10 Alternative Uses For Coconut Oil

10 Alternative Uses For Coconut Oil

 Image via  Rip and Tan

Image via Rip and Tan

The benefits of coconut oil are pretty much endless—and with a wide array of health benefits from beauty to baking, it's safe to say this all-natural oil is a staple in our pantry.

Coconut oil is made from the the fruit of the coconut palm tree and boasts a unique combination of fatty-acids that your body can use for energy, to curb your appetite and even boost immune function. It's also been proven to support a healthy heart.

Naturally gluten-free and vegan, this superfood is surprisingly versatile. Below, find some of my  ways to use coconut oil:

1. Cooking Oil—I like to swap out conventional cooking oils or butter for this healthy alternative, whether it's in a stir fry or slathered on toast. This is an easy and delicious way to start adding more coconut to your diet. You can find organic, virgin coconut oil at most grocery stores. We love the Dr. Bronner's and Trader Joe's brands. 

2. Deep Conditioner—A natural, affordable alternative to expensive deep conditioning treatments, coconut oil makes a fantastic hair mask. I like to leave it in my hair for 15-20 minutes before showering so that my hair really soaks it all in. I then shampoo and rinse as usual. The result? Silky, smooth locks that feel like I just left the salon.

3. Body & Facial Moisturizer—When used topically, coconut oil can help prevent free-radical damage and premature aging. It's particularly great for those with sensitive skin.

4. First-Aid Remedy—Coconut oil boasts anti-bacterial properties which makes it a safe, natural remedy for small cuts and scrapes. It can also help aid in the of healing of scars, bug bites and sunburn.

5. Oral Rinse & Teeth Whitening Aid—Oil pulling is an ancient, Ayurvedic practice for both cleansing and whitening your teeth. It involves the act of swishing organic, cold-pressed coconut oil around your mouth to draw out (or "pull") impurities and toxins from your teeth and gums. Prior to brushing, swish a spoonful of oil around your mouth for between 5-15 minutes, then spit the oil out. It's important that you not gargle with or swallow the oil, as it's now filled with the toxins and plaque that you just "pulled" from your mouth.

6. Digestive Aid—A spoonful a day keeps the doctor away. Coconut oil is packed with essential nutrients and vitamins that help aid in healthy digestive function. Try adding a spoonful to your coffee or tea to reap all of the benefits.

7. Makeup Remover—Coconut oil is a gentle, incredibly effective makeup remover. I like to use it before cleansing to remove stubborn eye makeup. You can mix in some skin-safe essential oils or honey, or use it alone.

8. DIY Lip Scrub—I mix a little bit of coconut oil and brown sugar together to form a paste and then use it to scrub off any dead skin or rough patches on my lips. The result? A soft, smooth surface. It's a great way to prep your lips for balm or lipstick.

9. Household Cleaner—Coconut oil is a gentle, effective way to remove dirt and impurities from your home. I like to use it as a dish cleaning aid, to remove soap scum and grime from the bathroom and as a stain polish. 

10. Pet Wash—Our puppy has sensitive skin that reacts to a lot of chemical ingredients. We like to use coconut oil as a natural and safe alternative to sulfate-filled shampoos. It helps keep his coat shiny and clean.

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