5 Ways to Use Coconut Oil

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This past year I have become a little obsessed with coconut oil.  I first started researching it because my grandmother has severe dementia and possibly Alzheimers disease and in my research, coconut oil has been found in some studies to help. Through that research, I discovered a number of other uses and benefits so I joined the coconut oil band wagon!!  I am still experimenting with it especially in cooking, but it has already become a staple item in our home not just in the kitchen!

Where to Find Organic Coconut Oil:

  • Amazon
  • Vitacost
  • Costco (in March 2013, it was $21.99 for 78 oz  = $.282/oz)
  • Trader Joes
  • Fred Meyer in the natural section. 

Face Wash:

Yes, you read that right! I rub coconut oil on my face every night to wash my face. Before you knock it, try it!  I was skeptical at first but now I’m in love.  I had started about a year ago breaking out around my chin area–the dreaded acne at 40 maybe you’ve heard of! Well, with 40 creeping on my doorstep, I thought I was done for in the skin department.  I have never really struggled with acne or skin issues beside the occasional zit.  I have had pretty good skin until now so I was willing dispute my skepticism to try anything.

I tried the coconut oil and I was surprised and pleased with the results!  It took about a week but my chin cleared up!  I have noticed in general my face is softer, less blackheads and no more dry patches on my forehead and cheeks.  And the most surprising result less oily around my nose! Seriously, less oil!  Another benefit I’ve noticed is no more chapped lips this winter!!

So how do you do it?

Here are recipes I have found beneficial:

For Dry Skin: 3 tablespoons coconut oil and 1/2 tablespoon olive oil – heat together, mix and let cool to form a “solid” face wash solution.

For Oily Skin: 3 tablespoons coconut oil and 6 tablespoons Caster Oil – heat together, mix and store in container ( this tends to be more ” liquidy”)

For regular or combination skin: Straight coconut oil

 How to use it:

  • Rub coconut oil mixture all over face and massage into skin (don’t forget the lips)
  • Soak a wash cloth in very hot water, wring out and place over face for 10-30 seconds
  • Repeat with the wash cloth 2-3 times
  • Use wash cloth and gently wipe face

That’s it!! I don’t even use moisturizer on my face any more. (I do use a small amount of cocoa butter lotion on my neck and chest nightly but not my face.)

I probably don’t have to tell you that this is cheaper than most face wash soaps – it is especially cheaper than buying the face wash and moisturizer.  In August when I started, I filled a 3 ounce Rubbermaid container and I am halfway through it.  I wash my face morning and night — so that is only 1.5 ounces in 6 months

I love that coconut oil doesn’t contain any harsh chemicals!!!

 *Castor oil can be found at most grocery stores, health food stores and online – see the different options available at Amazon right now.

Moisturizing Hair Mask or Conditioner:

This is so easy! Just coat your dry hair in coconut oil (don’t skimp on the amount) and leave on your hair for 20 minutes to 1 hour.  Be sure to massage it in to your scalp.  After the coconut oil mask has done its magic, rinse your hair in the shower with warm water.  I find it hard to do this too often because of my busy life with two small boys, but each time I do,  I am super pleased with the results.  My hair is shinier, softer and feels silky, but not greasy.

You can also make a coconut oil conditioner to use whenever you wash your hair.  I haven’t done this but a few friends have and LOVE it!! It’s on my list to try!

Recipe for Coconut Oil Conditioner:

Combine 1/4 cup coconut oil and 2 tablespoons honey.
Rub into hair
Let sit 1-2 minutes and
Rinse with warm water.

Using Coconut Oil in place of butter:

Another favorite use for coconut oil is in place of butter on toast. Our favorite is “sprinker toast” (what my boys call cinnamon and sugar toast). If you’re wanting to give coconut oil a try,  this is probably the simplest way.  Simply spread it on the toast (it melts at a low heat so a little goes far) and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar! The heat of the toast will melt the coconut oil into the toast. My boys love it. One of my boys doesn’t like coconut, but he loves the coconut oil spread too!!

Oil for Sauteing Meat, Fish or Veggies:

I have also started using coconut oil to replace olive oil when sautéing foods –  especially fish and some chicken recipes.  I find it does burn a little faster than olive oil,   so I cook at a slightly lower temp.  One of my favorites ways to use it is with the Costco salmon patty.  I love these for an easy lunch! And my four year old loves them too!  Simply put two teaspoons coconut oil in a pan on the stove on medium heat and let melt.  Then add the salmon patty and cook according to packaging.  I love that it adds a mild coconut flavor to the salmon–(kind of like coconut prawns, but a lot less work).

Coconut Oil Frosting:

My latest use for coconut oil – FROSTING!! What a yummy way to use your coconut oil!  Not that I’d recommend this way daily, but . . .oh my, it’s so yummy!

Recipe for Coconut Oil Frosting:

3/4 cup coconut oil (solid at room temp)

3-4 cups powdered sugar (sifted)

2 teaspoons sea salt

2-3 tablespoons coconut milk ( I am also obsessed with this but that would be a whole other post!)

Mix coconut oil, salt, milk and powdered sugar in a mixer,  adding the sugar  with 1/2 cup at a time until it has the consistency you desire. Be sure not to beat too fast because coconut oil melts at a low heat.

These are just a few of my favorite ways to use coconut oil.  Love that it is so healthy and you know exactly what is in it!

Make sure to check out all the Thrifty NW Mom Facebook Fans’ favorite uses for Coconut Oil!

What are your favorite uses for coconut oil?

Here are more DIY posts you might be interested in:

By contributor Sarah


  1. i am relatively new to coconut oil. I have been using it in my oatmeal and it has helped me lose 15 pds gained from the big “M”. I recently started using it for oil pulling for gums and teeth and general health. I previously tried using some other oils and just could not go it but it is going well with the coconut oil.

    I also love it for lip balm and body moisturizer. I will have to try it on toast soon. And also popcorn.:-) Also want to try the Magic Shell recipe for ice cream:

    1. What a fun way to use your coconut oil in your oatmeal, Karen! And congratulations on the weight loss! I didn’t even think about using it for your teeth & gums! Learning so many great tips – thanks for sharing!

  2. Hi I’m from a small island in south pacific where u grow up using coconut oil. Back home its free cause u got all this coconuts everywhere so ur parents make your own. Even now that i live here in the state my mom and inlaws still send me coconut oil for me and my kids.. Its great, its natural and no chemicals… Great for babies, keep them warm and if u have black hair it keeps ur hair silky smooth and darker.

  3. Love, love, LOVE, coconut oil!! I’ve been using it for a few years, mostly as a moisturizer instead of lotion. I put it all over my kids right after they take a shower, too! There’s a MILLION amazing things coconut oil does…helps heal cuts faster, sunscreen, use it as lotion, cooking, all the things you listed and more:D I get a little excited about coconut oil, haha! In the last year I discovered the amazing benefits of castor oil as well! Wanna fight wrinkles and hair loss…castor oil! Love it all:D

    1. Love all these ideas, kristie! Didn’t think about it as a sunscreen or for healing cuts! Wow, I’m just amazed by all that it can do! Castor oil – now there’s one to look at more, too – thanks for the tips!

  4. Add a little sugar and lemon juice to it( 2-1 ratio) you’ll have a wonderful body scrub! I use it everyday and love it!

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