Need-to-Know: Coconut Oil

Everyone’s been talking about coconut oil for the last few years as the cool ‘new’ health superfood/ ingredient, but the truth is, coconut oil has had an important role in health and beauty for centuries. Here, I share some of my favourite uses for coconut oil, from beauty tricks to food swaps.

If you’ve got my book Eat Beautiful, you’ll know that I often use raw coconut oil as an ingredient in my cooking, but its benefits go far beyond the food world. I don’t tend to get on board with ‘superfood’ trends, preferring to go for a healthy and balanced diet that will last, but since the benefits of coconut oil spill over into the beauty world, I thought I’d share some of the best uses for this ‘healthy fat’ source…


Image Credit @ Camilla Akrans for Flair

Benefits & Uses for Coconut Oil

Increase metabolism and lose weight

Coconut oil is a thermogenic food, so it increases the rate that your body burns energy, plus the high fat content (with medium-chain fatty acids) help to decrease appetite and balance blood sugar levels. This might sound complicated but basically, it’s a healthier source of the fats that your body needs to feel full.

Stave off illness

Coconut oil also has antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties, so it’s good for your overall health by reducing the stress on your body’s immune system and helping you fight off diseases.


The ancient act of oil-pulling might not be too appealing, but it can whiten teeth and help to fight gum disease. You’ll need to swish the oil round your mouth for up to 20 minutes, but the antibacterial benefits of the oil can help to remove gum disease-causing bacteria and promote the healing of gums.

Image Credit @ Camilla Akrans for Flair

Skin & Hair Moisturiser

While I’m not a big fan of coconut oil for a hair mask, adding a little to your conditioner or favourite face mask will give you an extra hydration hit, particularly in the summer. In fact, using coconut oil in your hair could even help it to grow longer due to reduced breakage. This is because its rich in vitamins and essential fatty acids to moisturise the hair and scalp.

Cooking Oil

I often use coconut oil in my cooking; it’s a healthy alternative to many other oils because it’s a stable oil that doesn’t break down easily even at high temperatures.

Make it Shine

Add a touch of shine to cheekbones with a smudge of coconut oil after applying makeup. The soothing properties of the oil make this a great option for dry or damaged skin.

Did you know?

Stars such as Angelina Jolie and Cara Delevingne are big fans of coconut oil, having spoken out about using it in their health and beauty routines. Miranda Kerr even reportedly has it in her green tea and swallows a spoonful every morning.

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