Coconut oil might have been the most-talked-about-oil in 2013, and newsflash: it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. Are you trying to reduce harsh chemicals and toxins from your daily life? In terms of versatility, coconut oil is the ultimate win. From skincare (here are 7 ways to incorporate it!) and hair care to dietary benefits, investing in a good quality bottle of this super ingredient seems like a steal. Here are 10 ways to reduce chemicals and enhance your life with coconut oil:
1. As A Cleanser & Lotion
I know it seems counterintuitive to actually put oil on your skin, but it’s actually one of the best methods you can try. When we use products that strip our face of it’s natural oils, our skin glands produce more oil to compensate (which means more breakouts and blackheads). If you use a good quality (organic, cold-pressed, unrefined) coconut oil, it naturally dissolves the dirty oils and leaves the natural, essential oil. It’s high in antibacterial properties from antioxidants and saturated fats that help with glowing skin. For someone with acne-prone skin, try: 2 parts coconut oil, 1 part castor oil and 2 drops of tea tree oil as a cleanser. For a body lotion, be sure to use sparingly so your skin isn’t too oily.
2. Makeup Remover
All you have to do is apply a small amount to a cotton swab and watch your makeup easily wipe off. No chemicals, just perfectly clean and fresh skin.
3. Natural Deodorant
Yes, that’s right – natural deodorant. Can you even pronounce half of the ingredients in your current deodorant? Try this: mix 6 tablespoons of coconut oil with ¼ cup of baking soda (stay fresh), ¼ cup arrowroot (stay dry), and a few drops of your favorite essential oil (I recommend: peppermint or eucalyptus). Jar it up and store in a dry place. I promise, it will leave you smelling great all day long you’ll be wondering how you hadn’t heard of this years ago.
4. Shaving Cream
Kiss shaving cream goodbye! Lather coconut oil into damp skin and shave away. Things you won’t experience: razors burn or dry skin. Things you will experience: baby soft skin and a cheaper drugstore bill.
5. Natural Toothpaste
There are so many studies labeling fluoride as ultra-toxic – so why use it? Coconut oil is said to have antibacterial properties against tooth decay (Oil Pulling, anyone?). Mix 3 tbsp coconut oil with 3 tbsp baking soda, 20 drops of peppermint or cinnamon essential oil, 2 tsp glycerin and a few drops of stevia – voila! Not only will you have a winning smile but you’ve eliminated all of the toxins from one of the most important areas of your body, including: your gums, teeth and tongue!
6. Wrinkle Remover
Rub coconut oil mixed with the gel of a vitamin e capsule into fine lines, and they will be virtually impossible to see the next morning. The antioxidants and fatty acids in coconut oil mixed with the vitamin e capsule are better than any $65 eye cream you can buy.
7. For Your Hair
Possibly one of the most popular ways to use coconut oil as a beauty product is for the hair. You can use it as a pre-wash conditioner to help bring out the natural oils. It’s also a great hair mask on it’s own, or mixed with: avocado, banana and honey, just twirl your hair in a bun and leave in for 40 minutes before washing. It leaves your hair soft and silky, the difference in my hair after using this for just 2 months instead of my usual store-bought conditioner is remarkable.
8. Diaper Cream
If we don’t want chemicals and toxins near us, we definitely don’t want it near our babies. Stop buying that ridiculously expensive diaper cream, coconut oil works just as well if not better. Start them off young, right?!
Forget about all of those fad diet snacks filled with mystery ingredients, taking a spoonful of coconut oil is said to reduce hunger dramatically. Yes, coconut oil is high in saturated fat. But not to worry, Dr. Wendy Bazilian explains, “The saturated fat in coconut oil is mostly lauric acid, a medium-chain saturated fatty acid that appears to have a more neutral effect on heart health when compared to longer-chain saturated fats found in most meats and dairy products.” There are also numerous studies finding coconut oil to help rev up your metabolism!
10. Bathroom Cleaner
If you’re going natural for your beauty routine, you might as well go natural with your cleaning products, too. Douse a towel in melted coconut oil, scrub your shower and watch how easily the shower scrum disappears. It can’t get easier than that!
So there you have 10 of the hundreds of ways you can start incorporating coconut oil into your life. Let me know your favorite ways you use the super ingredient in the comments!
Sam Negrin is an avid yogi (and RYT) in Los Angeles. She is also the Content Manager of LEAFtv – a fresh, easy to consume, how-to concept covering all things living, eating and fashion.