Inside Scoop: There are a million reasons to love coconut oil, but here are the 9 best coconut oil uses for all your home, beauty and health needs.
This post was submitted by Alex Reed is, editor in chief of Bodyketosis.com, an author, low-carb enthusiast and a recovering chubby guy who reclaimed his health using the ketogenic lifestyle.
Coconut oil has grown popularity in recent years thanks to its numerous health benefits. Derived from coconut meat, coconut oil is naturally high in saturated fat, but unlike many other fat sources, it is unique in the fact that it is mostly made up of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), which have been found to metabolize differently compared to long-chain fatty acids that exist in the majority of other food sources.
MCTs boast a number of health benefits. Lauric acid, which is a medium-chain fatty acid, makes up more than half of coconut oil’s components. The human body breaks this down into monolaurin, which like lauric acid, has been found to kill a variety of dangerous bacteria, fungi and viruses.
The Versatility of Coconut Oil
Other than its ability to kill harmful pathogens, coconut oil is lauded in the world of cooking thanks to its high smoke point and smooth nutty flavours. A key ingredient in Asian cuisines, more and more people are using coconut oil in their cooking due to its health and beauty benefits.
Despite it becoming only recently well known in the West, coconuts and coconut oil have been important staples in the tropics for centuries. Often referred to as the “Tree of Life”, natives in Asian and Pacific cultures have been using coconut oil for health, beauty and cooking for many years.
Packed with healthy vitamins, nutrients, fiber, and amino acids, coconut oil can be used for skin health, oral hygiene, cooking, deodorant, and a lot more.
Want to know more on how coconut oil can improve your health and beauty regimen? Here are 9 health and beauty uses of coconut oil.
9 Best Coconut Oil Uses
#1. Face and Body Moisturizer
Coconut oil has naturally high levels of nutrients that benefit skin health and help you to maintain and control your skin’s natural pH balance. From soothing skin irritations to softening your skin, coconut oil leaves your skin glowing. Coconut oil works by helping retain your skin’s moisture and preventing evaporation.
What’s more, it also helps protect the skin from any nasty free radicals, and therefore is thought to have amazing anti-ageing properties as well. Thanks to its ability to repair damaged skin, coconut oil also soothes and softens dry or sun-damaged skin.
Apply directly and rub onto areas that need treatment. Alternatively, use it as a primer for make up and protect the skin from future damage. Try this DIY moisturizing cream with coconut oil & shea butter.
#2. Makeup remover
As well as being an excellent body moisturizer, coconut oil also acts as a reliable makeup remover because it has the ability to solubilize water-resistant substances that are commonly found in makeup products, such as eye shadow and mascara. And because of its moisturizing properties, your skin and lashes aren’t jeopardized like they often are with your traditional cosmetic removers.
To gently remove makeup with coconut oil, take a little bit in your palms and rub until warm. Gently apply to areas where the makeup is and remove with a dry cotton ball. Check out this post for more natural beauty brand swap ideas.
#3. Acne Treatment
Another skin benefit of coconut oil is for treating acne. Because of its high lauric acid content that kills bacteria, coconut oil can kill off stubborn acne-causing bacteria while increasing moisture at the same time, which will also help prevent any acne scarring.
Apply a thin layer of coconut oil to the skin as a facemask, leave for 10-15 minutes and then wash off with a gentle cleanser and warm water using a clean face cloth. For a deep skin treatment, leave the mask on overnight and wash off in the morning prior to moisturizing.
#4. Hydrating Deep Treatment Hair Conditioner
Just like with your skin, coconut oil can hydrate your hair naturally by helping it retain its natural proteins, resulting in stronger and shinier hair, which in turn improves hair volume. Because of everyday hair styling and external pollutants, it’s important to protect your hair against breakage.
Prior to shampooing, apply coconut oil to your hair and leave on for as long as possible. Afterwards, wash it out and continue with your regular shampoo and conditioner treatment.
#5. Breast Feeding
Breastfeeding moms often experience sore cracked nipples. Because of its deep moisturizing properties that penetrate the skin, coconut oil is an excellent and natural way of reducing any discomfort. Coconut oil does not harm babies; therefore, it is unnecessary to remove prior to breastfeeding.
Apply a small amount to the nipple and gentle rub into the affected areas. Repeat on a daily basis.
#6. Fat Burning
While it’s not suitable for everyone, one of the most popular diets to burn fat is the ketogenic diet, which is a low-carb high-fat diet. To start burning fat for fuel, your body needs to achieve a state of ketosis, which can be boosted by consuming coconut oil thanks to the high MCT levels.
Use more coconut oil in your everyday cooking to reap the fat loss benefits of coconut oil. You can also consume bulletproof coffee, which is black coffee made with one tablespoon of coconut oil and one tablespoon of grass-fed butter. Keep in mind that starting your day with bulletproof coffee only has its downsides too and may be counter indicated in some people.
#7. Hunger Suppressant
As well as helping you get into a fat burning mode, coconut oil also helps curb hunger pangs.
Studies have found that including healthier fats and MCTs at breakfast time suppresses the appetite, reducing the desire or need to snack in between meals, which therefore improves weight loss results in the long run.
#8. Brain Booster
Brain fog and memory problems plague many of us, and this can lead to so many frustrations, however, consuming more virgin coconut oil may boost brain and cognitive abilities.
This is caused by the oil’s MCTs that are broken down into ketones that feed the brain cells for fuel instead of glucose, which is known to be one of the main causes for lethargy and brain fog.
#9. Oral Hygiene
As previously mentioned, coconut oil attacks and kills harmful bacteria; therefore, it can help fight tooth decay, plaque problems, bad breath, gingivitis, and even gum disease.
You can improve your oral health using coconut oil in two ways. You can either replace your regular toothpaste with coconut oil or through oil pulling, which is the act of placing coconut oil in your mouth, swishing it about for about 15 minutes while pulling it through the teeth. Once the 15 minutes is up, discard the oil in the trash.
There is some controversy surrounding coconut oil use. The main argument against it is that it is very high in saturated fat, with some critics suggesting that it increases LDL cholesterol AKA “bad” cholesterol. This saw more people turning their backs on tropic-based fats, such as coconut oil.
While the words “saturated fat” still holds many negative connotations, recent studies suggest that it is not as dangerous as once thought, especially coconut oil, which in fact has the opposite effect on the body that detractors state, as studies have found that the MCTs in coconut oil, which are processed differently by the body compared to other fats, are in fact beneficial in raising HDL (“good”) cholesterol levels.
The Bottom Line
To conclude, it is very clear that coconut oil has far more reaching benefits than just cooking your favorite stir-fry dinner. This sweet-smelling oil, which boasts an exceptionally long shelf life, has numerous health and beauty benefits. With all its beneficial vitamins, minerals, and nutrients, it would seem that there’s very little that coconut oil can’t do.
From freshening your breath to removing makeup to softening the skin to even helping with your fat loss endeavors, coconut oil should be a key ingredient in every household.
These simple coconut oil hacks for better health and beauty prove how easy it is to incorporate into your everyday life and get creative with one of the world’s healthiest oils.
Alex Reed is editor in chief of Bodyketosis.com, an author, low-carb enthusiast and a recovering chubby guy who reclaimed his health using the ketogenic lifestyle. The need for the keto life began after his aunt and cousin were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and he was next in line. Through personal experience and extensive research, Alex offers insightful tips for everything keto.