27 Uses for Coconut Oil

You know coconut oil is awesome, right?

Here I’ve brought together some of the most interesting, unusual, and practical uses for coconut oil. Take a look–I bet your new favorite use for coconut oil is on this list!

1. Skin moisturizer

We’ll start with one of the more obvious ones. Coconut oil is super moisturizing and good for your skin. Next time your hands (or feet or elbows or whatever) start feeling dry, try rubbing in a little bit of coconut oil for moisture.

Want something a little more decadent? Try this recipe for whipped body butter with coconut oil.

Coconut oil also works really well as a night cream and undereye cream.

2. Cuticle care

I don’t know about you, but in the winter I tend to get really flaky cuticles. (And then my fingers get sore because I pick at them… Some people never learn.)

Rub on a little bit of coconut oil to help keep your cuticles moisturized and strong.

3. Lip balm

I know I’m not the only one who’s obsessed with lip balm. One of my good friends confesses that she had a use collection of Chap Stick in high school–that was before she learned that there are better, more natural options.

Such as? Coconut oil, of course. Just as moisturizing for your lips as it is for the rest of your skin, coconut oil is a great option for fighting off chapped, dry lips.

4. Intimate lubrication

Yup, I’m gonna go there. Don’t use it with latex condoms (the interaction is not good), but if you’re going au naturel, coconut oil makes a fantastic lube. Hubs and I have been using it for years.

Just sayin. (wink wink)

5. Moisturize in the tub

Adding a spoonful of coconut oil to the water can make for a more relaxing, moisturizing bath. Put a drop or two of your favorite relaxing essential oil in the coconut oil before you add it it to the bath for added aromatherapy benefits.

6. Replace your shaving cream

In addition to being incredibly moisturizing, coconut oil creates a barrier between your skin and the razor.

Give it a try the next time you need a shave!

7. Easy pick-me-up

Need a little boost of energy? Try eating a spoonful of coconut oil.

The healthy saturated fats (also known as medium-chain triglycerides, or MCTs) in coconut oil provide quick energy and a metabolism boost for your brain and body.

Can’t handle eating it straight? Blend it into a smoothie or a hot drink, like coffee. (Try Bulletproof coffee with coconut oil.)

Or check out the recipe below for homemade healthy chocolate made with coconut oil.

8. Good-for-you chocolate

With the right mix of ingredients, making your own chocolate bites at home can be a delicious way to take care of your health.

This recipe is free of refined sugars in a base of coconut oil. Now there’s a yummy treat you don’t have to feel guilty about indulging in.

9. Use it on your toast

Sure, we all love avocado toast, and buttered toast is the gold standard… but what about coconut oil toast?

Spread it on like butter and enjoy!

10. Massage oil

Coconut oil makes a great oil for massage. I often ask my husband to combine it with some PanAway essential oil for a back and shoulder rub after a long day with the kids.

11. Deep condition your hair

Dry hair getting you down? Feeling frizzier than usual? (This curly girl knows what that’s like!)

While I absolutely adore this conditioner for curly hair (it’s super thick and creamy and lasts a long time), coconut oil is a great alternative for occasional deep treatment.

Here’s how:

  • Apply a tablespoon or so through your hair when it’s dry. (You can also try a DIY hair mask like this one.)
  • Leave in for as long as you can.
  • Then wash as normal.
  • Enjoy your shiny, moisturized hair!

12. Tame frizz

Make sure not to use too much oil with this one or you’ll end up with greasy hair.

But with a little bit of oil in your hands, you can tame frizzy hair by skimming your oiled hands over the surface of your hair.

Don’t forget to finish up by applying the oil to the ends of your hair to help protect against split ends!

13. Condition wooden cutting boards

It’s not just your hair that can use conditioning! If you have wooden cutting boards, you’ll want to oil them periodically to help protect the wood.

I love, love, love wooden cutting boards. They’re beautiful, and I feel good knowing I’m not cutting my family’s produce on plastic.

Here’s how you can use coconut oil to condition your cutting boards:

  • First clean the board and let it dry.
  • Then apply a thin layer of oil with a clean, dry cloth.
  • Repeat the process until the board no longer absorbs the oil.

This post gives a bit more detail on the process.

14. Make a body scrub

Homemade body scrubs are a fantastic, inexpensive way to get clearer, softer skin. You can use a sugar or salt base with your choice of essential oils. (Just make sure you choose pure essential oils!)

This recipe is a super simple starting point if you’ve never made a scrub before.

15. De-stink yourself

There’s a contingent of people who say that coconut oil all by itself makes an effective deodorant.

It kills yeast, bacteria, and other yuckies and keeps you smelling fresh without the nasty chemical you find in conventional deodorants.

Does it stain your clothes? Survey says, “No,” especially if you use just a thin layer. And it washer out easily if you do get any on your clothes.

For better odor neutralizing, you can try adding some baking soda (though some people can’t tolerate baking soda in their deodorant).

16. Healthy cooking and baking

Coconut oil can replace any vegetable oil (or butter) in pretty much any recipe. Just use it as a one-for-one substitute.

You can also use it to grease your pans–I like scrambling eggs in it! Because it has such a high smoke point, it won’t oxidize at high temperatures like many other oils do.

We like to do stove-top popcorn in coconut oil, too. (At least… I did before I started eating Paleo.)

Just put a quarter cup of oil in a pan with a few kernels of unpopped popcorn. Once those kernels pop, add about half a cup of kernels and let those pop for a tasty treat.

17. Homemade mayonnaise

Storebought mayonnaise usually contains soy and vegetable oils, which can be damaging for your health. Mayo is pretty easy to make at home, though!

Check out this recipe for mayonnaise made with coconut oil.

18. Support healthy teeth

My dental health has honestly been one of the banes of my adult life. A lot of damage was done when I was a kid who didn’t know how to take care of her teeth.

But I work pretty darn hard now to keep my teeth healthy. And thankfully these days the only work I’ve had to have done is repairing old fillings that have started to break down.

My dentist now marvels at how little there is to do at my routine cleanings.

Here’s what I do to keep my teeth healthy.

There’s some debate about how effective oil pulling is, but it certainly can’t hurt. This study showed that oil pulling for 10 minutes, like swishing with antibacterial mouthwash, reduced oral bacteria in a statistically significant way.

If nothing else, it should make your breath smell better (due to coconut oil’s antibacterial properties) and your teeth whiter.

Here’s how you oil pull:

  • Swish a teaspoon or so of coconut oil in your mouth for about 20 minutes.
  • Spit oil into the trashcan (not the sink!)
  • Brush teeth as usual.

19. Remove makeup

You can even remove waterproof mascara with this trick!

  • Put a small amount of coconut oil on your fingertips.
  • Gently massage into your lashes–you shouldn’t feel any tugging.
  • Massage into the rest of your face to remove your other makeup.
  • With a warm, wet washcloth, wipe the excess oil from your face.
  • Rinse with warm water.
  • And done!

You’ll probably start to notice other benefits, too, as you implement this cleansing routine… Like clearer, softer skin, and longer, healthier lashes.

20. Clean makeup brushes

Mix one part coconut oil with two parts soap (I like Dr. Bronner’s) for regular makeup brush cleaning.

21. Sunburn relief

After a long day in the sun, apply coconut oil to soothe and relieve sore skin and minimize peeling. Try adding in a drop or two of lavender essential oil–your skin will thank you.

22. Reduce inflammation

If you have an autoimmune disease like Hashimoto’s, or other markers of inflammation (such as arthritis), try eating coconut oil.

It’s been shown in studies to reduce inflammation.

23. Get rid of goo and stains

Use coconut oil to eliminate gum or other sticky residue–or even spill stains in carpet. Combine it with an equal amount of baking soda and scrub.

Let set for 5 minutes and then wipe away the stain and residue.

I also wrote about using lemon essential oil to get rid of goo in this list of essential oil hacks.

24. Owie cream

Coconut oils antibacterial properties make it a perfect salve for minor cuts and scrapes. Dab it on to help those “owies” heal faster.

Try it on bug bites or other itchy irritations too, to soothe the itch.

25. Soothe baby’s bottom

Spread a little coconut oil on baby’s bottom between diaper changes to help soothe sore skin and prevent new rashes.

26. Easier breastfeeding

When my son was born, I went through a lot of coconut oil… He had undiagnosed lip and tongue ties that I finally had revised when he was 8 months old.

Which means I had 8 months of painful breastfeeding. Honestly, I thought it was normal. (I know better now!)

But applying coconut oil to my sore nipples after every feeding helped to soothe the soreness. I also used it to combat thrush (coconut oil has been shown to kill candida, the fungus responsible for yeast overgrowth).

Definitely a must in any new mom’s nursing station!

27. Season cast iron

If you have a new cast-iron pan or notice that one of your old pans is starting to develop rust spots, you’ll want to season it.

Here’s how you do it:

  • Make sure the pan is clean.
  • Place a sheet pan on the lower rack of your oven to catch any drips.
  • Preheat oven to 350 F.
  • Spread coconut oil over the entire inside surface of the pan you want to season.
  • Place pan facedown in the oven on the top rack.
  • Bake for 90 minutes.
  • Turn off the oven and leave the pan inside until cool.
  • Repeat as needed.

How do you use coconut oil?

Did I miss your favorite use? What do you use coconut oil for?

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