Food & Recipes

8 Surprising Uses For Coconut Oil

In the past, we’ve talked about what just a tablespoon a day of coconut oil can do for your health—including increasing your energy and helping your immune system—as well as why you should always keep it on hand in your kitchen as an excellent source of protein, to use in recipes instead of shortening, and how it boosts your metabolism.

Unlike many store-bought items, coconut oil is all-natural and doesn’t have the chemicals that can often do more harm than good to our hair and skin. For instance, it can make our hair more shiny and help lessen tangles and prevent protein loss.

Now, we’ve discovered some fascinating untraditional uses for it, which you’ll find below. So get out your jar of coconut oil and let’s begin!

1. Lip Balm

Yep, lip balm, and you can even make your own here. CoconutOil.com’s recipe uses four main ingredients: coconut oil, almond or apricot kernel oil, beeswax, and essential oil. Easy, right?

2. Hair And Hand Moisturizer

Coconut oil makes a wonderful moisturizer when you put just a tiny bit on the ends of your hair, wet or dry, says About Style. Bonus: It’ll also help detangle your hair! While you’re at it, put some coconut oil on your hands (which may very well be chapped in this winter weather!).

3. Vegan Creamer

Yes, if you are tired of store-bought creamers that usually have dairy, now you can make your own creamer—that is vegan-friendly! Glue and Glitter suggests using 1-3 tablespoons of coconut oil per cup of coffee, and adding brown sugar for a sweeter taste. They combine all three in a blender, though they say you can also stir in the coconut oil and brown sugar. In any case, YUM!

4. Diaper Rash

Due to its anti-bacterial and antifungal properties, coconut oil is perfect for diaper rash. The lauric and caprylic acids in it help against yeast, and it’s an ideal solution for your poor baby’s bottom. Here’s how, from Home Remedies For Life. First, make sure your baby’s bottom is clean and dry. Then, put oil on the affected areas and have it dry before putting on a new diaper. That’s it!

5. Anti-Dandruff Treatment

Since coconut oil has anti-fungal properties, it helps prevent dandruff, as well as helps curb it if you already have it. For this, simply massage a little coconut oil into your scalp and then leave it be for at least ten minutes—or even overnight with a shower cap or towel, says About Style’s Women’s Hairstyle Expert Kendra Aarhus. Then, use shampoo to wash it out. You should have dandruff-free hair in no time!

6. Non-Toxic Bug Repellent

I think the worst part about usual bug repellents is all the toxic chemicals in them. Yes, they ward off bugs with those chemicals, but those ingredients can’t be good for us either! Now, however, you can make your own repellant with coconut oil—and a non-toxic version. With just eight ingredients—five essential oils and three primary ingredients—you’ll be ready to brave the wilderness in no time when you try this recipe by CoconutOil.com.

7. Coconut Vegan Butter

Veganbaking.net has an excellent—and easy—recipe for vegan butter using, you guessed it, coconut oil! By using unrefined coconut oil and agave syrup, you can really taste the coconut flavor. You may be wondering if it has the consistency of butter or margarine. The answer: more solid like actual dairy-based butter (though Veganbaking says you can reduce the amount of coconut oil by one tablespoon and replace it with canola, olive, or rice bran oil to make it more spreadable). Try it on pancakes, waffles, or even toast, and everyone will be asking for seconds, guaranteed!

8. Deep Conditioner

First, warm the coconut oil a bit so it is a liquid. Then, make sure your hair is clean and leave it a bit damp. Next, put about two tablespoons of coconut oil into it (more if your hair is long) and massage it into your hair and scalp. About Style’s Women’s Hairstyle Expert Kendra Aarhus suggests skipping your scalp if your hair is especially thin or tends to get greasy easily. In general, use a bit more oil where your hair is the most dry, usually the ends. Aarhus also recommends sectioning off your hair so that you don’t miss any spots. Then, leave the oil on for 20-30 minutes, or overnight with a shower cap or towel. If you use a hot towel or hair dryer for a few minutes, the treatment will be even more effective. Afterwards, shampoo it out and be amazed when everyone asked you why your hair looks so good.