Creative Ways to Use Coconut Oil in Your Diet and Beauty Regimen

You can’t get away from the craze that is coconut oil. People are baking with it. They’re cooking with it. They're pouring it in their coffee, slathering it on their toast, and more. They’re smoothing it on their hair and skin, too. In short, it seems there’s nothing coconut oil can’t do!

Where coconut oil shines is when it’s applied to your skin. “I’m pretty enamored with using it topically,” says Dr. Low Dog. “Coconut oil is amazing when it comes to irritation, inflammation, or risk for bacterial infections,” she adds. You can truly use coconut oil from head to toe. Here’s how.

1. Dash Sautéed Dishes With Coconut Oil at Certain Temps

When you’re cooking on a higher heat, it’s a misnomer that coconut oil is always a good option. It may be, but you just have to choose the right one. Virgin coconut oil can only tolerate 350 degrees F before breaking down, says Low Dog. For higher-heat cooking, opt for an organic refined coconut oil, which can take temps up to 450 degrees F.

2. Add Coconut Oil to a Smoothie for a Flavor Burst

If you like the way coconut oil tastes and the texture it adds to a smoothie, go ahead and add a small dollop into the blender to give your drink a dose of fats. There are other ways to get fat into your smoothie, like nut butter; make sure you’re adding fat in moderation, as multiple sources can add up quickly in terms of calories.

3. Use Coconut Oil as a Natural Treatment to Soothe Eczema

If you’re hoping to help tame an eczema flare-up, you may want to give coconut oil a try, says Low Dog. Thanks to itchy skin, scratching can potentially introduce staph bacteria (Staphylococcus aureus, which requires antibiotics). On the other hand, “one study showed that applying it daily on your skin for a month led to a 95 percent reduction in staph on the skin,” says Low Dog. Coconut oil is rife with lauric acid, which has antibacterial and antifungal activity that fights harmful bacteria. As a moisturizer, it also may help repair the skin’s barrier, which is your body’s first line of defense against infection.

6. Use Coconut Oil as a Natural Lubricant

To help combat vaginal dryness, try applying a small amount of organic refined coconut oil with a mini pad before bed (emphasis on a small amount — a little goes a long way here!). “It’s very, very moisturizing to the vagina,” she says. “This is something my patients have taught me, and I think it’s helped a lot of women,” she says. But again, be sure to clear the approach with your doc to be sure the method is safe for your individual health.

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