Coconut oil is a real multi-tasker. You can use it to prepare food with, for skin and hair treatments, for oil pulling and many other things.
To give you an overview and help you get the most out of your jar of coco goodness, I’ve collected some of my favorite coconut oil uses and divided them into categories;
1. Coconut oil for skin, hair, nails & teeth
2. Coconut oil for food preparation
3. Coconut oil for babies
4. Coconut oil around the house
5. Coconut oil for pets
First in the series is coconut oil uses for your skin, hair, nails & teeth.
1. Aftershave cream
Shaving is a regular thing for most of us, but unfortunately it harms our skin’s natural protective layer. This is why good aftercare is so important.
Coconut oil protects and moisturizes the skin and has many other benefits which I discuss here.
Try this nourishing aftershave cream made with coconut oil, shea butter and essential oils.
It’s unisex and you can customize it with your choice of essential oils!
2. Bath oil
Add 3 tbsp coconut oil to your bathwater – its powerful anti-aging, softening and strengthening properties rejuvenate your skin. The antimicrobial agents clean your skin and help combat bacteria, viruses, fungi, and yeast.
3. Body scrub
Exfoliating or scrubbing your skin is essential in your skincare routine.
It helps remove dead skin and uncovers fresh new skin cells underneath. It also facilitates the absorption of your moisturizer and other products.
This all natural 3 ingredient body scrub is easy to make and pleasant to use.
4. Cuticle cream
Coconut oil nurtures the cuticles, fortifies nails and avoids splitting. Its antibacterial, anti-fungal, antiviral and anti-parasitic properties help prevent cuticle infections and fungal nails.
Rub a bit of coconut oil into your cuticles and let it absorb. You can use it as a daily cuticle cream or make a warm coconut oil bath to soak your hands and nails.
5. Dandruff treatment
Dandruff is old skin from a dry, very oily or infected scalp. Some of the symptoms are flaking, itchiness, redness and irritation.
Coconut oil’s antibacterial, anti-fungal, antiviral and anti-parasitic properties help cure and calm the scalp. Lauric acid, capric acid and vitamin E moisturize it.
Gently massage a tablespoon coconut oil into your scalp. Let it work for 30 minutes and then wash it out. Continue doing this once a week until you see a difference.
One of my all-time favorite coconut oil uses is homemade natural deodorant with essential oils. It works all day long, keeps you fresh during workouts and in hot climates. The best thing about it is that it doesn’t contain any of the harmful ingredients used in most commercial deodorants such as parabens, aluminium and silica.
Make your own coconut oil deodorant.
7. Dry / cracked heel treatment
Our feet do a lot of work for us and require some attention in return. Dry skin that can appear on and around the heels is both uncomfortable and unappealing.
This overnight coconut oil treatment does wonders for your heels; massage some coconut oil into your heels and the rest of your feet. Do this with clean feet, preferably after a warm shower. Put on clean socks and leave them on overnight.
If your heels are very cracked, soak them first in warm water or warm coconut oil and use a pumice stone to take off the excess dry skin.
8. Eye cream
The skin of the under eye area is very thin and needs gentle care.
Coconut oil contains antioxidants, softens the skin, moisturizes and helps with cell renewal. It helps treat under eye bags, dark circles and wrinkles.
Try this 2 ingredient anti-aging eye cream.
9. Eyelash & eyebrow conditioner
Naturally longer, thicker, healthier eye lashes? The nutrients in coconut oil moisturize your eyelashes and eyebrows, help avoid protein loss and stimulate hair growth.
Gently rub a bit of coconut oil on your lashes. If you want you can use a clean mascara brush for easy application. I like to mix coconut oil with castor oil which is also great for hair growth.
My favorite time to put in on is before I go to sleep to let it work overnight.
10. Face wash
While it might sound a bit contra-intuitive to clean your face with oil, it actually works.
Cleaning your face with a good quality oil rich in nutrients will dissolve the oil that is produced by your face and clogs your pores.
Washing your face with coconut oil cleans and hydrates your skin without leaving it oily.
As with anything new on your skin, test it first to see if it suits your skin type. Rinse well afterwards so that the oil doesn’t stay on your face.
Make your own coconut oil face wash with this DIY recipe.
11. Face scrub
It’s essential to exfoliate your skin on a regular basis to keep it healthy and beautiful.
It will help you get rid of dead skin, clean your pores and give you a healthy glow.
Mix 1 tbsp of virgin coconut oil with 1 tbsp of coconut sugar. I use coconut sugar, not regular sugar – which is great for body scrubs, but too rough for the sensitive skin of your face.
Coconut sugar has a fine texture and is very gentle on your skin. It also contains valuable minerals that nourish your skin.
Gently massage the mixture into your skin, let it absorb for a bit and rinse it off with water.
12. Frizz tamer
Frizzy hair is caused by heat and humidity. It can be climate related or from regular use of blow dryers, hot curlers or flat irons.
Not only doesn’t it look good, it’s also very damaging for your hair as it swells and then shrinks the hairs, which causes breakage.
Luckily there’s an easy, natural way to treat this.
Apply a tiny bit (less is more here) of coconut oil on your hands and run your fingers through your damp (not wet) hair. This will lock in the moisture, protect the hair shaft and tame the frizz.
13. Hair conditioner
Due to its unique molecular structure, coconut oil penetrates the hair shaft better than other oils.
There it nourishes and protects your hair and scalp.
Using it as a hair treatment helps grow thicker, fuller hair and keeps the scalp healthy.
For the full list of benefits of coconut oil for your hair, take a look here.
Water repels oil, so to get the most benefit from this mask, apply it on washed, dry hair. Massage 2 tbsp of virgin coconut oil into your scalp and into your hair. Use a shower cap and leave the coconut oil for at least 30 minutes. Wash your hair as usual – it might need an extra wash to get all the oil out.
14. Hair mask
One of the traditional coconut oil uses beautifying hair since ancient times in countries such as India.
You can make your own hair mask combining two of the best natural hair treatments; coconut oil and extra virgin olive oil.
This mix of healthy fatty acids and antioxidants will boost your scalp and hair from the roots to the hair ends.
Find the DIY instructions here.
15. Hair protector
I love swimming, but less so what it does to my hair. Whether it’s the sea combined with sun or a pool, it dries my hair out. Luckily there is this simple treatment that works! Rub some coconut oil into your hair before you jump into the water. It will seal your hair and protect it against chemicals, salt and the sun.
16. Hair styling wax
For this homemade natural hair pomade combine coconut oil, candelilla wax (a vegan beeswax alternative) shea butter and jojoba oil. It’s so much better for your hair and the environment than the store-bought ones and costs a fraction of the price.
Hair tip! If you dye your hair, rub some coconut oil along your hairline prior to applying the hair dye. It will prevent it from running onto your face and leaving stains.
Coconut oil leaves a nice, healthy glow on your skin. Use it to highlight your face (cheekbones, bridge of your nose, under and above your eyebrows) and body for a healthy summery glow. Optional: mix it with a bit of castor oil – this is a very glossy oil that stays on your skin for a long time.
18. Insect repellent
The antibacterial, anti-fungal, antiviral and anti-parasitic properties of coconut oil make a great carrier oil for homemade insect repellant. Adding essential oils that insects don’t like such as citronella, eucalyptus and lemon grass will help protect your skin against bites.
Find the recipe here.
19. Lip balm
Cold weather, wind, heat and pollution all affect the sensitive skin of our lips.
Dry or cracked lips can he both painful as well as unappealing. Luckily coconut oil’s anti-aging, moisturizing and anti-bacterial properties protect your lips and give them the care they need.
Try this easy DIY lip balm for soft and healthy lips.
Perhaps one of the less known coconut oil uses, coconut oil can also serve as a natural, chemical-free lubricant.
Coconut oil has a nice consistency, is edible, not greasy and has an amazing tropical scent.
It helps with vaginal dryness and its anti-fungal and antibacterial properties can reduce the risk of infections.
Just make sure – and this is important – not to use it with latex condoms, because oil weakens latex and may cause it to break or slip off.
21. Makeup remover
Coconut oil makes a great makeup remover. It is gentle on your skin and protects it, yet gets all your makeup off in no time, including the waterproof kind!
Apply a small amount of coconut oil to a cotton pad and gently dab until all the makeup is off.
Repeat as often as necessary and rinse your face well.
22. Makeup brush cleaner
Hygiene is the base for clean skin. This means taking care of your skin but also of your makeup products.
Brushes collect oil from your face, bacteria, dead skin and dirt. Not something you want on your face or in your foundation. Coconut oil’s antibacterial, anti-fungal, antiviral and anti-parasitic properties help sanitize your brushes and leave them clean for your next use.
Mix 1 tsp of coconut oil with 0.5 tsp of fresh lemon juice in a small bowl and swirl the brush around in it. Wipe the brush off with kitchen paper and repeat until the brush is clean. Rinse it with room temperature water and dry.
23. Massage oil
Coconut oil absorbs well and nourishes your skin, which makes it a wonderful massage oil, used by professional massage therapists around the world.
Vitamin E and Lauric acid contain powerful anti-aging properties that moisturize and revitalize the skin.
More about massaging with coconut oil and essential oils here.
Moisture is the base for healthy and beautiful skin.
Coconut oil’s anti-aging properties from lauric acid, vitamin E and other anti-oxidants moisturize and revitalize the skin.
Using coconut oil as a moisturizer helps eliminate dead skin cells and minimize wrinkles and lines. If you’ve stayed a tiny bit too long in the sun, it helps relieve the sunburn – especially combined with Aloe Vera.
Here is a DIY recipe for a great natural moisturizer with Aloe Vera and coconut oil.
25. Mouthwash / Oil pulling
Oil pulling is an ancient Ayurvedic practice of swishing oil in your mouth to clean it from bacteria and toxins. It helps remove plaque, get healthier gums, whiter teeth, fresher breath and aids in body detox.
Coconut oil is especially suitable for oil pulling because of its antibacterial, antiviral, anti-parasitic and anti-fungal properties.
Read more about why oil pulling with coconut oil has been one of my everyday coconut oil uses for 4 years now.
26. Nail strengthener
Coconut oil strengthens your nails and avoids splitting. Its antibacterial, anti-fungal, antiviral and anti-parasitic properties help prevent fungal nails and infections.
Soak your hands in a warm coconut oil bath. Make sure to warm the coconut oil ‘’Au Bain Marie’’ to preserve the nutrients.
You do this by putting the coconut oil in a bowl placed in a pan with shimmering water. Use low heat while stirring.
You can also put the coconut oil on your hands and nails, put beauty gloves on and leave it on overnight to get the maximum benefits.
27. Night cream
If you have dry skin this is especially for you, but it’s suitable for all skin types (always test first if it works for your skin!)
This coconut oil night cream is very hydrating and very easy to make.
You will need 1 cup of coconut oil in solid or creamy consistency, (not liquid) 1 tsp of vitamin E oil and 10 drops of your essential oil of choice. You can use lavender or tea tree or anything you like.
Use a mixing bowl and whip the coconut oil in it with an electric mixer until it becomes fluffy and airy. Mix in the vitamin E oil and the essential oil.
Store it in a container of choice and apply to your clean face before you go to bed.
Coconut oil is a common ingredient in many shampoos. It’s probably one of the most popular coconut oil uses in commercial body care products and with good reason!
Thanks to the MCT’s (medium chain triglycerides) in coconut oil, it manages to penetrate your hair much deeper than most other oils. It helps restore protein loss, retains moisture and strengthens the hair fibre, which reduces hair loss and stimulates new hair growth.
You can buy a good natural shampoo with coconut oil in it, add some coconut oil to your natural shampoo or make your own coconut oil shampoo from scratch.
29. Shaving cream
To protect your skin while you’re shaving and moisturize it, you need a good quality shaving cream. You can use coconut oil by itself or make this simple anti-aging shaving cream with coconut oil, shea butter and essential oils.
Coconut oil’s antimicrobial agents help combat bacteria, viruses, fungi, and yeast. Combined with coconut oil’s moisturizing and nourishing properties it makes a wonderful ingredient for natural soap!
Katie, The Wellness Mama has an amazing collection of simple, natural living articles, DIY’s, real food recipes and a lot of awesome things on her blog. One of them is this natural 3 ingredient DIY recipe for coconut oil soap.
31. Split hair ends treatment
As mentioned earlier, the molecular structure of coconut oil is smaller than that of most other oils, which makes it easier to penetrate the hair shaft. There it helps repair the damage from the inside out and strengthens your hair.
Split ends are drier and more brittle than other parts of your hair. They are closely related to the health of the hair cuticle. The longer your hair is, the older it is and the more care it needs.
Did you know that you should never comb your hair while it’s still wet as it’s one of the causes of damaged hair cuticles?
I used to do it a lot when I was younger, but stopped immediately once I learnt about it.
This homemade treatment helps support healthy hair ends;
Mix 1 tbsp of coconut oil with 1/2 tbsp of argan oil and 1/4 tbsp of castor oil and massage it into your hair ends. A little goes a long way, especially with coconut oil, so use sparingly. Cover your hair with a shower cap and leave it on for 30 minutes. Rinse with water.
32. Stretch mark reliever
Stretch marks are red/purple lines or marks on the skin that appear in areas where the skin has stretched. They later fade to be white and often appear during pregnancy, after rapid weight gain or with certain health conditions.
Coconut oil is a popular ingredient in natural stretch mark creams.
Find this easy DIY recipe with shea butter, extra virgin olive oil and coconut oil here.
33. Sunscreen ingredient (about 15 SPF)
Coconut oil works as a light natural sunscreen, blocking UV rays by 30%. It helps protect your skin during brief sun exposure when the sun is not so strong.
Using coconut oil by itself is not enough for full sun protection though. Unless you are experienced in making sunscreen, I recommend to buy a good natural sunscreen that contains coconut oil.
Commercial toothpaste often contains harmful chemicals such as fluoride, triclosan and foaming agents. The good news is that you don’t need them for healthy teeth.
The antibacterial, anti-fungal, antiviral and anti-parasitic properties of coconut oil naturally help keep your mouth clean and your gums healthy.
Mix coconut oil with essential oils, baking soda and stevia following this DIY recipe and use it instead of store-bought toothpaste.
35. Vaseline Replacer
Vaseline is petroleum jelly – a highly refined byproduct of the oil industry. Although it feels as it hydrates your dry skin, it doesn’t do anything for it besides sealing it.
A much healthier alternative for both your skin and the environment is coconut oil.
More coconut oil uses for your body
Inspired to make more natural DIY products? You can find them in the DIY Beauty section.
Not sure which coconut oil you should buy? Take a look at how to choose the best virgin coconut oil
What are you favorite beauty coconut oil uses? Do you know of any other coconut oil uses for skin, hair, nails and mouth that you think should be included in this list?
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