5 Amazing Uses for Coconut Oil
Who doesn’t love Coconut Oil!?
It smells like summer, reminding us of a tropical vacation, and it’s also a delicious source of nutrient rich, healthy fats! If you’re following the Tone It Up Nutrition Plan, you know how important including healthy fats into your day is. But, if you’ve ever wondered about the other, many uses of Coconut Oil, you’re going to love these tips from our friend Allison over at LaurenConrad.com! She’s sharing some fun, new ways to use this kitchen staple…
Hi Tone It Up team! This is Allison. Years ago, if someone were to tell me that there was one single product that solved dozens of health and beauty woes, I most likely wouldn’t have believed them. One product that you can use to cook, moisturize your hair, remove your makeup, and hydrate your skin? Not possible, I would have thought. However, this little miracle does exist. And, unlike many fancy beauty and cooking products out there, it is free of chemicals and 100 percent natural. This wonder is none other than coconut oil.
I use coconut oil every day on my skin, my hair, and even in the kitchen. In fact, most of the time when a friend comes to me asking for a quick fix for a beauty or skin problem, my answer is “just put some coconut oil on it.” Now that you know a little bit about my obsession with coconut oil, I’m going to share five ways you can incorporate it into your own lifestyle…
Face and Body Moisturizer
If you rub a little bit of coconut oil between your hands, you will immediately notice how incredibly moisturizing it feels on your skin. As a face and body moisturizer, coconut oil is much more hydrating than average store-bought lotions. It can also help remove dead skin cells, removing any rough or flaky texture from your skin’s surface and giving you a full body glow. You can use coconut oil as a moisturizer for your entire face, but I like to put it under my eyes and on my lips before bedtime. For my body, I mix equal parts coconut oil and body lotion together to create an ultra hydrating cream, and I apply it right when I get out of the shower. You can also add essential oils like lavender or vanilla for added fragrance, but many people love the natural, tropical scent as it is. The best part is that it easily and quickly absorbs into your skin, so you never feel oily or greasy.
Just as coconut oil works wonder for your skin, it also gives your hair a silky texture and tons of shine. Simply heat up about 3 to 5 tablespoons of coconut oil in the microwave, then, after it has cooled, apply it to your hair as you would any hair mask. Put on a plastic shower cap or wrap an old T-shirt around your head, and leave the oil in while you sleep. When you wake up, wash your hair and discover your best hair day yet. You can thank me later. Note: Unlike store-bought hair masks, coconut oil is all natural and great for your skin. So, if a little bit happens to rub off onto your pillow while you’re sleeping, you don’t have to worry about dealing with clogged pores or a breakout the next day.
One of my favorite uses for coconut oil that I discovered all on my own is its gentle power to remove makeup. I was applying a bit under my eyes one night before bed, and I noticed that it was easily removing some extra mascara that hadn’t washed off with my face wash. Now, before I wash my face, I use my finger to gently rub downward on my eyes and eyelashes to remove my eye makeup from the day. Tip: Leaving a little oil on the base of your eyelashes can actually help them grow a bit, so it’s ok if you don’t rinse it all completely off afterwards.
Coconut oil is also one of the healthiest oils to use when cooking. Our favorite nutritionist Shira Lenchewski, RD., explains that unlike animal fats, which are made up of long chain triglycerides (LCT), coconut oil is made up of medium chain triglycerides (MCT). MCTs are metabolized more rapidly in the body than LCTs, so there’s increased fat burning potential. Many healthy oils (like olive and flax) break down into harmful compounds when heated to their “smoke-point.” But coconut oil remains stable at higher temperatures, so it’s a great option for stir-frying and pan-searing. For cooking, Shira recommends using unrefined coconut oil, also called raw or virgin.
Coconut oil is a great ingredient to have in the pantry if you love baking. Since coconut oil is a saturated fat, it’s a great substitute for butter in baked goods. Saturated fats are the typical fat of choice in baking, due to their favorable effects on texture. And while saturated fats don’t have the same beneficial effect on good cholesterol as mono- and polyunsaturated oils, they do play a role in various brain and body functions, explains Shira.
Tip: Always buy unrefined, extra virgin coconut oil, since it’s closest to its natural state. For cooking, make sure your coconut oil indicates that it can stand high-heat, not just medium heat.
We’re so excited to learn about all of these new uses for one of our favorite items! Thanks for sharing Allison. What are your favorite ways to use Coconut Oil? Let us know! #BIKINISERIES
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