Coconut oil has become increasingly popular over the last few years, both as an ingredient for cooking and baking as well as a natural beauty product.
There are thought to be many benefits of using coconut oil, including its moisturising and conditioning properties.
There are so many things that it can be used for, but here are just a few of the uses for coconut oil which you may not have considered:
1. Coconut oil for cooking
Cooking is probably the best known and most common use for coconut oil.
Organic coconut oil is perfect for cooking with very high temperatures due to its high saturated fat content.
It can be used in dishes such as stir fries and curries, as it also adds a little bit of flavour too.
Coconut oil has been used in South East Asian cuisine as a staple ingredient for many years, before becoming popular in the UK.
Extra virgin coconut oil or pure coconut oil produces virtually no smoke when it is used in cooking. It only contains 100% raw pressed coconut oil.
2. Coconut oil for the skin
Coconut oil is great as a moisturiser for your body, especially for very dry areas such as knees and elbows.
It can also be used as a facial moisturiser. However it does not work as effectively if your skin is naturally very oily1.
Give your feet a winter treat and apply a thick layer of coconut oil to dry, cracked feet, before popping on some fluffy socks and sleeping in them overnight!
3. Clean your teeth
It is thought that coconut oil can help cleanse your mouth so you can use it by swishing it around your mouth, like a mouthwash each day.
Doing this may help to improve dental health and may also reduce bad breath2.
Please note that you should not use coconut oil in place of your normal toothpaste, mouthwash or floss, but that it can be a good addition to your usual dental routine.
4. Make-up remover
Coconut oil can break down lipid-soluble impurities such as make-up and sebum, leaving your face clean and fresh.
Simply massage the oil into your skin and then remove with a flannel3.
If you have especially oily skin, you should follow up the initial make-up remover with a gentle cleanse, to remove any excess oil4.
5. An ingredient for smoothies
Simply add one tablespoon of coconut oil to your usual breakfast or protein smoothie recipe5.
Coconut oil is an antioxidant, which helps to protect the body against free radicals caused by toxins.
Compounds within the coconut oil can also be used by the body as a source of fuel6.
6. Deep condition your hair
Coconut oil easily penetrates the hair strand, leaving your hair strong and shiny and helping to prevent damage.
Apply a dollop to your hair, comb it through and then, if it is long enough, put your hair into a loose bun.
Leave it in for a couple of hours or overnight, making sure you put a towel over your pillow or sleep in a shower cap.
When you are ready, rinse off and wash your hair, using a natural, gentle shampoo7.
7. Coconut oil as an ingredient in a DIY body scrub
For a very simple exfoliating body scrub, combine a tablespoon of coconut oil with a tablespoon of ground coffee.
Just keep the same ratio if you would like to make a bigger batch8.
Use after washing in the shower, to help remove dead skin cells.
8. Lip balm
Coconut oil is ideal for use as a natural lip balm.
It is highly moisturising and thought to have some protection against sun exposure.
Coconut oil is also all-natural, whereas some lip balms may contain additional, synthetic ingredients9.
9. Use for cleaning make-up brushes
It is really important to keep your make-up brushes clean.
Coconut oil is perfect for dissolving dirt and grime that can otherwise cling to make-up brushes.
Massage coconut oil onto the brush head and then swirl the brush on a tissue or in water until you begin to see the dirt coming off.
Once clean, wash the brush again and then let it dry10 .
10. Use as a massage oil
For those times when you have had a hard day and you need a relaxing massage from a partner, friend or family member, you can use coconut oil to help soothe tired muscles.
You can also mix coconut oil with a few drops of your favourite essential oil, for an even more relaxing effect11.
Last Updated: 12th November 2020