Coconut oil is amazing. Thanks to its anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal properties, not to mention its delicious taste, coconut oil has grown to be the most versatile oil out there. Not only is it a great substitute for butter, but it’s also the perfect ingredient for your DIY skin regimen. Try unrefined coconut oil when your skin is involved, and refined coconut oil for cleaning products. Check out the 10 unusual uses for coconut oil below to try it out for yourself.
Many shaving creams can cause red bumps and dry out your skin. Coconut oil lets you have a smooth, close shave while also moisturizing your skin, and it’s perfect for men or women. Pat your skin with a damp washcloth to remove access water and then rub on one teaspoon of oil. Try to keep your legs out of the shower stream while you shave. After shaving, gently wipe off any remaining oil (using soap if your skin is already oily) and be sure to properly cleanse your razor. The coconut oil will leave your skin feeling smooth and smelling great.
Dry Scalp and Split Ends
For those with a dry itchy scalp, coconut oil might be the answer. It’s gentle on sensitive skin, natural, and smells lovely. Warm a small amount in the microwave and then use your fingertips to massage the oil into your scalp. Leave on for 15 minutes to an hour (depending on your level of dryness) and then use a gentle shampoo to cleanse it away.
Coconut oil can also help cure split ends. Warm up a tiny drop between your hands and then smooth onto the ends of your hair. If you have thick hair, you can use the coconut oil like a leave-in conditioner, applying it to clean dry hair. If you have thinner hair, leave the coconut oil on overnight and then rinse it off in the morning.
DIY Lip Balm
Many lip balms and glosses are filled with artificial ingredients, so why not go the natural route when it comes to your lips? Start with a small clean container. Next, scoop two tablespoons of coconut oil into a microwavable bowl (you can also add a little bit of lipstick at this point if you want your balm to be tinted) and heat for 15-30 seconds. Remove the bowl from the microwave, add a drop or two of vanilla (or another oil, including olive, avocado, etc., depending on what other scents you want to include), and stir until all the lumps are gone. Pour the mixture into your empty container, place it in the fridge for a half hour to let it harden, and then you can use your fingers to spread it onto your lips. Be sure to keep it someplace cool to keep the oil from melting.
Keep a small jar in your bathroom just for moisturizing. After you shower, warm up about half a teaspoon of coconut oil between your palms and spread onto your legs and arms. It is advised not to use the oil as a face moisturizer because facial skin is more sensitive and therefore more prone to oily breakouts. It’s especially helpful on the feet and hands. The coconut oil will leave your skin feeling silky, and the light aroma is delightful. It’s the perfect answer to winter’s harsh dryness.
Coconut oil is also great at helping remove makeup. It is gentle enough to use every day and is a great alternative to most chemical removers. Simply melt a little on your fingertips and massage over your skin. Wring out a hot washcloth and place it over your face. Gently rub your face until all the makeup has dissolved away.
If you’ve ever experienced butter coffee you’ll know why this is awesome. If you’re dairy free or vegan and want a similar experience, here’s what to do: add half a tablespoon (or a full tablespoon if you really want to go for it) of coconut oil to a steaming hot cup of coffee and stir. It makes your coffee pleasantly creamy and also gives you a little extra boost. Also, the healthy fat provided by your morning coconut coffee helps fuel your brain for even better cognitive function. It’s like super-powering your caffeine.
Thanks to its slippery nature, coconut oil is perfect for removing stickiness. To remove label glue from jars or other hard surfaces, mix equal parts baking soda and melted coconut oil and then rub gently over the glue until it comes off. It is also perfect for removing gum from your hair (just rub a little melted oil over the gum and surrounding hair), and unsticking a stubborn zipper (just rub a little oil back and forth over the zipper).
Shine Stainless Steel
Give your appliances a little extra shine using coconut oil. After giving all the surfaces a wipe, grab a scrap of fabric (no paper towels because they leave fluffs), and start rubbing a little oil onto the surface of your stainless steel appliances. The coconut oil will leave everything with a glossy sheen, making old appliances seem new again. Avoid rubbing the oil onto your stovetop because once the oil heats up it can discolour and make the surface appear brownish.
DIY Face Scrub
After using coconut oil to remove your makeup and cleanse your face (see #5), you can also put together your own facial scrub to smooth and polish your skin. Mix one tablespoon of coconut oil with one tablespoon of baking soda. Then add two or three drops of essential oil to make things smell great. Citrus oils (lemon, grapefruit, or orange) are great to help you wake up in the morning, while lavender is best for use right before bed. Rub the mixture on your face in circular motions, and then gently remove with a hot washcloth. The face scrub is best used twice a week to enhance your skin care routine.
This unconventional use is actually traditionally used in Ayurvedic medicine. It is believed that swishing a tablespoon of coconut oil around in your mouth for 10 to 20 minutes can help detox your mouth and teeth. This might seem strange, but thanks to the anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties of coconut oil, this process has some merit. It can help kill bacteria causing bad breath, reduce inflammation, heal dry lips, help cure tooth decay, and even whiten your teeth. Coconut oil really does everything!
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