My first foray into using coconut oil came during my last job, where an estimated 80% of my co-workers were either gluten free or lactose intolerant. Everyone was asked to bringing a treat when someone had a birthday. Extra points for you if you were able to whip up something that catered to the dietary needs of most of the employees!
The first recipe I attempted with coconut oil was “Paleo Peppermint Patties”, which were delicious although more coconutty than minty.
Recently, I’ve delved more into the benefits of coconut oil and am ecstatic at the findings!
Coconut Oil as Face Cream
Forget those expensive, chemical laden creams that you lather onto your face day and night. Instead, use coconut oil! I’ve been using coconut oil on my face and neck for the last 3 or so months and have seen a huge improvement in the softness and dewiness of my skin. And also, surprisingly enough, less breakouts. Yes, I did experience a slight increase in breakouts for the first two weeks of using coconut oil on my face (it is oil after all, and your skin has to adjust to it). If you’re worried about breaking out, test coconut oil on your neck or under your eyes (less breakout-prone spots) for a week or two before going all the way. Now that my skin has adjusted, I have less breakouts, and the acne I do have heals quicker with the application of the coconut oil! Note: I still recommend combining the coconut oil with an SPF face lotion on the morning. It’s important to protect your skin from the sun, and coconut oil doesn’t help with that.
Coconut Oil as Makeup Remover
I have never been one for alcohol-based makeup removers. They sting, they’re harsh, and they’re often combined with some greasy substance that makes your skin feel like an oil slick after use. Coconut oil is actually great at naturally removing makeup around those sensitive eye areas, and it doesn’t sting or give you shiny, greasy skin. That combined with the fact that it’s super moisturizing and may reduce wrinkles makes it a definite yes for me!
Keep Your Hair Luscious with Coconut Oil
One more benefit of coconut oil: you can use it on your hair for added smoothness and hydration. Coconut oil is really rich, so I suggest using a small amount, rubbing it between your fingers to melt it a bit, and distributing it evenly through the ends of your hair only. You may want to do an occasional hair mask, coating your scalp and strands more heavily, but I would suggest doing this only once a month or so (with a good shampoo after).
Cooking With Coconut Oil
I’m sure you all have heard this before, but cooking with coconut oil is a great way to add flavor and decrease bad fats. You can easily sub coconut oil for butter in most recipes. Here’s one I made recently that turned out delicious with the addition of coconut oil:
Delicious Banana Bread
- 1⁄4 cup coconut oil
- 1/4 cup butter (you can play with the proportion of butter and coconut oil, but I would suggest keeping at least 25% of the total fat as butter to add fluffiness)
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 4 old, brown bananas, finely crushed
- 1/4 cup loosely chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
- 1 1⁄2 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla
- Cream together butter, coconut oil (solid) and sugar until fluffy
- Add eggs, crushed bananas, and nuts.
- Combine the two mixtures, stirring thoroughly
- Sift together flour, baking soda and salt. Gently fold into creamed mixture. Add vanilla.
- Pour into greased and floured loaf pan (Or a baking dish, which I used since I don’t own a loaf pan. If you use a baking dish, reduce cooking time to about 40 minutes).
- Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit (or 175 Celsius) for 60 minutes.