Browsing in your local grocery store, you’d be hard-pressed to find an item that is as versatile, inexpensive, and beneficial for your body as coconut oil. Beyond its many uses in the kitchen, it has a wide range of beauty, skincare, and personal care uses, and it can replace products that are expensive and harsh on the body. When used in a self-care capacity, coconut oil restores essential proteins, vitamins, and minerals to the body. Just be sure to choose the organic unrefined option, because refined coconut oils are often treated with harsh chemicals, such as bleach and lye. Here is a comprehensive list of the many different ways you can use coconut oil for self-care:
1. Skin moisturizer
Instead of using an expensive lotion loaded with chemicals and artificial scents, try rubbing a small amount of pure coconut oil into your skin. It will lock in moisture and keep your skin from drying out for far longer than most beauty-store lotions, plus it will restore natural vitamins and minerals to the skin. Try applying to legs, feet, and hands after a shower and/or before sleep and wake up with healthy, glowing skin.
2. Deep conditioning treatment for hair
Before going to sleep, or a few hours before taking a shower, rub one or two tablespoons of coconut oil into your hair, brushing it through from root to tip to make sure as many strands are covered as possible. Wrap your hair up in a towel or shower cap and let it sit. After it’s soaked and absorbed, wash your hair thoroughly with shampoo and conditioner as usual. Notice how much more radiant and healthy your hair looks after doing so, and repeat one to four times per month.
3. Split end remedy
Are the tips of your hairs dry and unhealthy? Try applying a tiny dab of coconut oil only to the ends to moisturize and revitalize them.
4. De-frizz your hair
Rub a pea-sized amount of oil between your fingers and smooth it over unruly parts of your hair. Not only will your frizz calm down, your hair will also look shinier and healthier.
5. Hair growth stimulator
Concerned about thinning hair? Try gently massaging a small amount of coconut oil into the troublesome areas of your scalp. This will encourage your hair to grow back thicker and healthier, and it will restore much-needed minerals to your hair. You can even try adding a drop of rosemary oil into the mix to further encourage growth.
6. Wrinkle reducer
Coconut oil is highly effective at moisturizing the skin and preventing aging. In the evening before bed, try gently massaging a small amount into the areas you are concerned about, such as the corners around your eyes, and repeat daily to see results.
7. Eye makeup remover
Gently smooth coconut oil over your lashes and eyelids and rub off with a cotton ball. Repeat one or two more times until the makeup is gone and then rinse with warm water.
8. Fight fungal foot infections
Due to its high concentrations of caprylic acid, a natural antifungal agent, coconut oil is effective at fighting athlete’s foot. Rub oil into your foot, concentrating on the troublesome areas, and cover with a sock. Repeat morning and evening.
9. Eczema and Psoriasis reliever
Coconut oil’s anti-inflammatory benefits work great at soothing itchy, dry skin. Massage into and around the affected areas two to three times per day.
10. Face wash
While it may seem counterintuitive, coconut oil can be highly effective at removing unwanted oils produced by your skin. Massage the oil into all areas of the face, leave on for ten minutes, and then rinse off with warm water.
11. Personal lubricant
As long as you’re not using latex condoms (which can break when exposed to oil-based lubricants,) coconut oil makes a safe, sexy lube that both smells amazing and is moisturizing for the vagina.
12. Massage oil
Coconut oil makes a wonderful alternative to lotion because of its high moisturizing capacity and its Vitamin E content. Not only will it make your skin smell and feel great, it will also heal and replenish with its antioxidants.
If your lips are cracking and drying out, try rubbing a small amount of coconut oil onto them. The triglycerides and fatty acids present will hydrate your lips, while simultaneously adding a luminous shine to them.
14. Cheekbone highlighter
After you’ve finished applying your makeup for the day, try tracing a minuscule amount of coconut oil along your cheekbones. It will highlight the area and make your face appear more luminous.
15. Stretch mark reducer
Coconut oil boosts collagen production, which helps repair your skin’s health and elasticity. It also has the ability to soothe inflamed skin and reduce the pigmentation that accompanies stretch marks. Rub into the affected areas twice daily.
16. Constipation relief
Due to its abundance of medium-chain fatty acids, which stimulate bowel movements, coconut oil is an effective, natural laxative and stool softener. Swallow a half-tablespoon twice daily to relieve symptoms. Increase to up to two tablespoons per day if constipation does not improve.
17. Shaving cream
Use coconut oil for a close, smooth shave that simultaneously restores moisture to the skin. Instead of using traditional shaving cream, generously massage coconut oil into the area you want to shave, and go about your routine as usual. Your skin will feel extra silky after.
18. Oral health
Before brushing your teeth, try swishing a tablespoon or two of coconut oil around in your mouth, as a mouthwash replacement. Do so for as long as you can or for up to twenty minutes, spit it out, and then brush as normal. Coconut oil’s natural anti-bacterial qualities will kill germs in your mouth and help to prevent cavities.
Cover Image by Jodeci Zimmerman
Alyson Zetta Williams