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Five reasons why coconut oil is the broke students’ effective DIY skincare

By Aymen Sherwani, September 7, 2018 —

With the cold weather approaching, why pay money to dress up as a zombie for Halloween when your chapped lips, pale skin and flakey scalp do the job for free? Those half-awake walks to class at 8 a.m. alongside hundreds of other students, some groaning from hangovers, can really make you feel like an extra from I Am Legend. And honestly, I don’t blame anyone. When a semester’s tuition is practically the price of a lung — yes, I checked — buying high-end skincare products is out of the question. Coconut oil is here to save the day!


Leaving about 1½ tablespoons of coconut oil in my hair as an overnight mask before showering was practically a given while growing up in a South Asian household, so you can probably guess how hard I rolled my eyes when everyone else jumped on the bandwagon and started preaching about it. Using it as an overnight treatment practically conditions your hair before you even step into the shower, which is great because, let’s be honest, everyone runs out of conditioner before shampoo.

Some people will say that coconut oil weighs down your hair and you shouldn’t use it, but really, my hair is longer, tangle-free and smells like coconut. The only thing weighing you down is your crippling student debt — so don’t blame coconut oil for your problems. Treat yourself.

Lip Scrub:

This lemon, sugar and coconut oil lip scrub will leave your lips so soft. For a moment you might even forget you have 30 pages of readings to do before that 8 a.m. midterm because you’ll just be touching your lips all the time. In a bowl, combine:

  • ½ tbsp of coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp of white sugar
  • 1 tsp of lemon juice   

Gently scrub your lips in circular motions until all of the dead skin is removed and then apply your favourite chapstick. The lemon juice has brightening properties, leaving your lips with a nice pink hue while the coconut oil serves as a nice moisturizer. A great thing about this DIY is that you can store it for long periods of time in your fridge, which is great for that impending eternal winter of Calgary. Just remember, you can scrub away the dead skin on your lips but you can’t scrub away your cold dead soul.

Oil Cleansing:

Why spend money on makeup-removing wipes that are full of chemicals you can’t even pronounce when you can make your own coconut oil makeup remover and cleanser duo at home? Sometimes it can feel like wintertime skincare is a battle between you and your ashy skin and water-based cleansers just make your skin dryer. That’s why I recommend transitioning to oil-based cleansing. It practically melts away the makeup in your pores and it’s good for reducing acne too. By restoring the moisture needed to prevent breakouts, your skin will appear smoother, less hyper-pigmented and have that nice Instagram glow that would put Kim Kardashian to shame.  


It’s no secret that coconut oil helps with hair growth, so I’m being dead serious when I say I don’t wear false eyelashes anymore because my lashes are just so much thicker. The trick is to brush out your eyelashes with a clean mascara wand coated in coconut oil every night for a few months and watch the magic happen. With all the stressful things students on campus endure, the last thing they need is sparse eyelashes.

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