Coconut Oil has many different uses both in the kitchen and when it comes to beauty, so it comes as no surprise that this edible oil that is extracted from the kernel or meat of matured coconuts is often touted as a cure-all. Whether you have never tried coconut oil, didn’t even know what it was before now, or have a jar of it at home but aren’t really sure what to do with it, this guide to 15 great uses for coconut oil will help you get the most out of this versatile product.
Coconut Oil is great for cooking and baking. It works great as a substitute for cooking oil with a high smoke point, and compliments any stir-fry. For best results, use raw, cold pressed coconut oil. It also makes a great dairy free replacement to butter and tastes great on top of a bowl of popcorn or a piece of toast. Coconut Oil is also a wonderful alternative to coffee creamer, and will give any cup of Joe a rich, creamy, tropical flavor you’re sure to love! You can even make your own mayonnaise recipe at home using coconut oil. Feeling a bit under the weather? Try adding some coconut oil (about a tablespoon) into a cup of your favorite hot tea, to help speed recovery from that nasty flu or cold.
2.) Homemade Deodorant
If you are looking for an all natural deodorant that doesn’t contain parabens or aluminum, then look no further than coconut oil! Try rubbing a small amount into your underarms to stay fresh all day. When combined with a bit of baking soda, you’ll smell fresh and clean, prevent sweat, and block bad odor causing bacteria. Tired of stinky pits? Give coconut oil a try.
3.) Hair Health & Management
Sick of fly away hairs, split ends, and frizzies? Try putting a tiny dab of coconut oil on your hand and rubbing it through your hair to get rid of frizz for good! Coconut oil is also great for dandruff relief. For fewer flakes, simply massage 1-2 tablespoons of oil onto your scalp, wait 15 to 20 minutes, and rinse. If you’re looking for an all natural conditioner, coconut oil is ideal. It can even be rubbed into dry hair and left on for several hours. It will leave your hair feeling soft and silky smooth, smelling lovely, and will give it that shiny luster it was lacking. Rubbing a bit of coconut oil on your scalp daily, will also help stimulate hair growth!
4.) Makeup Remover
If you are running low on makeup remover and happen to have a jar of coconut oil laying around, add a dime sized amount to a damp cloth or cotton swab to wipe your face. The oil and water work together to break down the water and oil soluble compounds on your visage. Even better? Coconut oil also works wonders for managing to remove difficult waterproof mascaras, now thats impressive.
5.) Lip Balm/Chap Stick
Lips feeling a little dry or cracked? Nothing a little coconut oil can’t fix. Rubbing a tiny amount of the oil onto your lips everyday will keep them moisturized for the majority of the day. When you’re in a bind, coconut oil makes a great all natural lip balm or chap stick.
Coconut oil makes a great moisturizer or lotion as it works wonders for preventing and visibly reducing stretch marks, scars, cellulite, and varicose veins. If you make your own soaps or lotions at home, coconut oil makes a wonderful key ingredient and will leave your skin feeling smooth and soft. It will also give your skin a lovely glow. It can be used as an all natural diaper cream when in a pinch, and also lightens age spots when rubbed directly on the skin. If you and your partner are staying home for a romantic night in together, why not try a bringing some coconut oil into the mix? It makes a lovely tropical massage oil and it can also be used as a lubricant, and will not disturb vaginal flora. If you are looking for an intensive nighttime moisturizer, it will do just the trick. It also works great for fighting athlete’s foot, and for soothing irritation on nursing nipples. If your baby has cradle crap, it can also be used by massaging it onto their head, leaving it sit for a few minutes, and then rinsing it off with a warm wash cloth.
7.) Toothpaste & Dental/Gum Health
Combine a bit of coconut oil with some baking soda and voilà! You have your very own all natural toothpaste, great for whitening and refreshing teeth and leaving you with fresh breath. This combination will polish up your pearly whites until they sparkle! To improve gum health, try oil pulling with coconut oil by adding a drop of oregano oil.
8.) Insect Repellant
In lieu of dousing yourself with harmful insect repellants filled with harsh chemicals, why not opt for some coconut oil? When combined with a bit of peppermint, tea tree, or rosemary essential oils, it can be applied to the skin before heading outside for the day and will help keep those pesky insects at bay! Works great for repelling mosquitoes and other bugs! When combined with a bit of apple cider vinegar, coconut oil has also been said to effectively treat lice, the all natural way.
9.) Topical & Ingested Medication
Coconut oil has also often been utilized topically for its medicinal uses. When used topically it can kill yeast or yeast infections, heals skin faster after injuries or infections, alleviates pain from arthritis, and can be placed directly on the perineum to help heal after birth. It also works great for treating and relieving psoriasis and eczema, and can help resolve acne when used regularly. Suffering from allergies? Simply rub a bit of coconut oil on the inside of your nose to help alleviate even the worst allergy symptoms! If you are suffering from an insect bite, or from poison ivy or chicken pox, rubbing a bit of coconut oil on the affected area will help alleviate the itching. In addition, coconut oil naturally clears up cold sores, alleviates dry and flaky elbows, can sooth heartburn and nausea, and helps soothe sore throats (try blending with a warm ginger tea). When ingested, it can be taken daily as a supplement for boosting energy, supporting thyroid function, boosting metabolism, aiding in proper digestion, and killing intestinal parasites. In addition, it can help improve insulin levels, cholesterol, and increase mental alertness.
10.) All Natural Shaving Cream
If you are low on shaving cream, coconut oil makes a great alternative and will leave your skin feeling soft and itch free after a close shave.
11.) Tanning Oil & Sunscreen
Coconut oil works great as an all natural sunscreen as it helps increase sun tolerance and prevents burning. It also works great as a tanning oil. Simply lather onto your skin and soak up the sun’s rays! The oil will leave your skin feeling nice and soft, and will melt into your skin giving it that natural glow you were hoping for!
12.) Companion Animal Care
Coconut oil can even be used to help care for your companion animals! If your pet has an infection, dry, itchy, or flaky skin, a dull coat, rash, or is just plain stinky, try using a bit of coconut oil! It works great for disinfecting cuts, improving your dog or cat’s general skin and coat condition, healing wounds quickly, deodorizing, and can even be used as a dietary supplement in your pet’s feeding routine. (This guide can help get you started if you are looking to incorporate coconut oil into your dog’s diet).
13.) Nail Growth
When placed on the cuticles, coconut oil can actually even help stimulate nail growth.
14.) Homemade Body Scrub
When mixed with equal parts sugar, coconut oil makes a delightful smoothing body scrub for your shower or bath! Simply mix, apply, scrub, and relax. These homemade sugar scrubs are soothing and exfoliating, they will work wonders for your skin and also help you relax after a hard day’s work. Why not try this easy DIY recipe at home to make your very own scrub? You can also mix coconut oil with salt for a different kind of scrub, it works great for exfoliating and removing dead skin on the feet.
15.) To Season Cast Iron Skillets & Care For Wooden Cutting Boards
Last but certainly not least, coconut oil can be used to season your cast iron skillets! It can also be used to care for wooden cutting boards, and if used correctly can help prolong their kitchen life. Check out this easy DIY guide that shows you how to season a cast iron skillet and care for your wooden cutting board using coconut oil.
What Type Of Coconut Oil To Use
Now that you have all kinds of ideas on how to use coconut oil, its important to know what type of coconut oil to use for each type of situation. When used externally, expeller pressed or other types of refined coconut oils are ideal, but for internal use, an unrefined virgin coconut oil is best.
Where To Find Coconut Oil
Coconut oil can usually be found at your local supermarket, health food store, food co-op, or vitamin shop. Places like Kroger, Whole Foods, and Trader Joes often carry many different types of coconut oil. It can also be purchased online. Here are a few great places to order from:
- Vitamin Shoppe
- Tropical Traditions
Tropical Traditions also sells the Virgin Coconut Oil Book, which is great for beginners using coconut oil because it shares tons of ideas, recipes, and the many health benefits this oil has.