Once demonized for its high saturated fat content, coconut oil has been given a second life as a healthy fat. And while drinking it by the quart daily still is not the best idea, you definitely should consider adding the oil to your diet. Along with the benefits of ingesting this awesome oil ( of which there are many) coconut oil has numerous other uses as well! What are those you ask? here are 25!
1. Care for your hands.
Treat dry, flaky cuticles by rubbing coconut oil into your nail beds. Use your fingers to massage some oil on your hands nightly before bed. You will wake up with very soft hands in the morning!
2. Use as a hair mask.
The lauric acid in coconut oil will help prevent and improve protein loss in your hair strands. One way to use it: Whip up an at-home hair mask, coat your hair in coconut oil, throw it up in a towel, let it sit for up to 40 minutes, and then shampoo it out in the shower. ( I do this at least a few times a week)
3. Make your skin glow.
To brighten up dull skin, combine coconut oil with baking soda, which is a great exfoliant. Just mix a little bit of the two together, gently rub into your skin in circular motions, and then rinse.
4. Make an at-home face treatment.
Looking to get a better complexion? Coconut oil, raw honey and one egg yolk. Mix the three for a hydrating, antibacterial face mask. Leave it on for about 15 minutes or until it dries, and then rinse.
5. Moisturize your lips.
Thanks to extreme weather, our lips sometimes need a little extra TLC to keep them soft and smooth. Slough off any dry, flaky skin with a DIY coconut oil and sugar lip scrub. Or just smooth some coconut oil on your lips for instant hydration.
6. Buff your skin.
Speaking of scrubs, coconut oil is fantastic for making your own body scrub. Just mix it up with brown sugar or salt, and add a drop or two of the essential oil of your choice for a gentle but effective exfoliating scrub.
8. Natural makeup remover.
Use coconut oil to remove heavy makeup. Just rub a scoop of the stuff into your skin, leave it on for a few minutes, and wipe it all off with a warm cloth. Plus, this trick works on even the most stubborn eye makeup even waterproof mascara! Just apply some coconut oil to a cotton makeup pad and gently wipe off any product.
9. Moisturize your skin.
To keep your skin soft and supple, swap out your regular moisturizer for coconut oil.
10. DIY shaving cream.
Coconut oil makes for a great shaving cream, especially for people with sensitive skin. Try this recipe!
11. Clean your makeup brushes.
We all know to keep our makeup brushes as bacteria-free as possible—for the ones you use daily, that means cleaning them at least once a week. Mix antibacterial dish soap with coconut oil (which also has antibacterial properties and will help condition the bristles) and give your brushes a good cleaning.
12. Improve your acne.
Coconut oil contains lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid, which have antimicrobial, antioxidant, antifungal, and antibacterial properties to help minimize acne-related inflammation and also combat redness and irritation. Read more about that here.
13. Smooth your skin.
Creams that boast anti-aging properties usually come with a pretty shocking price tag. Luckily, coconut oil can minimize the appearance of wrinkles.
14. Soothe sunburns and heal skin
Use coconut oil for burn relief. It’ll calm your skin and moisturize it to help minimize peeling and skin damage. Here’s a recipe. Coconut oil applied topically has shown a dramatic reduction in healing time.
16. Natural help with B.O.
Smooth some coconut oil on your armpits before bed or after a shower (be sure not to put too much, and rub it in so you don’t stain your clothes). The lauric acid is naturally antibacterial and will help kill the bacteria that causes stinky sweat. Here is a great DIY recipe!
17. Polish your teeth.
If you’re looking for a natural alternative to regular toothpaste, try this! Mix coconut oil with baking soda until it’s pasty enough to spread on a toothbrush.
18. Soften and deodorize your feet.
Our feet take a beating on a daily basis so help them out! Before bed, soften cracked, rough skin and calluses by exfoliating and then applying a generous layer of coconut oil. Since it has natural antibacterial properties, it will deodorize as it softens. Then slip on some socks to wake up with much smoother, better smelling feet.
19. Enhance your eyelashes and eyebrows.
Similar to the way it can help strengthen your head of hair, coconut oil can also help strengthen lashes—and that’s especially good news considering it’s all too easy to damage those short hairs. Just apply some oil to a cotton swab and spread it onto your lashes before going to bed.
20. Oil Pulling.
Oil pulling is an ancient Ayurvedic remedy for oral health and detoxification.The most effective oil pulling is done by placing around a tablespoon of raw coconut oil into the mouth and swishing the oil around for approximately 15-20 minutes before spitting it out. You will want to brush your teeth afterward as well. Oil pulling has been shown to improve dental and gum health as well as protect against dental caries.
21. Weight loss
Research has shown that those who get an adequate amount of fat in their diets generally eat less than those who try to reduce fat intake. It has also been shown to aid in metabolizing lipids and reduce abdominal fat. Not only is coconut oil full of good fats, but many other nutrients such as copper, calcium, iron, manganese, magnesium, zinc, B-complex vitamins such as folates, riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, and pyridoxine. So eat up!
22. Heart healthy.
When ingested, coconut oil has been shown to have protective properties on blood pressure elevation. While this should not be your only means of treating high blood pressure, it can help! Not only that, It’s also been shown to reduce cholesterol.
23. Great for cooking.
The next time you’re roasting a batch of hearty winter vegetables such as butternut squash, sweet potatoes, beets, rutabaga or even delicious oven roasted french fries try tossing them with a mixture of coconut oil, salt, pepper and garlic.
24. Help prevent and relieve arthritis
Studies show that due to coconut oil’s antioxidant and anti-inflamatory properties, it may help prevent and even treat the symptoms of arthritis.
25. Good for your bones.
Oxidative stress and free radicals have a huge effect on the progress of osteoporosis. The antioxidant properties have shown in studies to help prevent bone loss.
So what kind of coconut oil do I use? I stick with raw coconut oil found here.Consumption of repeatedly heated oils can pose a serious health hazard. So try to stick with the raw oils! More about different types of coconut oils to come in another blog post!