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Coconut oil is prized as a miracle food, supplement and used for just about everything, it seems. Despite the hype around coconut oil, it may be something you want to consider adding to your beauty routine. Sure, you can cook with it if you like in place of other oils, but the better way to put this oil to use isn’t in the kitchen – it’s as a part of your lifestyle routine!

Raw (cold-pressed) organic coconut oil is rich in lauric and caprylic acid, two components that fight fungi, bacteria and harmful yeasts, and even parasites and other types of bugs. Coconut oil is also rich in fatty acids that protect the skin membrane and it contains natural vitamins and minerals that act as healers for the body. You may have heard that taking several tablespoons a day will help you lose weight, but the idea of taking several tablespoons of oil isn’t recommended for any truly healthy weight loss plan and it may even hurt your gallbladder because of the high intake of such a dense fat the gallbladder has to process and breakdown. You can use a teaspoon here and there in cooking if desired, which won’t likely hurt you, but it might be best to give your body the benefits of coconut oil through your skin to still reap the same benefits, without actually having to digest such a dense food.

To use coconut oil on your skin and in your routine, you have a few different options. While it truly does have tons of uses that are too many to name, there are five really great ways to use this beautiful, natural oil that can provide quick healing and relief for the following ailments.

So pick up a jar of organic, cold-pressed (raw) coconut oil and enjoy its indulgent scent, moisturizing and healing nature. Here’s five ways it works fabulous!

1. As a Carrier Oil for a Massage Oil

Coconut oil is often used as a carrier for essential oils to use for a natural massage. You can add the oil and your choice of relaxing essential oils or healing essential oils to an oil warmer, let the oil melt, and then apply this after a hot bath. It can help relieve tension, muscle aches, physical fatigue, and some oils like tea tree oil also come with anti-fungal benefits that you can use to treat skin yeast disorders. Note, please choose organic essential oils if going this method, since many contain oils on the market contain alcohol and unhealthy fillers. Some good choices to use for stress are: peppermint, tea tree oil, lavender, juniper berry, clary sage, four thieves (also called four knives), rosemary, cloves, and there are many others as well.

2. As a Toxin-Free Shaving Cream

Do you know how many chemicals are in a bottle of those pricey, expensive, fussy foaming shaving creams? I doubt we can all even pronounce them. Let’s not put those into our body; our skin is the largest organ. If you can’t pronounce what you put on it, most likely, you shouldn’t be using it. Coconut oil  makes a great shaving cream though, so don’t worry! It’s also much, much cheaper and will actually hydrate your skin at the same time- no lotion needed! To use coconut oil as a shaving cream, rub a little onto your hands while they’re wet, rub onto your legs and under your arms (or men, your face!), and shave as normal. You’ll love how silky and fresh your skin feels and there’s no toxic effects or allergic reactions in sight!

3. As a Face Scrub for Acne or Dryness

Mix coconut oil with some coconut sugar or some ground nuts and seeds, which both provide minerals to the skin. You can also use organic coffee grounds or pink sea salt as well. Make an exfoliating scrub and rub on your face to let sit for a minute. Then wash gently and your skin will be fresh, smooth and healthier afterwards! If you’re looking to take care of acne, add a little tea tree essential oil to the mix since it contains natural anti-fungal properties that fight acne. It’s important to exfoliate the skin, not just for dryness, but to also fight acne which can occur from dead skin build-up. If you suffer redness, this is a great method that is better than chemical-based exfoliating products that may cause irritation.

4. As a Rash Soother

Coconut oil’s healing properties can also taken advantage of if you suffer rashes. If you’re allergic to coconuts, this won’t work for you, but if you’re not, this amazing oil can provide quick relief fast for dry, itchy skin or general irritation. While it may not get rid of the rash, it will help soothe it and ease symptoms. Apply a teaspoon to the affected area daily, specifically after a hot shower or bath.

5. As a Weapon Against Yeast Infections

While no fun to discuss, this health issue affects men and women everywhere. To use coconut oil to fight a yeast infection, you should consider first removing sugary foods from your diet along with old, moldy foods like cheese, which can all aggravate yeast and cause it to get out of hand. Then, consider using coconut oil on the infected area and use it consistently. Some people also mix it with apple cider vinegar which kills yeasts too. Both the coconut oil and apple cider vinegar should be bought raw and organic when going this route to reap the most benefits possible. While coconut oil may not cure a chronic yeast infection, it can help severely eliminate the symptoms and provide immune and antibacterial Support for your skin and body. As far as your diet goes, be sure you brush up on how to optimize digestion and eat foods that support your microbiome. You can also consider taking a teaspoon a day orally to fight yeast, but be mindful this may cause some digestive upset. Applying it on the skin is a great method that will still provide relief.

Keep a jar of coconut oil in your bathroom and don’t forget to use it daily.There are many other uses for coconut oil as well, so let us know if you have a favorite!

Lead Image Source: Meal Makeover Mom/Flickr