As far as beauty products go, coconut oil is pretty much the holy grail. You can use it on your face, your body, your hair. You can even use it in your food. If you had asked me a month ago what one beauty product I would want with me if I were stuck on a desert island, I would have said coconut oil. That is, until I discovered hibiscus oil's beauty uses.
I'm not here to dash anyone's dreams about coconut oil being the best, most amazing natural discovery on the planet, but hear me out: Hibiscus oil, which I discovered when I moved to Malaysia earlier this month, has just as many (if not more) incredible uses. As much as I would like to think I'm personally responsible for this discovery, hibiscus oil isn't exactly a new thing. Thanks to Southeast Asia's tropical climate, hibiscus flowers are incredibly popular in this part of the world (they actually happen to be the national flower of Malaysia) and their oil has had medicinal and beauty uses for centuries.
Having now had the chance to test the oil's magical abilities on pretty much everything from head to toe, I can personally confirm that everything the internet says about it is true. And the best part? You can buy a single bottle at your local health food store that will last you for months. Still don't believe me? Here are seven ways you can add hibiscus oil into your beauty routine.
Shea Terra Organics Senegalese Hibiscus Oil, $27.95, Amazon.com
(And FYI — it smells like peanut butter. Mmmmm.)
1. As An Anti-Aging Serum
Hibiscus is rich in anti-oxidants, and helps reduce the appearance of fine lines while also fighting free radicals in your skin. Use it as a step in your skin care routine — between toning and moisturizing — for best results.
2. As A Moisturizer
If you haven't drank the "moisturizing with oil" Kool-Aid yet, this is a great way to start. Hibiscus oil is a fairly mild oil (so, not super greasy, at least as far as oils go) and has a high mucilage content which is highly, highly moisturizing for skin.
3. As A Hair Growth Aid
As amazing as hibiscus oil is for your skin, its arguably even better for your hair. It's full of vitamins and nutrients that help strengthen and grow your hair while also preventing hair loss. For best results, mix a small amount of the oil with you shampoo and/or conditioner, and lather as you normally would.
4. As An Exfoliator
Not only does hibiscus oil have amazing moisturizing properties, but it can actually clean the skin, too. It's full of gentle natural acids that help exfoliate and get rid of dead skin cells, and can be used all over your body.
5. As A Wound Healer
Hibiscus is known to have anti-bacterial properties, so can be used to treat and heal wounds. Because of its intense moisturizing properties, it will also keep cuts from drying out.
6. As A Deep Conditioner
Not only can deep conditioning with hibiscus oil make your hair extra soft and shiny, but it can also prevent pre-mature greying. After shampooing, coat your hair in the oil and leave it on for an hour, then rinse.
7. As A Dandruff Reducer
I've personally tried this, and it really did work (that is, until the "hard water" in Malaysia interefered and brought the dandruff back). Coat your hair in hibiscus oil overnight to reduce itchiness and buildup thanks to the exfoliating natural acids. Just keep in mind you (and your pillows) will smell like a peanut butter sandwich when you wake up.