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12 Reasons Why You Need to Be Using Coconut Oil

Updated on January 20, 2014
Coconut oil melts at 76 °F (24 °C).  I guess my apartment was very toasty on a cold winter day when I took this pic.  No worries if your coconut is melted or solid - both are great
Coconut oil melts at 76 °F (24 °C). I guess my apartment was very toasty on a cold winter day when I took this pic. No worries if your coconut is melted or solid - both are great | Source

Coconut oil, which is extracted from ripe coconuts, is a multifunctional oil that has been used in tropical climates for ages in women's beauty routines and their kitchens. Now the west is embracing this amazing product and realizing how much it truly rocks. I've become obsessed with it, and how can you not be? Keep reading to find out the many ways you too can use this fabulous product.


1. Coconut oil is made up of the good type of fat

Coconut oil can be used in cooking and baking and it's not at all as bad as experts claimed years ago. Although coconut oil contains saturated fat, it's not the type of saturated fat that you should should be worried about.

Recent studies show that coconut oil contains the good type of saturated fat. Specifically, the fat content of coconut oil is made up of lauric acid, a fatty acid made of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), which are metabolized faster in the body, and may actually have positive effects on cholesterol levels. On the other hand, the type of saturated fat that causes high cholesterol (derived from animals) is made up of long-chained fatty acids.

So go ahead, butter that roll with some coconut oil!

2. Coconut oil may help with weight loss

Clinical studies into coconut oil's MCTs have shown that there's a link between MCTs and weight loss, maintenance of weight, and that MCTs may suppress appetite. This is because fats burn slower than carbohydrates and decrease carb cravings.


DIY Scrub Using Coconut Oil

It's easy to make a scrub using coconut oil - just mix together melted coconut oil, sugar or salt, and lime juice. Voila, you got yourself a scrub with amazing exfoliating properties.

3. Coconut oil is great for your hair

If you have dry or damaged hair, you obviously haven't tried coconut oil on it because otherwise it would be silky and soft. Seriously. Fatty acids in coconut oil softens hair as if you're using a really expensive deep conditioner.

One way to use coconut oil on your hair is right before washing your hair, putting a small amount on your fingers and applying it to your hair, avoiding the roots, doing it section by section. Then rinse. This way you're getting the grease out of your roots by shampooing but you're shielding the rest of your hair with the coconut oil.

Coconut oil also prevents frizz so you can apply a little in your palm and run your hand through your hair. Just make sure you put a tinsy bit or otherwise your hair will look like you dumped a bottle of oil over it (mine did the first time I tried this! It wasn't pretty but I learned my lesson. Less is more).

Coconut oil has anti-fungal and anti-viral properties
Coconut oil has anti-fungal and anti-viral properties | Source

How do you liquidify coconut oil?

You many find that your coconut oil is solid. This happens when it's below 76 °F (24 °C). To make coconut oil liquid, you can either warm it up by placing some in a container under running hot water or you can use a microwave.

4. Coconut oil has antibacterial, anti-fungal and antiviral properties

Coconut oil has antibacterial, anti-fungal, and antiviral from MCTs. Many say these propreties help ward off colds. The anti-fungal properties are good for cuticles by keeping them soft and from becoming brittle; and it's great for your feet.


5. Coconut oil is good for your mouth

A recent study has proven that coconut oil can kill Streptococcus bacteria, which is found in the throat and on the skin.

You can try an Ayurvedic technique called oil pulling, which involved rinsing your mouth with coconut oil before brushing your teeth. This whitens teeth and removes harmful bacteria.

What type of coconut oil should you get?

When shopping for coconut oil, make sure you get the organic, virgin (or "pure"), cold-pressed, unrefined kind.

Refined coconut oil goes through a bleaching and heating process, which damages polythenols which act as antioxidants in the body. However, if you're cooking at high temps, refined coconut oil fine.

6. Coconut oil removes all kinds of make-up

Coconut oil's gentle grime-removing action and antibacterial properties work wonders for removing mascara and other types of make-up. I find it pretty amazing. This is a much healthier option that using a synthetic chemical make-up remover.

Just one piece of advise, coconut oil is comedogenic, so make sure to test it on a small area of your face before you slather it all over.

7. Coconut oil is great on the sensitive eye area too

Coconut oil is super hydrating and great for the first place on the face to show lines and wrinkles.

How to exfoliate with coconut oil

  • Mix coconut oil with a tiny bit of baking soda
  • Scrub gentry
  • Rinse with warm water
  • Towel off the mixture
  • Your skin is glowing!

8. Coconut oil moisturizes skin

Fatty acids in coconut oil help lock in moisture in your skin and hydrated it. It can be used on any part of your body and many use it as a facial cream. I use it on my hands daily and they feel super soft and smell really nice!

A 2013 study in the Journal of Dermatological Science showed that lauric acid helps heal acne and was is as effective as benzoyl peroxide at doing so.

Do you use coconut oil?

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9. Coconut oil is great on lips

Coconut oil has fatty acids and when applied to lips, it creates a barrier and locks in moisture. Plus is smells yummy and makes lips look super healthy and shinny.

10. Coconut oil acts like massage oil / lubricant

Coconut oil doesn't absorb immediately so the lubricating effect of it allows you to slather it all over the body without it drying out for some time. Plus, it's edible. Hint hit ;-)


11. Coconut oil can be used in place of shaving lotion

Out of shaving cream? Try some coconut oil. Seriously, its lubricating nature makes it a good alternative. A drawback though is that it tends to gunk up your razor but you can just tap the handle to make it slide off. Another positive? You'll never have dry skin since the coconut oil will make it silky soft.

12. Vegans and Paleos love it!

Vegans and Paleos, two completely different type of eaters use coconut oil as a substitute for butter or milk, and as a spread on a cracker. No matter your eating style, try coconut oil in your diet and you won't be disappointed.

Plus, coconut oil is cheap, considering its multiple uses

A jar of coconut oil goes a long way. As you've read above, you can use it on your body and to cook with. You can buy it at Trader Joe's for instance for $5.99 or you can get a 15 oz jar of Nutiva coconut oil like the one I use on Amazon for $7.89. It will last you forever and you'll have a healthy alternative for everything.

How to apply coconut oil to your hair...


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    • Matty Fernandez profile image

      Modestly Glorify Him 9 months ago from Passaic, NJ

      I love Coconut oil and use it for a lot of things. I have yet to master cooking with it.

    • jcsteele profile image

      Jelena 2 years ago from Florida

      I have heard this from many people and have read it online. It only makes sense that its completely healthy and great for many things. I plan on using it myself sometime soon. Really good article by the way.

    • Global-Chica profile image

      Anna 2 years ago from New York, NY

      @Rangoon House: yes, the good oil! It's really a staple for me :) I'm so glad you liked the tips. Thanks for reading!

    • Rangoon House profile image

      AJ 2 years ago from Australia

      The good oil :) Thank you for such wonderful tips, especially the home made scrub and exfoliant.

    • word55 profile image

      Word 3 years ago from Chicago

      Thank you Global-Chica for sharing. I use coconut oil often. It's good for many practical uses :-)

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 3 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Very interesting hub. Coconut oil has been used in South India as a cooking medium for ages and also used as an hair oil. It is indeed a very versatile oil and healthy too. Thanks for all the information.

    • healthmunsta profile image

      healthmunsta 3 years ago

      Lovely! I love my coconut oil! For both topical application and cooking! In fact I prefer coconut oil over olive oil for cooking. The last video with that gorgeous girl with long hair is so inspirational!

    • Emily Richey profile image

      Emily 4 years ago from Florida

      This is great! I have been using coconut oil to remove my makeup and it works like a charm. Thanks for highlighting some other great uses!

    • thecollegeway profile image

      thecollegeway 4 years ago

      I always use coconut oil for cooking! I used to use olive oil until I found out about burn temperatures and the fact that olive oil has a lower burn temperature when compared to olive oil, therefore it turns into a carcinogen at a lower temperature!

    • profile image

      Crystal Finley 4 years ago from Tennessee

      Coconut oil has many benefits! Thanks for sharing!!!

    • Paul Edmondson profile image

      Paul Edmondson 4 years ago from Burlingame, CA

      We've been cooking with it for about a year. The funny thing is I started using it by cooking eggs. Then months later, I tried using it on vegetables and other things. Now my kids think everything tastes like eggs!

    • Journey * profile image

      Nyesha Pagnou MPH 4 years ago from USA

      Hi Global-Chica, thanks for sharing this article about the many benefits of coconut oil. My family and I definitely enjoy using coconut oil.

    • Ilona1 profile image

      Ilona 4 years ago from Ohio

      I had no idea there were so many uses and benefits of coconutoil!

    • Global-Chica profile image

      Anna 4 years ago from New York, NY

      B. Leekley, thanks for sharing the hub with your wife. You can use coconut oil too!

    • Global-Chica profile image

      Anna 4 years ago from New York, NY

      Jennifer, I was hearing about it for a while now and was just accumulating all these uses until one day I said, "whoa this product's amazing, with so many uses. I need to write about it" :)

    • Global-Chica profile image

      Anna 4 years ago from New York, NY

      My boyfriend and do too! The coconut taste takes some getting used to but I actually like it now.

    • Global-Chica profile image

      Anna 4 years ago from New York, NY

      Yes, it's important to make sure you're not using refined coconut oil, especially for beauty purposes. Thanks for voting up!

    • Global-Chica profile image

      Anna 4 years ago from New York, NY

      I hope coconut oil becomes available in Malaysia, Peachpurple! Perhaps when it enters the market, prices for shampoo with coconut oil will go down.

    • Global-Chica profile image

      Anna 4 years ago from New York, NY

      Janshares: I'm really happy that you enjoyed the article and that I gave you an idea of just how useful coconut oil is. I hope you'll love it as I do when you get it. I definitely haven't gone back to using what I replaced with it.

    • Global-Chica profile image

      Anna 4 years ago from New York, NY

      Robin, your wonderful lip balm hub is another awesome example of the multiple uses of coconut oil. Let me know how it works out for you on your hair. If you have thin hair like me, only use small amounts.

    • Global-Chica profile image

      Anna 4 years ago from New York, NY

      Cjarosz - same here! I've been increasingly conscious all the ingredients in products I buy and try to use only natural / organic. Coconut oil is definitely one of those 'wonder' products because it can be used for so many different things.

    • Global-Chica profile image

      Anna 4 years ago from New York, NY

      AnnaBella, thanks I did try to cover all the benefits. I'm amazed just how many uses coconut oil has. Let me know how it goes for you on your hair! Don't use too much because the first time I tried it on my hair, I definitely did. So I'd day, start with smaller amount and add gradually.

    • Global-Chica profile image

      Anna 4 years ago from New York, NY

      Joyette, I'm so glad you found the article useful and want to thank you for sharing it. I just couldn't resist writing about my favorite food and beauty product.

    • B. Leekley profile image

      Brian Leekley 4 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA

      My wife just recently got into coconut oil. I'll share this hub with her.

    • Jennifer Yamada profile image

      Jennifer Yamada 4 years ago from Oahu, Hawaii

      This is a great article! I didn't know coconut oil had so many uses.

    • tutta profile image

      Tatiana 4 years ago from Florida

      My husband and I love cooking with coconut oil because at least it's natural! Great hub!

    • torrilynn profile image

      torrilynn 4 years ago

      A great article you have here, i currently use coconut oil for my hair but i think im going to switch it to the pure kind i think the kind i have has been chemically processed. I never knew coconut oil could be so beneficial. Thank you. Voted up.

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 4 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      we don't have any coconut oil in the market but shampoo using coconut oil, yes. Pretty expensive too.

    • janshares profile image

      Janis Leslie Evans 4 years ago from Washington, DC

      Very informative and well-done article on the uses and benefits of coconut oil. I looked at a jar the other day and didn't buy it. I probably will now. Thanks for the tips, voted up, useful, and interesting.

    • Robin profile image

      Robin Edmondson 4 years ago from San Francisco

      We use coconut oil a lot - I even used it in my lip balms. ;) Instead of butter or olive oil, we even use it in our eggs. It does have a sweet taste that you have to get use to, but it's definitely worth it for all of the health benefits. I'm going to have to try it in my hair; I love the explanatory video. Thanks!

    • profile image

      cjarosz 4 years ago

      Great article!! I have been switching to all natural green products. I have had some great reviews on coconut oil

    • profile image

      AnnaBella Meadows 4 years ago

      I have been hearing a lot about the benefits of coconut oil lately and this article seems to cover all of the benefits. I am thinking of trying it as a way to moisturize my hair.

    • Joyette  Fabien profile image

      Joyette Fabien 4 years ago from Dominica

      Great article! This is most interesting and useful. I will certainly share it!