aroma-free. To err on the side of caution I'd rather choose one that is first-pressed and unrefined as possible, like the Know-It-Oil (pure and edible) and Grandma Minnie Do-It-Oil (spiked with monolaurin for antibacterial protection).

Uses of coconut oil:

If you're a traveler and want to save on backpack space or just want to simplify your skin care routine, here are some of the things you can do with your VCO:

1. Moisturizer - I'd recommend transferring your VCO to a spritz bottle for easy application. Just spray on skin after shower to lock in moisture and keep skin silky.
2. Bug repellent - I definitely noticed less bug and mosquito bites at the beach when I apply VCO to my legs. 

3. Tan enhancer/accelerator - There's been a debate on the SPF component of VCO, but I'd be lying if I didn't tell you I've slathered coconut oil on my body while sunbathing (with the blessing of my Dermatologist). It's been said that VCO has an SPF of 4 which is obviously not enough protection especially if you are looking at prolonged exposure. For ladies who burn easily, take note and see if VCO works for you or ask your Dermatologist first. (Further readings here and here)

4. Shaving oil - If you are in a pinch, try to apply a thin layer of oil and then shave as usual. Make sure to clean your shaver well for the oil might clog the head over time. 

5. Hair oil - You can also use VCO as a hair serum but don't overdo it as you might end up with super greasy locks. VCO is heavier compared to like sunflower and jojoba oils. 
6. Facial cleanser - "Like dissolves like", that's the idea behind using pure oil as a facial cleanser. If you are not allergic to VCO, you'll be thrilled to know that you can use it as a facial cleanser-slash-moisturizer. Just apply a dollop on your palm, massage unto skin, and then gently wipe off with a warm wet facial towel. More details here. It's said to lift comedones and cleanse skin thoroughly of makeup, grime, and debris.


Travelling soon? Transfer your VCO to a spritzer bottle (100ml or less) and then place in a resealable plastic bag to aid against spillage in transit. 

Do you have other tips on how to use virgin coconut oil?
Share them with us in the comments!


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