6 Coconut Oil Beauty Hacks
Like anyone who loves good roasted vegetables and a well-seasoned cast-iron skillet, I keep a jar of coconut oil in my cupboard at all times. What started out as just cooking oil has become very handy for other things at home. In fact, you can even read about 7 Helpful Ways to Use Coconut Oil Around the House.
However, when I found out I could use coconut oil for personal care (see #4, teeth whitener), I was absolutely sold on coconut oil’s beauty benefits and kept finding more great ways to use coconut oil on my body. What can I say? It’s easy to pamper yourself when all you need is a pantry staple!
While I have found all types of coconut oils useful and effective for my own body, minimally processed coconut oils like Wildly Organic Coconut Oil is recommended for these beauty uses. So if today is self-care day, deep conditioner day, shaving day or any regular day: take a jar of coconut oil, grab a bathrobe, and indulge yourself with these 6 coconut oil beauty hacks.
6 Coconut Oil Beauty Hacks
#1 – As an Easy Hair Mask
A coconut oil hair mask is a great way to give your hair a little softness rehab. You might need to use more or less depending on your hair’s porosity, but no matter how thick, fine, straight, or curly your hair is, a coconut oil mask will help your hair feel silky smooth!
To use, grab coconut oil by the spoonful, rub it between your hands to help it melt a little, and saturate your hair by starting with the ends and working your way up to about your ears. Generally, you want to keep the oil away from your roots, especially if your hair is prone to getting oily.
If you have short hair, you want to exercise caution here, or else risk needing extra time, energy, and shampoo to get all of the oil out. Now that your hair is nicely saturated, put it up into a clip or a loose bun while you let the coconut oil moisturize your hair. Bonus points if you wear a shower cap, double bonus points if you wear a shower cap AND wrap a towel around your hair. It will keep the heat from your head inside your shower cap, allowing your hair’s pores to open and soak up the coconut oil more effectively. Wait for 30 minutes to an hour (or overnight, if you prefer), and then wash your hair as usual.
Keep in mind that coconut oil is going to make your shower slippery, so be extra careful when you’re standing in there, and be sure to clean your shower floor after you get out!
#2 – As an Exfoliating Shave Scrub
This is my go-to for ultimate coconut oil self-care luxury. I love a good body scrub and softly shaved legs, so why not have the best of both worlds?
For this scrub, add 2 parts granulated sugar to 1 part coconut oil (I usually do ½ cup sugar with ¼ cup coconut oil), with the option to add a few drops of any essential oils that you prefer. Bathe or shower as usual, and then shave your legs. Now, apply the coconut oil scrub to your legs and exfoliate, exfoliate, exfoliate! You may feel the sugar start to dissolve between your fingers, and that’s perfectly okay; you want to be sure you are thoroughly exfoliating your legs.
Now shave AGAIN, but this time with a disposable razor (believe me, you do not want to shave with that razor again). The coconut oil scrub helped lift dead skin cells and other shorter hairs that you may have missed, and by shaving again, you are clearing it all away. Finish rinsing off, apply lotion, and feel the smoothest legs that you have ever had.
Just like with the hair mask, be sure to clean out your shower afterward!
#3 – As a Makeup Remover
Did you know coconut oil makes an excellent makeup remover? It’s one of my favorite coconut oil beauty hacks since it’s so simple! If you ever thought that wearing dramatic eye makeup means scrubbing and stretching the delicate skin around your eyes to get it all off, fear no longer.
Rub a dab (or more!) of oil between your hands until it softens into a liquid, gently rub the oil on eye makeup, and rinse it off with warm water. That’s it! Be careful though; if you have oily skin, there is a chance this will make you oilier, so make sure you clean all of the coconut oil off.
#4 – As a Teeth Whitener
Full disclosure: I drink coffee on a daily basis, red wine on a weekly basis, and chocolate whenever I can. My teeth need a weekly whitener! This is such an easy, cost-effective DIY option.
Scoop out a teaspoon full of coconut oil, or if you’re new to this, maybe start with half a teaspoon, as the experience can feel very strange at first. Some people move up to a full tablespoon, but I prefer a teaspoon. Put the oil in your mouth, and chomp, swish, and slide it around your teeth—just don’t swallow it! This is called “oil pulling”, which helps clean gunk out of your mouth, and so you don’t really want to swallow what that oil is pulling from your teeth and gums.
First-timers who are unused to the strange sensation may try swishing for 5 minutes, but the typical duration is about 15-20 minutes. When you are done, be sure to spit out the oil in the garbage, since this concentration of oil (and frequent pulling) may clog your drains. Lastly, rinse your mouth out or brush your teeth as usual.
#5 – As a Toothpaste Substitute
Similar to the teeth whitening treatment, this method provides a sensation that requires some getting used to. However, since you are using a toothbrush, it feels a little less weird.
If you want to try it out just a couple of times without committing to a full container of coconut oil toothpaste, simply mix a ½ teaspoon coconut oil with ¼ to ½ teaspoon baking soda and add a drop or two of peppermint oil in a small container. The peppermint oil (or other flavorful oil of choice) is essential to avoiding a yucky, salty taste in your mouth when you brush. To use, add a pea-sized amount to your toothbrush (like you would with regular toothpaste) and brush as usual.
#6 – As a Makeup Brush Cleaner
Makeup brushes are the vehicles to getting makeup on your face, and if your brush isn’t clean, your makeup and your face won’t be clean. I don’t own any special makeup brush cleaners, but I have found that this method is faster than just cleaning my brushes with bar soap.
Use a spoon to add a very small amount of coconut oil to your makeup brush-cleaning mat (or your hands). If you are washing a big, fluffy brush, start with a pea-sized glob of coconut oil at most and then use less and less for your smaller and smaller brushes. Get your brush wet, then brush it laterally across the oil as it melts and permeates the bristles. You want to keep your brush in good condition for a long time, so try to help it maintain its form, even as you clean it. Once the coconut oil is steeped into the bristles and you can see the makeup coming out onto your mat (or hands), put your brush under warm running water and keep brushing it to remove the oils.
Pro tip: slide your fingers down the handle of the brush to the bristles, then squeeze from the base of the bristles to the head to get out all of the makeup and coconut oil hiding near the base. Don’t forget to maintain the shape of the brush head!
Once the warm water runs clear, add just a drop of mild liquid dish soap (I like Dawn) to your mat/hand and repeat the cleaning process. This helps clear the coconut oil and makeup residue from your bristles. Give the bristles one last shapely squeeze, and then leave your brush out to dry.