8 Awesome Uses for Coconut Oil

My friend Jess and I met in our sophomore year of college. She knows the deepest darkest places of my soul, every single one of my idiosyncrasies, and we've practically perfected the eyeball conversation a la "How I Met Your Mother."  This is why it came as such a shock the other night when,  during a party, she pulled me aside, and whispered in hushed tones, "I saw coconut oil in your your bathroom..."

The truth is, I have been nuts (pun intended) about coconut oil for about 3 months and it never occurred to me that such an enormous obsession could go un-noticed by her.

"I....I've been using coconut oil too..." she continued in tones that up until now, I assumed would be reserved for phrases like I need you to help me hide a body, "but...what do you use it for?  I feel weird telling you what I use it for."

I used my eyeballs to say, you know you look like a total wacko right now, and she used her eyeballs to say but oil pulling sounds so WEIRD!

So for all you closeted coconut oil addicts, I want to say that you are not alone.  Coconut oil is awesome and you should use it with pride!  And for everyone who has not yet tried it, you should ABSOLUTELY go buy a jar - it will be the hardest working $5 purchase you ever make.

So what can you use coconut oil for?  Everything.

#1 Moisturizing

3 months ago I met coconut oil in a Chinese bodywork class at NESA.  It was my instructor's massage lotion of choice because it's solid at room temperature but liquid on the skin so it's very easy to work with.  I started noticing that my skin was sooooo silky smooth after using it, and now I use the stuff on literally every inch of my body daily.  Bonus points if you whip it up with vitamin E and essential oils into a body butter!

#2 Makeup Remover

This stuff is pure genius on eye makeup.  Just rub a little bit on, check out those awesome raccoon eyes you just created, and gently wipe it off with a cotton round.

#3 Oil Pulling (Jess's personal favorite)

Take a teaspoon of oil, stick it in your mouth, swish for about 20 minutes, then spit out. That's it.  Really.  This is supposed to whiten teeth, be good for general gum health, and strength jaw muscles - if you don't believe me, check out these cool research studies demonstrating its efficacy.

#4 Hair Conditioner

Use it like a mask - comb liberally though hair, put on a shower cap, and let sit as long as you have the patience for.  Rinse it out and then bask in the pantene pro-V commercial your hair has become.

#5 Frizz Fighter

With hair that falls somewhere between curly and wavy, I have been battling the frizz fight since the age of 10.  I know my frizz products, and coconut oil is definitely one of the best. Warm up about half a teaspoon in your hands and rake it through your hair with your fingers (this stuff goes a long way, so start with less than you think you'll need).  Run through with a comb, and then style as usual.

#6 Stir Fries

Coconut oil has an amazing flavor - try using it as your base oil in a stir fry with pineapples, snow peas, bell pepper, tofu, and maybe just a tooouch of thai curry....yummm

#7 Sugar Scrubbing

Mix coconut oil 1:1 with sugar and use it in the shower on every rough surface of your body.  You'll come out sparkling head to toe and soft as a baby's tush.

*be careful though! The shower may get slippery

#8 Cuticles

Coconut Oil is anti-fungal and has an emollient nature making it perfect for keeping cuticles soft and helping nails to grow stronger.