By Leah Fletcher
Many of you know that coconut oil is not just for cooking anymore. In fact, you might have already traded some of your beauty products for the wonder oil. This do-it-all ingredient can be used to moisturize skin, remove makeup, condition and hair and that’s just the beginning.
Countless experts and an army of natural –beauty devotees swear by the stuff for just about anything. They might be on to something.
Coconut oil, according to our experts, is used in many natural beauty products, and for good reason: It’s naturally antibacterial and antifungal, it’s an excellent moisturizer, it can penetrate hair better than other oils and it has an aromatic smell akin to a sumptuous dessert.
There are amazing uses for it that don’t require spending a fortune on store-bought products. In fact, all you need is one thing: Raw (and preferably organic) virgin coconut oil. You can use it to incorporate and array of do-it-yourself beauty tricks into your beauty routine using it. Following are just a few uses:
Applying as a daily moisturizer
Beauty experts swear by coconut oil’s moisturizing power; it absorbs into the skin faster than many lotions, and a tiny bit goes a long way. You can try it out of the jar, or trying making your own homemade lotion with coconut oil and other natural ingredients. As a solid, coconut oil’s creamy texture makes it the perfect light moisturizer to slather all over. Apply a quarter sized amount right after you get out of the shower so it can sink into your warm skin. There is a light tropical scent that lingers after it is applied. You may add a few drops of peppermint or lavender oil for a massage mix.
Removing eye makeup
Remove stubborn makeup gently: Dab a little coconut on a cotton ball or makeup pad and wipe around your eyes. Watch as the makeup melts away, then rinse with warm water. To make your own coconut oil makeup remover wipes, melt 1 teaspoon of coconut oil per round cotton pad in a microwave-safe container. Then, lay the cotton pads in an even layer and let them soak up the oil overnight. Store them in the same container or in a plastic baggie and put them into your carry-on or gym bag for easy makeup removal on the go.
Taming frizzy hair
To keep curly or kinky locks under control, warm up a small bit of coconut oil between your hands and run your fingers through your hair. The oil will help smooth strands out without looking greasy. For a deep conditioning treatment without the chemicals, leave the oil in your hair all day. Rub a pea size amount of coconut oil between your fingers to warm it up, and then apply it to the ends of your hair for all day frizz protection. If you have thicker, coarser hair, apply the coconut oil from mid-shaft to ends for added frizz control. Bonus: It also leaves hair extra shiny and soft!
Using as deodorant
Coconut oil contains lauric acid, which kills odor-causing bacteria. Dab a little oil under your armpits to stay fresh (and smell good) all day. Coconut oil is a wonderful product to use as a base for deodorant because it kills fungi, yeast and bacteria. You can also try making your own homemade coconut oil deodorant.
Use coconut oil as an eye cream to minimize the appearance of wrinkles and keep skin looking smooth. Coconut oil also encourages the production of collagen, which some find key to a youthful appearance.
Using as under-eye cream
The skin under your eyes is thin and delicate, making it prone to fine lines, puffiness, and dark circles. If you hate the idea of spending big bucks on expensive eye cream, then consider coconut oil. Just rub a pinch in between fingers to warm it up before patting it underneath your eyes.
Applying as lip balm
Treat chapping by dabbing a little coconut oil on your lips with your finger. Chapped lips don’t stand a chance against ultra-hydrating coconut oil. Keep it in your purse so you can dab it on with your finger throughout the day.
Say goodbye to ragged cuticles. Using your finger, swipe a small amount of the oil onto each of your cuticles and allow it to sink in. The coconut oil will strengthen your nails and hydrate the delicate cuticle skin, making your hands look more youthful.
Doubling as shaving cream
If you have sensitive skin, consider using coconut oil instead of store-bought shaving cream. It’s smooth enough for a close shave—and moisturizes, too. Just warm the jar under the water and smooth onto legs before shaving. Your razor will glide smoothly, allowing for a super-close shave, and your legs will be moisturized from the oil in the process. Tip: shave outside the shower. The oil is very slippery, so you’ll have an easier time holding onto your razor with dry hands.
Soothing body scrub
Mix a half cup of sea salt or sugar with an equal amount of melted coconut oil, and then use your hands to rub it over any rough patches of skin. The scrub moisturizes while removing dead skin cells. The result: skin that’s baby soft. Add a little more salt or sugar for the extra tough skin on your feet and elbows. On its own, you’ll step out of the shower with a faint tropical scent, but you could also add other scented oils like lavender.
Next time you get a small wound or scrape, grab some coconut oil and apply it to the cut and surrounding skin. The oil will form a protective layer against dust or bacteria.
Protecting skin from the sun
Coconut oil is not going to provide SPF protection, but if you use tanning oil, consider coconut oil instead. While it will help your skin tan, it will keep your skin moisturized, which might mean less burning or peeling.