Coconut Oil: A Refresher Course


Coconut oil is a many splendored thing—of course, you knew that already. But every once in a while, even the best of us could use a refresher course. So, should you find yourself pondering that half-used bottle from Trader Joe’s like it's a parabolic equation, wondering if you even knew what to do with it in the first place, consider the following like the beginner packet of algebra you got at the start of the school year to ease yourself back in. Study up—you will be quizzed on this material.

Use it in the bath

Phoebe Tonkin's method: throw a hair mask on (which could, in theory, also be coconut oil—but we'll get to that), draw a bath, dump a box of Epsom salts in, and “just dip [your] hands in and scoop the coconut oil out of the jar. It melts in the bath, and then when you get out, it’s all over your body.”

Take your makeup off with it

Just like cold cream! Smeared over eyes and cheeks, coconut oil leaves skin replenished instead stripping it of moisture like other makeup removers. Ana Kraš, who bestowed this tidbit of “Why didn't I think of that.” ingenuity, warns “You must make sure to read the label—it’s important to get the ones that have freshly cut coconuts. There are some coconut oils that are made with older harvested coconuts, so I try to invest a couple more dollars for the ones that are truly fresh. The less days they have been harvested, the better. And you can't beat the smell of the La Tourangelle kind.”

Soothe your sunburn with it

Hairstylist James Pecis uses Kimberley Norcott's coconut oil on “everything.” In particular, sunburns: “I covered myself in it after a sunburn. Who knows if that helps, but it felt good and I smelled tasty. I have used it in curly hair and even to oil my bike lock when it was stuck.”

Mask your hair in it

Jenny Slate does it once a week. Ranjana Khan massages it into her scalp. Suki Waterhouse sleeps in it. Amanda Chantal Bacon coats herself in the stuff before hopping in the shower; Kyleigh Kuhn applies it directly after. Apparently there's no wrong way.

Bonus: Throw out your La Mer for it

Drastic? Perhaps. But when nature calls, occasionally it is appropriate to rid yourself of $150 creams that are decidedly not of the earth. So do as stylist Keegan Singh did and find a natural moisturizer to swathe oneself in: “I love Skin Trip coconut moisturizer for the body. So everything is pretty natural for me. I wasn’t very conscious of it before; I was all La Mer-ed out.”