I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again. I love coconut oil. I didn’t realize how much I loved it until I had to travel and realized they don’t make coconut oil in a carry on size and I’ve never tried those unlabeled bottles before because I have anxiety about being frisked.
Needless to say I went my entire trip to Seattle (post about that soon) without coconut oil but I couldn’t handle Austin, Texas without it.
Every time I find a new use for coconut oil my husband, Andy, laughs and says, “You can’t use that stuff for everything!”
But here’s the thing: I can.
Here’s a list of things I use coconut oil for. I feel like my love affair with coconut oil has only just begun.
I hate lotion. I hate it so much I never use it, and as a result during the cold Chicago winters I tend to have very dry skin. But not anymore! Now I slather my body in coconut oil after I’ve soaped up. When you rinse, it doesn’t come off completely so your skin is left feeling super hydrated and lovely. Sometimes I mix raw sugar into it and exfoliate. It’s a good hand, feet, body and face scrub. Coconut oil also has antimicrobial properties that are good for people who suffer from acne prone skin (like myself).
2. Hair Hydration
Before I shower I rub coconut oil into my hair, focusing mainly on the ends. I let it sit while I shave my legs and what not, and then I shampoo and condition as usual. If my hair is feeling particularly dry I’ll add some more coconut oil to the ends before getting out of the shower. Careful: coconut oil can make your shower floor slippery so step with caution.
3. Oral Health
This is my newest use for coconut oil. I recently read some great articles about using coconut oil as toothpaste and for oil pulling, an Ayurvedic technique. If you are not familiar with oil pulling you can read about it here, as I’m not going to go into specifics. However, I will say that since I have begun brushing my teeth with coconut oil my teeth have become whiter and felt cleaner longer. I drink a lot of tea and prior to using coconut oil as toothpaste I noticed that after I drank tea my teeth would feel gritty. Now they still feel smooth and clean. You can add baking soda and essential oils to the coconut oil to make your own toothpaste if you wish, but I’m a big fan of the single ingredient.
As for oil pulling I’ve only started a couple days ago but I will say my mouth feels much cleaner after I swish coconut oil around for 20 minutes. I’m excited to see the long term effects.
Sautéing onions in coconut oil is to die for. You can cook them for longer, bringing out an awesomely sweet taste. Also, if you’re vegan, coconut oil is a great substitute when baking. I use coconut oil in my chocolate chip cookies and it makes them moist and lovely. Yum! Just google recipes with coconut oil in it and you’ll get a long list. Here’s a lovely post about it’s health benefits.
Finally, don’t let pricey coconut oil products fool you. You don’t need to buy premade scrubs or beauty-specific coconut oil. All you need is extra-virgin, organic coconut oil. I buy one jar for my kitchen and one jar for my bathroom (I don’t suspect people will want to eat food cooked from the jar I dip my fingers into.) Products like J.R. Watkins Sugar and Shea Body Scrub is really just coconut oil, shea body and raw sugar mixed together. So why not spend $12 and make a big batch at home instead of getting one small tube?
Here’s the kind I’m using currently: Dr. Bronner’s, but I usually just get whatever is organic, virgin and cheap.