In my desperate search for a wacky national holiday to use for this post’s theme, I came across World Coconut Day and the Asian and Pacific Coconut Community. You guys, there is an actual coconut community. I hope with all my heart that Sri Lanka part of this community because that gives me some sort of indirect membership … right?
Anyways, although World Coconut Day occurs on September 2, I believe so strongly in the power of coconuts that I’m giving you a list of my favorite uses for it (as promised in my post “Combat dry winter hair with these three oils”).
First, here are some of the great health benefits of incorporating coconut into your life:
- It’s super-crazy moisturizing! It can help to heal dry lips, hair, face, body, feet: basically dry anything. Some people whom I talked to said that coconut oil didn’t do much for their lips which makes sense because, although it’s an oil, it’s not greasy or thick. An article by The Huffington Post states that the oil can strengthen and smooth skin while adding shine to hair.
- Coconut oil has antibacterial and antifungal properties. Studies have found it to be effective in disrupting these harmful cells’ membranes. This characteristic is great for oil pulling (you’ll see, keep reading) and may encourage people to use it as a facial moisturizer since breakouts often occur because of bacteria in the first place.
- It (may) have other health benefits such as increasing “good” cholesterol (HDL) and appears to be healthier overall compared to butter. I won’t go into too much detail, but the structure of the oil and components impact how it functions in the body. These claims are still being researched further, so don’t bank on coconut oil to reduce your cholesterol or impact your weight.
OK, here are a few of my main uses of coconut oil:
Out of the multiple ways to incorporate coconut into cooking, my favorite is coconut milk.
How to make it:
- scrape the coconut – my family uses a coconut scraper because coconut milk is in almost every Sri Lankan dish, but after draining out the liquid you can use a knife and spoon.
- take the coconut flesh and mix with hot water, then blend until it gets thicker
- use a strainer to remove the pieces of coconut (but don’t throw it away because there are endless recipes to make with it!)
- use as desired and refrigerate when not using
When you want to make something – a side dish, actually South Asian food, or soup – to taste like curry, add coconut milk.
Anyone who wears makeup and who has made the mistake of attempting to wash off all the products with water has seen the dreaded mascara-face.
Yes, Beyonce can pull it off. But, Beyonce could pull off high waisted spandex and leg warmers. This happens, specifically with eye makeup, because the water can’t break down the particles. However, coconut oil can. I usually take a cotton pad or towel, dip it in some coconut oil and remove all my eye makeup – yes, even the waterproof mascara – in one swipe. I don’t recommend using it on your entire face because, while it will be effective, the oil feels a bit uncomfortable when it covers your whole face. (And, added bonus of using coconut oil to cleanse off eye makeup: your eyelashes get some treatment too!)
You’re all probably zoning out right now because I’ve said this so many times: coconut oil is perfect for moisturizing. So, I won’t elaborate because I’ve done it before. Mix it into your lotion and hair treatments, your facial moisturizer, lip balm, or anything else. Just do it.
I think coconut oil is actually some kind of magical potion: 100% Snape Certified.