health benefits of coconut oil

Discover the natural beauty benefits of coconut oil for your hair, skin, and face.

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. Or your arms. Or coconut oil for 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. Coconut oil is used in many natural beauty products, and for good reason: It’s naturally antibacterial and anti-fungal, coconut oil for skin is an excellent moisturizer, it can penetrate hair better than other oils, and, well, it smells like cookies. We can’t think of anything. But we can think of 8 amazing uses for it in your very own home that don’t require spending a fortune on store-bought products. In fact, all you need is one thing: Raw (preferably organic) virgin coconut oil.

To soothe dry hands This won’t work for dry digits when you’re on the go, but at home, coconut oil for skin can work wonders on your dishwashing-parched hands. You can get a jar at your local grocery store, or try this organic coconut oil from Coconut Revolution.

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 organic coconut oil on top of makeup and leave it alone. It looks like your skin but glowier, 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. 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 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, coconut oil even works on waterproof mascara! Put a little of organic coconut oil 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 make up, and leaves the delicate area hydrated to. When you’re done, wash the residue with your favorite cleanser. (If you’re adult-acne prone, avoid this technique).

To add shine Smooth a tiny amount of organic coconut oil onto your ends of your hair to add a little shine. Remember that a dab will do you: Any more and your hair might appear greasy.

In a luscious body scrub It’s wonderfully moisturizing, great for the skin, inexpensive, and blissfully absent of chemicals you can’t pronounce. Melt ½ cup of coconut oil at very low heat. Pour it over 1 cup of brown sugar or salt and stir well. If you have some on hand, add in  few drops of your favorite essential oil or some pure vanilla extract for a scrub so fragrant you’ll want to eat it

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