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 :)

  • 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?

  • 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.

  • lisa robb
  • Kristen

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

  • 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.

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