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How to Use Coconut Oil: 28 Ways to Incorporate It into Your Beauty Routine

It seems everywhere you turn someone is talking about how awesome coconut oil is for absolutely every beauty dilemma. Frizzy hair? Coconut oil. Makeup remover? Coconut oil. Mosquito bites? I think you're beginning to pick up on the coconut-infused picture I'm throwing down. In order to truly experience how to use coconut oil, I gave up my favorite products and walked around smelling like a coconut cloud for a weekend. These are my 28 ways to use coconut oil in your beauty routine.

What to Look For

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When buying coconut oil, be sure to look for unrefined organic coconut oil as it is the most natural and healthiest option available. It can be bought in large quantities at grocery stores and online. Since there are so many ways to use coconut oil, I got the mega 54-ounce jar from Carrington Farms. Replacing many products with coconut oil can save you a ton of money while still reaping the benefits. Deborah Levy, registered dietitian and health and nutrition consultant for Carrington Farms, loves coconut oil because there is science behind it—it's not just the latest beauty craze.

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Oil Pulling

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Oil pulling is an ancient dental technique originating in India that involves swishing a tablespoon of coconut oil in your mouth for 10-20 minutes. You spit the oil out (into the trash, not the sink as it could clog), and it is supposed to draw the toxins and bacteria from your mouth and body. Do this every single day to reap the most benefits.

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Homemade Toothpaste

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A quick fix for toothpaste can be coconut oil mixed with baking soda with essentials oils to taste. Coconut oil has antifungal and antibacterial properties for cleaning teeth. Check out a recipe here!

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Eye Cream and Nighttime Moisturizer

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After removing my makeup, I gently rubbed coconut oil underneath my eye area and across my entire face as a nighttime moisturizer. Visions of Mounds bars danced in my head, and in the morning I woke up with soft skin and surprisingly no oily feeling. Using coconut oil around your eye area can prevent wrinkles and reduce puffiness and under-eye bags.

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Body Lotion

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Apply this miracle worker to your entire body instead of your normal lotion, and enjoy soft skin throughout the day. Store-bought moisturizers are petroleum- or water-based, while coconut oil's natural ingredients condition and moisturize skin cells more effectively, according to Levy.

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Cuticle Cream

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Cracked cuticles and hangnails are unsightly and painful. Try applying coconut oil twice a day at the base of the nail to remedy.

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Bath Oil

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Skip bubble bath and salts, and try adding coconut oil to your bath. The hot water will melt the oil into a liquid. and you can literally soak in the moisturizing benefits.

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Daily Moisturizer

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To keep skin soft, replace your daily moisturizer with coconut oil. Coconut oil fights redness and irritation so it reduces acne while moisturizing skin. The fatty acid helps reinforce skin's natural lipid barrier to lock moisture into skin.

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Shaving Cream

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Instead of a drugstore shaving cream, try a more natural approach with coconut oil. Wet the area, apply coconut oil, and shave as usual. Coconut oil helps the razor glide across your legs and hydrates skin in the process.

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Massage Oil

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It's hard to not feel relaxed when you catch a whiff of coconut. You envision a sunny day on a tropical beach with a piña colada in hand. With that in mind, use coconut oil as massage oil, and let the relaxing scents carry you away.

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Heal Dry Skin

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Whether it's your elbows, feet, or anywhere in between, call in the big guns to help heal the scaly patches. To prevent nosebleeds and provide relief from a cold, rub coconut oil on the inside of your nose.

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Face Mask

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Honey contains antimicrobial properties. Combine it with equal parts coconut oil for a great face mask. The mask can help to clear acne and keep skin soft and glowing. Here are three coconut-oil face masks!

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Body Scrub

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Create a DIY body scrub by mixing coarse sugar or salt with coconut oil. The grains slough off dead skin while the oil moisturizes skin underneath.

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Hair Mask

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Apply coconut oil to wet or dry hair from roots to ends and let sit. Rinse the oil off in the shower and moisture will be restored to your hair. This is one of the best ways to use coconut oil in your beauty routine, says Levy.

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Calm Frizz

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Smoothing a small amount of coconut oil through the ends of your hair can tame frizzy strands. Coconut oil repels water, the culprit behind frizz.

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Leave-In Conditioner

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I applied the coconut oil to wet hair and then went to bed. While I took a little tiger snooze, the fatty acids in coconut oil softened my hair. The coconut oil does make hair look a bit greasy, but it smells great and your hair will thank you.

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Lice Treatment

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Rinse hair with apple cider vinegar; then apply coconut oil to the scalp. Wrap in a shower cap, and leave overnight or for several hours. Remove cap, and easily comb out the lice eggs without damaging the hair.

Photo: http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-69235240/stock-photo-mother-treating-daughter-s-hair-against-lice.html?src=pp-same_model-69235249-XxngueRCGhzDw9cqSELzBg-3

Dandruff

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Massage coconut oil into the scalp. The oil will moisturize to reduce dandruff symptoms, such as itching and flaking.

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Cheekbone Highlighter

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Rub the oil across your cheekbones for a natural, dewy glow.

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Makeup Remover

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Swap your makeup remover wipes for coconut oil to get rid of the pounds of mascara stuck to your lashes. The oil easily removes all traces of makeup. Just be sure to also wipe away the excess oil so it doesn't irritate your eyes.

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Clean Makeup Brushes

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Create a DIY makeup brush cleaner by combining antibacterial soap and coconut oil. The combination will deep-clean residue from brushes and condition the bristles.

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Chapstick

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Since coconut oil is in a semisolid state at room temperature, it is the perfect consistency for a lip balm. Coconut oil is naturally SPF 4 and can remedy chapped lips.

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Athlete's Foot or Fungus

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The next time you get athlete's foot or a fungus, treat it with coconut oil. Levy says, "Medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) are naturally occurring antifungal agents. They work to disrupt the lipid membrane in fungus."

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Bug Shield

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A balm of coconut oil and tea tree oil can keep bugs away and help prevent bites.

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Wound Care

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Rub a thin layer of coconut oil on minor cuts, scrapes, and bruises. The oil calms the area and creates a barrier against dirt and bacteria.

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Flavoring in Coffee or Tea

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Levy swears by her coffee recipe, which contains a half tablespoon of coconut oil, a dash of cinnamon, and milk to taste. The oil will emulsify into your hot drink and add a light coconut flavor sure to perk up your morning commute!

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Cooking

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Coconut oil is a healthy alternative to other oils. Levy raves of its benefits, including that coconut oil is easy to digest, quickly absorbed by the liver, burned for fuel, and possibly increases metabolism. Be careful to not overdo it, she cautions. The oil has tremendous benefits but also has 130 calories per tablespoon. For a flavor boost, Carrington Farms makes garlic- or rosemary-infused coconut oil.

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Smoothies

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Add a tablespoon of coconut oil to your favorite smoothie recipe. The body doesn't recognize coconut oil as fat but rather as a fuel source, Levy explains. The oil's medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) are a great source of energy.

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