We love coconut oil! Not only does it taste oh-so-delicious, it’s also super healthy and can be used in place of many conventional body care products. Since we also love the earth and saving money, swapping out coconut oil for traditional products is a no-brainer. From cooking to skincare to hair treatments to mouthwash, the coconut oil possibilities are endless. Buy yourself an industrial-sized tub of it at Costco, and check out the list below for loads of fun ways to use this “magic oil”…
1. Face wash + makeup remover. Ever heard of the oil cleansing method? If not, you have got to try it because It’s AMAZING. We’re talking soft, glowing skin, fewer breakouts, increased elasticity, and a multitude of other benefits — all from simply washing your face with coconut oil. Here’s how to do it: melt about a half tablespoon of coconut oil between your fingers and massage over your face in a circular motion for a couple minutes. Gently rub your eye area with eyes closed to remove eye shadow and mascara (if you’re wearing a lot of makeup, it will kind of smear all over your face, but that’s OK). Next, cover your face with a hot, damp washcloth to open pores and remove oil. Do this at night and wake up with dewy, lovely skin!
2. Leave-in conditioner/de-frizzer.
3. Body moisturizer. Never buy lotion again! Seriously. Give coconut oil a try instead. Unlike commercial lotions that just sit on the surface of your skin, coconut oil actually absorbs into your skin. Plus, its natural antimicrobial and antibiotic properties mean you are actually healing your skin as you moisturize. The trick to using coconut oil as a body moisturizer is to apply a small amount and really work it into your skin until it’s fully absorbed. Reapply as necessary. The thing you want to avoid is putting on so much that it becomes a thick, oily mess all over your body. Bonus: spending a little more time working the oil into your skin becomes a mini self massage. Blissful!
4. Massage oil. Speaking of massages, trust us, you don’t need to spend a ton of money on expensive massage oils (so many of them are loaded with chemicals anyway) next time you want to give your partner (or yourself!) a luxurious rub down. Just melt a spoonful of coconut oil (or apply directly to whoever you’re massaging) and rub it into the skin, enjoying the relaxing, tropical, all-natural scent as you go. An awesome side effect is there is no need to wash it off — let it soak in and moisturize your skin long after the massage is over.
5. Nutritional Supplement. Eating 1 tablespoon of coconut oil a day has been shown to have a ton of health benefits. Mixing it into tea, coffee, or your morning smoothie imparts a subtle tropical flavor to your morning beverage and gives you a great energy boost for the day.
6. Conditioner. In the shower, work a small amount of coconut oil through the ends of wet hair, leave it in for a few minutes (if you want extra conditioning) then rinse, comb, and style as you normally would. You may find your hair feels “weird” in the shower while using this method because it won’t feel like traditional conditioner, but afterwards, as your hair dries, you’ll reap all the benefits of your usual conditioner and more.
7. Lubricant. Yep, you can use coconut oil in place of synthetic lubricants for sex. And it’s awesome. Most commercially produced lubricants are really harmful to the female body, messing with our natural flora and contributing to UTIs and yeast infections. Coconut oil is a natural alternative that’s not only safe for your body, it’s also good for your skin, and did we mention it smells like a blissful, tropical vacation? So much sexier than the plastic-y smell of normal lubes. If you use condoms, you may want to switch to a polyurethane variety when using coconut oil as a lube, but here’s more info on the whole thing.
8. Lip Balm. Dab the tiniest bit of coconut oil onto your lips to keep them well moisturized and leave them looking soft, plump, and subtly shiny. Use a little bit more if you prefer a glossier look. For touch-ups on the go, fill a small glass jar with coconut oil and keep it in your purse.
9. Mouthwash/Teeth Whitener. Many of us had never heard of oil pulling until Gwyneth Paltrow and Shailene Woodley started publicly singing its praises, but it’s a mouth-cleansing, holistic health practice that’s been around for thousands of years. Oil pulling cleanses bacteria, fungus, and other yucky-ness out of your entire mouth, and naturally whitens teeth. Melt a tablespoon of coconut oil and vigorously swish around your mouth for 10-15 minutes once a day, making sure to push and pull it through your teeth with your saliva. Spit it out (not in the drain as it may clog it over time! In the garbage or outside is best) and rinse mouth well with warm salt water. Check out this tutorial for more details.
10. Natural SPF 4 Tanning Lotion. Obviously with an SPF of 4, coconut oil on its own isn’t an effective sunscreen for super pale people, but it works great as a tanning oil for people who are blessed with darker skin tones or those who don’t burn easily.
11. Used In Place Of Butter Or Oil In Baking. Coconut oil is a great vegan option in recipes that call for butter, but even if you aren’t vegan it lends an amazing (and subtle) sweet flavor to breads, pastries, and stir fries. It’s also a healthy substitute for traditional vegetable oils and shortenings loaded with yucky hydrogenated oils and GMOs (margarine and canola oil, we’re looking at you). Spread coconut oil on your toast in the morning, melt and drizzle over popcorn, use on pancakes and waffles … any and all of the creative ways you can think up to use it in the kitchen are pretty much guaranteed to be delicious!
12. Base For DIY Personal Hygiene Products. Coconut oil is a staple ingredient in tons of homemade personal care items. Things like toothpaste, deodorant, and sunscreen are not only easy and fun to make at home, they’re much cheaper than store-bought versions and you can customize the formulas according to your body chemistry and scent preferences. The other thing they have in common? They all use coconut oil as a base.
13. Homemade Bubble Bath. Skin-softening coconut oil provides a luxurious base for bubble bath. Mix with water, castille soap, essential oils, and honey for a luxurious and natural alternative to store-bought bubble baths.
Coconut oil is so versatile, this list is really just the tip of the iceberg. As with with anything more natural, you’ll need to do some experimenting with different coconut oil recipes and applications to figure out what works best for you. Realize that it may take time for you to adjust to using this natural alternative as it will work differently than commercial products, but in this case, “different” is a good thing. Give coconut oil a try — your body, your planet, and your bank account will thank you!