We have all heard about how magical coconut oil is, and how it basically turns anything it touches into gold. We are talking about unprocessed, unrefined coconut oil here- do not go for the cheap processed stuff because its laden with chemicals and other not so good stuff. Obviously you can use it for cooking, its a nutritious and very healthy oil that also adds a little flavor to your foods. I love to warm up tortillas with it, that nutty savory flavor works so well. Here are 5 other not so conventional uses for coconut oil, because it’s not limited to the kitchen!
1. Body Lotion Yup, it’s actually an amazing body moisturizer. A little bit goes a long way, and you may feel a little oily at first, but it absorbs in wonderfully after a moment. Rub a little extra on elbows, knees, all over feet, and any other dry spot. You can also use it as an under eye cream for a petal soft eye area. Use your fourth finger (ring finger), as this finger exerts the least amount of pressure onto such a delicate area, to smooth a bit of oil onto your under eye area. It’s the most affordable under eye treatment on the block, and all natural at that! Coconut oil is antiviral, antifungal, and antibacterial so your skin gets a little help warding off infections and fungal growth (Think feet!). If you hate to have that almond-y smell on you during the day, try it at night while you sleep and wake up to soft, silky skin!
2. Makeup Remover Even the toughest water proof mascara doesn’t stand a chance against coconut oil’s ability to solubilize or break up water resistant substances. Since it is often pretty solid at room temperature, take a bit of oil and rub it back and forth against or fingers to liquify. Smooth that over your skin and take off with cotton ball, tissue, toilet paper, etc. Be careful with eyes and eyelashes because if you get it IN your eye, it will temporarily blur your vision. If that happens, flush your eye out with clean water. Added benefits: soft, moisturized skin!
3. Massage Oil This works amazingly well! Coconut oil is very slippery when you apply friction to it. A little bit goes a long way and the oil will stay slick on the skin as you continue to knead into it without getting too greasy. For the most part it washes out well and won’t stain sheets, but stick to cotton if you’re worried. It’s also very detoxifying and amazing for the skin. Actually, many recommend coconut oil as a great personal lubricant as well! Of course, never use it with latex condoms because it will break down the latex, and always test it on a small area first to make sure there are no allergies. It’s antifungal and antimicrobial properties may keep yeast infections at bay, as well as kill some STDS. However, if you do choose to try this out, remember everyone’s body is different and be cautious!
4. Oil Pulling
This is an ancient Ayurvedic dental method that detoxes and cleanses the mouth. It pulls bacteria from the gums and leads to healthier gums. If the coconut oil is solid, warm the container under warm water to liquify the coconut oil. Then take a tablespoon of coconut oil and gently swish it around your mouth for 20 minutes. Yes, you read right- 20 minutes! Too soon and you wont get the maximum amount of bacteria out and too late the bacteria apparently goes back into your mouth (yuck!). It may be difficult at first so try watching a tv show or distracting yourself in some way. Afterwards, spit out the coconut oil into a trash can. Do not spit into the sink as lukewarm coconut oil may clog your drains. Then rise with warm salt water and brush teeth as usual. This routine results in healthier gums, whiter teeth and a healthier mouth in general.
5. Shaving Cream
This is my favorite! Forget all about your shaving cream. Instead of that, slather coconut oil over your legs and get ready for a shave where your razor glides effortlessly over your legs, underarms, wherever. Afterwards, skin is soft, dewy and protected from irritation. Always run hot water for 30 seconds afterward to ensure that the coconut oil goes down the drain before it solidifies to prevent clogs. Also note that your bathtub will be a bit slippery afterward.