7 Healthy Ways You Can Use Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is making a big comeback. Extracted from the "meat" inside the hard-shelled fruit of a coconut palm, coconut oil can be used for cooking, baking, taming your hair, smoothing your skin, and even whitening your teeth. 

Cooking 

Coconut oil has a light, nutty flavor and works best when cooking or baking with high heat. For years, coconut oil was shunned because of its high saturated fat content. These days, the tide has turned in coconut oil’s favor. Now considered more of a healthy fat, coconut oil is used as an alternative to butter, lard, or partially hydrogenated oils. Try using virgin coconut oil when making granola, roasting vegetables, or baking muffins. While cooking or baking with coconut oil is fine in moderation, olive oil or canola oil are generally recommended for everyday use.

Body moisturizer 

Do you have dry skin? Coconut oil has been shown to increase hydration and reduce water loss in skin. The lauric acid in coconut oil may have anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. Best of all, it helps your skin feel smooth as well and look radiant and fresh.

Tames Frizzy Hair

Coconut oil is a must for anyone with frizzy, unruly hair. It penetrates hair easily to help smooth ends and keep fly-away strands in check. Rub a tiny size amount of coconut oil between your fingers and apply it to the bottom inch or two of your hair. For thicker, coarser hair, apply the coconut oil from the mid-shaft to the ends. Your hair will look and feel like new.

Lip balm

Apply coconut oil to hydrate those pesky chapped lips caused by cold or dry weather. The fatty acids in coconut oil hold onto moisture and can keep your lips feeling hydrated. Coconut oil will not excessively coat your lips like some petroleum-based lip products may, and it moisturizes for beautiful results. 

Teeth Whitening

Looking to whiten your teeth? An at-home remedy known as “oil pulling” is a type of oral therapy that has its origins in Ayurvedic medicine, which dates back 3,000 years. The procedure involves swishing about one tablespoon of oil around in your mouth for 10 to 20 minutes before rinsing with water. As the oil hits your teeth and gums, bacteria is pulled out and held firmly in the coconut oil. Oil pulling can help whiten teeth, alleviate halitosis, and reduce gingivitis. It does not take the place of biannual dental visits or brushing and flossing at home.

Shaving cream

Out of shaving cream? Rather than using soap, coconut oil is inexpensive, may have antimicrobial properties, and its skin-soothing benefits will leave your skin looking vibrant and smooth. Coconut oil allows for a close shave, and your legs will be well moisturized in the process. Be aware that coconut oil is very slippery, so it’s wise to shave with it outside of the shower. 

Cuticle softener

Our hands and nails take endless wear and tear every single day. You can kiss those ragged cuticles goodbye with just a little bit of coconut oil. Dab a small amount onto each of your cuticles to moisturize just before going to bed. The coconut oil will strengthen your nails and hydrate the cuticle skin, making your hands look smooth and more youthful.