OKAY. I looooove coconut. It’s interesting because growing up I was put off by the taste and texture of coconut and hated coconut oil. But slowly over the past 3-4 years I have found progressively more uses for coconut in every day life. I love coconut because it is a natural, sustainable resource. It is also non-toxic and gentle. Not to mention easy to find and access!
I’ve replaced most of my personal care and hygiene products with coconut oil with some other simple, natural ingredients that I will share. As a new mama, I’ve also found that it’s been useful to use with my little babe. I use coconut daily in cooking and natural remedies!
I’m so excited to share all of the ways coconut has blessed my life!
I’ve broken it up into categories. Enjoy! Xoxo
- Coconut oil as a skin moisturizer
- Every morning I use a little bit of Fractionated Coconut Oil (in other words it is liquid not solid) as a face moisturizer or for extra dry areas.
- Make-up remover!
- Most water-proof makeup removers are just an oil base! Coconut oil works great to remove water-proof and normal mascara, eyebrows, eyeliner, and foundation. I just apply a little to a wash rag and rub my eyes. You’ll def look like a creepy racoon after so you’ll want to use some kind of soap to finish the process. I like Dr. Bronners liquid castille soap.
- Coconut face wash
- Each evening I use a few drops of Fractionated Coconut Oil and 2 drops of Melaleuca (tea tree) oil to cover my face after rinsing it with water. I just leave it (I have dry skin) and it works wonders! Tea tree oil is a natural anti-bacterial oil and so is coconut oil. Cleanse & moisturize all-in-one w/ out the harsh chemicals of drug store face wash that disrupts the healthy bacteria on your face.
- Mild sunscreen or tanning oil
- I LOVE being outside, but don’t enjoy the toxins that accompany normal sunscreen. Sunscreen can actually prevent you from absorbing all the health benefits of sun exposure since it blocks half the UV rays. Coconut oil works in harmony with the sun to help you absorb the benefits but without burning. It is a very mild SPF, comparable to a 6-8 SPF. So if you are very fair skinned I would be careful. I use it for my body whenever I go in the sun and it helps me to tan naturally without burning.
- Lip Balm
- Did you know most conventional lip balms actually dry your lips out?! They put the natural bacteria and oils out of balance and cause dryness. You can take a tbsp coconut oil and put it in a small container with a drop or two of your favorite essential oil (I like lavendar, peppermint or orange), and WA-LA! You have yourself some natural lip balm.
- Eyelash growth serum
- False eyelashes = death for your real lashes. I got them for my wedding and totally destroyed my natural ones! So, once I got them off I took my naked little nubs for lashes and coated them in coconut oil and olive oil (alternating days) every night before bed. After about 2-3 weeks my eyelashes were looking normal and then 2 more weeks and they were long and thick again! I take a mascara break about once a month for a few days and use coconut oil and it always strengthens them and helps them grow!
- Hydrating hair mask
- Ever since putting bleach in my hair I’ve always been extremely paranoid of dry hair. I can’t afford the expensive hair masks (my hair is so long I would use it all in one shot!) So I use coconut oil and it is FULL proof. About once a month I dampen my hair and then coat it in coconut oil from tips to roots (but not too close to the root). Pin it up, put a bag over your head (like a walmart grocery bag tied at the neck or shower cap) then use a blow dryer on the outside to heat your hair for 20 minutes. You can sleep with the oil in and then rinse it the next morning! You’ll have to shampoo it twice to get the oil out, maybe 3 times. So make sure you do that or else you’ll have oily hair! But your hair will be lush and amazing afterwards!
- Heat protectant
- Protecting your hair from heat is so important to avoid damaged and split ends! Right out of the shower, I use a tiny bit of coconut oil and coat from the ends up about 4-6 inches (depending on your length, it might only be 1-2). This helps my hair to be protected against the heat of the blow dryer and hot iron! It also helps to detangle it :).
- DIY shampoo!!
- There are so many shampoos out there with toxic ingredients, or sulphates which strip color from your hair! I use 1/3 c coconut milk, 1/3 c Dr. Bronners castile soap, and 1/2 tsp olive oil, mix it up really nice and then use it as a natural shampoo! You’ll have to play with the oil amount because it differs for your hair depending on how dry/oily your hair is.
- Whiting teeth (Oil-pulling)
- Because coconut oil is anti-bacterial, it is great for removing harmful bacteria BUT while helping to protect good bacteria! Oil-pulling is a perfect way to do this. You put 2 tsp coconut oil in your mouth and swish for 20 minutes. Spit, and rinse, and you’ll see that your teeth are brighter and healthier looking almost immediately. I will do it for a few days in a row about once a month to maintain healthy, white teeth!
Coconut Tips for the Mama & Babe
- Prevent stretch marks
- I used coconut oil twice a day every single day while pregnant on my stretching skin and came away with only 1 tiny stretch mark! Since stretch marks are in my genetics & I’ve gotten them before I feel pretty good about the coconut oil’s contribution. Rub coconut oil on your growing belly & boobies every morning and night. Also after each shower!
- Nipple ointment
- Anyone who has breastfed knows that those first few weeks with baby is kind of nipple death. I was nervous about all the different ingredients in nipple creams and baby consuming them. Use coconut oil on your nipples before and after feedings (and in between) to help them stay soft and prevent chapping, chafing, and cracks. I felt good knowing that the oil was going to be safe for baby!
- Give baby a calming massage
- One of my favorite bonding times with my son was infant massages! I used coconut oil with a small drop of lavender oil to massage baby before bed or when he was having tummy trouble. My babe ended up not loving the lavender so I switched to coconut oil only! Worked perfectly for us & was safe for baby, lacking all the mysterious ingredients in other baby oils.
- Moisten baby’s dry skin
- My poor baby had eczema on his cheeks when he was a few weeks old. Creams like hydrocortisone or other cortisol steroids often used to treat skin conditions can have side effects on the adrenal glands. I did need to use a little bit with him but alternated with coconut oil to smooth his skin and then used it preventatively. He hasn’t had another flare up since!
- Coconut milk for baby
- Since we don’t drink cows milk in my home, I’ve used coconut milk to occasionally quench babies thirst if I’m away and don’t have pumped breast milk. If you decide to do this I highly suggest making your own (recipe to come), or you can buy coconut milk from a can. Check the ingredients to make sure that the only ingredient is coconut milk (no strange gums or acids), and that it is unsweetened, full fat coconut milk. I really like “Thai Kitchen” unsweetened coconut milk in traditional grocery stores. OR there is a great brand from Thrive Market called “Native Forest”.
- Hydrate during/after a workout
- Coconut water is a great beverage to consume during or after a workout to help re-hydrate because of all the natural electrolytes. Make sure to get a brand that doesn’t have any added sugars or chemicals. I love “Vita Coco” from your local grocery store.
- Heal gut/stomach lining
- Coconut oil is a great addition to your diet if you are experiencing health problems in your gut and/or stomach lining. I have had trouble in both areas and consuming coconut oil daily has helped me to feel much better. Coconut oil is easy on the gut and promotes healing, while fighting bad yeast like candida & helping your body to digest & absorb foods.
- Upgrade your smoothie!
- I love my green smoothie in the morning after a work out! I use coconut water to help re-hydrate as well as a bit of coconut oil to help me to feel more satiated until my next meal. Healthy fats are a great way to stay full and avoid binging on sugars and carbs.
- Have more restful sleep
- Coconut milk is a great base to an evening elixir to cap the night off. I like using coconut milk as the base for a turmeric latte, ginger latte, “hot chocolate” with raw cacao, or just warm coconut milk with cinnamon. It helps me to wind down & feel relaxed and sooth the stomach.
- Healthier cooking
- Cooking with coconut oil is far better for your health than artery clogging vegetable oils such as canola oil, vegetable oil, corn oil, etc. It is even better to cook with in a frying pan than olive oil. Since olive oil has a lower smoke point it can go rancid more quickly. That is why I love to sautee with coconut oil and use it for all my cooking needs! Plus it adds a delicious sweet undertone.
- Healthier & yummier baking
- In every bread, muffin, pancake or any baked good recipe that calls for butter or oil… I ALWAYS substitute it with coconut oil! I’ll tell you what, I have not had a bad turn out yet! In fact I feel that it gives the desired moisture without the greasy feeling or making you feel gross and clogged up. For an example try some of my muffins with coconut oil here!
- Healthy treats GALORE
- Coconut oil and coconut milk can be used as a base for a variety of delicious desserts, such as coconut icecream, fudge balls, hot chocolates, chocolate mousse, “milkshakes”, smoothies, etc. Basically anything that has cows milk can be replaced with coconut milk/oil.
Around the house…
- Clean (& green) house cleaning.
- Household cleaners have lots of toxic chemicals and VOC’s that end up harming the air quality and environment. I love using a tsp of coconut oil with a few drops of lemon and tea tree oils and using it to wipe down my counter-tops! Because it is oil-based it works great to lift tough stains. Rinse out your rag and wipe over again with water and then a dry rag or paper towel. If you’re not interested in making your own, I really like Honest company plant based multi-surface cleaner.
- Freshen up the air
- I love diffusing fractionated coconut oil and another oil of choice into the air to cleanse the air and replace toxins & smells with a healthy, uplifting aroma.
- Put an end to squeeks!
- I hate squeeky doors, squeeky closets, squeeky wheels… Drives me nuts! I don’t always have some WD-40 on hand to oil up hinges. I like to warm up a tsp of coconut oil & dab it with a paint brush into the affected area, wait a few minutes and continue to re-apply until the magic happens. Wa-la, squeekz be goooone.
- Get a new bra.
- Make yourself the sexy hawaiian bra top just because YOU CAN. Buy a coconut at the grocery store, watch some tutorials to find out how to open it though because you could cut your arm off trying to open that thing. No joke. Never tried to make my own coconut bra but if you do it I will think you’re the coolest.
- Enjoy simply eating the coconut!
- After you crack open your coconut, you can save the water to drink (or use in smoothies), then scrape out the meat and eat it OR I like to freeze the meat to use in smoothies to make them creamy! Or in homemade coconut icecream.
I have tried lots of brands of coconut oil, but my favorite to use recently is Dr. Bronners coconut oil. A good rule of thumb is to check the ingredients and make sure it is just coconut oil, and check the label to see if it is “extra-virgin coconut oil”.
I would love to hear all your ideas & ways you have used coconut! Comment & share the love :). Coconut power!