Coconut oil’s popularity is skyrocketing, and it’s easy to see why. There’s almost nothing this substance can’t do. Remember the Saturday Night Live commercial parody for a product that was both a floor wax and a dessert topping? Coconut oil pushes that far-fetched concept many steps further — seriously — with a laundry list of uses that seem too good to be true.
While the world is only catching on to this now, the benefits of coconut oil is hardly a new phenomenon. It’s been extracted from the meat of coconuts for thousands of years, and actively used by people in tropical climates. But after mistakenly being demonized as an artery clogger in the 1960s, coconut oil stayed out of the mainstream consciousness until recently. But we’re better informed than we were back then, and now know that coconut oil is free of cholesterol and trans-fats. It also contains lauric acid, one of those “good fats” we’re always in search of.
While many of the specific health claims associated with coconut oil haven’t been fully proven yet, there are enough tried-and-true solutions — for your body and otherwise — that you’ll proclaim it a miracle fix regardless.
LOOK: Our roundup of the 15 best uses for coconut oil. Story continues below.
Give Your Hair Shine
Run a small bit through your wet hair – pea-size for short hair, bean-size for long – to get a beautiful conditioning effect with a shimmer that rivals drug store serums.
Moisturize Your Skin
From dry feet to a flaky forehead, coconut oil is a great way to nourish your skin without the heaviness of moisturizing lotions. Just a dab will do it.
Remove Your Makeup
Ditch the chemicals! After a night out, it just takes one swipe of some coconut oil on a cloth to make sure your sexy cat eye doesn’t end up on your pillow case.
Imagine fresh-baked brownies. Now, imagine fresh-baked brownies made with coconut oil. Better, right? Use it as a substitute for shortening, butter, or other types of oil, and get a sweeter, lighter tasting dessert.
Add To Sweet Beverages
It’s easy to bring a kick of coconut to hot chocolate or fruit smoothies. Remember if you’re adding coconut oil to a cold beverage, make sure to heat it up to liquid form before stirring in.
Leather Shoe Cleaner
Make sure your boots remain made for walking by rubbing them down with a dab of coconut oil to keep them clean and soften the leather.
Remove Stickers From Merchandise
Darn you, discount stores! Sticky labels and price tags are easy to remove with coconut oil. Just mix with some baking soda, spread it on the sticky area, leave for 10 minutes, and all evidence of your bargain will rub right off.
Season Cast-Iron Frying Pans
Cast iron needs maintenance to ensure foods don’t stick, and coconut oil makes a fantastic coating to keep your pan slick.
Canker Sore Remedy
If your diet consists primarily of fresh pineapple and sour soothers, one of the (likely many) health issues you’ve endured is the dreaded canker sore. Coconut oil has been said to speed up the healing process.
Some coconut oil and lemon juice is all it takes to bring a beautiful shine to your wood furniture. (Just be sure to test it out on an inconspicuous spot first.)
Combine coconut oil with baking soda to make your pearly whites gleam.
While coconut oil makes lips shiny and moist on its own, the recipe for coconut oil lip balm — made with beeswax, shea butter, and colouring if you so desire – is a winner.
Microwaved bags of yellow grease are fine if you’re holding a '90s theme party, but you can bring some authenticity back to your popcorn by cooking it on your stovetop with coconut oil and a few seasonings.
Mixed with essential oils, coconut oil can keep pests from buggin’ you all summer long.
Coconut oil can function much like WD-40, lubricating hinges and giving a little extra glide to those sticky kitchen drawers.