Issue 12  •  Spring 2013

Ten Amazing Things You Can Do With Coconut Oil

Written by Siobhan O’Connor
This is a repost from the site No More Dirty Looks

Friends! If you’ve read the book or hung out here for a while you know we’re fond of oils, and coconut oil in particular because it’s an amazing and cost-saving multitasker that has lots of qualities to recommend it.


It’s a rich moisturizer, it’s cheap, it’s versatile, it’s antimicrobial, antifungal, and antibacterial, has a decent amount of antioxidants, and it smells like baked goods. What’s not to love? Well, some stuff.

You can get it at any good health food store in the cooking oil section, just be sure to spend the extra buck or two to get raw, organic, virgin coconut oil. Now, without further ado: Here are the ten specific things I’ve tried it for, with honest assessments of how that worked for me:

1. For cooking at high heat. Coconut oil has earned itself a bona fide health halo, which you can read about here. Because some oils are not safe at high temperatures, I’ve swapped in coconut for a lot of my roasting, and some frying. I have tried and liked it in the oven for potatoes, sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts, carrots, asparagus, broccoli rabe, red onions, and other veggies too. I’m not fond of how it tastes with eggs or mild-tasting white fish—but it’s great with salmon.

2. As a cheekbone highlighter. Sweep a little on top of makeup (sounds weird, go with it) and leave it alone. It looks like your skin but glowier, which is why Rosemarie Swift, of RMS Beauty, uses it in her amazing Living Luminizer, “Un” Cover Up, and Lip-2-Cheek pots.

3. To shave my legs. So good! You get a real close shave and don’t have to worry about moisturizing after.

4. As a deep-conditioning hair treatment for my totally wrecked ends. There’s a reason lots of conditioners use coconut oil: According to this study, coconut oil is better able to penetrate the hair than is mineral oil (shocking!) and sunflower oil—which is good news because I’ve been dealing with a little heat damage over here. Because I don’t want to cut off the damage—I’m liking my hair long right now—I’ve been trying to get the ends looking OK as I grow it out. Knowing full well there is no way to physically repair fried ends (I even confirmed this with a cosmetic scientist named Colin, who isn’t a clean guy, but he’s nice and he’s smart), I’ve been loving this method: once a week, I sleep with a handful of coconut oil in my hair. I rub it in, comb it, pile it in a loose bun on the top of my head, and call it a night. In the morning I shampoo and it seems to make a big difference in the look and feel of my ends.

5. To take off my eye makeup. Put a little on a cotton ball or a piece of toilet paper and sweep it over your eyes gently. It even works on waterproof mascara.

To read the full list at No More Dirty Looks, click here

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