If you are a keen follower of up and coming beauty products – as I myself very proudly am – you can’t have failed to notice the new craze hitting everyone from models to celebrities… Literally everyone, from health and beauty experts in LA to modeling agencies in NYC, is talking about it: the seemingly endless list of uses for coconut oil. Or Virgin Coconut Oil to be exact.
So what is it exactly that makes this oil so special? If the media is anything to go by it would seem that it is a replacement for pretty much every beauty product in our bathroom cabinet. And with celebrities such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Blake Lively, Giselle Bundchen and Angelina Jolie all claiming to use it on a daily basis for everything from cooking to skin and hair care to mouthwash, I have made it my mission to find out as much as I can about the truth behind the speculation.
First up is the rumour that Blake Lively uses it to make her hair grow out thicker. This would definitely be something to take note of if it were true because she undoubtedly has one of the best manes in the business. However, after looking into this further there is sadly no actual proof that it can make your hair thicker because it can’t actually ‘create’ hair roots. But on the plus side, the nourishing properties can definitely make your hair softer to the touch so the verdict on this one is going to have to be 50/50.
The second rumour circulating seems to be that Gwyneth Paltrow uses it as mouthwash. And you will be delighted to know that, due to the antibacterial qualities it posses thanks to an ingredient called ‘lauric acid’, it can actually be used to wash out your mouth. These antibacterial qualities can also be used to sooth mild skin irritations such as insect bites, which is an added bonus. But if it is a ‘breath-freshener’ you’re looking for rather than something to make your mouth healthy and clean, then I’m afraid you’re out of luck because there is nothing out there to prove it makes your breath smell nice. Perhaps Gwyneth uses other products for that… But regardless of the breath factor, the overall verdict on this one is victorious.
Next on the list is supermodel Giselle Bundchen and the fact that she supposedly uses coconut oil on her skin after being in the sun. This is an interesting one because of the soothing properties from the lauric acid (mentioned above) it can actually have a cooling effect on the skin after a day of sun bathing. It should, however, under NO circumstances be used as sun protection because it harbours no SPF whatsoever. Another thing you also have to be careful of, is if you have sensitive skin because apparently it possess a “high comedogenic rating”, which sounds pretty scary but actually just means it’s really dense so might not be a great fit for people who react to oily products. So this one is going to have to be another 50/50. And just to repeat one more time: always use SPF, people.
Last up on this experiment is Angelina Jolie and her team of beauty advisors stating that she eats coconut oil for breakfast every morning, along with using it for cooking. Ok, so this is a pretty broad rumour because I can’t seem to find out anywhere how she eats it with her breakfast. I can’t imagine it would taste all that great on its own but I’m not here to judge. Either way, health experts from a lot of different sources reassure that coconut oil is a great health product for cooking because “it doesn’t break down at high temperatures and tastes amazing” (James Duigan – The Clean and Lean Diet)*. So there you have it, that rumour is absolutely true.
So just to sum up, it turns out that virgin coconut oil actually is a pretty damn good thing to have in your cabinet, possessing a lot of antibacterial, moisturizing and healthcare qualities. There you have it, the LA and NYC modeling agencies were right. But a word to the wise here; don’t go using it for anything random you read in a magazine unless you’ve done the proper research. There is a lot of speculation out there!