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Is coconut oil bad for you?

Can you use coconut oil as a beauty treatment?

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DEPENDING on who you listen to, coconut oil is either a miracle superfood or a fatty substance which should be avoided.

From easing painful sunburn to helping give you glossy hair, these are all the benefits - and downsides - you need to know about.

Coconut oil is incredibly versatile - and can be used as a cooking oil, moisturiser or mouth wash
What is coconut oil?

This oil is made from the flesh of a matured coconut - which is normally solid at room temperature, although it may melt in the summer months.

There are two types - refined, a cheaper oil without the strong taste of coconuts, and virgin or extra virgin, a higher quality oil.

Is coconut oil bad for you?

Coconut oil should be avoided because it is packed full of saturated fats - according to new research.

The sat fat level in coconut oil is around 82 per cent, compared to 63 per cent in BUTTER.

Saturated fats are linked to high cholesterol and heart disease, suggesting that consuming coconut oil may not be as healthy as we were originally told.

There is, however, some evidence that coconut oil can reduce your appetite - while advocates claim it actually reduces harmful abdominal fat.

Some people promote virgin coconut oil as a natural laxative, while it also contains easily digestible vitamins A, D, E and K - which are packed full of health benefits.

Meanwhile, fitness and healthy eating gurus Joe Wicks, Alice Liveing and Zanna Van Dijk all endorse using coconut oil for cooking.

The key, like with any oil or fat, is to use it in moderation.

It can be used as a moisturiser, wrinkle reducing face cream, to banish cellulite and as a massage oil

How can you use coconut oil as a beauty treatment?

The main benefit of coconut oil is that it is multi-purpose, providing a cheaper alternative to a cupboard full of beauty treatments.

Here's the lowdown...

Teeth whitening: An ancient Ayurvedic method of whitening your teeth, known as oil pulling, which involves swishing coconut oil around in your mouth - before spitting it out to remove stains. Speaking to Sun Online, dentist Dr Richard Marques agreed that it's great for removing plaque and toxins between the teeth.
Removing cellulite: Coconut oil can be massaged into the skin to reduce cellulite.
Moisturiser: The multi-purpose gem can also be used as a hair serum, cuticle oil and body moisturiser. It's said to fight the frizz in your mane, while keeping your skin hydrated.
Miracle face cream: Because it is super moisturising, coconut oil is said to fight acne and prevent wrinkles - all while making you smell like your next beach holiday.
Celebs like Gwyneth Paltrow and Miranda Kerr swear by the secret ingredient. Just don't get stuck in the bath, like this poor woman.

How can coconut oil be used to treat sunburn?

When it comes to sunburn, coconut oil is said to relieve inflammation, nourish the dried out skin, cool the burn and help to heal the burn.

Most methods recommend mixing it with aloe vera gel and massaging onto the skin, as an alternative to traditional Aftersun.

You can also use it on sunburned lips and, if mixed with tea tree oil, for any itchy burns.

However, be aware that the oil will attract the sun further if you do step outside.

And use the pricier virgin coconut oil if you want it to really work.