POPSUGAR Beauty

21 Unexpected Beauty Uses For Coconut Oil

Mar 31 2014 - 12:30pm

There are very few beauty products that we can honestly say are cure-alls, but coconut oil comes pretty close. You can use it for everything from healing scars to moisturizing dry knees. Recently, all the talk about relying on this oil for fresh breath [1] got us thinking: what can't coconut oil do? The answer: mattify (and it took us a minute to come up with that one). Celebrities like Emma Stone [2] count it among their favorite natural ingredients, and you should, too. We just stuck to the beauty applications here, but there are tons more tasks it can handle, from starting fires to losing a few pounds [3]. So head to your local health food store, pick up a jar, and allow this list to help you get creative with coconuts.

Makeup Remover

Even the most resistant waterproof mascara doesn't stand a chance against coconut oil. Apply it directly to the face as an oil cleanser or let it sit on your skin with a cotton pad. Makeup will melt away.

Breath Freshener

Coconut oil has antifungal and antibacterial properties. Gargling for 20 minutes with a spoonful of oil (aka oil pulling [4]) can help clear up germs in the mouth, leading to fresher breath, whiter teeth, and healthier gums.

Lice Remedy

Start this all-natural lice treatment with a rinse of apple cider vinegar [5]. Once the vinegar has dried, apply coconut oil to the entire head and let sit for 12 to 24 hours. Brush through hair with fine comb, and shampoo.

Body Lotion

If you're a DIY [6] mixologist, then coconut oil is a vanity essential. You can use this versatile oil as the base to make your own body moisturizer [7].

Cuticle Oil

Got cracked cuticles? Remedy peeling skin with a coconut balm right at the base of nails. It can also help your manicure to last longer.

Makeup Brush Cleaner

Cleaning your makeup brushes [8] should be a monthly ritual. You can use a DIY [9] cleanser that's two parts antibacterial soap and one part coconut oil.

Lip Balm

Coconut oil is the ideal remedy for chapped lips especially because it's semisolid at room temperature. Pack a bit in a miniature jar and smooth over lips all day long.

Stretch-Mark Cream

Expectant moms should keep a jar of coconut oil nearby to help ward off stretch marks, but anyone can use this as a topical treatment for scars. While the oil won't fade any marks, it can help prevent dark spots and blisters from forming.

Under-Eye Cream

Don't want to spend the extra money on eye cream? Use a dab of coconut oil on under-eye bags and fine lines. It's light enough for the most delicate skin on your face.

Body Scrub

Mix half a cup of coconut oil with a handful of coarse salt or sugar to create an exfoliator. The moisturizing oil will last long after the grains have melted away.

Frizz Tamer

Flyaways be gone with this smoothing treatment. Just rub a dime-size amount in your hands and smooth from midshaft to ends for frizz-free style that's high on shine.

Massage Oil

Warm coconut oil in the microwave and add a few drops of essential oil like lavender or peppermint for a soothing massage mix.

Whitening Toothpaste

Run out of toothpaste? Grab the closest can of coconut oil and add baking soda for a quick fix. Everyone will wonder how you got such a white smile.

Shaving Cream

Who said shaving cream has to lather? Use this balm as a base to get a closer shave that leaves legs smooth instead of dried out. You can also use it alone or with other ingredients in this DIY shave cream recipe [10].

Dandruff Treatment

Dandruff and dry scalp [11] go hand in hand. So send moisture right to the roots with a nightly coconut oil treatment. Just apply lightly to roots and massage in, which will also stimulate hair growth.

Body Oil

Why purchase a separate body oil when you can keep the coconut oil near the bath? Just slather it on wet skin after the shower, then pat dry. You'll smell like a beach vacation all day. Plus it has a natural SPF 4.

Itch Relief

Burns, bug bites, and bruises could all be soothed with a topical balm of coconut oil.

Deep Conditioner

You can use hot coconut oil as a preshampoo treatment [12] to soothe dry hair before you shampoo and condition. Leave in for at least an hour for an all-over moisturizing treatment.

Night Cream

Apply coconut oil at night for maximum moisturizing benefits. The antioxidants are great for smoothing fine lines and wrinkles while you sleep.

Leave-In Conditioner

Hydrate dry hair by using coconut oil as a leave-in conditioner. Apply a small amount to wet strands to seal in moisture.

Deodorant

Yes, you can make your own natural deodorant [13] at home (and it works). Mix coconut oil with arrowroot powder, cornstarch, baking soda, and a scented oil for a DIY [14] odor fix.


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