1. As a shaving cream alternative
Get a smooth shave and prevent razor burn by mixing coconut oil, shea butter, and jojoba oil together. Try this recipe.
2. To scrub your face
Slough off dead skin cells with a simple mix of equal parts coconut oil and brown sugar.
3. To remove makeup
Using your hands or a washcloth, rub a little coconut oil onto your skin. Let sit for a minute and rinse off with warm water. It can even remove that last bit of waterproof mascara — just be careful not to get directly into your eyes, or it could sting.
4. To moisturize your dry cuticles
Winter wreaks havoc on your skin, especially your hands. Skip the lotion and just rub a little coconut onto your hands and cuticles to lock in moisture.
5. As lip gloss
Favorite tube of lipstick just about done? Scoop out the last bit of color with a Q-tip and combine with about a teaspoon of coconut oil in a new container. You should have just enough for an extra swipe or two of lipstick.
6. To clean your makeup brushes
Yup, this really works! Here’s how: Coconut oil is packed with anti-fungal, anti-viral, and anti-bacterial properties due to the level of medium-chain fatty acids that are present, Dr. Ariel Ostad, M.D., a New York-based dermatologic surgeon, says. “In fact, those fatty acids make up 80% of coconut oil, so they can definitely help keep your makeup brushes clean,” he says.
Mix two parts anti-bacterial soap with one part coconut oil and work through brush bristles. Rinse under lukewarm water. Let dry completely before using your brushes again.
7. As a deodorant
The lauric acid in coconut oil can help kill bacteria that causes your sweat to smell. But be warned: This doesn’t actually stop you from sweating, it just masks the B.O.
8. To fake long lashes
While Dr. Ostad says nothing but FDA-approved medications (such as Latisse) can actually lengthen your eyelashes, using a little bit of coconut oil on them can make them appear longer and fuller. Simply dab a little bit on with a Q-tip or cotton ball. Less is more though — too much can cause minor eye irritation.
9. To prep your legs before and after waxing
“Coconut oil is a natural moisturizer and can be very effective for those with delicate skin,” says Dr. Ostad. “My suggestion would be to stick to organic extra virgin coconut oil, and to always test it out on a small patch of skin first to make sure you’re not allergic, especially if you’re going to be applying it on or near your genital area.”
10. To soothe eczema flare-ups
Coconut oil is one of the few things that can actually restore damaged or diseased skin, due to the small molecular structure of it, which allows for easy absorption, according to Dr. Ostad. As with waxing, Dr. Ostad recommends testing the oil on a small patch of skin first to ensure that you’re not allergic to it.
11. As toothpaste
Mix one part coconut oil with one part baking soda for a natural toothpaste (you can also add a couple of drops of mint oil if you really miss the minty-fresh taste).
12. To fight dandruff
“Dandruff is caused by a yeast-like fungus called Malassezia, and coconut oil has natural antifungal properties that can work to eliminate it,” Dr. Ostad says.
13. To moisturize dry hair
Bonus to treating dandruff: Coconut oil seeps deep into the hair shaft, which means it’s also great as a longer conditioning treatment. If you have thin or fine hair, work a dime-size amount of coconut oil through slightly damp hair; if you have thicker, more coarse hair, feel free to use more. Wait an hour and then shampoo and condition as normal.
14. To fight frizz
Oil and water don’t mix, so when you need to tame flyaways fast, scoop half a teaspoon of coconut oil into your hands (in this case, you only need a very small amount; too much can make your hair look greasy), rub through your hands very quickly to warm it up, and then work through your hair. Style as desired.
15. To help treat fungal infections
While coconut oil on its own won’t have the same effect that antibiotics do, you can use it in conjunction with them to prevent and treat fungal infections like athlete’s foot, Dr. Ostad says.