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10 Amazing Uses For Coconut Oil

Avatar • Sep 26, 2011

virgin-coconut-oil

Via NoMoreDirtyLooks.com

Friends! If you’ve read the book or hung out here for a while you know we’re fond of oils, and coconut oil in particular because it’s an amazing and cost-saving multitasker that has lots of qualities to recommend it.

It’s a rich moisturizer, it’s cheap, it’s versatile, it’s antimicrobial, antifungal, and antibacterial, has a decent amount of antioxidants, and it smells like baked goods. What’s not to love? Well, some stuff.

You can get it at any good health food store in the cooking oil section, just be sure to spend the extra buck or two to get raw, organic, virgin coconut oil. Now, without further ado: Here are the 10 specific things I’ve tried it for, with honest assessments of how that worked for me:

1. For cooking at high heat. Coconut oil has earned itself a bone fide health halo, which you can read abouthere. Because some oils are not safe at high temperatures, I’ve swapped in coconut for a lot of my roasting, and some frying. I have tried and liked it in the oven for potatoes, sweet potatoes, Brussell’s sprouts, carrots, asparagus, broccoli rabe, red onions and other veggies, too. I’m not fond of how it tastes with eggs or mild-tasting white fish—but it’s great with salmon.

2. As a cheekbone highlighter. Sweep a little on top of makeup (sounds weird, go with it) and leave it alone. It looks like your skin but glowier, which is why Rosemarie Swift, of RMS Beauty, uses it in her amazing Living Luminizer, “Un” Cover Up, and Lip-2-Cheek pots.

3. To shave my legs. So good! You get a real close shave and don’t have to worry about moisturizing after.

4. As a deep-conditioning hair treatment for my totally wrecked ends. There’s a reason lots of conditioners use coconut oil: According to this study, coconut oil is better able to penetrate the hair than mineral oil (shocking!) and sunflower oil—which is good news because I’ve been dealing with a little heat damage over here. Because I don’t want to cut off the damage—I’m liking my hair long right now—I’ve been trying to get the ends looking OK as I grow it out. Knowing full well there is no way to physically repair fried ends (I even confirmed this with a cosmetic scientist named Colin) I’ve been loving this method: once a week, I sleep with a handful of coconut oil in my hair. I rub it in, comb it, pile it in a loose bun on the top of my head, and call it a night. In the morning I shampoo and it seems to make a big difference in the look and feel of my ends.

5. To take off my eye makeup. Put a little on a cotton ball or a piece of toilet paper and sweep it over your eyes gently. It even works on waterproof mascara.

6. As a personal lubricant. Saucy! Let’s be brief: It totally works by yourself or with a buddy, but it’s not compatible with condoms (oil + latex = babies).

7. As a face moisturizer. I do not like this. I’ve read about acne-prone women who have used it to great effect because it’s naturally antibacterial, calming, and moisturizing, but I won’t put coconut oil—or any product that contains it—anywhere near the part of my face that breaks out (hi, chin). I tried the oil-cleansing method when we were writing the book and I got the absolute worst cystic acne ever which, yeah, yeah, might not have been the oil’s fault, but did I want to wait another month to find out? Hells no.

8. As a body moisturizer. See above (shaving). I recently met my friend Jessica at yoga and before class started she yanked up her pant leg and told me she’d been using coconut oil on her whole body. How’d they feel? So soft. So! Soft! And the smell doesn’t linger, for the record.

9. As a day-time hair tamer. Cute on your ends but I wouldn’t put this on the top of your head, especially if you’re blonde, because it looks really, really greasy.

10. Gluten-free and vegan baking. It’s a staple. It tastes really good and, it seems to me, is the only thing that can mask the chalky taste you get with most gluten-free baking. (Mmmmm Babycakes.)

What am I missing? Or what have you tried and loved—or hated?

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Classychassis
Classychassis
9 years ago

Dont buy coconut oil at the health food store. Buy it at your local indian bazaar or variation thereof- at least half price. Youre welcome:)

mangomadness
mangomadness
9 years ago

I love the website NoMoreDirtyLooks!

I use coconut oil for my weekly pre-poo (awesome!). I’ve also used it as a body moisturizer (just ok, I prefer olive oil or shea butter blends) and in vegan baking (awesome!). I would not use coconut oil on my face–it’s a know acne-causing substance.

Tami
9 years ago

#7 — Nooooo! Coconut oil is high in saturated fat and clogs the pores of your skin. It’s actually the worst oil to use on your face.
#8 — Works in summer, but not in winter. In summer your skin gets moisture from the air, so coconut oil can ‘seal’ that moisture in, but in winter no such luck and it’d be sealing in dryness.

T.
T.
9 years ago
Reply to  Tami

The article doesn’t state this explicitly, but I think the understanding is that you apply the oil to damp (post-shower/post-bath) skin, as you do with other commercially-available oil moisturizers (like Neutrogena’s Rainbath oil spray, for example).

Tami
9 years ago
Reply to  T.

Yeah, I’ve tried that in winter. Still doesn’t work.

Carla
Carla
9 years ago
Reply to  Tami

You are so right about #7. I use it for cooking, as a dietary supplement and in my hair, but NEVER on my face. I used it for a while and was wondering why I was breaking out.

mimi
mimi
8 years ago
Reply to  Tami

What’s a good recommend moisturiser for acne prone skin??

Tina
9 years ago

love this post! my hair loves coconut oil (can’t take olive oil) and it great to see all the uses. would have never tried the shaving — interesting!

Miss p
Miss p
9 years ago

Yay! Aissa Maiga, beautiful Senegalese/Malian/French actress! Love her. Nice post too 🙂

HairItIs
9 years ago

oil + latex = babies”

Lord ha’ mercy. Y’all play too much.

LadyLovesLife
LadyLovesLife
9 years ago
Reply to  HairItIs

LOL love that #6. Funniest thing I have read today.

Yoyo
Yoyo
9 years ago

I use organic coconut oil (not so cheap) on my face and it has never felt or looked better. I have EXTREMELY oily and acne prone skin and the coconut oil has been helping. I use a very tiny bit and I’m loving it so far.

Cathey
Cathey
9 years ago

So far I have only used it for shine and moisture. I use the Spectrum Organic Coconut Oil! It works pretty well for hair! My hair loves natural oils.

Josie Lynn
9 years ago

question, does anyone know of possible itchy side effects it can have? because I tried coconut oil once before but it had my scalp like burning itchy and i thought it was something else so i took away one product at a time and it wasnt until i took away the coconut oil that my scalp stopped itching.…is this really rare? I havent really heard anyone else complain about it.…really loved how it helped my hair but i was def abt to scratch ALL of my hair out 🙁

RandomsbyJahT
9 years ago
Reply to  Josie Lynn

I had the same issue with my scalp, and once I took away the coconut oil the itching stopped. When I use coconut oil alone on my hair, it turns into a brittle mess, but when I mix it with other oils it works.

LaLa
LaLa
7 years ago
Reply to  Josie Lynn

you don’t put coconut oil on the scalp. you would actually want to use lavender, jojoba, grapeseed, or castor oils for scalps. Coconut is used for mid-to ends of hair.

anastasia
anastasia
9 years ago

Thanks for the tips:) I’ll give shaving w/ coconut oil a try. I do use the OCM for face cleansing and my sensitive skin looks quite supple and clear-here’s what I use: jojoba, grapeseed oil, and castor oil.

Lady Ro
Lady Ro
9 years ago

One of my hiar staples. However, the best is post shower, evenings only. My bf even got hooked & now loves getting his shine on. Best thing is snuggling up next me smelling all tropical.

Stephanie
Stephanie
9 years ago

I use it on face all the time! I’ve never had a break out. People do regularly think I’m ten years younger than I am though.

Natural Hair Tutor
9 years ago

Love this article, I am a HUGE fan of coconut oil, not only because it’s inexpensive, but as mentioned above all the wonderful uses; I currently mix it with my shea butter. If you want to use it for deep hair conditioning, use a teaspoon or two on damp hair and leave it in as long as possible. A few hours is helpful but if you leave it in overnight,or even a few days, you’ll really start to see results!

Bump21
Bump21
9 years ago

If you sleep with coconut oil on your hair overnight, how do you wrap it without it getting oil all over your pillow. Sorry if this is a stupid question, but I’m a newbie and after an 8 month transition I just did the BC about 2 weeks ago.

pamela willis
9 years ago

I’m in the process of trying a Coconut Oil with Tea Tree Oil blend for my daughters excema.

Purpose73
Purpose73
8 years ago

I am so loving coconut oil right now!! I just started using it about a month ago and I’m blown away at how soft it keeps my hair! I normally have to work really hard to keep my hair from drying out but since I started doing a deep condition 1X a week with my steamer and a mixture of coconut oil, JBCO and shea butter my hair stays soft and moisturized! And this is January — not July when it’s so humid. I also started using coconut oil in any recipe that calls for oil and so far so… Read more »

asian skin care blog
8 years ago

Attractive section of content. I simply stumbled upon your website and in accession capital to assert that I get in fact loved account your weblog posts. Anyway I will be subscribing on your feeds or even I success you get admission to persistently fast.

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