Every so often, a new superfood or a new health trend pops up and sweeps the world. Everyone swears by whatever it is and then either something else becomes popular, people just forget about it, or something negative is discovered about it.
Not coconut oil. Besides its health benefits, coconut oil can also be used in a wide range of situations as a remedy or as a substitute for some store-bought products. Coconut oil is a natural antiviral, antifungal, and antimicrobial; it contains beneficial fatty acids and antioxidants that are amazing for the skin and to treat irritations and infections.
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1. Daily Moisturizer
Coconut oil is one of the most easily absorbed oils by skin, and once it’s in, it’s in for good! Just apply coconut oil daily after showering and you’ll soon notice soft, hydrated skin all over your body! You can add essential oils too if you want a little aromatherapy with your moisturizing. I recommend lavender (relaxing), grapefruit (energizing), and peppermint (refreshing), though just plain coconut oil already smells amazing!
2. To Soothe Dry Skin / Winter Skin / Skin Irritations
The dry winter cold combined with indoor heaters can lead to very dry winter skin even if we follow our usual moisturizing routine. Simply apply a bit of coconut oil once or twice a day (or as needed!) and your poor dry, irritated skin will soften and feel nourished in just a couple days. During the coldest months, when the heater is on all day, I can be seen applying coconut oil to my face 4-5 times a day!
Skin irritations like contact dermatitis and little things like that can also be soothed by coconut oil. And if you want to increase the benefits, add 2-3 drops of oregano oil! It’ll replace your hydrocortisone cream!
3. Makeup Remover
This one is easy. Grab a dab of plain coconut oil, or a few drops of it if it’s liquid, and rub your eye with it gently until all the makeup has come off your skin and eyelashes. With a cotton ball/pad, wipe the coconut oil off. Keep wiping until the cotton comes out clean. You can repeat the process with a bit less oil if you feel like there’s still some makeup sticking on.
You can also remove your foundation like this! Put a few drops/a dab of coconut oil on your fingertips and apply to your face. Rub gently in circular motions, warming up the oil and removing the makeup as you go. Then wipe the oil off with cotton or a clean washcloth. To make this a bit more potent, you can add a drop of peppermint essential oil. No more than a drop or it could cause dryness and irritation.
4. Body Acne Treatment
If you sometimes get pimples on your back or other parts of your body, you can follow a similar formula as above, except, this time, adding tea tree oil. After showering, get enough oil to cover the part of your body you want to treat and add 1-2 drops of tea tree oil depending on what part of your body you’re treating. (If it’s a smaller area, don’t use more than 1 drop of TTO, it is very strong).
Tea tree oil is a natural antiseptic and is best used diluted. Paired with the moisturizing and antioxidant benefits of coconut oil, it nourishes the skin, preventing dryness and irritation; it prevents bacteria from overgrowing in clogged pores, thus not allowing pimples to form; and, as an antiseptic paired with an antimicrobial, it helps kill the bacteria in already existing breakouts, helping them reduce in size and heal. I recommend adding exfoliating twice a week to your routine to help even more.
5. Smooth Out Split Ends / Give Hair Shine
Coconut oil can buy you some time between trims. All you need to do is put a tiny amount (2-4 drops worth) of oil in the palm of your hand, rub your hands together to warm it up and then apply to the tips of your hair only. Once most of the oil is gone from your palms, you can work yourself up toward the roots. Don’t use too much oil or your hair will look dirty instead. Start with just a little until you find the perfect amount of oil for your hair type, length, and level of damage.
6. Prevent Ingrown Hairs
Whether you get bumps after shaving or just tend to get ingrowns somewhere, you know how annoying they can be. Mixing a couple of drops of essential lavender oil in coconut oil and applying it after shaving or on any ingrown hair-prone areas after showering. You’ll see a major reduction in little red bumps, if not complete prevention.
Lavender essential oil has soothing and anti-inflammatory properties, as well as antimicrobial, like coconut oil. Together, they can prevent the infection of ingrown-clogged pores and soothe the red inflammation of ingrowns already popping up.
7. Topical Antibacterial
You can even substitute your Neosporin with coconut oil! Yeah, you need to add a drop or two of tea tree oil, but the combination is basically an antibiotic you can apply on scrapes or cuts to make sure they stay clean and heal up right!
8. Foot Salve
Feet have it rough. If you’re always wearing shoes, you’re at risk for athlete’s foot, dry, dead skin, ingrown toenails, blisters and the like. And if you’re always barefoot, your feet might get pretty rough… It seems there’s no way to win. But there is! Whether you have rough, dry feet, athlete’s foot, or fungal issues, all you need is to mix up a batch of coconut oil with a few drops of tea tree oil and oregano oil and apply it every day. Within a week, you’ll see softer, more moisturized skin and a reduction in itching and scaliness from the athlete’s foot. If the problem is also under the nail, apply a drop of TTO under the nail every day besides the salve.
6. Tattoo Post-care
After getting a tattoo, the post-care guidelines are basically to keep the tattoo clean, moisturized, and to prevent infection. Well, coconut oil has got every single one of those things covered. After you first wash your tattoo, apply a generous amount of coconut oil and gently rub it in. Stay vigilant and keep applying as needed, keeping the tattoo always moisturized; the antibacterial properties of coconut oil will do the rest of the work for you.
If you want to speed up the healing process even more, you can use a coconut oil & shea butter mix which will boost the moisturizing benefits of the oil with the regenerative properties of shea butter.
Along with lavender, tea tree oil, and apple cider vinegar, I swear by coconut oil. I cook with it, slather it all over my body and heal any ailments with it -albeit sometimes with a little help from its friends.
What I love the most about it is that I know exactly what ingredients are in the “product” I’m applying. Organic, virgin coconut oil. That’s all. No additives, no parabens, chemicals or perfumes; unlike with moisturizers from the store, makeup remover formulas, acne medications, and other beauty products.
Another amazing benefit is that you save a ton of money by using coconut oil instead of all those products! Think about it; 16 oz of coconut oil cost on average $10. With that much coconut oil, you could moisturize your whole body, take off your makeup and treat all the above conditions for at least a month. A makeup remover alone is $5 or more, a moisturizer is about the same, and so are athlete’s foot cream and hydrocortisone; not to mention special aftershave, moisturizing products for acne-prone skin, and the list goes on.
That’s why I buy the biggest jar of coconut oil (it’s a better deal too!) and use it in the kitchen, in the vanity, and for first aid!
What other uses have you found for coconut oil? Please share in the comments below!