If you are looking for a multi-purpose health and beauty product, then look no further than coconut oil. Of course, I already knew that coconut oil is fantastic for using in stir-fries. So when I recently received a jar of Vita Coco coconut oil*, I was keen to find out more about some of the other uses for it.
Whether you’re planning to use coconut oil on your skin or in your food, you really want to use the highest quality oil you can find. Vita Coco oil is organic, extra virgin and 100% raw so all of those lovely nutrients and anti-bacterial properties are preserved. Click here to buy it from Amazon*.
Here are just some of the many ways you can use coconut oil:
You can use coconut oil to remove makeup, even stubborn eye make-up. Simply melt a little oil between your hands, and rub the liquid oil over a dry face. Massage it over the eye area if you are wearing heavy eye-makeup, but be careful not to get it into your eyes. Let the oil sit on your skin for a few seconds, then remove it with a pad and continue with your usual cleansing routine.
A Natural Skin Moisturiser
You’ll find a lot of websites suggesting coconut oil as a natural moisturiser. And it’s true that it’s very good for softening the skin. I don’t think I’ll be replacing my usual facial moisturisers with coconut oil, but it’s great for using on your body after a bath or shower. But don’t be taken in by websites that claim you can use coconut oil as a sunscreen. It offers absolutely no protection against UVA or UVB rays.
Help Speedy Healing for Cuts and Grazes
It may sound bizarre, but smearing a little coconut oil over a cut or scrape can help it to heal more quickly. This is down to the anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties of coconut oil, which have been shown in several studies.
A Natural Deodorant
This one really surprised me – coconut oil as a deodorant, really? I did a little research, and apparently it really is as simple as applying coconut oil to your underarms. You could also make a solid coconut oil deodorant stick if you prefer. It’s all down to those antibacterial properties again, but of course it won’t act as an anti-perspirant!
Boost Dental and Gum Health
I’m still plucking up the courage to try oil-pulling, a traditional practice which originates in Ayurvedic medicine. Oil-pulling involves swishing a tablespoon or so of oil around your mouth for 15 minutes. Using coconut oil for oil-pulling can apparently whiten teeth and improve oral health – those antibacterial properties again! It doesn’t replace brushing, flossing and visiting the dentist, and it won’t reverse tooth decay. But it can be used as a supplement to your regular oral hygiene routine, and if I give it a try, I’ll let you know what I think…
Improve the Condition of your Hair
You can buy a number of hair conditioners which contain coconut oil, because it’s a really fab conditioning treatment for dry hair. It’s often mixed with other oils such as olive oil or argan oil. At home, you can also make your own conditioner using virgin coconut oil. There are plenty of recipes on the internet which combine it with essential oils such as lavender oil. Or alternatively, just use virgin coconut oil on its own – this is a bit too rich for my hair, but if you have thick, dry or frizzy hair it’s worth a try.
Replace your Usual Cooking Oil
Coconut oil has a high smoking point so it is great for use in stir-fries or for shallow frying. And although the coconut flavour isn’t strong, the oil is really great to use in Thai and other South Asian recipes. You can also use it for roasting vegetables and potatoes, or to replace whatever oil you would normally use in a marinade. It is a saturated fat, which mean that the nutrients remain stable even at high temperatures.
Replace other Solid Fats in Cooking
Coconut oil is fantastic in my Coconut Flapjacks, and it has many other culinary uses. Try spreading a little coconut oil on toast, or using it instead of butter in muffins. You could even add a spoonful to boost the nutrients in your morning smoothie.