Coconut oil is a pantry staple in my house. It is such a versatile ingredient and can be used for more than just cooking. I like to use it as a moisturizer, face mask ingredient, and even as a teeth whitener. I love that it is all natural and tastes/smells great!
There are two types of coconut oil – refined and unrefined. Refined coconut oil has been bleached and deodorized therefore it no longer has a coconut smell or taste. In the process of refining the oil, some of its nutritional value is lost. I personally purchased unrefined oil because I enjoy the coconut taste and it is better for you.
1. Cooking/Baking – This one is a no brainer! Coconut oil is a healthier substitute for vegetable oils, shortenings, and butters. You simply just use the coconut oil as a 1:1 substitute for other oils. I like to use coconut oil for baking, frying, and even in my salad dressings.
2. DIY Face Masks – I love doing face masks. They help me relax and also make my skin feel amazing. A few years ago, I discovered Lush fresh face masks and fell in love. They are pretty pricey so, I prefer to make them at home for a fraction of the cost.
The recipe below is for my banana and coffee face mask. The coconut oil and banana in the recipe moisturize while the coffee exfoliates and adds caffeine to your skin! My skin always feels soft and plump after this face mask.
Ingredients: 1 tbsp coconut oil, 1/2 banana, 1 tsp honey, 1/2 tbsp coffee grounds (optional)
Directions: Mash the banana with the coconut oil and honey. If you wish to make this an exfoliating face mask, add 1/2 tbsp of coffee grounds to the mixture. Apply the mixture to your face using your hands. Leave on for 5-10 minutes. Rinse off while rubbing the mixture in a circular motion to exfoliate.
3. Makeup Remover/Moisturizer – Coconut oil makes a great natural and cheap makeup remover. Simply melt the oil in your hands, rub it over your face, and watch the makeup melt right off. The best part is after you rinse your face, you don’t even have to moisturize because the oil does it for you!
You can also add coconut oil to any of your favorite face cleansers to make them more moisturizing if you don’t want to do the oil straight up!
4. DIY Body Scrub – In the winter, I get severe dry skin. I love to use scrubs once a week to exfoliate the dead skin off my body and leave my skin feeling soft and supple. Since body scrubs can be full of chemicals and artificial fragrances, I wanted to create my own. This recipe for my banana and sugar body scrub is great because the coconut oil and banana moisturize the skin while the sugar exfoliates your dead skin cells away!
Ingredients: 1/2 banana, 1 tbsp coconut oil, 2 tbsp granulated sugar
Directions: Mash half of a banana with the coconut oil and granulated sugar. Bring the scrub into the shower with you and use as you would a normal body scrub!
5. Hair Mask – If you have dry or damaged hair, coconut oil is your answer. Hair oils and masks are great when your hair needs to be tamed and moisturized. There is no need for the expensive, store bought products when you can use the natural thing that you already have at home!
Just melt a scoop of coconut oil in your hand and apply it to the ends of your hair. Leave the oil on for at least 10 minutes and then rinse! I will often put on hair oils before I watch a movie or cook dinner and then just wash my hair afterward!
6. Shaving “Cream” – Yep, you read that right! Coconut oil makes a great shaving cream alternative. Since it is an oil, it makes your body slick and allows the razor to glide easy. It also leaves your skin feeling moisturized and smelling great!
7. DIY Lip Scrub – If there is one thing I hate, it’s chapped lips. In the winter my lips need some serious TLC. This lip scrub exfoliates away the dead, chapped skin and leaves my lips feeling soft and moisturized. You could even use straight up coconut oil as a “chapstick” if needed.
Ingredients: 1 tsp coconut oil, 2 tsp brown sugar
Directions: Mix the coconut oil and brown sugar together. Place the mixture on your lips using your finger and rub lips together to remove all of the dead skin. Clean the scrub off using a damp cloth.
8. DIY Teeth Whitener – I think we all struggle with yellow or stained teeth. I have personally spent tons of money on whitening mouthwashes, toothpastes, and strips. That stuff is expensive and in my opinion, doesn’t do that great of a job! This teeth whitening paste is cheap, easy, and effective. With just two ingredients, you can have the white teeth you have always wanted in as little as 1 month.
Ingredients: 1 tbsp baking soda, 1 tsp melted coconut oil
Directions: Melt the coconut oil in the microwave for about 20 seconds, mix in the baking soda until a paste is formed. Brush your teeth using the mixture after your normal brushing. Rinse your mouth thoroughly. Repeat 2-3x a week for best results!