Coconut oil has been a hot topic over the past few years and even more so since last month’s massive media attention debating if it’s healthy or not.
In case you missed it, I wrote an article about why cooking with coconut oil is healthy with the science behind it.
Coconut oil is a versatile oil that you can cook with, use for your hair, skin, mouth, for nutrient absorption, for your baby and more.
In this article I talk about how I use coconut oil daily or an a regular basis.
1. Oil pulling
The first thing I do every morning after I wake up is oil pulling with coconut oil.
This is an Ayurvedic detox practice where you swish oil in your mouth to get rid of bacteria and toxins.
Oil pulling helps you get healthier teeth and gums, reduces the chance of cavities, refreshes breath and whitens your teeth.
Besides its direct effects on the mouth, it also helps you get healthier skin and supports detox of organs such as the liver, kidneys and stomach.
Coconut oil is especially good for oil pulling because of its powerful antimicrobial properties.
I’ve been oil pulling for over 5 years now and I can truly say that the benefits are so worth it. It has particularly helped me ease my sensitive gums and maintain cleaner teeth.
Oil pulling is one of my preferred daily coconut oil uses.
The best time to oil pull is in the morning on an empty stomach.
Put a little bit of organic virgin coconut oil on a spoon. Start with a teaspoon or less, you can slowly build it up to a tablespoon.
The oil can be liquid or solid, it works the same. If it’s solid it will quickly melt in your mouth.
Gently swish the oil around your mouth. Pull it between your teeth and around your tongue, try to cover all areas.
Find your pace, take breaks when you need to and spit it out if it gets uncomfortable.
Just don’t swallow it, because the oil contains the toxins and bacteria from your mouth.
There are no rules when it comes to how long you should oil pull. Generally 20 minutes is considered to be a good time, but you should build this up at your own pace.
Start with 5 minutes or whatever feels comfortable and increase the time from there.
When you’re done, spit out the oil. Don’t use the drain or toilet as it could potentially plug your pipes, but use your garbage bin instead.
Clean your mouth well. There will be residues left of the oil mixed with waste that it pulled out of your mouth.
Flush your mouth with plain lukewarm water or mixed with salt or baking soda.
Use a tongue scraper to clean your tongue and then brush your teeth as usual.
You can use coconut oil daily for oil pulling or pick a routine that works best for you.
For tips about oil pulling and how to fit it into your busy morning schedule, take a look at my oil pulling article.
2. Coconut oil deodorant
In my search for a natural deodorant that keeps you fresh and clean throughout the day, I’ve tried many different products. However I found they never lasted long.
I stopped using commercial deodorant brands a long time ago, because they contain harmful ingredients such as parabens, silicones and aluminium.
Finding a good natural alternative wasn’t easy. They either didn’t smell so good, didn’t last long or I wasn’t convinced by the ingredients.
Discovering that I can easily make my own deodorant that works for hours upon hours and smells great was a game changer.
Plus you can customize it with your favorite essential oil!
Homemade coconut oil deodorant is my all-time favorite DIY beauty product and favorite daily coconut oil use.
You only need a few ingredients: coconut oil, baking soda, cornflour and essential oils. I always use coconut oil that’s organic and unrefined here.
Here are the instructions to easily make your own coconut oil deodorant.
3. Coconut oil body scrub
Glowing, healthy skin doesn’t usually come by itself. Besides a healthy lifestyle, a good skincare routine is essential and exfoliating is part of it.
Exfoliating helps remove dead skin, reveals young skin underneath, stimulates circulation, softens skin and improves the absorption of skin products.
Mix 1/2 cup of coconut oil with a cup of sugar and add a few drops of essential oil.
This amount of scrub is enough to use a few times. You can store it in a glass jar or a container that seals well.
Gently massage it into your damp skin prior to showering. Cover your whole body with it and then wash it off.
I apply this scrub once a week.
4. Coconut oil shaving cream
Shaving causes damage to the protective layer of our skin. This can result in inflammation, ingrown hairs and razor bumps.
You can minimize this by shaving very gently, using good quality razor blades and a protecting product.
I like to use coconut oil, shea butter and almond oil. They are all are very pure ingredients with amazing nourishing properties.
5. Coconut oil hair mask
While I’ve been using coconut oil for my skin for years, I’ve only recently started using it for my hair. This is because when I applied it the first time it wasn’t a big success. It left my hair oily and flat afterwards.
Everyone was so positive about how coconut oil improved their hair, so why was it not working for me?
I didn’t realize that this was because I use a very mild, natural shampoo. Coconut oil needs more power to fully wash out, so you might have to do it 2-3 times if you use a natural shampoo.
Coconut oil can truly do wonders for your hair. Its special molecular structure makes it penetrate your hair deeper than other oils.
– It nourishes your hair, retains moisture, restores protein loss and strengthens the hair fiber.
– The antimicrobial properties reduce itching and infections and keep your scalp healthy.
– It helps reduce hair loss and stimulates new hair growth.
Coconut oil is a popular ingredient in many commercial hair products such as shampoo and conditioner. You can also easily make many products yourself.
Make sure to have clean and dry hair when you use coconut oil. Oil-based masks can’t penetrate wet hair well, only water-based masks can.
Rub a bit of liquid or creamy coconut oil in your palms and run them through your hair. Massage the oil into your hair, covering your roots and edges.
Leave the mask on for at least 30 minutes or longer. Rinse well, you might have to wash it a few times.
6. Coconut oil in smoothies
I love having smoothies for breakfast! Since many fruits and vegetables contain fat-soluble vitamins and minerals, they need some healthy fats so our body can absorb them.
Coconut oil is especially good for nutrient absorption as it stimulates healthy metabolism and aids with digestion.
Use a bit of virgin coconut oil in your daily smoothie or fruit salad: a teaspoon for two servings is enough.
7. Coconut oil as cooking oil
I use coconut oil to cook most of my food with. It contains healthy fatty acids called MCT’s which help our body function properly.
A part of coconut oil converts into ketones, which is food for our brain. Another part is used as instant energy. Unlike most other fats, the fat from coconut oil doesn’t get stored in our body.
Coconut oil also contains powerful antibacterial, anti-fungal, anti-parasitic and antiviral properties.
Additionally, and this is a biggie: coconut oil is the most heat-stable plant-based fat. Most fats are sensitive to high temperatures which make them oxidize easily.
Cooking with oxidized oils or even being exposed to their fumes can cause serious danger to our health.
This daily coconut oil use is one of the most essential things I do for my health as it helps protect me from free radicals.
More about (un)healthy cooking oils, plus a fat chart of the most common cooking oils can be found here.
Use coconut oil instead of vegetable oils to cook, fry or bake with.
If you are following a recipe that requires oil, use melted coconut oil. If it requires butter, use solid or creamy coconut oil.
8. Coconut oil as make-up remover
Coconut oil is very gentle on the skin and can even be used for newborn babies. The Lauric acid in coconut oil is a very popular product in cosmetics because of its anti-aging, nourishing properties.
It does a great job removing even the most waterproof mascara.
Use a good quality organic virgin oil and apply it to a cotton pad. Gently dab until all the make-up is off.
Some women prefer putting the oil directly on their face and rubbing it with their hands, but I personally find that to be too messy. Plus I wear very little make-up, so I just need a little bit.
Rinse well with water and a good natural tonic afterwards. It’s important to remove the coconut oil afterwards, as it can leave an oily layer and clog your pores.
9. Coconut oil as nail & cuticle cream
I love long, natural nails. I’ve had long nails since I was a teenager and then had to take a break for a few years when I practiced Martial Arts.
Whether you have long or short nails, it’s always good to take care of them.
Coconut oil strengthens nails and helps avoid splitting.
It softens and moisturizes cuticles and its antimicrobial properties protect against infections and bacteria.
Rub some coconut oil into your cuticles and on your nails. Leave it on as long as you like.
For an extra deep treatment: warm half a cup of coconut oil, pour it in a bowl and dip your fingertips and nails in it for at least 30 minutes.
10. Coconut oil as massage oil
Coconut oil makes a great massage oil, which is why many professional massage therapists use it.
It easily absorbs and nourishes your skin.
Whether it’s to relax, cool down or to energize, massages are one of the best things in our self-care routine. I can fully recommend to have them regularly!
Take a bit of organic virgin coconut oil and massage the body (or get a massage!)
You can use coconut oil pure or mix it with essential oils to enhance the properties.