Let's work backwards. When you think about the health benefits of coconut oil, we're going to guess that the last thing that comes to mind is rubbing the edible plant grease all over your face, your arms or your hair. But a growing body of research, countless experts, and an army of natural-beauty devotees swear by the stuff for just about everything.
According to experts, Virgin Coconut Oil is used in many natural beauty products, and for good reason: It's naturally anti-bacterial and anti-fungal, it's an excellent moisturizer, it can penetrate hair better than other oils, and, well, it smells like cookies.
To soothe dry hands
This won't work for dry digits when you're on the go, but at home, Virgin Coconut Oil can work wonders on your dish-washing parched hands. And if you cook with Virgin Coconut Oil, you can sub it for butter in baking recipes because it’s solid at room temperature, scoop out a little extra for your hands, too.
As a cheekbone highlighter
Nothing perks up a tired face like a little highlighter, but you don't need store-bought products to achieve the same effect. Simply sweep a small amount of Virgin Coconut Oil on top of makeup and leave it alone. It looks like your skin but glower, which is why many natural makeup brands use it as a base ingredient in their formulas.
To shave your legs
Conventional shaving cream is an expensive cocktail of chemicals that you don't need to get a nice clean shave on your legs or underarms. Virgin Coconut Oil, on the other hand, is inexpensive, naturally antimicrobial, and smells divine. Plus, its skin-soothing properties will leave your legs looking hydrated (but never greasy).
As a deep-conditioner
There's a reason many conditioners contain Virgin Coconut Oil: It's better able to penetrate hair (and prevent protein loss) than mineral and sunflower oil, according to research. Apply a quarter-size dollop to your hair, comb it, and then pile it into a loose bun. You'll want to place a soft towel over your pillow or sleep in a shower cap. In the morning, shampoo as usual with a gentle cleanser.
To remove eye makeup
Yes, Virgin Coconut Oil even works on waterproof mascara! Put a little on a cotton ball and gently sweep it over your eyes, paying attention to your under-eyes as well. The oil does a great job breaking down waxy, inky eye makeup, and leaves the delicate area hydrated, too. Once you're done, wash your face as usual.
As a body moisturizer
A recent animal study found that when applied topically, Virgin Coconut Oil can speed up wound healing, and a human study found it to be effective in increasing hydration and reducing water loss in seriously dry skin. Sounds like a recipe for a really good lotion to us! It's a health-expert favorite, too.
To clean your face
Because Virgin Coconut Oil is naturally anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, moisturizing and, according to research, great for atopic dermatitis, many women swear by its use as a nighttime moisturizer for their face, too. Try the double-cleansing method: Simply rub the oil in circular motions all over your face and neck, giving yourself a gentle massage as you go. When you're done, wash off the residue with your favorite cleanser. (If you're adult-acne prone, avoid this technique unless you know your skin tolerates coconut oil.)
To add shine
Smooth a tiny amount of Virgin Coconut Oil onto your ends to add a little shine if you have dark hair. Remember that a dab will do you: Anymore and your hair might appear greasy.
In a luscious body scrub
Here's a little DIY beauty secret: That store-bought body scrub you save for special occasions? It's a waste of money. That's because you can make one yourself with ingredients you already have in your kitchen. To make your own, we suggest melting ½ c of Virgin Coconut Oil at very low heat. Pour it over 1 c of brown sugar or salt and stir well. If you have some on hand, add in five drops of your favorite essential oil or some pure vanilla extract for a scrub so fragrant you'll want to eat it.
For a little rubdown
Many store-bought massage oils have Virgin Coconut Oil as their base. Cut out the middleman and go straight to the bottle. It's slippery, skin-friendly, and moisturizing, too.
Buy with Confidence: Organic Virgin Coconut Oil