Odds & Ends: 5 Amazing Uses for Coconut Oil

coconut_oilYears ago, if someone were to tell me that there was one single product that solved dozens of health and beauty woes, I most likely wouldn’t have believed them. One product that you can use to cook, moisturize your hair, remove your makeup, and hydrate your skin? Not possible, I would have thought. However, this little miracle does exist. And, unlike many fancy beauty and cooking products out there, it is free of chemicals and 100 percent natural. This wonder is none other than coconut oil.

I use coconut oil every day on my skin, my hair, and even in the kitchen. In fact, most of the time when a friend comes to me asking for a quick fix for a beauty or skin problem, my answer is “just put some coconut oil on it.” Now that you know a little bit about my obsession with coconut oil, today I’m going to share five ways you can incorporate it into your own lifestyle…

  1. Face and Body Moisturizer
    If you rub a little bit of coconut oil between your hands, you will immediately notice how incredibly moisturizing it feels on your skin. As a face and body moisturizer, coconut oil is much more hydrating than average store-bought lotions because the oil penetrates deep layers of the skin and actually helps to strengthen underlying tissues (Huffington Post). It will also help remove dead skin cells, removing any rough or flaky texture from your skin’s surface and giving you a full body glow. You can use coconut oil as a moisturizer for your entire face, but I like to put it under my eyes and on my lips before bedtime. For my body, I mix equal parts coconut oil and body lotion together to create an ultra hydrating cream, and I apply it right when I get out of the shower. You can also add essential oils like lavender or vanilla to scent your oil, but many people love the natural, tropical scent as it is. The best part about this oil is that it will absorb into your skin without feeling oily or greasy.
  1. Hair Mask
    Just as coconut oil works wonder for your skin, it will also give your hair a silky texture and tons of shine. I use coconut oil as a hair mask at night after I’ve washed my hair. Simply heat up about 3 to 5 tablespoons of coconut oil in the microwave, so that it’s a warm liquid. Then, after it has cooled, apply it to your hair as you would any hair mask. Put on a plastic shower cap or wrap an old T-shirt around your head, and leave the oil in while you sleep. When you wake up, wash your hair and discover your best hair day yet. You can thank me later.Note: Unlike store-bought hair masks, coconut oil is all natural and great for your skin. So, if a little bit happens to rub off onto your pillow while you’re sleeping, you don’t have to worry about dealing with clogged pores or a breakout the next day.
  2. Makeup Remover
    One of my favorite uses for coconut oil that I discovered all on my own is it’s gentle power to remove makeup. I was applying a bit under my eyes one night before bed, and I noticed that it was easily removing some extra mascara that hadn’t washed off with my face wash. Now, before I wash my face, I use my finger to gently rub downward on my eyes and eyelashes to remove my eye makeup from the day.Tip: Leaving a little oil on the base of your eyelashes can actually help them grow a bit, so it’s ok if you don’t rinse it all completely off afterwards.
  1. Cooking Oil
    Coconut oil is also one of the healthiest oils to use when cooking. Our favorite nutritionist Shira Lenchewski, RD., explains that unlike animal fats, which are made up of long chain triglycerides (LCT), coconut oil is made up of medium chain triglycerides (MCT). MCTs are metabolized more rapidly in the body than LCTs, so there’s increased fat burning potential. Many healthy oils (like olive and flax) break down into harmful compounds when heated to their “smoke-point.” But coconut oil remains stable at higher temperatures, so it’s a great option for stir-frying and pan-searing.  For cooking, Shira recommends using unrefined coconut oil, also called raw or virgin.
  1. Baking Ingredient
    Coconut oil is a great ingredient to have in the pantry if you love baking. Shira says that because coconut oil is a saturated fat, it’s a great substitute for butter in baked goods. Saturated fats are the typical fat of choice in baking, due to their favorable effects on texture. And while saturated fats don’t have the same beneficial effect on good cholesterol as mono- and polyunsaturated oils, they do play a role in various brain and body functions, explains Shira.


Tip:
Always buy unrefined, extra virgin coconut oil, since it goes through the least process and is closest to its natural state. For cooking, make sure your coconut oil indicates that it can stand high-heat, not just medium heat.

I also take a coconut oil supplement with my daily vitamins to make my hair shiny and my skin blemish-free. And I’ve been using coconut oil to experiment with oil pulling. I’ve been trying it for the past two weeks, so I’ll be sharing my results here on LaurenConrad.com in the coming weeks…stay tuned!

Do you have one favorite multi-purpose product you swear by?

Tell me about it in the comments below.

xx
Allison
Team LC

 

Photos: Gusto Herbs
Sources: Huffington Post, Shira Lenchewski, RD
Categories: Allison Norton, Dine, Get Fit, Grow, Health, Primp
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  • http://dreamliveandrepeat.blogspot.com/ Ashley

    Isn’t coconut oil fantastic?! I’m anxiously awaiting your oil pulling post! :)

    dreamliveandrepeat.blogspot.com/

  • http://angmohchick.blogspot.com/ Ang Moh Chick

    I’ve read about peeps using it for coffee too!! :D Please check out my blog, just wrote two posts about birthday treats but I have many recipes and beauty reviews too!

    http://angmohchick.blogspot.sg/

    X Ang Moh Chick

  • Cassidy Short

    I had NO idea it could be used as make-up remover, how great!

    xoxo

    Cassidy

    http://heartofgoldandglitter.blogspot.com/

  • http://simplepairings.com Lisa

    Love coconut oil – it’s so versatile. I can’t wait to try the hair mask tip!

  • Carol

    You can use to whiten your teeth too!

    • TIna

      How much often you can use it ?

      • NatyB

        I use it every day when I wake up, swish it around in my mouth for twenty minutes. All you need is a teaspoon, it helps with cavities, gum pain, and teeth whitening :)

        • Keri

          Honestly, I swish coconut oil in my mouth every morning for 20 min and it seriously works so well. I’ve always had pain in my gums but it disappeared after 1 week of “oil pulling” (that’s what it’s called). And my teeth have gotten a lot whiter!!

    • Marthis

      How do you apply?

  • Jancel

    Its also good to exfoliate! Just mix 1 cup coconut oil & 1/2 cup
    of brown sugar & voila ready to use!

  • Elena

    Doес the coconut milk has the same effect?

    • Chelsea

      Noooo not at all. Coconut milk will put weight on you as well. The oil is what is the miracle worker.

      • Boetica

        Coconut oil will put weight on as well if you don’t take advantage of the extra energy it provides, due to the fact that it is a saturated fat and contains about 117 calories per teaspoon.

  • http://aladygoeswest.com/ Ashley @ A Lady Goes West

    I still haven’t bought any coconut oil, and I think this list is the final thing I need to read to jump on using the product. Thanks!
    Ashley
    aladygoeswest.com

  • Gabrielle

    I use coconut oil a lot as well. It makes my skin feel super soft. Sometimes I use it on my lips when they’re really chapped, and In the shower as a body wash. It works great!

  • Megan Quint Gressel

    I had no idea you could use it as makeup remover! I will definitely try this — trying to rid myself of as many harsh chemicals as possible!

    xoxo,
    The Quintessentials

  • Hannah

    I do oil-pulling too (so does Gwyneth Paltrow). I am doing it right NOW.

  • Hannah
  • Annalise

    Coconut oil can also be used for oil pulling. Swish it around in your mouth for 20 minutes. It helps whiten teeth, help lower bacteria and can also be used for tmj, headaches and anti flamitory.

  • Emily

    I have just discovered coconut oil and im in love! After a season working in a ski resort my skin and hair are SO dry and this has been the best thing I have used on them to retain the moisture!

    http://missvoyager.wordpress.com/2014/04/21/saying-goodbye-to-whistler-winter-13-14/

  • http://windowonmywardrobe.blogspot.be/ Sara – Window On My Wardrobe

    I’ve been reading so much about coconut oil lately! I really want to try it out myself, it made me very curious

    http://windowonmywardrobe.blogspot.be/

  • Bethany

    Thanks, this is pretty fascinating (and I learned a lot)! Anxious to hear your take on oil pulling…I can barely handle it for 2 minutes, much less 20, so any tips on how to stick with it would be appreciated!

    • Samantha

      I just started oil pulling a few weeks ago and haven’t really gotten into a regular routine with it yet, but I found that using really small amounts (like 1/4 of a tablespoon) is helping me adjust. the first time, I used a whole scoop and nearly gagged :x but I can tolerate small amounts and am slowly working up to more.

  • Amber Naomi

    I use coconut oil as a hair mask too! It really helps with frizz and flyaway’s aswell!

    http://ambernaomi.blogspot.nl/

  • Belinda

    i have been using it for about a year now for my hair and skin, it is amazing! :)
    http://www.nattstad.se/belindas

  • Shelby

    Love using coconut oil as a moisturizer at night and for removing eye makeup! It’s like a little miracle worker!

    http://www.morethanextraordinary.blogspot.com/

  • Mel

    I use it on my feet after a shower, cover with socks and in morning my feet are soft.

  • wa_girl1

    This sounds gross, but my daughter picked up lice from a kid at school. I used the store bought lice killer and it didn’t seem to work, it stunk so bad and I felt like I was putting poison on her head. I soaked her hair in coconut oil and put a shower cap over her hair overnight. Washed her hair the next morning, the lice were all dead and the few nits combed right out. It was the easiest and non toxic and it doesn’t stink like the lice medicine stuff does! I hope to never have to deal with it again but if I do I will just use coconut oil.

    • BigBeautyTima

      If you keep oil in her hair on a regular basis you won’t have to worry about the lice ever again! When I was little my mother always told me black people don’t get lice. And it’s because we keep grease in our heads. Lice don’t like grease/oil.

  • lisa robb
  • Kristen

    For the mamas out there.. It is the miracle for diaper rash!

    • Koritza Rodriguez

      This is good to know, Thanks for sharing!

    • Shel Billett

      Oh this is great to know! thanks for sharing Kristen. x

  • Brenda

    what kind of coconut oil supplements do you use?

  • MJ

    I’m sooo addicted to coconut oil – I have to buy it in bulk from Costco!! I use it for everything you listed above – moisturizer for skin and hair, makeup removal, dry scalp, cooking, baking, smoothies, oil pulling, etc. There isn’t much I haven’t used it for. My kids love using it as well and I feel good knowing that it’s safe for them to use! Amazing stuff :)

  • Ivy

    I swear by coconut oil, green tea, and Vaseline. I call them the Holy Trinity! I honestly think they can replace every beauty product I own.

    • hanouna

      why u use green tea pls ?

      • Lia

        Green tea is amazing! It’s great for weight loss too! I drink about 5-7 cups a day x

  • llyjyn

    I’ll have to try some of these!

    llyjyn.blogspot.ca

  • Katelin

    You can use coconut to whiten teeth and oil pulling. I Love using coconut oil for tons of things!

    http://www.katelinkonfidential.com

  • Catie

    swishing coconut oil in one’s mouth for twenty minutes a day has amazing health benefits, as well! It kills bacteria, cleanses, and even more! When googled many articles regarding “oil pulling” back this up.

  • http://ebbapebbas.se/ Ebba

    I always fry in coconut oil! That’s the best I think. Useful!

    http://www.ebbapebbas.se

  • Jess

    Is there a certain brand you recommend?

  • Francisc

    I never knew this! Really helpful tips!

    http://fashion-soup.com/

  • Krissy

    I used it to grow my eyelashes, just put some on a Q tip apply every night before bed and bam luscious lashes in about a month or so.

  • http://ashleymichelledaily.blogspot.com Ashley Michelle

    Coconut oil is the bees knees. :) Apple Cider Vinegar, too. So many natural products that reap huge beauty benefits. See my post linked below all about how I use natural remedies to stay fresh faced, and fabulous.

    Ashley Michelle http://ashleymichelledaily.blogspot.com/2014/04/smell-like-foot-gorgeously.html

  • jbrett

    this stuff is amazing!! I have a tablespoon everyday in one way or another and it works wonders for skin and complexion! I also have my guy rub my feet with it every night to moisturize.

  • http://ashleymichelledaily.blogspot.com Ashley Michelle

    Coconut oil has so much to offer. See my blog post here all about how I use it to save money and feel beautiful :)

    Ashley Michelle http://ashleymichelledaily.blogspot.com/2014/04/the-crazy-convenience-of-coconut.html

  • Fatima Shafique

    very helpful post

  • Tina

    Deodorant! I do all of the above (except oil pulling, doesn’t your mouth get tired after 20 mins?!) And recently have learned to rub a pea size amount into armpits, where I think anything that enters goes straight to your liver and kidney. It does wonders, fights smells and wetness.

  • Nicole Smith

    I can’t wait to use this for my hair!

  • VictoriaCabrera

    I’m from Saipan CNMI a tropical island and I grew up with my
    grandparents making coconut oil and selling them. It is in high demand
    now and coconut oil is a miracle worker. We use it a lot even when your
    sick it’s good to rub some on your belly and for babies too when they’re
    so cranky at night just rub some on their belly it soothes them and
    they go right back to sleep. I’ve learned from experience and it is also
    great for stretch marks!! I’m glad that I don’t have to buy any, we can
    just make some at home.

  • Kelly Rogers

    I use coconut oil as a massage oil to which I add essential oils to make either a relaxing or an energising blend!!

  • Shanali

    Something not mentioned by any comment yet (maybe I missed it)… Deodorant! Best thing ever!
    1/4c baking soda
    1/4c corn starch
    2tbs arrowroot (helps with keeping you dry)
    1/4c coconut oil
    And your favorite essential oil. (Lavender, rose, or grapefruit, have been my faves)

    Mix it all together and store in a shallow jar or tubberware.

  • Megan

    Balm Balm products have incredible multi purpose products, including a coconut. Swear by it! X

  • Shel Billett

    Hot Yoga Lovers…Don’t worry about heating it up, just rub a teaspoon (depending on your hair thickness) in you hands and through the last 2/3 of your hair, pull your hair into a top knot bun and let the yoga class do the rest. My hair is so silky and shiny for days. I hope you like this too. x

  • Monsh

    I used it on my hair, and it made it really shiny..:-)

  • Fatima Shafique

    I have used it as a hair mask and on my scalp due to inflammation caused by eczema and it worked perfect…it helps with inflammation on scalp and makes hair shiny and moisturized..

  • http://www.habitudefitness.com Habitude Fitness

    Summer and coconut oil as moisturizer=smelling like vacation!! Love using this in baking as well! Great suggestions, thanks!!

  • Alyssa

    Oil pulling! One of the greatest things ever and is the reason for me buying coco oil. I started with one spoonful on each side of my cheeks. The texture is really weird at first so I just let it sit and melt there for about 1 min. Then I start swishing (slowly) for 20 min. If you do it too fast it might start hurting after the first few minutes. It has tons of benefits like whiter teeth, fresher breath and it can even stop gums from bleeding (if you have that problem). I highly recommend trying oil pulling! Just remember to spit it out in the trash can and not down any drains cause it is full of bacteria and you dont want that sitting in your sink.

  • http://facebook.com/cestunekitty Carrie

    Can anyone recommend a specific brand of coconut oil? Much appreciated!

  • Ashley Nicole Eubank

    i’ve replaced my make up remover with coconut oil,never looked back,it’s has some amazing benefits,i apply it on my skin and hair as well,before,my store bought even high end brand make up remover had chemicals and alcohol in it and it dried my skin out

  • Ambi

    I am obsessed with coconut oil… I use it as a makeup remover, hair treatment, a hair serum, a face mask, in my food… the difference in my hair and skin is astounding. Love it!
    Ambi xx

    Check out my blog Bombay Rose, for all things beauty: makeup, hair and skincare. Lauren features a fair amount..! :-)

    http://www.bombayrose.co.uk

  • Racheleah

    Finally bought coconut oil today. :D Had read about all of these uses previously, ready to test them out. Love the tip on mixing the oil with your regular lotion for enhanced results! :)

  • http://heatherstreasure.over-blog.com/ Heather Lynn

    Next to Coconut oil, my other favorite go-to item is Epsom salts! I make a tub of Epsom salts, Coconut oil, and Dr. Bronners lavender magic soap..mix it all together, then put a few scoops in a bath. Soak for 20-30min, and its used as a detox, helps with moisturizing, the epsom salt is fanastic for muscle pains, absorbing magnesium, and so much more. This mix is also good if you put some in your shampoo OR conditoner, and many other things. :-)

    I actually wrote a post with info, if anyone wants to try it! I do need to update it and add the coconut oil in it (I just recently started adding a little bit in the mixture!)

    http://heatherstreasure.com/dyibodyscrub/ <~ more info!

    I love your blog Lauren! Great content and I absolutely love your design! Keep it up!
    :-)
    -Heather Lynn

  • Mickeal

    Did you know….. You should NEVER melt coconut oil in the microwave or over direct heat (unless you are using it to fry or sauté). This will damage the healthful properties and destroy the good fats it contains. A high quality virgin coconut oil is produced using low temperatures in order to preserve more of its natural phytonutrients.

    Why pay a higher price for virgin coconut oil if you’re going to stick it in the microwave?

    Coconut oil melts pretty quick at temperatures above 76 degrees. So, whether you are using coconut oil in a glass container or a plastic container, here is one quick and easy way to melt it:

    Fill a microwavable bowl with water
    Heat the water in the microwave for 30 seconds
    Place your bottle of coconut oil in the bowl of warm water
    Takes about 5 minutes to soften!
    This is just one way to melt it. There are many ways to melt coconut oil without putting it in the microwave.

  • Mickeal

    Did you know….. You should NEVER melt coconut oil in the microwave or over direct heat (unless you are using it to fry or sauté). This will damage the healthful properties and destroy the good fats it contains. A high quality virgin coconut oil is produced using low temperatures in order to preserve more of its natural phytonutrients.

    Why pay a higher price for virgin coconut oil if you’re going to stick it in the microwave?

    Coconut oil melts pretty quick at temperatures above 76 degrees. So, whether you are using coconut oil in a glass container or a plastic container, here is one quick and easy way to melt it:

    Fill a microwavable bowl with water
    Heat the water in the microwave for 30 seconds
    Place your bottle of coconut oil in the bowl of warm water
    Takes about 5 minutes to soften!
    This is just one way to melt it. There are many ways to melt coconut oil without putting it in the microwave.

  • http://meglivinginsideout.net Meg Davis

    I use baking soda to exfoliate – both soak and scrub! Has so many other uses too … Mix a tablespoon with water and swallow if you get a bee sting or hives!

  • Katie Albury

    Wow I can’t believe that I hadn’t heard or thought of using coconut oil in so many amazing ways before…will had to get some as my skin and hair couldn’t defo do with some coconut magic right now! Great post!
    Katie x
    http://www.missenchanting.co.uk

  • tatum

    I also use coconut oil to whiten my teeth. After I brush I put about a teaspoon of coconut oil on my toothbrush and then add some baking soda (I keep a sm container in the bathroom) and do a quick brush (about a minute).

  • Jillian

    I used it for the tiny red bumps on my arms and this weird thing on my skin. Both went away after I started using coconut oil!

  • shadi

    lemon set kis cheaz may makised hota ha

  • Theresa

    Does anyone know where to get large container of coconut oil? I’ve only been able to find the small containers.

    • Bianca Rivera Badía

      Marshalls!

    • Anonymous

      Costco has a great value on a large container of EVCO. I picked up some this weekend for about $15.

  • Amanda Frances

    I agree!! the only way i’m obsessed with that you didn’t mention is using it to make a super, healthy foamy latte! I wrote about that here: http://amandafrances.com/cococrazy

    • Why oh Why

      @amanda_frances:disqus thank you for the link on how to make foamy latte.
      Yum! can’t wait to try it. However I would like to clarify about whitening teeth that really doesn’t work. But what does work is it cleans your mouth to perfection. Love the way my teeth feel and look clean.

  • http://www.daisychainsanddreamers.com/ Sarah

    Coconut oil is the best :) I made some healthy (ish!) no-bake peanut butter granola bars using coconut oil the other day. Visit by blog to find the recipe… http://wp.me/p1kjIW-rV

    What do you think?

    Sarah

    http://www.daisychainsanddreamers.com

  • AKArtistry

    Good article. I like to use it to tan as sunscreen I read it has an SPF of 10.

  • CandyC

    I absolutely adore coconut oil and how versatile it is, it’s the best make-up remover I’ve tried, it removes even the most stubborn mascara so quickly and gently. It’s awesome as a hair mask just like this post says, it works better than olive oil which I’ve also tried. Not to mention its fantastic for cooking and it’s not too over-priced. It’s some awesome stuff.

  • http://www.glamlatte.com Jamie W

    I never knew coconut oil could be used for so many different things. I’ll definitely have to try some of these ideas!

    Xo,
    Jamie W
    http://www.glamlatte.com

  • Sri

    Coconut oil was the best hair conditioner I ve ever used. It s a great tradition in India. This blog has some good info on it. http://www.esvasa.com/?q=superfood-coconut-oil

  • Jill Schneider

    coconut oil is a fabulous deep conditioning treatment, use it over night.. but make sure to thoroughly wash it out with shampoo before blow drying your hair… you could burn your hair if you heat up you hair with the oil still on it! check out my webiste for some great blog posts and awesome hair products! http://tomybsalon.com/new-treatments/

  • Eboni

    My twin sister and I did oil pulling with it. It’s pretty much a jar full of amazing. Here’s the video for oil pulling and other coconut oil uses we did :) http://youtu.be/dKU3xqCU9BE

  • simran

    It is indeed an amazing oil..!!

    and with it’s its uses and the quality..it continues to b the bst and the ‘easy to use’ oil..

    I have seen so many articles about coconut oil..some have just suprised me to d core..i would like to share all those articles here so that people out here could also know more about this oil..

    I found them on – http://www.organicfacts.net/organic-oils/organic-coconut-oil/health-benefits-of-coconut-oil.html

    http://fashion.telegraph.co.uk/beauty/news-features/TMG10800966/The-Beauty-Supplement-the-health-benefits-of-coconut-oil.html

    http://www.greenthickies.com/71-coconut-oil-benefits/

    http://doctorscotthealth.com/holistic/29-benefits-coconut-oil/

    Hope you all find them interesting and useful. :)

  • Shea rose

    Popcorn popped in coconut oil is absolutely delicious ! (and a rather healthy snack

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