You probably have a jar of unrefined, extra-virgin coconut oil in your kitchen; I know I do. Coconut oil is one of the healthiest oils to use for cooking and baking. It’s made up of medium chain triglycerides which, unlike the long chain triglycerides of animal fats, are metabolized more quickly in the body. That means increased fat burning potential. Coconut oil boosts energy levels, raises good cholesterol, and balances blood sugar. Coconut oil has a high smoke-point which means you can use it for cooking with high temperatures and it won’t break down into harmful compounds. Coconut oil is also great for baking; use it in place of any oil or butter listed in a recipe.
But did you know that you should also have a bottle of coconut oil in your bathroom, your bedroom, the nursery and even the dog house? Ok, if you’re like me, your whole house is the dog house, but you know what I mean. Coconut oil has so many uses for every aspect of your life – cooking, health, medicinal care, beauty care, hygiene, pet care and even those intimate moments. That’s right, coconut oil has properties that are anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antifungal, antimicrobial and anti-almost everything else. It’s an immune system’s dream. It’s amazing that one product, especially one that is completely natural and chemical-free, can do so much. Here are just eight of the many ways you can use coconut oil in ways other than cooking.
1. Face and Body Moisturizer
Got dry, flaky, chapped skin? Get a bottle of coconut oil. You can use coconut oil on your face and body as a natural moisturizer. It’s able to penetrate all the layers of your skin and because it gets absorbed so well, coconut oil won’t leave your skin feeling oily and greasy. Coconut oil boosts collagen production, so it strengthens underlying tissues and helps prevent wrinkles. Rub it in all over your body by itself or mix in some essential oils for a soothing, aromatherapy experience. Use it on your face instead of those high-priced moisturizers you buy at the drugstore. Coconut oil is gentle enough to use around your eyes and is perfect for keeping your lips soft, smooth and kissable.
2. Body Scrub
Take a bottle of coconut oil into the bath or shower with you and use it as a body scrub. You can use it as is or mix the coconut oil together with an equal amount of sugar or baking soda to turn it into an exfoliating experience. Gently scrub your body with it to remove rough and flaky, dry skin. Your body will not only be soft and smooth but it will be glowing.
3. Oral Hygiene
Have you heard about this trend called “oil pulling?” It may be a current trend right now, but it is actually an ancient Ayurvedic dental technique also known as “kavala” or “gundusha.” Basically, you put a tablespoon of oil in your mouth on an empty stomach and swish it around for 20 minutes. You then spit it out into the trash (it can clog the drain).The purpose is to draw out toxins from your body, improve oral health, and it’s even said to help headaches, hangovers and insomnia. How does it do this? Apparently, our bodies store toxins in our salivary glands, which get drawn into the oil. When we spit out the oil, we also spit out the toxins. While there seems to be more anecdotal than scientific reports, some people really think it helps. The antibacterial and antifungal properties of coconut oil can definitely benefit one’s oral hygiene. Coconut oil contains vitamin E, which acts as an antioxidant and makes it an effective, natural mouthwash. You can also use it as toothpaste by mixing the coconut oil with some baking soda. Whiter teeth and healthier gums await you.
4. Make-Up Remover
I used to buy those make-up remover cloths. You know the ones I mean, they come in those little boxes and are saturated with who-knows-what chemicals. They were the only things that could remove my waterproof mascara, although it was still a struggle. Well, guess what? Coconut oil is a gentle make-up remover that is totally natural and can even remove waterproof mascara. Just put some coconut oil on a cloth or cotton ball, gently wipe your make-up off and then rinse your face clean.
5. Hair Conditioner
Ever notice how many hair conditioners have coconut oil in them? Just as coconut oil can penetrate layers of skin, it can also penetrate hair. Use it as a deep conditioner that you leave on your hair for an extended time to moisturize it. You can rub it into your hair as is or you can heat the oil to melt it into a liquid – just be sure to let it cool off first. Leave it on your hair anywhere from 20 minutes to overnight. Then wash and style your hair as usual. Your hair should be soft, silky, and shiny.
6. Pet Health
As long as you’re making your coat all soft and shiny, why not do the same for your fur baby? I give my dog, Benny, a spoon of coconut oil mixed into his food every day. It improves the health of his skin and coat. Coconut oil can also aid pets’ digestion, joint health, and improve their breath. In addition to feeding coconut oil to our cats and dogs, it also has benefits when applied topically. Brushing some coconut oil into a dog’s coat can also ward off fleas. The antibacterial and antifungal properties of coconut oil make it good for disinfecting cuts, soothing rashes and hot spots, and promoting healing of wounds.
7. Heal Cuts, Sunburns, and Rashes
People get rashes and hot spots too, and coconut oil can help. Since coconut oil promotes collagen production, it can help repair skin cells, meaning our cuts and rashes will heal faster. The antibacterial properties make coconut oil ideal for preventing infection in small cuts and lacerations. Use it on your skin to help soothe sunburn and prevent peeling.
As it is a natural moisturizer, coconut oil, together with a drop or two of lavender oil, will heal your burns so that your skin doesn’t peel. Use daily on your skin, and it will heal in just a fraction of the time that you were used to. Coconut oil promotes collagen production and repairs the skin cells. It’s also a gentle and natural way to soothe a baby’s diaper rash and make their tushies smell like coconut. Win-win.
8. Massage Oil and Personal Lubricant
When it comes to getting personal, coconut oil is a natural option you might want to consider. Its ability to penetrate skin and provide all that vitamin E makes it a wonderful massage oil. And since coconut oil is solid at room temperature, it is way less messy than liquid oils. However, you can heat the coconut oil for a warm, liquid massage oil that smells like the tropics. Coconut oil can also be used as a personal lubricant since it is completely natural with no parabens, petroleum, glycerin or chemicals. Added bonus: coconut oil won’t stain the sheets.
Whew! These are just 8 ways in which you can use coconut oil in your life, and that’s just skimming the surface. I didn’t even get to use it as furniture polish. Go out and get yourself some unrefined, extra-virgin coconut oil, and discover all the ways it can benefit you. Check out “5 Amazing DIY Hacks with Coconut Oil” for video instruction. How do you like to use coconut oil? Share your ideas in the comments.
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