It was not so long ago that the health world was warning people against oil and condemning saturated fats. However, in recent years coconut oil has been in the spotlight for all the right reasons, being branded as a “good” fat. All kinds of recipes have exploded onto the scene, from cakes to curries, including the oil as an ingredient.
There have been a lot of articles about the health benefits of coconut oil, its properties and how and why its’s so beneficial. While the usual health benefits are getting mainstream attention this simple wonder oil has many other unexpected applications and uses. We’re here to talk about 7 amazing uses for coconut oil no one has ever talked about.
1. Make a coconut oil toothpaste
Sounds odd, but you can use this oil as a toothpaste, fighting cavities and tooth decay. Studies have shown that coconut oil is a natural antibacterial and antibiotic, which is great for minimizing tooth decay and improving oral health. A simple recipe can be made by mixing together half a cup of baking soda with half a cup of coconut oil. Add 30–40 drops of peppermint oil for that much loved, minty fresh taste. As coconut oil is solid, you may need to microwave it for a few seconds until it’s pourable for easy mixing. If you keep it in an airtight jar, it will happily last for up to six months without needing refrigeration.
2. It’s beneficial for your four-legged friends
Coconut oil is good for pets and can significantly improve their digestion, make their coats shinier and silkier, prevent infections, helps clear up skin conditions, eliminates bad breath and smell and a lot more. Just be careful and follow the guidelines because if you don’t it may have a negative effect in the end.
3. Coconut oil is an energy booster
You can add a teaspoon of coconut oil to your smoothies, not only for added flavor and filling but as a great energy boost. Coconut oil is made of medium-chain fats that break down easily, giving a quick boost of energy.
4. Replace your hair serum with coconut oil
Coconut oil is fantastic for your hair. Apply it to dry hair and you’ll transform your locks, treating split ends and deeply nourishing hair, and let’s not forget the delicious, yummy smell! Just rub a small amount in between the palm of your hands and smooth over your hair. Don’t just put it on your palms but rub it all over the backs of your hands too, that way you can apply the coconut oil in a 360-degree manner and not overload hair with the oil.
5. Moisturize your skin
You don’t just have to consume coconut oil orally; you can apply it on your skin as well. You can use it for chapped lips and skin, dry skin patches on your face, elbows, and feet and even use it to treat your post-shave skin. It nourishes and moisturizes your skin, leaving it smooth and silky.
6. Use it as an eye makeup remover
Coconut oil makes an excellent makeup remover for the eyes. Simply pop a little bit of coconut oil onto a cotton pad, and gently wipe the eye area. Make sure you rinse it off after as it’s quite oily. Whilst removing your eye makeup, you’ll be nourishing the delicate skin around the eyes. It can also be used on sensitive eyes and it also removes waterproof makeup!
7. It acts as an insect repellent
One of the most widely used ingredients in insect repellent is DEET and although it is approved by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), it isn’t great for your skin, can cause eye irritation, and provoke rashes and sores on the skin. However, I would never advise someone to not protect themselves against mosquitoes, especially in countries with malaria or dengue fever. For a natural and homemade insect repellent, mix together 10 parts coconut oil to one part lemongrass or peppermint oil for a skin-friendly, anti-bug spray.
8. Nipple cream for nursing mothers
If you’ve breastfed your babies you know how irritated nipples can get, and we usually use lanolin cream to soothe the irritation. However, coconut oil has an even better effect. Just melt two teaspoons of coconut oil, two teaspoons cocoa butter and one teaspoon olive oil and mix it all thoroughly. Apply it on the irritated nipples and it will soothe your skin, promote regeneration and nourish the area.
9. Homemade deodorant
Shop-bought deodorants work by blocking your pores with aluminum salts, hence blocking the route for sweat to exit your body. They don’t actually reduce the amount of sweat, but instead make the skin acidic and therefore stop the bacteria on the skin feeding off the sweat. Nice!
For a simple, homemade deodorant recipe combine ¼ cup of melted coconut oil with 1/8 cup of cornstarch, 1/8 cup of arrowroot powder and one teaspoon of baking soda. Pop it into an empty deodorant container or a small mason jar and refrigerate for about 15 minutes. Keep the deodorant at room temperature as then the coconut oil will be soft enough to apply on your armpits.