Coconut oil is becoming increasingly popular and everyone seems to be jumping on the coconut oil bandwagon (myself included)! There are so many clever uses for coconut oil as well as health benefits. So it's really no wonder it has become so popular. I used it for the first time about a year ago to condition my hair. Now I use it in so many ways that I need a constant supply of at least three jars at the ready. Here are my top 5 clever uses for coconut oil - get ready to be converted!
The Health Benefits of Using Coconut Oil
Coconut oil has a pretty impressive resume - it's a natural source of antioxidants and has anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties. It also contains nutrients that help to support heart health and immune health, is a natural source of good fats and is a natural energy booster. The list goes on and on. If you're considering trying this oil, it's best to use unrefined, cold-pressed extra virgin coconut oil.
Top 5 Uses for Coconut Oil
There are so many different ways to use it but we're a big fan of these 5 clever uses for coconut oil.
1. It's the perfect hair conditioner
This is often what gets people hooked on coconut oil to begin with! Come winter time, a lot of our hair suffers. Artificial heating can play havoc with your hair and scalp and most of us blast it regularly so it's important to give your hair some extra TLC.
I was telling someone that my hair was feeling dry and they suggested using coconut oil. I melted some in a bowl and applied a generous amount to my hair and scalp. I left it in overnight and washed it out the next day. Now I will admit, washing it out was not the best fun but it was well worth it for the results.
My hair was left feeling soft and nourished, the condition of my scalp had dramatically improved and my hair was left with a beautiful natural shine. Now I understand that it doesn’t always suit to leave it in overnight so even a few hours will help make a difference.
My one bit of advice if you are trying this would be to ensure you cover your hair and pillow with towels or you'll be washing out oil stains for weeks! I try to do this process at least once a month all year round and more often during the winter when needed.
2. Coconut Oil is a great natural moisturiser
A lot of great moisturisers use coconut or coconut oil and it's no surprise really - coconut oil is kind to your skin and it's natural too. Coconut oil is a wonderful body and face moisturiser. If you suffer from dry skin or dry patches on your skin, it may be worth your while trying coconut oil as a moisturiser.
If you're using it on the face, wait till nighttime as it's not the best base for makeup! Allow it to soak in for awhile during the evening and wash off before bed to eliminate the likelihood of oil stains on your bed sheets.
3. It works brilliantly as a body scrub
Have you ever put on fake tan and found that the remains can linger on your skin for days and days? Well we've a great natural solution! Mix some coconut oil with coarse sea salt or sugar and see the fake tan fade away. You can also apply it before the tan as it exfoliates the skin and removes any dead skin cells.
If you're not in to fake tan, you can still use this handy beauty hack - it's the most natural body scrub you could use. It's super kind and gentle on the skin and it's way cheaper than shop bought body scrubs too.
4. It can be used for oil pulling
Coconut oil is great for oral hygiene too. Swirl a spoon of coconut oil in your mouth for roughly 20 minutes on an empty stomach. This technique is known as oil pulling and is becoming increasingly popular (if you've a weak or sensitive stomach this may not be the best option for you).
Oil pulling helps to draw out toxins from the body, improve oral health and overall health. As it draws toxins from the body, it can also help to reduce bad breath.
If you're looking to try this technique, begin with 5 or 10 minutes and gradually increase it to the 20. Be sure not to spit the oil out down the sink when you're done as it may end up clogging it and we definitely don’t want that!
5. Cook up a storm with it
Another clever way to use coconut oil is in cooking and baking. Coconut oil is a great substitute to most common cooking oils because it's a natural source of antioxidants and good fats. It's also a great substitute for dairy based products making it ideal for those who have an intolerance to lactose.
It's ideal for using when cooking and baking at high temperatures, super easy to use and leaves a delicious coconut smell and taste on the food. Using coconut oil is also supposed to help increase energy so this is yet another reason why it's a great choice.
Inspired by these clever uses for coconut oil? Yet to invest in a tub of your own? Pick up yours on Evergreen.ie here!
Checked and updated: 8 August 2021