Coconut oil is a very popular plant based oil packed with so many health benefits when consumed. But did you know that this very versatile oil is also very popular with dermatologists and in the beauty industry? This wonderful oil surprisingly has a number of uses you may not be aware of.
I also found that a jar of this good stuff can be a natural, eco-friendly alternative for many products as well as help you save a lot of money by avoiding the need to buy so many products unnecessarily.
Here are 25 wonderful ways to use Coconut Oil
1. Oil pulling improves oral health
Oil pulling is an ancient practice which involves swishing coconut oil around the mouth , like you would when using mouthwash. According to a study coconut oil pulling for 10 minutes reduces Streptococcus mutants just as effectively as antiseptic mouthwash such as Corsodyl. Another study found that oil pulling is effective against plaque and gingivitis.
Some people claim that oil pulling whitens teeth, but currently there isn’t any scientific backing to confirm this benefit.
I’ve first heard of oil pulling through my boyfriend. Speaking of this, as I’m writing I’m actually swishing for the first time. Remember to spit it out into the bin instead of your sink as the oil may clog your pipes.
2. Make a DIY moisturizing lip gloss with coconut oil
Coconut oil is an amazing natural treatment for chapped, dry lips! To make a tinted lip gloss simply mix some with a little bit of lipstick.
When my lipsticks are pretty much finished and there is a tiny bit stuck in the bottom, I occasionally scoop it out and put it in a small container mixed with the oil and a drop of honey.
3. A natural deodorant
Sweat itself doesn’t smell, however when bacteria on the skin break down acids contained in the sweat, it can produce body odor as a by product. Since this oil contains powerful anti-microbial agents such as Lauric Acid and Monolaurin, it makes a wonderful natural deodorant without any chemicals.
To add some scent when using as a natural deodorant, I like to add some natural & organic essential oils by Neal’s Yard Remedies.
4. Use as massage oil
Most massage oils we buy from shops use coconut or jojoba oil as their base. Why not cut out the middleman and save money by going for a big jar of coconut oil instead? You can use it on its own or add a drop or 2 of essential oil.
5. Makeup remover
It’s a gentle and natural makeup remover. It even removes waterproof mascara with ease. Since the oil is solid, I recommend melting a small lump between your hands first. Then massage the liquid oil onto your face before using cotton pads to remove your make up.
6. Protects you from the suns UV rays
A study has found that coconut oil can provide your skin with some protection with a SPF value of 7. However this isn’t much and cant compete with conventional sunscreen.
Check out my article on Cheap & Best suncreams of 2021!
7. Tame your frizzy hair
To tame frizzy hair rub a very small amount of this oil on the pads of your fingers, then run through your hair.
8. Ditch the shaving cream
Coconut oil is an eco friendly, natural, non-toxic alternative to conventional shaving cream. Traditional shaving cream is more expensive and contains many chemicals we don’t even want to put on our skin. So by making the switch to coconut, the environment, our purse / wallet and our personal health benefits! The oil also soothes and moisturizes the skin at the same time.
9. Shine your wooden furniture
Use a very small amount of coconut oil on a clean microfibre cloth to polish and shine wooden furniture. It also leaves a light pleasant aroma as well as seem to act as a dust repellent.
10. Could helps fight infections
Due to virgin coconut oil containing antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal activities, it could help treat infections when used topically or ingested according to a study.
Yeast infections such as Thrush are fungal infections and are usually treated with over the counter treatments such as Canesten Thrush Combi, however some women prefer to turn to home remedies such as coconut oil.
11. Soothes eczema & irritated skin
As coconut oil has also got anti-inflammatory properties, it may help reduce any discomfort associated with eczema.
12. A natural & inexpensive to prevent & treat nappy rash
Though there are some natural nappy creams such as Weleda Baby Calendula Nappy Cream out there, pure cold pressed coconut oil can also be used as a diaper cream and to moisturise little one’s delicate skin.
13. A fantastic body moisturiser
The fatty acids in coconut oil helps to protect and nourish the skin by forming a great antibacterial and antifungal barrier and helps us to retain moisture. Therefore its awesome at treating and preventing dryness.
14. May aid in weight loss
A study in 2011 found that virgin coconut oil can reduce belly fat also known as visceral fat. The study noted that obese men who consumed 30 ml of coconut oil daily, lost on average 2.54 cm (1 inch) from their waist.
Though I personally do not measure how much I consume, coconut oil is part of my diet. I use it to cook, bake and add a teaspoon to my protein and fruit smoothies in the morning. For effective weight loss I also exercise at the gym on a regular basis. Since I’ve returned to the gym approximately a month ago I’ve drop a dress size that I’ve put on during the coronavirus lockdown.
15. Cheek highlighter
Use a tiny amount on your cheeks to give a natural subtle glow to your cheeks. This is also one of Hudda Kattan of Huda Beauty beauty secrets to dewy looking skin.
16. Prevent hair damage from combing
There is scientific evidence that coconut oil can prevent combing damage of various hair types. This study has also found that coconut oil is the only oil that is able to reduce the protein loss by penetrating inside the hair shaft, which other oils are unable to do.
If you are following me on Instragram, you know I’ve got very long hair which is prone to damage from combing. Though I can’t completely avoid hair breakage and split ends, I like to use organic virgin coconut oil as a leave in conditioner by melting a tiny amount in my hands and running it through the ends to half way through washed damp hair, before blow drying.
17. Add shine to your hair
By running through your hair using a teeny weeny amount can control frizz and add a healthy shine to your hair, but make sure not to use too much as it would then make your hair look greasy. A little goes a long way!
18. Use as a nipple cream for breastfeeding mums
It can be used to soothe irritated nursing nipples in place of a lanolin cream such as the award winning Lansinoh HPA Lanolin Nipple Cream.
I was using the Lansinoh Cream when I was nursing my daughter when she was a baby. It was great, but if I have another one in the future, I’ll definitely give organic cold pressed coconut oil a try. Swapping would also mean I would save a lot of money and it’s also safe for baby. I wish I’d known about it back when Yasmin was a newborn.
19. Make a DIY lip scrub
Lots of shop bought lip scrubs contain coconut oil, but why not make your own and know exactly what’s in it as well as save money at the same time? Simply mix coconut oil with brown sugar and and a little bit of honey. Play around with the amounts of each ingredient until you find a consistency that suits you.
Once you’ve made a batch they can be stored in little cosmetic jars for ages as honey also has antimicrobial properties. Why not make some and give some to friends and family as a gift?
20. Natural lubricant during sex
100% pure organic coconut oil can be used as a natural, silicone free lubricant alternative to traditional shop bought lubes. Many conventional lubricants especially the flavored ones become sticky due to the sugar content, which in my opinion defeats the purpose of it being a good lube. Coconut oil on the other hand stays super slippery.
Make sure if you using a condom, not to use coconut oil, because oils degrades the latex of the condom, causing it to break. Which in turn making the condom less effective in preventing pregnancy and sexual transmitted diseases (STDs). If you have sex without a condom it’s fine to use coconut oil, but other form of contraception is needed to prevent pregnancy if you don’t want to end up with a baby.
21. Fight dandruff
If you have a dry, itchy, flaky scalp try an ultra-moisturising coconut oil treratment by heating 3 tablespoons of of the oil in the microwave for 60 seconds to liquify it. Make sure the liquid is just warm and not hot before massaging into your scalp. If you still have oil left over, use the rest on your hair and leave it in for 30 minutes before washing it out with shampoo.
Since I suffer from mild eczema, I get dandruff. When the dandruff isn’t bad this coconut scalp treatment works wonders. However if the dandruff gets bad, I usually use Neutrogena T/Gel Therapeutic Shampoo which helps treat scalp psoriasis, seborrhoeic dermatitis and dandruff.
22. Hydrate dry hands
Washing dishes by hand can take a toll on your hands due to the harsh chemicals in some washing up liquids. As coconut oil is a magnificent remedy, keep a small jar by the sink.
When using coconut oil to hydrate my dry skin, I like to add a few drops of pure organic lavender essential oil by Neal’s Yard Remedies to add a nice relaxing ,floral scent and benefit of the soothing properties of lavender on my skin.
23. Season cast iron cookware
Cast iron skillets, pots and pans that are not coated with an enamel don’t have a nonstick surface, hence need to be seasoned before use. Traditionally cast iron cookware was and still is seasoned with animal fat, but coconut oil can be used as a vegetarian and vegan friendly alternative.
Though some people use sunflower or vegetable oil to season cast iron skillets, pots and pans, it leaves a strange film on the surface. Whereas coconut oil doesn’t leave a weird film on the cooking surface. Also coconut oil is better than the other cooking oils, because it tolerates much higher temperatures. Meaning it is much more stable at higher temperatures than vegetable oil.
All my cookware is cast iron, however there is only one that I need to season which is the Le Creuset Cast Iron Grill as it doesn’t have the enamel like all my other Le Creuset Cast Iron pots and pans.
24. A deep conditioning hair mask
Coconut oil is the perfect natural hair conditioner, because it easily penetrates the hair strands and prevents protein loss. A study has even shown that coconut oil is the only oil that can penetrate the hair shaft!
To use as a deep conditioning hair mask, melt the coconut oil so it’s liquefied, make sure the oils is warm but not hot then apply the oil on your scalp and all the way to the ends of your hair. Leave in for 30 minutes before washing out with shampoo. If your hair is very long like mine, I recommend using a shower cap to keep the hair in place.
25. Treat athlete’s foot
Athlete’s foot is fungal infection of the feet, caused by sweaty feet. Coconut oil may help treat this condition by fighting the infection through it’s anti-fungal property and soothe the infection with it’s anti-inflammatory properties.