Have you seen our blog post on 50 Ways To Use Coconut Oil? I haven't tried all of them, but I do love cooking with it and using it in smoothies. It does work as a shaving cream, but leaves a bit of a mess behind when you're done. The post lists both sunscreen and tanning oil as uses and both seemed to work: after 5 1/2 hours biking in the July sun, my legs weren't burnt, so that's cool.
The hair tips are all good, but it takes some trial and error to find the right amounts to use. I tried oil pulling (a lazy version—not the recommended 15-20 minutes) and noticed that a cut I had from chomping down on my lip went away quickly. A clutz like me shouldn't try to walk and eat, but it was the Street Fair! It's what you do.
One of my cats insists on hanging out with me while I get ready in the morning, so I've started giving him a little bit of coconut oil. He loves it and now recognizes the sound of the jar being opened. And whines if I don't give him any. He's a (demanding) long-haired cat so let's hope it works for hairballs.
While we were putting the 50 Ways post together, I came across a few DIY 'recipes' for other coconut oil things that I thought I'd try. With the exception of beeswax (and I don't know why we don't carry that), all of the ingredients used are available at SwansonVitamins.com. Here's what I made:
Coconut Oil Lotion Bars
Coworker and Swanson Social Guru Ben said his wife had made these Coconut Oil Lotion Bars as gifts. Super simple: melt equal parts beeswax and coconut oil. Add your choice of essential oils. Pour into tins, molds, or muffin cups and cool. Voila! I'm pretty optimistic about these. I was worried about greasiness, but that does go away after a while. Just be careful not to get it on your clothes.
I made Eucalyptus & Lavender, Sandalwood Vanilla, Sage & Cedar, and Neroli Orange versions. Looking for more essential oil aromatheraphy inspiration? Check out our Beginner's Guide to Aromatherapy! Candelilla wax is a vegan alternative to beeswax; just only use half the amount as it has stronger thickening properties.
Coconut Oil Toothpaste
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 2 tablespoons baking soda
- 1 tablespoon coral calcium
- 1 teaspoon of xylitol
- 20-25 drops of spearmint oil
It seemed a bit dry at this point, so I added some more coconut oil for a softer, smoother consistency. Sweetness and degree of minty-ness are up to you, as well.
I am not accustomed to baking soda toothpastes, so this was a little startling. Plus it leaves an oily residue in the sink. It definitely makes my teeth feel clean, but I'm not sure I'm ready to give up my Auromere toothpaste. However, if baking soda toothpaste is your thing, the health properties of coconut oil make it an excellent base.
Coconut Oil Body Butter
I thought this plan for Whipped Coconut Oil Moisturizer sounded promising. And easy, too: throw the coconut oil in the Kitchenaid and let the mixer do the work! Unfortunately, this was a complete Fail. It was supposed to get all soft and fluffy. I let the mixer run while I made all the other things and all it ever did was soften/liquefy.
Not enough cococut oil in the bowl? Too warm? Who knows. But after I was done with the lotion bars, I had some of the melted coconut oil/beeswax mixture left over so I threw that in. If it didn't work... well, the recipe was already not working so no big loss. That actually seemed to help! Unfortunately, emboldened, I thought Why not throw some of that raw shea butter in here, too? That put the concoction over the edge and back to being liquid again. Oh, well. I added some essential oils, poured the mixture into jars and hoped for the best. I made one jar that was Grapefruit and Juniper (based on a lovely Abra Therapeutics salt scrub I have) and one jar using Aura Cacia's "Love Potion" essential oil, which is an intriguing combination of mandarin orange, lemon, cardamom, sandalwood, patchouli, ylang ylang, vetiver, and jasmine oils. Ultimately, it did resemble body butter, but was way too greasy for my liking. I did find that a tiny—seriously, miniscule: do NOT over-do it—amount makes a decent hair cream to smooth out frizzy ends.
Only thirty-some tips to go, right?? That's not really going to happen, but I'm happy with what I've tried (and learned) so far. Have you made any beauty products like this? How'd they turn out? How did I screw up the whipped moisturizer?
Also On the Swanson Blog: Oil Pulling: All Hype Or Is There Something to It?
BONUS: Insect Repellent with Coconut Oil
I took this homemade concoction camping with me this summer and it worked really well! A wet summer = bugs. Bugs love me. Since that's not mutual, I thought I'd try these instructions for Insect Repellent Lotion Bars. I didn't have any cute silicon molds like the blogger did, though. Melt equal parts beeswax, coconut oil, and cocoa or shea butter (I used shea -- make sure it's raw shea butter, though, and not something that's already body butter). Remove from heat and add essential oils. I found a list of oils known to repel insects and used geranium, lemongrass and citronella. Pour into molds or tins and cool.