Six uses for coconut oil besides for cooking


Clare Knutson

It’s no secret that coconut oil is great for cooking and baking. It adds flavor and is one of the healthiest cooking oils available. It has been shown to aid in digestion, help you burn more fat and lower cholesterol levels. But did you know coconut oil is good for your body inside and out? Here are six different ways to use coconut oil besides for cooking.


[dropcap size=dropcap]1.[/dropcap]Acne Treatment: It might seem counterintuitive to put more oil on your already oily skin, but coconut oil might just be the solution to your minor breakouts. Coconut oil has mild antimicrobial properties, because it contains Capric and Lauric Acid, which helps to clean and protect the skin. It also contains Vitamin E, which also helps to promote skin health by helping to clear blocked pores. Coconut oil is quickly absorbed into the skin and helps to reduce the inflammation caused by acne. To use, simply wash your face and apply a little bit of oil to your breakouts.


[dropcap size=dropcap]2.[/dropcap]Makeup Remover: If you want all natural and easy way to remove stubborn eye makeup, simply apply some coconut oil to a cotton ball or washcloth, gently wipe over the area and wash off the excess oil when you’re done. Not only will the coconut oil remove your makeup, it will provide your skin with some moisture and cleansing to prevent breakouts.


[dropcap size=dropcap]3.[/dropcap]Skin Moisturizer: If you suffer from dry skin, coconut oil might be help to provide some relief. There are plenty of lotions and creams available for purchase that include coconut oil, because of its moisturizing and antimicrobial properties. However, it is just as beneficial to apply a little bit of the oil to your skin and let it absorb. You can mix the coconut oil with other oils, such as almond, jojoba, argan oil or beeswax for added benefits, but it isn’t necessary.


[dropcap size=dropcap]4.[/dropcap]Mouthwash: Also known as oil pulling, this technique dates back almost 3,000 years and was originally a form of Ayurvedic medicine. Today, it is increasing in popularity and studies show that oil pulling with coconut oil can help to prevent gingivitis, plaque and bad breath. It shouldn’t replace regular flossing and brushing, but oil pulling can help to improve your dental health. Simply put about a tablespoon of coconut oil in your mouth and gently swish it around for five to 20 minutes. If you coconut oil is solid, you can pop it in the microwave for a few seconds, but it will melt in your mouth just as easily. Be sure not to swallow the oil and discard of it in a trashcan, as hardened coconut oil can clog drains.


[dropcap size=dropcap]5.[/dropcap]Sunburn relief: If you want some relief from the burning and itching that goes along with a healing sunburn, coconut oil might just do the trick. Severe sunburns that involve blistering require medical attention, but those that just result in sensitive, reddened skin can be easily treated at home. Simply clean the affected area with a cool, damp washcloth and cover with a thin layer of coconut oil. For added relief, apply some aloe vera gel or diluted apple cider vinegar as well.


[dropcap size=dropcap]6.[/dropcap]Hair Mask: To rehydrate the dried, brittle ends of your hair, fight dandruff and strengthen your hair without spending money on expensive hair masks or conditioners, try making your own at home with nothing but coconut oil. Just massage the oil through your hair and allow it to sit for 20 to 30 minutes before washing it out. If you have an already oily scalp, try to concentrate oil on the ends of your hair and limit the amount of oil that actually comes in contact with your scalp.


Note: It is best use virgin, cold pressed and organic (if possible) coconut oil for both consumption and cosmetic purposes. Refined coconut oil often contains other chemicals that can decrease its effectiveness and possibly be harmful.


Background Photo Credit: Clare Knutson / The Foothill Dragon Press

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