Monday, October 11, 2010

5 Ways to Multi-task with Coconut Oil

Could anything in this world be more wonderful than coconut oil?

(Ok, besides goat cheese, the Silly Goose, & Jesus?)

In all seriousness though, coconut oil definitely tops the list of must-have products on my list.

Coconut oil (and all coconut products, really) have gotten a terrible, though incredibly undeserved, reputation over the last 50 years or so. People freak out over the caloric intake of coconut products, bemoaning and lamenting the saturated fat found in coconut milk and coconut oil.

Truthfully, eating a low-fat diet is one of the worst things you could possibly do for your body (50% of your cell membranes are made up of saturated fatty acids. No healthy fats=a terrible hormone imbalance=all kinds of problems with weight gain, hair loss, or painful or irregular menstrual cycles). Eating healthy saturated fats can actually help you lose weight!

Sally Fallon (of Weston A. Price fame) gives a laundry list of the benefits of saturated fats:

  • Provide our cells with necessary stiffness & integrity
  • Play a vital role in bone health (at least 50% of your fat intake should be saturated in order for calcium to be absorbed properly)
  • Protects our liver from alcohol and toxins (like Tylenol)
  • Enhance the immune system
  • Protect the heart during times of stress
  • Provide antimicrobial properties

It's also very interesting to note that coconut products contains lauric acid--the same type of fatty acid found in women's breast milk. Turns out God knows what He's doing...

So, why is coconut oil so wonderful?

So glad you asked.

Here are 5 reasons I love coconut oil:

1) I cook with it. Coconut oil has a higher heat threshold, making it ideal for higher temperatures. Oils like vegetable oil, canola oil, and even olive oil, can't handle high heats and will oxidize (i.e. turn rancid) when the temperature gets too high.

2) I moisturize with it. I threw out all my froo-froo smelling lotions when I learned that the majority of the ingredients were carcinogenic. Coconut oil doesn't have fake colors, fragrances, aluminum, parabens, propylene glycol, or sodium laurel sulfate.
It's also a myth that people with oily skin should not use oil-based beauty products. What really happens is that washing your face too much and using toxic lotions will strip your skin of it's natural oils, causing it to produce more. Coconut oil will balance your skin's natural oil production. I no longer deal with an oily face!

3) I use it as a mousse. I tried quite a few natural mousse/gel products for my curly hair, but nothing impressed me. Especially at the price I paid. But coconut oil works better than anything I've tried in the past! I don't use much, mostly focusing on the ends and the top layer to prevent frizz.

4) I protect from sunburn with it. It's no secret that I don't wear sunscreen. But I will put on a layer of coconut oil if I'm going to be in the sun for more than an hour or two. This also works with high quality olive oil (but has the potential to look ridiculous if you aren't a muscular male from the Mediterranean...)
Coconut oil also works wonders for a sunburn. I rarely peel from a sunburn anymore if I apply coconut oil twice a day to the affected area.

5) I use it on scratches, wounds, breakouts & bug bites. Because coconut oil has antimicrobial products, I apply it to any part of my skin that needs to be kept clean in order to heal properly.

You can find coconut oil at pretty much any natural health food store (always get unrefined!). But you'll find a much better price if you order it online.

So, do you love coconut oil as much as I do? Have you ever even used it before? Maybe you have a new use. Share away!

This post is also linked to Simple Lives Thursday.


  1. Great message. I love coconut oil also... i use it as a lip gloss and I have mixed it along with L-lysine, Vit C , Zinc, and made a lip balm for when I have cold sores.

  2. Thanks Brandi! That's a great idea for cold sores. I have a family member that gets them quite often, so I'll have to pass this along :)

  3. Terrific ideas for coconut oil, I was only cooking with it, which of course is good, but... I like the idea of using it on cuts, etc. Thanks!


  4. I love coconut oil!! I use it for all the same, except the hair. My sister shared a trick she learned. She puts it in her kids' hair and on their bodies to reduce the toxins absorbed when they are swimming in chlorine.

  5. Thanks for the comments! I'm glad things like coconut oil can protect us from swimming pool toxicity. As much as I hate chlorine, I love to swim in the summer!

  6. Yup...coconut oil has many uses. Your skin will "eat" coconut oil when applied as a moisturizer and can help with weight loss in addition to cooking with it.

  7. Great information, thanks so much.

  8. OOOOH I'm totally trying that on my hair! I have curly frizzy hair too and use a ton of product. KY jelly would work best. I'll have to try the coconut oil! Thanks for sharing today.
    xo, Sustainable Eats

  9. Great ideas Lori! I started cooking with the coconut oil, but I'm going to try and incorporate all of these uses as well!

  10. i've never used coconut oil but i'm going to pick some up next time i go to the store! i'm really interested to see if it will work in my hair--its really thick and wavy and i hate using gel since it makes it feel "crunchy" a lot of times.

  11. oh and question--do you put the coconut oil in your hair when it is wet or when it is dry?

  12. It's true--coconut oil is wonderful! :)
    Renee, I usually apply it to wet hair (towel dried though, not sopping wet). You don't want to use too much or risk looking greasy. Just enough to keep the frizz away!

  13. I actually take coconut oil daily...I have the actual coconut oil and if you take that then it is (I believe) two teaspoons a day. I just couldnt take it straight so I got it in pill form and take 4 pills a day. I also drink coconut water...ever heard of it? IT IS WONDERFUL STUFF!! I take it when I am working out or if I am just tired. It is made by ONE and gives you a boost of energy but without all the other gunk in it that Gatorade has in it. I see a rheumatologist once a month for something else going on with me but when I told him I was taking both Coconut oil and drinking coconut water he said DONT STOP it is wonderful for you!

    Here is an interesting link out there for everyone on coconut oil...

    Thanks for the other tips Lori! I am definitely going to try them!!!


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