Or you just use the coconut. We’ve been hearing the benefits of coconut oil for a while now and being and avid user, I’ve compiled a list of some top uses for this little coco-nutty wonder. 1. Moisturiser Number one on my list, before listing the internal benefits of coconut oil, has to be it’s moisturising benefits. In place of your regular moisturiser, coconut oil delivers a velvety, rejuvenating burst of moisture that penetrates your skin and works down beyond the epidermal layer. It can feel greasy at first, but less is more, massage in and it will dry beautifully. Use as you would regular moisturiser. It is a fabulous lip-gloss too, especially mixed with a little bees was to give it extra staying power. Coconut oil has a natural SPF of 5 so make sure to apply your usual sun care regime. 2. Conditioner When our hair shaft get rumpled and out of whack, coconut oil is there to smooth those tiny little cells right back into place and keep them there. You can use it on your entire scalp/head for deep conditioning treatment (apply, grad wrap you head and leave for minimum 2 hours), or you can simply apply it to you ends where it’s the hardest for the body’s natural oils to reach and where the most breakage occurs. Rich in protective fatty acids that easily adhere to keratin, the main protein in hair, a little bit of coconut oil applied to the ends of your hair daily can help reduce breakage. 3. Acne Our bodies are rich with naturally occurring bacteria that are necessary to maintain our health. There are instances though, where some people find themselves with a specific strain of bacteria that decides to overpopulate and cause the pesky zit. With its anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties, coconut oil is an all-natural way to reduce the overgrowth. You can also mix in a little drop of tee tree oil for an extra anti-bacterial kick. Be aware that tea tree has a very strong drying effect so once again, less is more or you’ll turn into lizard man or lady. 4. Eczema and Psoriasis An ailment of mine, Eczema and Psoriasis, while not the same thing, are both generally red, irritated, often chronic, skin diseases. Both are very uncomfortable. Use coconut oil to target patches of your body that are being affected and rub on a thin layer to ease the itch and keep the area moisturised and protected, quite often scratching can cause a secondary infection. Coconut oil’s antibac function can combat this. 5. Dandruff Do you suffer from Dandruff? (as opposed to just dry scalp) It is possible that you have an overgrowth of a common fungus on the scalp. Use coconut oil 2-3 times a week to provide some anti-fungal action to help keep the itching and flakes at bay. 6. Fungal Infections The medium chain fatty acids found in coconut oil are incredibly effective natural fungicides. As mentioned, it helps with fungal infections of the scalp, but also works on other areas on the body plagued by candida. It is important to be diligent with applications of the coconut oil until your symptoms have cleared. 7. Coffee Creamer In replacement of higher calorie coffee creamers (such milk and sugar) stir a little coconut oil into your coffee for a sweet and healthy alternative. Make sure to stir it in well and make sure your cup of joe is piping hot when you add it in, otherwise you might get some unwanted coconut oil floaties popping up. 8. Lower Cholesterol and Risk of Heart Disease Cholesterol is a waxy substance found your cells, which helps continuously build more vital cells. It goes about its way through your blood stream attached to proteins known as lipoproteins. There are low-density lipoproteins (LDL) and high-density lipoproteins (HDL). HDL is the ‘good’ cholesterol, so you want to lower LDL, but raise HDL. LDL carries cholesterol throughout your body and delivers it to organs and tissues. The problem is, if you have too much cholesterol, the excess keeps circulating. The constantly circulating LDL will eventually penetrate blood vessel walls where they build up plaques and narrow blood vessels, sometimes to the point of blocking blood flow, causing coronary artery disease. HDL, on the other hand, picks up excess cholesterol and brings it to your liver to be broken down. Coconut oil, probably due to its high levels of lauric acid, will boost HDL. There’s no solid evidence saying that coconut oil alone will prevent heart disease, but there is solid evidence that it boosts HDL, subsequently lowering cholesterol as a side effect, which could potentially reducing the risk of heart disease. Take ½-1 tablespoon daily. 9. Oil/Butter Replacement I love butter, our daughter doesn’t. When cooking or baking, substitute it for butter or just about any oil. It lends moisture, freshness, and richness to baked goods, and a subtle complimentary flavor to savory dishes. We used the refined one which has a less ‘coco-nutty’ flavour and won’t overpower your other ingredients. 10. Nail and Cuticle Treatment Cuticles get rough and overgrown and nails get chipped. While there is loads of cuticle creams designed specially to give you photo ready nails, they are typically a little pricey and filled with weird (and nasty) ingredients. This is where coconut oil comes in. Rub a little into your cuticles and over/around your nails to help smooth out flaws and encourage healthy growth. Also helps with fungal infections of the nails. 11. Nappy rash Got a little one with a red and irritated bottom? Look no further than coconut oil. I used to use pawpaw ointment but I prefer the coconut with its antibacterial, anti-fungal and antiviral actions, plus with its soothing and moisturising benefits, it makes the ideal bot-bot cream. On the whole post-natal note, it’s great for breastfeeding mothers with sore or cracked nipples and fabulous for stretchmarks during and after pregnancy. Big tick here from me. 12. Make-Up Remover Make-up is on your face. People see your face. Your face is something you would like to look after, so when it comes to removing make-up, don’t turn to harsh products. Instead, go coconut oil, which gently and safely removes all traces of make-up (and leaves your face feeling fantastic). Rub between your fingers to melt and apply. I remove with a damp, clean face towel. 13. Massage Oil The benefits of massage are countless and we could all use one now and again. Rather than using a heavy lotion that might block your pores, use, you guessed it, coconut oil. You can add essential oils for scent if you like, but I find the smell of coconut oil alone to be divine. It also leaves your skin so soft and hydrated. Can be used as a personal lubricant also, minus the essential oil.. teehee. 14. Deodorant Common misconception, sweat smells. In fact, most sweat doesn’t smell, since most sweat glands on our body are apocrine, which produce mostly water with some salt and maybe some uric acid. Apocrine sweat glands become active during puberty and produce sweat from our underarms, around the genitals, etc. The sweat from apocrine glands also has other stuff in it – lipids. When the bacteria on our skin feed on these lipids, the byproduct is smell. Like store-bought deodorant, coconut oil helps decrease the bacteria count that’s causing the odour. I was a bit suss on this, so I tested it in a stressful situation knowing full well that I’d be a sweaty Betty and was pretty stunned with the result. It’s great to apply straight after a wax too. 15. Bath Oil My absolute favourite. Soften your bath water and your skin with a dollop of coconut oil. Enjoy its lovely aroma and gently swish it around now and then to swirl it through the water. It will naturally coat your skin, leaving it smooth and healthy. It will however, coat your bath too, so unless you’re partial to the old bath ring, give it a wipe down post swish. My coconut oil of choice is Nakula Organic Coconut Products cold pressed certified organic virgin coconut oil. They have a range of coconut-based products for your delight, visit them to find your local stockist or contact the awesome crew at House of Organic who supply us with ours! www.nakula.com.au Instagram @nakulaorganic www.houseoforganic.com.au Instagram @houseoforganic Do you have any secret uses for coconut oil? Share with us in the comments.