Anyone who spends more than 20 minutes with me will be able to tell you one thing – I love coconut oil! Yes, it adds a delicious flavor to stir fries and baked goods (you’ve got to try it in your brownies!) but it can also be used as part of your personal care and grooming process. To be honest, you could probably get away with replacing most, if not all, of your store-bought products by incorporating more coconut oil. Here’s how I use it:
Oil pulling is an ancient Ayurvedic practice that is also known as “kavala” or “gundusha.” It involves swirling a tablespoon of oil in your mouth (could be olive oil too!) for 10-20 minutes first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. It is believed that it helps “pull” toxins from the body and improves oral health.
Helpful tips: Do NOT spit the oil into your sink, toilet or shower when you are done. When it cools it solidifies and will clog your pipes. Instead, spit it directly into the garbage. Also, be prepared to feel weird, especially the first couple of times. I developed a phlegmy feeling and I felt like I had to cough up and clear a bunch of grossness from my lungs and back of the throat. A lot of people have reported feeling similarly. Don’t panic. I found that, after a week, it dramatically improved and I felt really good!
When I was a kid, my grandmother always made me clean my mouth with baking soda once a week. It was a horrifying experience (largely because she used a facecloth to do it) but I did always feel pretty fresh afterwards. I stopped doing it but, years later, I discovered that a lot of people were combining it with coconut oil to make a toothpaste. There are going to be a million and one “recipes” for this on the internet but I just keep it simple – grab a bowl and add a few tablespoons of baking soda. Add the same amount of coconut oil. Stir (I use a chopstick) until completely mixed. Add a few drops of peppermint oil for flavor, if desired.
Helpful tip: Buy a squeeze tube to make it easy to use in the bathroom. Remember that when your sink area is warm (in hot weather, after a hot shower, etc…) the toothpaste will be more liquidy than at cooler times when you might struggle to squeeze any out of the container. Try to keep your bathroom at a consistent temperature for optimal results.
This is super simple if you’re already making toothpaste. I mix baking soda and coconut oil but the ratios depend on the user. I like my facial cleanser to be a little grittier since my skin needs regular exfoliation. You may need a gentler formula. Fortunately, you can easily customize it by adding more or less baking soda. Experiment until you find something that works for you. Again, I keep mine in a squeeze bottle in the shower to make it easy to use.
It doesn’t get more straightforward than this! I like to fill, yet another, squeeze bottle with coconut oil to use as a facial cream/moisturizer. As soon as I get out of the shower and dry off, I put some on my face and it feels amazing. I personally add a little bit of peppermint oil since it has analgesic, anti-inflammatory and anti-spasmodic properties which is great for treating and preventing muscle pain and cramps. I’ve even found that it helped quell my baby’s hives by reducing inflammation quickly.
Do you use coconut oil as a personal care product? Share your tips and experiences!