10 Surprising beauty uses for coconut oil

You may have already made the switch to coconut oil in the kitchen, but did you know you can also swap out some of your beauty products for the wonder oil?  There’s a reason coconut oil is so trendy these days. From taming frizz to moisturizing dry skin, this natural ingredient has a wide range of beauty-boosting properties. Look for extra virgin that has not been hydrogenated, bleached, or refined in any way or [has] any fragrance or dyes added to it. Check the label before buying a bottle - it should say that no fragrances, flavors, or coloring have been added. Here are some ways you can incorporate coconut oil into your beauty routine.

1. Repair damaged strands while you sleep

Coconut oil has been a known strand-saver for years. A 2003 study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Science showed that coconut oil is able to penetrate inside the hair shaft because of its fatty acid structure. If your hair feels dry or is prone to breakage  - which may be the case if you color it or use heat tools regularly - try coconut oil as an overnight treatment.

Before going to bed, apply virgin coconut oil onto your hair.  Rub the oil into the palms of your hands and work your way towards the end of your strands. Follow by brushing with a wide tooth comb, then put your hair in a ponytail or bun and cover it with a shower cap before bed. In the morning, rinse with shampoo and conditioner.

TIP: Raw organic coconut oil is best to use on hair, oftentimes it solidifies in the jar, so it’s best to put it in a small microwave-safe bowl for 30 seconds until it liquefies. Let it cool before applying.

2. Rehydrate skin

Could coconut oil be a fix for your dry or irritated skin? It might be. A 2013 study in the Journal of International Dermatology found that virgin coconut oil improved skin barrier function in patients with atopic dermatitis. Create a spa-like experience at home by whipping up this skin-softening treatment that also contains oats, a soothing ingredient.

TIP: Mix 2 to 3 tablespoons of oats and coconut butter (the solid form of coconut oil) and place it in a reusable muslin bag (you can easily find the bags on amazon.com or etsy.com). Then heat it in the microwave for 30 seconds or until the mixture becomes a thick paste, the bag may be massaged, rolled, and compressed all around the body. The active ingredients from the oats and the coconut oil will help restore your skin’s pH levels, leaving your skin silky smooth.

3. Lip balm

Lips are extremely susceptible to drying out-much more so than other parts of our body, as they are always exposed to the elements, and really have only a thin layer of skin to protect them. Chapped lips don't stand a chance against ultra-hydrating coconut oil.

TIP: Scoop some into a spare contact lens holder and throw it in your purse so you can dab it on with your finger throughout the day.

4. Cuticle softener

Get double duty from your new DIY coconut oil lip balm case and say goodbye to ragged cuticles. The coconut oil will strengthen your nails and hydrate the delicate cuticle skin, making your hands look more youthful.

TIP: Using your finger, swipe a small amount of the oil onto each of your cuticles and allow it to sink in and hydrate the skin.

5. Under-eye cream

The skin under your eyes is thin and delicate, making it prone to fine lines, puffiness, and dark circles. If you hate the idea of dropping big bucks on expensive eye cream, then sub in coconut oil.

TIP:  Just rub a pinch in between fingers to warm it up before patting it underneath your eyes.

6. Tame out of control hair

Is your hair a poufy mess? Use a small amount of coconut oil in your hair for instant control. Apply a dime size amount onto your fingers and then run it through your hair to put frizz and flyaways in their place. Taking a tropical vacation this summer? Use coconut oil to prevent your hair from frying in the heat.

TIP: If you’re going to the pool or the beach, it’s best to leave coconut oil in your hair, this creates a barrier between your hair and the drying sun, chlorine, or salt water and keeps it conditioned and healthy.”

7. Prep Feet for a Pedi

Coconut oil contains antibacterial and antifungal properties, making it the perfect ingredient to use to prevent toenail infections and foot fungus. Try this treatment for cleaner, softer feet before your next pedicure.

TIP: Pour coconut oil into an empty jar or small bowl until it’s halfway full, then add 2 tablespoons of honey and mix in 1 tablespoon of sugar until the sugar is completely immersed in the oil. Take a couple spoonfuls of the scrub and work into your legs and feet to fully exfoliate, sloughing away dead skin and smoothing out calluses, cracked heels, and rough spots.

8. Makeup remover

Just a teaspoon (or less) can take off a day's worth of makeup with ease, no matter the staying power. Massage a dollop of warmed, liquefied coconut oil straight onto skin and watch as makeup melts away, then rinse with warm water.

TIP: To make your own coconut oil makeup remover wipes, melt 1 teaspoon of coconut oil per round cotton pad in a microwave-safe container. Then, lay the cotton pads in an even layer and let them soak up the oil overnight. Store them in the same container or in a plastic bag and throw them in your carry-on or gym bag for easy makeup removal on the go.

9. Body scrub

Coconut oil will leave your skin baby soft. On its own, you'll step out of the shower with a faint tropical scent, but you could also add lavender oil.

TIP: Mix a half cup of sea salt or sugar with an equal amount of melted coconut oil, and then use your hands to rub it over any rough patches of skin. The scrub moisturizes while removing dead skin cells.

10. Shaving cream

Ran out of shaving cream? Coconut oil to the rescue! Just warm the jar under the water and smooth onto legs before shaving. Your razor will glide smoothly, allowing for a super-close shave, and your legs will be moisturized from the oil in the process.

TIP: shave outside the shower. The oil is very slippery, so you'll have an easier time holding onto your razor if your hands are dry.

Sources: http://www.health.com/ http://www.everydayhealth.com/

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