You Should Know About: Coconut Oil

I’m sure you’ve heard the buzz about coconut oil’s beauty benefits by now. But if not, then I’m glad you’re reading! Over the past few years there has been a huge resurgence of coconut oil; TV shows, magazines and bloggers alike have been very eager to spread the word about the amazing benefits and uses for this fruity oil.

This tropical oil has a high Vitamin E content and contains fatty acids which are anti-fungal, anti-oxidizing and anti-bacterial. Now, you may be wondering, “Julia, why are you telling us about a cooking oil?” Because it’s useful for so many other things!! Below is my sum-up of the best ways to use this delicious-smelling oil.

Use the following links to jump down to the section you’re interested in:

Hair

  • Hair Mask/Deep Treatment (see how to apply it in this post)
  • Dry Scalp Treatment – part hair down the center and gently coat your scalp with a light layer of coconut oil (applied either with fingertips, soft bristle brush, or
  • Frizz Remedy – think of it as a more natural version of Moroccan Oil. Be sure to apply only to the bottom quarter length of your hair, focusing on dry ends
  • UV shield – helps to maintain color and prevent fading with a natural SPF 4
  • Enjoy this perfect infographic that sums up other uses and benefits of coconut oil for your hair:
    • “coconut
      You can read more about coconut oil for hair here

Face

  • Eye Makeup Remover – smear a bit of coconut oil on a cotton round, hold it to your eye to loosen up the makeup, wipe and repeat. This will not only easily take off mascara, but also act as a moisturizing eye treatment as well
  • Lip Moisturizer – gently tap your ring finger into the jar of coconut oil, apply to your lips, smack your lips and repeat. Moisturized, soothed, and tasty!

Body

  • Moisturizer – before fulling toweling off after a shower, slather coconut oil from shoulders to toes for a sublimely rich, moisturizing experience. Towel off and enjoy!
  • Massage Oil – keep in mind that coconut oil is temperature sensitive. What does that mean? If it’s cold out, coconut oil will become a solid white mound of oil. Not to fret, if you scoop a little chunk of solid oil out, it will heat up in your hand and liquify. If it’s warm out, coconut oil will liquify in the container and be easy to pour directly from the jar.
  • After-shave Moisturizer – similar to the Moisturizer section above, smear the oil on freshly shaved legs for sensually smooth legs
  • Moisturizing Scrub (just add sugar!) – If you’re ever running low on your favorite scrub, just combine a bit of sugar in your hand with a bit of oil, slather on your legs / arms / all over while in the shower, rinse, and voila!
  • Breaking in new shoes – ever buy new flats, heels, or another leather shoe that you intend to wear barefoot but they pinch a wee bit too much fresh out of the box? A few days before you intend to wear them out, slather the oil on your feet and slip those lubed up puppies into those pumps or loafers and wear them around your home for a few hours. The coconut oil will act as a natural lubricant between your skin and the leather while also moisturizing the leather fabric, allowing it some give so it won’t be blistering your skin. If you need some extra help with pinching shoes, do the steps mentioned above, but for the second time you put the shoes on, put on cotton socks first and then slide the shoes on. Since they’re already oiled up from your first wear, this added padding will also help to create more space in the shoe, sans cobbler.
  • Jogger’s Nipple – I’ve only tried coconut oil for this instance once or twice (let’s be real – I don’t run often lol) but when I did have this annoying symptom, coconut oil was a natural, soothing remedy I was thrilled to have. If you’ve ever been faced with this annoying, burning irritated sensation, I know you’re ecstatic when you find that instant calm.
  • Natural Sunscreen (SPF 4) – I don’t super recommend using coconut oil as a sunscreen, but included this point mainly as a peace of mind for those days you forget your sunscreen. Rule of thumb: strive to wear a minimum of SPF 30 daily for the best preventative / anti-aging treatment yet.

Food

  • Butter alternative – coconut oil’s high natural fat content and unique flavor makes it a very versatile ingredient. Perfect for a popcorn topper or spread it on toast as a full butter replacement!
    • Use on cinnamon raisin toast instead of butter
    • Mix with butter (vegan or dairy) for a sweet popcorn topping
    • Mix with garlic for a more savory substitute than butter (in sauces & general cooking)
  • Frying oil – coconut oil’s high smoke point makes it a perfect frying oil.
    • Use to pan fry plantains for a nice added sweetness

NOTE: This post was originally published in 2012 on 10.19.12. It has since been updated with more detail and description for clarity.

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