10 Best Uses for Coconut Oil

May 4, 2015


10 Best Uses for Coconut Oil…one of my all-time favorite foods.  It can do everything!  Need a snack?  Coconut oil is a superfood.  Need a deep condition?  Coconut oil does that too.  Out of makeup remover?  Coconut oil again!  My latest post on Or So She Says is all about my favorite things to do with coconut oil!  It’s my top beauty product and my cooking go-to!  Keep reading for some great ideas you can use to incorporate coconut oil into your everyday routine.

10 Best Uses for Coconut Oil

10 Best Uses for Coconut Oil

1. Lotion: I started using coconut oil over a year ago in place of my face and body lotions. Not only does it do a great job keeping my skin moisturized, but it’s also saved me a lot of money. Quality lotion can be expensive, and as I learned from my dermatologist, most commercial lotions contain alcohol…which actually dries out the skin! Coconut oil keeps my skin moisturized and soft (especially after shaving!), and I don’t have to worry about unwanted chemicals or alcohols. I just scoop some oil into a small container with a lid and keep it in my bathroom with my makeup. I use it every morning and every night after I wash my face, and any time I would normally use lotion on my hands or body.

2. Hair Mask: We’ve all heard that coconut oil is an excellent deep moisturizer for hair, so I asked my dear friend Amy (who is a licensed cosmetologist) for the best way to condition with coconut oil. She had a couple of awesome tips that I still haven’t seen anywhere else! {I have naturally wavy hair, and doing this helps my waves to be curlier and more uniform. Bonus!} I did this on my daughter’s hair and it was so incredibly soft and silky!10 Best Uses for Coconut Oil | Coconut Oil Hair Mask

  • Start with wet hair. It’s like a sponge, it will absorb better if it’s already wet.
  • Apply softened coconut oil to hair (amount of oil will vary depending on length and thickness of hair. Don’t use too much…just enough to soak in, like conditioner.). Try starting with a tablespoon or two and adjust to your specific hair. For my daughter’s fine, thin hair I used roughly a tablespoon, but I need about double that for my longer, thicker hair. Focus on the strands, not on the roots.
  • Gather hair into a bun or twist or another way to keep hair up on the head, and wrap with plastic wrap.
  • Put a towel in the dryer for several minutes, or until it is warm. Remove and wrap warm towel around your hair. The warmth will open up the hair follicles and really let the oil absorb in and nourish your hair. Let sit for 20 minutes and wash out (shampoo twice, if necessary). Use warm water! Coconut oil solidifies below 76 degrees, so if you use cool water to rinse, the oil could start to clump in your hair, making it difficult to remove.

3. Mascara Remover: Using a pea-sized amount of coconut oil, rub it between the fingers of both hands to melt it. Rub directly onto your eyes in a circular motion. You will look like you have giant racoon eyes! Gently wipe away the mascara with a clean cloth. That’s it! Safe, gentle, inexpensive and effective.

4. Oil Pulling: Place about 2 teaspoons (up to a tablespoon) of oil in your mouth and swish with it for 20 minutes. I swish in the shower, where I don’t need to talk to anyone. Spit the oil into the garbage or a baggy that can be thrown away (do NOT spit into the sink or toilet, as the oil can clog your pipes). Swish with warm water, then brush teeth. Coconut oil is antibacterial, so the idea behind this is to improve oral health by letting the oil pull all the toxins and bacteria from your mouth while protecting teeth and gums. Some people even say that oil pulling has helped with joint problems, acne, infections, asthma and many other issues.

5. Cooking: Coconut oil is a stable fat (meaning it won’t break down when exposed to heat, which can release toxins), so it’s great for medium-heat cooking. I use it for veggies, baked potatoes, rice, etc.

6. Baking: You can use coconut oil in place of butter or shortening in baking. I have stopped using shortening altogether in my baking, and I’ve had fantastic results with coconut oil! I’ve also switched to greasing my pans and dishes with coconut oil. It’s not as convenient as cooking spray, but it’s a healthy fat and it won’t result in the sticky residue that sprays leave on pans.

7. Smoothies: I always add in a tablespoon of coconut oil because it’s an easy way to incorporate a healthy fat.

8. Cleaning: We remodeled our kitchen last year, and after living with carpet in my kitchen for NINE long years, we finally installed hardwood floors. I almost died when my 3 year old got hold of the crayons and colored on my beautiful, new floor! I was hesitant to use chemicals, or even a magic eraser, because I didn’t know what it would do to the finish on the wood. After a plea for help on Instagram, my sweet neighbor Jan suggested coconut oil to get it off. Worked like a charm! I simply rubbed it over the crayon with a paper towel and the floor was clear in no time.

9. Natural Sunscreen: Coconut oil has a natural SPF of 4. I don’t use a separate sunscreen on my face anymore (for regular daily exposure) and I’ve never had a burn.

10. Coconut Energy Balls: My cute friend Joelle shared this recipe with me, and was kind enough to let me share it with you! These are full of great stuff, simple to make, and a yummy treat when you want something sweet. I was out of almond butter when I made my last batch, so I used cashew butter instead and they were still delicious! I also added chia seeds and hemp hearts for an extra kick of energy!

10 Best Uses for Coconut Oil

 Coconut Energy Balls

Ingredients:

  •  1 3/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 2/3 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup almond (or cashew) butter
  • 1 Tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 tsp hemp hearts (optional)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup semi sweet or dark chocolate chips
  • up to 1 Tbsp coconut oil

Directions: 

  1. In a medium bowl, combine coconut flakes, melted coconut oil, almond (or cashew) butter, chia seeds, hemp heart (if using), and vanilla.
  2. Form into 1 inch balls (I used my cookie scoop and then rolled them with my hands to make them round).  Place in freezer for 5-10 minutes to harden.
  3. Melt chocolate and up to 1 Tbsp coconut oil in double boiler or in microwave.  Dip coconut balls in melted chocolate.  Use leftover chocolate to drizzle over coconut balls.  (A full tablespoon of coconut oil made my melted chocolate too thin…it didn’t coat the balls as thickly as I prefer.  If this is a worry, start with half a tablespoon and check your consistency).

For another healthy snack with coconut, check out these Mini Apple Pizzas!

Mini Apple Pizzas
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By Becky

Becky is a mom to 4 kiddos and wife to an awesome guy. She's a food fanatic and loves creating and improving recipes. Bread is her weakness and delicious food is her passion!