Coconut oil is nothing short of a one-jar wonder. While you’ve likely heard that the ingredient should be added to your daily meals as it touts healthy vitamins, minerals, and that good kind of fat (and hopefully you’ve cooked your morning scrambled eggs in it for a delicious flavor boost!), this natural potion boasts far more clout outside the kitchen, too.
The tropical substance is practically a one-stop shop for all your grooming needs. Comprised mainly of lauric acid, a medium-chain fatty acid, along with vitamins E and K and iron, coconut oil boasts antimicrobial properties as well as antifungal and antibacterial benefits, all of which make it an extraordinary treatment with a range of uses for your skin and face, along with your nails, lips, teeth, and hair. Look for a raw, unrefined, extra-virgin, organic coconut oil without any added flavors or colorings for the best, most body-friendly results.
When used as an all-around body lotion, coconut oil is your ticket to soft, thoroughly touchable skin without a hint of heaviness. The healthy fats and vitamins nourish and moisturize, helping skin heal and renew itself. Plus, because it is all-natural, it is gentle enough for your face and under-eye areas, and you will never have to worry about your epidermis absorbing any of those unpronounceable chemicals from other creams.
An added bonus? The oil leaves a natural, sweetly tropical fragrance that simply smells like vacation in a jar — no artificial fragrances or potentially-irritating synthetic ingredients included.
Apply sparingly to your body and face at first to avoid any greasiness, as just a dab will go a long ways. Slightly more liberal use is appropriate for problem areas such as dry elbows. However, there’s no need to worry, as it absorbs fairly quickly.
An asset to any at-home manicure and pedicure, coconut oil also helps keep your nails looking healthy and well-maintained. Simply rub a small amount into the cuticles and nail beds of your hands and feet. Dry, cracked, and callused feet will derive extra benefit from its moisturizing properties. For an extra dose of softening power, apply the oil rather liberally and put on a pair of socks overnight. Its antibacterial strength will likewise deodorize those feet while softening them so you’re ready to step foot-first into the day.
Shaving cream or aftershave
Coconut oil also serves as a gentle, non-irritating shaving cream and even a substitute for an aftershave gel. While the oil won’t foam or lather like a standard cream, it will yield a close, hydrating shave and little chance for razor burn. Just make sure you apply a thick, protective layer.
Coconut oil’s moisturizing and healing properties likewise make it a perfect substitute for lip balm, soothing and hydrating cracked or dry lips in the winter and sunburned ones in the summer. Your pearly whites will even reap the benefits of coconut oil, thanks to those antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. Studies have shown that it can destroy the bacteria that can cause tooth decay, making it the perfect toothpaste you can whip up yourself by mixing the oil into a paste with baking soda and a few drops of peppermint oil for fresh flavor.
A great head of hair is always a good look, and coconut oil delivers here, as well. The fatty acids are immediately softening for your hair while preventing dry, split ends — no matter how long or short your latest cut is. Just rub a small amount into your strands, and then shampoo as you regularly would for an extra boost of healthy shine and hydration. And don’t neglect your scalp, either. A quick coconut oil scalp massage not only helps remove the buildup of hair product, it relieves dry, flaky skin and is a great way to reduce dandruff.