6 Ways to Use Coconut Oil as Part of Your Beauty Regimen

| Beauty
coconutoil iStock 59983758 XLARGE
(Photo: iStock)

There are a few natural ingredients on this planet we can confidently deem as miracle antidotes, but the hard-shelled coconut comes pretty close as the one. While coconut water is the quintessential ingredient for staying cool this summer, coconut oil is equally impressive — and as more than just a cooking ingredient.

As one of the best defenses against the summer elements, coconut oil is one of the more effective ways to hydrate skin all year long. Whether we're treating sunburns or dry skin, we love this multi-purpose, inexpensive beauty alternative in both the solid and liquid form.

Cuticle softener
If there’s one thing we can all agree to hate, it’s hangnails. That annoying piece of torn skin starting at the root of our fingernail is not only painful, but can ruin a perfect manicure. To strengthen nails and hydrate that delicate skin around the nail bed, try using coconut oil. Not only does it relax the cuticle, but it will also deter any further splitting while softening skin. Simply swipe a small amount of oil on your cuticles or use a cotton ball, and let it soak in.

Body oil
Fluctuating temperatures can often dehydrate our skin leading to dry, flaky patches all over our body. Of course, it’s swimsuit and lake season so that means we must always have dazzling, glowing skin. As a beneficial, all-natural moisturizer that can be rubbed in easily, coconut oil penetrates skin with its anti-inflammatory properties for long-lasting effectiveness. The best part is it can reduce the signs of stretch marks or cellulite and doesn’t contain any harmful ingredients that dry skin like, alcohol or silicone. 

Teeth whitener
Swishing and sloshing coconut oil in your mouth for about five to 20 minutes a day can be an effectual method in having healthy, white teeth. Achieved through the practice of oil pulling, this technique not only improves gum health and produces pearly whites, but can also remove those tooth stains that have built up.

Lip conditioner
Guard and moisturize your kissers with coconut oil that help protect you from overexposure to the sun. Dry, flaky lips don’t stand a chance against this ultra-hydrating agent as it penetrates deep down into tissue, locking in hydration. Add some to a spare contact lens holder or mint tin, and toss it in your purse for moments you need it most.

Since summer often aggravates cold sores, try using coconut oil regularly with a U.V. balm. If a sore does sprout, coconut oil helps to speed up healing, alleviate pain, and reduce scarring.

Hair treatment
By now we know how efficient coconut oil is, but were you aware it deeply conditions hair too? Getting in and out of the water can seriously dry our mane — but add hot sunshine and we’ve got dry, damaged locks that appear limp and seriously unhappy. Not only does coconut oil discourage dandruff build up, but it's an easy way to lock in moisture and maintain healthy looking ends.

When in the shower, melt coconut oil by running your jar under warm water. Then after applying shampoo, rub a fair bit of the oil to wet strands from root to tip, and tie your hair up. Wait at least five minutes before rinsing out to lock in shine and moisture.

Body scrub
Because coconut oil is such an effective moisturizer for your skin and moisturizes deep down to the pore, it’s the perfect ingredient for an all-natural body scrub — safe enough for your face too! Womanistas can easily make their own using ingredients right in their cabinets like, sugar, sea salt or even coffee grinds. Simply mix one of the elements with an equal amount of melted coconut oil to create a paste. The result not only smells great, but will moisturize and exfoliate for baby soft skin.

And thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties, the International Society of Dermatology found those with skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis responded most excellently with coconut oil treatment and saw an improvement in their skin.

Tania Hussain |

Tania Hussain is a native of Toronto and a Hoosier at heart, studying journalism at Ball State University in Indiana. She has a mad love for fine cheese, film, music, and meeting people upon her many travels. When Tania’s not writing at Womanista, she can be found going for long nature runs, rooting for the Indianapolis Colts and St. Louis Cardinals, photographing sights and food, or writing for her online magazine, The Hudsucker. She is also a member of the Indy-based, Society of Professional Journalists—one of the oldest organizations in the U.S. that promotes and represents journalists.