If you follow Jadah and I on Family Sponge, you know we love coconut oil. This superfood is used in every room of our houses— baking, moisturizer, deodorant, green smoothie ingredient, conditioner, you name it. It’s a go-to remedy— and I am obsessed with it.
So what makes this oil so special? Well, 90 percent of coconut oil is composed of medium chain fatty acids (or Triglyerides), which are easily digested and sent right to the liver for energy production. By traveling directly to the liver, it is not stored as fat and actually can help boost your metabolism. These triglycerides also help keep skin smooth and moisturized by trapping the escaping moisture from pores.
Most of the medium chain fatty acids found in coconut oil are lauric acid, which is only found in as high a concentrate in human breastmilk. This powerful acid actually helps increase immunity and fight infections, which makes it essential to our daily diets.
I saved my favorite things about coconut oil for last: it’s antifungal, antibacterial, antiviral and antimicrobial. These properties make it ideal for a facial moisturizer, deodorant and for soothing sunburns. And I can’t forget to mention that it smells incredible as well!
My Personal Favorite Uses for Coconut Oil
There are many websites than can give you a list of uses for coconut oil, but I want this list to all be about my personal testimony. I religiously use all of these things and can personally say they work for me, and hopefully for you!
Baking + cooking with coconut oil
Baking: Coconut oil can be substituted 1-for-1 in most baking recipes that call for butter or oil (check out my Maple Granola Muffins and Coconut Granola for some delicious and healthy recipes). I’ve also used it when making frosting, banana bread, pancakes and amish bread.
Cooking: My friend Jo got me hooked on cooking eggs in coconut oil. They do taste a little bit like coconut, but that’s a good thing to me. I also add a tablespoon to my green smoothies occasionally and sauté vegetables with it.
Using coconut oil on your body
Coconut oil has about 0.1 mg of vitamin E in 100 grams, which definitely gives it skin nourishing properties. Vitamin E is essential for healthy skin growth, repairs weathered skin, keeps skin smooth and protects against cracking and above all, it prevents ageing and wrinkling of skin, as it has good anti-oxidant properties.
Body lotion: After the shower, I rub coconut oil on my arms and legs— leaving my skin hydrated all day long.
Homemade deodorant: It really works!!! This stuff is insanely good— I highly recommend that you make your own. After 12 hour days with working out, running errands and sweating in the Florida heat, I still smell good. Here is the easy, peasy recipe.
Eczema: My son had mild eczema and we used a variety of creams. Coconut oil helped if we caught an outbreak early enough. (We eventually figured out what was causing his eczema— Target brand laundry detergent, and stopped using it. Eczema solved!)
Nose bleeds: Coat your nasal passages with coconut oil to keep nose bleeds at bay. This works great when traveling to dry climates.
Soothes sunburns: We have used this numerous times on our skin after a long day at the beach or pool. It moisturizes and alleviates the uncomfortableness of a mild sunburn.
Using coconut oil on the face
Facial moisturizer: I was very scared to put coconut oil on my face. Since moving to Florida I have had issues with acne. So bad, I resorted to Proactive. Well, two months ago I ran out of my oil-free face lotion and decided to give coconut oil a try. Sure enough, my face feels good and the acne has subdued. Just make sure you are using high-quality coconut oil for your face— I use organic virgin unrefined coldpressed. I’ve seen websites recommend refined coconut oil for your face but that clogged my pores and I instantly broke out. And remember, a little goes a long way with coconut oil!
Eye makeup remover: On the rare occasion I actually put on makeup, I do use a cotton ball and a little coconut oil to remove it. Works better than anything else, hands down.
Coconut oil on your hair
Hair tamer: I have thick, curly and wild hair— coconut oil helps bring sanity to the situation. After the shower, I use mousse and then smooth some coconut oil on my unruly curls to calm it down.
Deep conditioner for hair: At least once a month, I slather this on the tips of my hair and (even my scalp to help with psoriasis) and let it soak in for a few hours. Then I brush it through and massage my scalp before I shower. I shampoo it twice through with Yes To, my favorite brand of shampoo and conditioner that is paraben free.
Lice treatment: You don’t need harsh chemicals to treat lice, seriously. All you need is coconut oil because it can suffocate the lice. When a good friend of ours called us and told us that her child had lice (after our kids had been playing dress up all day with them— complete with sharing hats), we slathered coconut oil on our two kids heads. They slept on it and we washed it out the next day and they were lice free. Sounds like Thrifty Mama has a great alternative to commercial lice products.
Other awesome uses I have for coconut oil
Toothpaste: I started making my own toothpaste with coconut oil 3 months ago and really like it. The coconut oil gives it a creamy consistency, which is similar to store bought (yet way better for you!). The first few weeks my teeth were a little sensitive (which is an issue I have). SO I alternated days with Sensodyne and the homemade recipe. Yet now I only use homemade and my teeth are fine.
Furniture wood polish: I use it to polish my wood coffee table and it looks beautiful! Just pour a little onto a rag and rub it around for a nice gloss.
Stops creaking doors: I cannot stand a door that creaks, especially when it’s my kids door. It’s hard to sneak out of the room after they fall asleep when the door creaks, right? I’ve rubbed a little coconut oil on the door hinge and have the quietest door now.
Massage oil: It’s very good. That’s all I’m gonna say.
Where to buy coconut oil
You can buy coconut oil practically everywhere now, but don’t. Walmart is not the place to buy this superfood. You want to use a brand that has high standards, uses organic products and makes quality coconut oil. If you plan on using it like I do (and I am sure you will!) then buy the good stuff for a little more money.
1. Trader Joes: What’s not to love about Trader Joe’s, right? If you are lucky enough to live close to one, pick up a jar of organic virgin coconut oil for $6.99.
3. Mountain Rose Herbs: I love this company out of Portland, Oregon. They sell a variety of coconut oils, but the best is the virgin unrefined / coldpressed. Hands down the best quality at a pretty fair price. I have ordered 3 gallons from the so far and love it. I also buy my essential oils, beeswax, arrowroot powder and herbal extracts from here— you can trust them and know you are getting the good stuff.
4. Costco: They have great prices for unrefined, cold pressed coconut oil! Definitely check it out if you have one in your area.
Do you already use coconut oil? Plan on trying out any that I’ve mentioned above? Got a question? Post it in the comments below.