Packed with a full spectrum of nutrients, coconut oil is a must-have item on a tropical holiday in Thailand or Bali.
Coconut oil – also known as miracle oil – contains lauric acid, a natural fat, in addition to vitamins E, K and iron, as well as other natural antimicrobial properties, and thanks to this unique blend of natural assets, there’s a lot you can do with this one simple oil.
As well as being tasty as a drink or sauce for cooking, coconut oil is also widely used as one of the key ingredients in spa treatments all over Southeast Asia, particularly on the islands in southern Thailand.
The oil can be easily sourced at pharmacies and tourist shops in many locations, as can the fruit that provides the source for this adaptable and health-giving elixir.
Here are five ways to use coconut oil on your next villa holiday in the Tropics.
After-Sun Hair Treatment
Many holiday-makers travel to countries like Thailand to enjoy some sun, sea and sand. Unfortunately, hours spent lounging on the beach under the hot sun can do a lot of damage to your hair, leaving it lacklustre and dry. To give your locks the TLC they need, try a coconut oil hair mask within the comfort of your private villa? The natural fatty acids in coconut oil will return the shine to your dried out tresses. Simply mix some coconut oil with a little honey, tie your hair back and leave in for 30 minutes before rinsing out. Rubbing a little coconut oil on the tips of your hair after washing is another great way to keep it hydrated.
The kitchen of a private holiday villa provides an ideal place to get experimental with new dishes, particularly if you are seeking to introduce a few new flavours into the food you enjoy every day. One simple approach is to use coconut oil instead of sesame or olive oil the next time you whip up a stir-fry. Not only does coconut oil taste great with Asia flavours like lemongrass and chili; it is also a very healthy option. Coconut oil has a high 'smoke point', which means it doesn’t emit harmful free radicals as easily as other kinds of oil.
Indulge in Spa Time
If you feel like some serious relaxation time while staying in a private villa, coconut oil is an essential pampering product. Not only does this wonderful oil act as a rich body butter for massages; it is also used in aromatherapy to relieve stress. Just rubbing a small amount into of coconut oil into your temples can help relieve tension. Alternately, add a generous amount to your bath one evening and enjoy coconut oil’s stress relieving effects as you soak. Not only does it smell great, but it’s also a wonderful way to moisturize your skin.
Tropical insects like mosquitos are one of the very few drawbacks holiday-makers encounter in balmy locations like Thailand. Luckily, coconut oil can be used as a natural insect repellent. By blending a little of your trusty coconut oil with other essential oils like tea tree or peppermint, you are left with a fragrant natural insect repellent that doesn’t have the toxic feel of Deet. Even if you're too slow to prevent a bite, rubbing a little coconut oil into bothersome insect bites can also help to relieve the itching.
If your sun tan is lacking that healthy glow, why not introduce a little coconut oil into your beauty regime to bring your sun-kissed skin to life? Before you sunbathe, it is always a good idea to exfoliate the skin to ensure you build up colour is smooth. Combine a little coconut oil with baking soda, rub it into your skin as you would any other exfoliant, and then rinse. If your skin is sore from a little too much sun, coconut oil is also an excellent choice for burn relief. Not only will moisturizing red areas with coconut oil calm your skin, it will also help to minimize peeling.