beauty

Can coconut oil REALLY be used for everything, Miranda Kerr?

I was naked and alone, my skin as greasy as a nugget of KFC Original Recipe. I sat miserably on an old towel, to protect my couch from oily bum marks. It was official: coconut oil had ruined my life.

I was in the midst of a huge experiment. Using a 320g jar of virgin, unrefined coconut oil, I would solve all of my beauty and health problems.

New products may launch every second, but celebrities still can’t shut up about coconut oil. Miranda Kerr famously said, “It’s the one thing I can’t live without.” She also told Elle magazine that she used it as a makeup remover, a hair product, a cooking oil and, mysteriously, “in the bedroom”. (post continues after gallery)

It took me just four days to use my jar of coconut oil on everything I could think of, and I was relieved when the slimy ordeal was over. The benefits of using an all-natural product were far outweighed by inconvenient and hazardous mishaps.

RELATED: 28 ways to use coconut oil

Below is a list of my failed and successful uses for coconut oil. I used pure globs of coconut oil for all experiments, unless specified. All uses were inspired by popular “wellness” websites.

Body

Containers of coconut oil, all ready to go. Image:supplied.

Bath oil

FAIL. Initially promising, due to exotic scent and the way it coated my skin in a fine layer of oil. But after several hours of waiting in the nude, I realised that the oil would never dry or be absorbed. It left a greasy residue on the bath, which I had to scrub off while nude, to prevent my toddler from slipping on it.

Body moisturiser

FAIL. See above comments on accidental nudism. Awoke the next day to find that oil had rubbed off, leaving my skin dry.

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Deodorant

FAIL. Hate coconut oil, hate myself, hate Thai food which later emanated from my armpits in the form of stench.

Coconut oil as deodorant? Fail.

RELATED: THE FIND: The natural deodorant that actually works

Shaving gel

SUCCESS. Applied to wet legs, and experienced a smooth, hydrating shave that didn’t clog up razor.

Body scrub

SUCCESS (Mostly). Made deliciously from equal parts coconut oil and brown sugar, and left my skin feeling divine. However, the shower floor became oily, and I had to do more nude cleaning. Beginning to hate my life.

Hair

Taming flyaway hairs

FAIL. Turned clean hair into an oil slick, which was so bad that I had to wear a bandana.

Hair mask

SUCCESS. My favourite use for coconut oil. Massage a handful of coconut oil into wet hair, and then leave in for a few hours. Shampoo and condition as usual, and you will emerge with ridiculously glossy and smooth hair.

Before coconut oil (left), and after (right). Image: supplied.

Face

Lip balm

HUGE FAIL. Was not nourishing, even with hourly applications. The coconut oil melted into a clear liquid, which caused major inconvenience when I tried to apply it in the car, at a red light.

Face mask

FAIL. So sticky, as it was made from equal parts coconut oil and honey. Had to scrub my face with store-bought facial cleanser to remove it, which seemed to defeat the purpose.

Eye makeup remover

SUCCESS, BUT WAS TEMPORARILY BLINDED. Gel eyeshadow and waterproof mascara was removed, quite thrillingly. Yet, I awoke to blurry vision that remained for hours.

Toothpaste

SUCCESS, BUT NOT RECOMMENDED. Mixed coconut oil and bicarbonate of soda, and used as toothpaste. Tasted and felt disgusting, but teeth were extremely clean. Asked the opinion of my BFF, Dr Susan Hsieh, from St George Paediatric Dental Specialists in Sydney. She said, “I'm unaware of research supporting coconut oil for dental health, but I like putting coconut milk in my Thai curry. Pure bicarbonate of soda is too abrasive for frequent use, and doesn't have fluoride to strengthen your teeth. I can't recommend it.”

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Food

Melted coconut oil, floating on top of my coffee. Image: supplied.

Overall: FAIL (SUBJECTIVE)

I ate coconut oil in multiple ways. It was delicious when eaten on toast, in a stir-fry and baked into a muffin. I could have lived without seeing a layer of melted fat on my coffee. I also regret eating a spoonful of oozing coconut oil, as it was revolting. I did not feel energised or relaxed from ingesting coconut oil, as many websites suggested.

RELATED:Dr Karl has something to say about coconut water and ‘superfood’ claims

The high saturated fat content of coconut oil freaked me out. I’m no angel when it comes to my diet, so if I’M concerned out about fat, you know it’s bad. The Heart Foundation warns against eating too many saturated fats (citing coconut oil as an example), stating that it can ultimately lead to heart disease. With a family history of heart disease, and my own high blood pressure (due to a chronic kidney disease), it’s a risk that I can’t afford to take. Top Australian nutritionist and dietitian, Dr Joanna McMillan, says that coconut oil “provides no vitamins or minerals”, and that “coconut oil just does not have the wealth of evidence to support its use”.

Carla (Cherry Beale) loves her Cetaphil moisturiser and extra virgin olive oil, thank you very much. You can find her on Instagram and her blog.

Check out our gallery of superfoods that don't live up to the hype...

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