21 Unexpected Beauty Uses for Coconut Oil
There are very few beauty products that we can honestly say are cure-alls, but coconut oil comes pretty close. You can use it for everything from healing scars to moisturizing dry knees. Recently, all the talk about relying on this oil for fresh breath got us thinking: What can’t coconut oil do? The answer: mattify (and it took us a minute to come up with that one). Celebrities like Emma Stone count it among their favorite natural ingredients, and you should, too. We just stuck to the beauty applications here, but there are tons more tasks it can handle, from starting fires to losing a few pounds. So head to your local health-food store, pick up a jar, and allow this list to help you get creative with coconuts.
1. Makeup Remover.Even the most resistant waterproof mascara doesn’t stand a chance against coconut oil. Apply it directly to the face as an oil cleanser, or let it sit on your skin with a cotton pad. Makeup will melt away.
2. Breath Freshener.Coconut oil has antifungal and antibacterial properties. Gargling for 20 minutes with a spoonful of oil (a.k.a. oil pulling) can help clear up germs in the mouth, leading to fresher breath, whiter teeth, and healthier gums.
3. Lice Remedy.Start this all-natural lice treatment with a rinse of apple cider vinegar. Once the vinegar has dried, apply coconut oil to the entire head and let it sit for 12 to 24 hours. Brush through hair with a fine comb, then shampoo.
4. Body Lotion.If you’re a DIY mixologist, then coconut oil is a vanity essential. You can use this versatile oil as the base to make your own body moisturizer.
5. Cuticle Oil.Got cracked cuticles? Remedy peeling skin with a coconut oil balm right at the base of nails. It can also help your manicure last longer.
6. Makeup-Brush Cleaner.Cleaning your makeup brushes should be a monthly ritual. You can use a DIY cleanser that’s two parts antibacterial soap and one part coconut oil.
7. Lip Balm.Coconut oil is the ideal remedy for chapped lips especially because it’s semisolid at room temperature. Pack a bit in a miniature jar and smooth over lips throughout the day.
8. Stretch-Mark Cream.Expectant moms should keep a jar of coconut oil nearby to help ward off stretch marks, but anyone can use this as a topical treatment for scars. While the oil won’t fade any marks, it can help prevent dark spots and blisters from forming.
9. Undereye Cream.Don’t want to spend the extra money on eye cream? Use a dab of coconut oil on undereye bags and fine lines. It’s light enough for the most delicate skin on your face.
10. Body Scrub.Mix half a cup of coconut oil with a handful of coarse salt or sugar to create an exfoliator. The moisturizing oil will last long after the grains have melted away.
11. Frizz Tamer.Flyaways begone with this smoothing treatment. Just rub a dime-size amount in your hands and smooth from midshaft to ends for frizz-free style that’s high on shine.
12. Massage Oil.Warm coconut oil in the microwave and add a few drops of an essential oil, like lavender or peppermint, for a soothing massage mix.
13. Whitening Toothpaste.Run out of toothpaste? Grab the closest jar of coconut oil and add baking soda for a quick fix. Everyone will wonder how you got such a white smile.
14. Shaving Cream.Who said shaving cream has to lather? Use this balm as a base to get a closer shave that leaves legs smooth instead of dried out. You can also use it alone or with other ingredients in this DIY shave-cream recipe.
15. Dandruff Treatment.Dandruff and dry scalp go hand in hand. So send moisture right to the roots with a nightly coconut oil treatment. Just apply lightly to roots and massage in, which will also stimulate hair growth.
16. Body Oil.Why purchase a separate body oil when you can keep coconut oil near the bath? Just slather it on wet skin after the shower, then pat dry. You’ll smell like a beach vacation all day. Plus, it has a natural SPF 4.
17. Itch Relief.Burns, bug bites, and bruises can all be soothed with a topical balm of coconut oil.
18. Deep Conditioner.You can use hot coconut oil as a preshampoo treatment to soothe dry hair before you shampoo and condition. Leave in for at least an hour for an allover moisturizing treatment.
19. Night Cream.Apply coconut oil at night for maximum moisturizing benefits. The antioxidants are great for smoothing fine lines and wrinkles while you sleep.
20. Leave-in Conditioner.Hydrate dry hair by using coconut oil as a leave-in conditioner. Apply a small amount to wet strands to seal in moisture.
21. Deodorant.Yes, you can make your own natural deodorant at home (and it works). Mix coconut oil with arrowroot powder, cornstarch, baking soda, and a scented oil for a DIY odor fix.