15 Ways You Probably Aren’t Using Coconut Oil
Coconut oil has been front and center in the wellness world for some time. Chances are, you have probably tried it in your latte, used it to sauté kale or grabbed some from your kitchen that time you ran out of moisturizer. After you read this you're probably going to want to keep a jar in your bathroom!
It has been well documented that coconut oil is a rich source of medium chain triclycerides, which the body quickly converts into energy. MCT's are gaining in popularity because they help curb cravings, increase brain function, and boost immunity. If you haven’t tasted coconut oil before it has a mild flavor that can be weird especially if you’re comparing it to butter or olive oil. The amazing thing about coconut oil is that unlike other cooking oils, is that it has loads of additional uses. Coconut oil can be taken internally to treat sore throats and be applied externally to reduce dry skin.
Here are 15 ways to use coconut oil outside of your kitchen.
1. Calm acne
Acne at any age is frustrating. It can seem counterintuitive to put oil on oily skin, but our bodies need this healing fat. Coconut oil is packed with antibacterial properties that help keep skin clean without the need for harsh chemicals that strip the skin of vital nutrients over time. Coconut oil is mostly made up of medium chain fatty acids which are easily absorbed into the skin without lasting greasiness.
2. Create a beach-y hair spray
If you’re craving beach blown hair and can’t get to the ocean, coconut oil to the rescue! Add a tablespoon or two of coconut oil to this DIY Sea Salt Spray and to look like you just got back from vacation.
3. Remove makeup
Many makeup removers contain harsh chemicals that strip the skin of its natural oils. Coconut oil makes an effective and gentle makeup remover that will leave your skin fresh and glowing. It also works well to remove eye makeup. Simply put a penny-size amount on your fingers or cotton pad and rub your face in small circles. Rinse with water and use a mild face wash to clean the face. Pat dry and you’re set!
4. Condition hair
Coconut oil is wonderful for the hair. It helps to nourish dryness and combats frizz by soothing hair cells. Coconut oil is packed with vitamin E, is deeply conditioning, and super restorative to annoying split ends. Use it in a hair mask to hydrate or even dab on the ends of long hair to prevent further breakage.
5. Improve dental health
Have you tried oil pulling? It’s an ancient Indian technique used to pull toxins from the mouth and freshen the breath. Coconut oil has many antibacterial properties which reduce bacteria and plaque in the mouth. Oil pulling strengthens teeth and has been shown to help clear gingivitis.
6. Relieve sore throats
Next time you get a sore throat, mix a little melted coconut oil and honey to ease the pain. Take this mixture several times a day to soothe the throat. Tip: I’d also recommend holding off on alcoholic beverages and sparkling water until you feel better.
7. DIY vapor rub
Remember when you had a cold and your mom slathered your face with vapor rub? Because coconut oil is solid at 76 degrees or below, it works really well as a DIY vapor rub. Add a few drops of eucalyptus or peppermint oil to 1/4 cup of melted coconut oil. Pour into a jar and let cool at room temperature. Cover with a lid and label the jar. Rub around your nose when you have a cold to bring symptom relief and help open the air passages. This can also be massaged into your temples if you have a headache.
8. Smooth skin
Coconut oil makes a soothing base for homemade body scrubs. In a small bowl mix up a few tablespoons of melted oil with sugar. Add a couple drops of your favorite essential oil and you have a spa worthy scrub in minutes! Exfoliating the skin 2-3 times a week helps to strengthen the immune system and keep skin extra smooth.
9. Diminish bags under eyes
We’ve all had bags under our eyes at one point or another. It’s never fun! Plenty of sleep and water are my top cures for tired eyes, while coconut oil is also very helpful. With your finger in the palm of your hand warm the oil and apply under eyes before bed to reduce puffiness and dark coloring.
10. Give your metabolism a boost
The medium-chain fats in coconut oil are easy to digest and, unlike other fats, can be used by the liver as energy quickly. It might sound strange to add more fat into your diet to increase your metabolism but coconut oil stimulates fat burning and can easily be added to any meal of the day. Stir a tablespoon into your morning porridge, use it as a salad dressing base, or add it to a delicious muffin recipe.
11. Treat eczema and psoriasis
These two skin conditions are often chronic and typically treated with steroid creams. Use a small amount of coconut oil on dry patches to soothe the skin and treat any bacteria that has built up if you have been scratching. Try a test patch first to make sure your body responds well. This isn’t an overnight cure but it has been shown to help over time and is very nourishing to the skin.
12. Soothe heartburn
Heartburn can be very uncomfortable. Instead of reaching for calcium chews try eating 1-2 tablespoons of coconut oil to bring fast relief. The oil coats the stomach and soothes acid reflux pain.
13. Reduce dandruff
Many women suffer from dandruff which is caused by a dry scalp. Coconut oil works as a deep moisturizer to naturally remedy a dry scalp. The antifungal properties and vitamin E help keep flakes at bay, while creating stronger hair with less protein loss in the process.
14. Clean makeup brushes
It’s important to clean makeup brushes on a regular basis. Dip the bristles in a little bit of melted coconut oil. Use a paper towel to rub the brush until the makeup is off. Rinse in warm water and let air dry.
15. Remedy wounds
The antibacterial and antifungal properties in coconut oil make it a great remedy for scrapes and scratches. I’ve used it in place of Neosporin when I cut myself cooking and healed quickly. Be sure to wash the area first with water and hydrogen peroxide. If you have a giant cut you’re going to need something stronger, but for minor cuts and scrapes around the house it makes a wonderful addition to your first aid kit.