About 15 months ago, I read an article about coconut oil. The only thing I had really heard about it before then was its reportedly unhealthy presence in baked goods. Something about this article made me want to try it, though. So, I picked up a jar at the store that Fall. It turned out to be one of those “where have you been all of my life?” sort of things! Yes, it’s possible to use it in the kitchen, but it turns out it makes an excellent moisturizer. I read that it works really well on skin, plus there’s no concern about chemicals or accidental ingestion, so I decided to try it. First, I put some in a small glass bowl, and warmed it up in the microwave. It was amazing how soft it made my skin feel. I had my children try it, and they also love it. It’s even nice in the summertime. One thing we found out is that it melts when it touches warm skin. The melting point is only 76 degrees. For winter, I still prefer to warm it up first, but for summertime application you can just take it directly out of the container. Just be careful that it’s not in something that leaks, since it will no longer be solid if the room is really warm. One of my favorite uses for coconut oil is to gently pat it around my eyes and on my eyelashes. My eyelashes tend to get brittle sometimes, and coconut oil is one thing that I feel comfortable putting near my eyes, and even on my eyelids. If it gets into my eyes, it not only doesn’t hurt, but I have no concerns about the health of my eyes. That also makes it ideal for removing makeup.
Then I found out about using it for the hair and scalp. Wow! Pop some in the microwave, and massage the warm oil into your scalp. Cover it with a towel if you want, and let it sit there for a while. After you shower, you’ll be amazed at how soft your hair is, and how your scalp will feel. This is a must for anyone who gets dry itchy scalp in the winter time. You can even just rub a very small amount onto the dry ends of long hair, and it makes your hair fantastic – soft and silky, and it can cut down on frizz.
One other use I’ve found for coconut oil is as a gift. I bought a large 8 pound container of it online, and have packaged smaller quantities into jars for friends and family members. It’s kind of expensive if purchased at a grocery store in a small jar, but the price per ounce is much lower in bulk. Not only can you give the oil itself to someone, but you can also use it for a massage or coconut oil treatment. I gave coconut oil scalp treatments to my dad, and he loved them! I’ve also given my sweet grandma some warm coconut oil foot massages. She really enjoys them.
I found many more uses for it that I haven’t actually tried. Some things that I saw mentioned were preventing stretch marks, a natural diaper rash cream, household uses such as conditioning leather, even medicinal suggestions for humans and pets. I’m not sure about all of them, but might give some of them a try. I strongly recommend checking with your medical practitioner before trying any of the suggested medicinal uses, though.
Some coconut oil has the coconut oil scent to it, but others have no really discernable taste or smell. The ‘plain’ kind has more uses, but some prefer the coconut smell. I’ve only gotten the plain kind, and haven’t had any problems with storage or spoilage. I just left it in the container in the pantry. It can be kept in the refrigerator if you’re concerned about making it last longer (I’m sure it would get rancid if you have it long enough), or just don’t want it to melt in the summer. I’m not sure if the scented kind needs special storage or not. Either way, it’s something I highly recommend that you try. I loved it so much, and shared it with so many people, that I ran out and had to get a second 8 pound container of it online. I plan to always make sure to have a supply on hand.