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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Buffalo chapter.

Coconut oil, the tropical oil that smells like its own unique warm cookie. This oil is extracted from the milk and meat of the coconut palm fruit (cocos nucifera). Coconut oil can be purchased in a couple of different forms: virgin/extra virgin (expeller-pressed or cold-pressed), refined, fractionated, and partially hydrogenated. Cold pressed is believed to be the better option when purchasing coconut oil, as this method does not use heat to extract the oil from the coconut palm fruit. This extraction method is believed to help the oil retain it’s nutrients, as other methods using heat tend to cause the oil to lose some nutrients. Did you know that coconuts are thought to originate from Pacific islands?

Coconut oil is has an abundance of uses, making it perfect for incorporating into your beauty routine! Uses for coconut oil include the following.

Oil cleansing

Place coconut oil in your palms, it will melt with the warmth of your hands. Once melted to your liking, massage the oil onto your face for a few minutes to cleanse your skin. Coconut oil is an amazing makeup remover too! When using as a makeup remover, the process will be the same for cleansing your skin. Following up with a second cleanser would be double-cleansing, which is a great option for those who have skin that might break out due to their skin acidity not being compatible with coconut oil’s acidity profile of saturated fatty acids. A helpful source for learning about what oils are going to be friendly with your skin type, can be found here.

oil pulling

Coconut oil is high in lauric acid which accounts for this oil’s antibacterial properties. Swishing some coconut oil in your mouth for 20 minutes can help decrease the amount of harmful bacteria in your mouth. I do this at least three times a week and it’s honestly really easy and calming.

moisturizing hair

By creating hair masks or simply massaging your scalp with coconut oil, this will add shine, tame frizz, and help combat dry scalp. Coconut oil is antibacterial and may help alleviate dandruff, which occurs due to an overproduction of malasseszia. Malasseszia is a fungus that lives on the scalp, feeding off of oils secreted by hair follicles. This skin condition can be irritating to many. You can use coconut oil as a hair mask before washing your hair, to help retain moisture and prevent your hair from being overstripped of it’s oils. This would be called a pre-poo (pre-shampoo) method! Some of my favorite ways to use coconut oil for my hair:

  • mixing the oil with purified water and spraying onto my hair
  • heating up the oil and using as a hot oil treatment
  • slicking the oil over my curls to break my gel cast

NOTE: If you find that coconut oil clogs your hair follicles, or weighs your hair down, try using fractionated coconut oil! Fractionated coconut oil is composed of medium-chain fatty acids, unlike regular coconut oil which is composed of long-chain triglycerides. Medium-chain fatty acids will be lighter on your hair follicles and won’t clog your scalp as much (if anything). I use fractionated coconut oil on my hair, I naturally have 2A, low porosity, oily hair. This form of coconut oil works best with my hair type.

sun protectant

Coconut oil is believed to protect the skin from a little bit of the sun’s UV rays, I would only recommend that you use coconut oil as a sun protectant if you’ll be outside for less than 30 minutes.

cute diys for some self-love
  • Lip & body scrubs.
    • You’ll be smelling lovely after using these. Take some coconut oil and mix with any kind of sugar crystals (brown sugar, cane sugar, white sugar etc.) for a basic exfoliating sugar scrub. You can add essential oils, fragrances, cleansers, mica powder, and so much more to make your cutest scrub! Another delicious smelling ingredient you can use to create your coconut oil scrub is coffee grounds.
  • Body oil.
    • Mix coconut oil with some essential oils, herbs, flowers, anything you want really, for a natural and safe body oil. Mica powder is something I highly recommend for creating a shimmer oil. Use this oil on your cuticles for super hydrated nail beds. You can also use this oil to shave, yay!
  • Lip balm/oil.
    • For a simple lip oil, mix coconut oil and any other oils you want. Just like the body oil, be creative and customize your lip oil to your unique liking. For a lip balm, melt some shea butter, coconut oil, a little bit of beeswax, and add these along with jojoba oil into a container. The beeswax and shea butter will create a creamy structure to your balm.
  • Body butter.
    • By taking coconut oil, melted then semi-cooled shea butter, jojoba oil, and any ingredients to glam your butter, whip these up to create the fluffiest, creamy, softest body butter!
natural sex lubricant

Yes you read that right. Sex health is apart of beauty too! Coconut oil is a natural lubricant for intercourse. By applying coconut oil to your outer tissue, this can help retain moisture and increase slip. If you dare to try using this oil as a lube, test out this method by using only a little bit at first. You want to make sure that you are not experiencing any discomfort, and that you become familiar with this method before making love with your partner.

Also if you did not already know, coconut oil will wear down condoms. Please be safe and avoid using coconut oil if you are going to be using condoms!

As you’ve seen, coconut oil has so many uses for adding some tropical love into your day-to-day activities. Give this palm fruit a try and see how you feel about it! Life is about experiences. You’ll never know if you like something unless you try it, am I right?

Lydia Navedo

Buffalo '23

Hi friends! Lydia is the meeting manager for Her Campus, University at Buffalo chapter. She is a junior majoring in Environmental Studies. Her articles will be focused on tips + info for being your beautiful, healthiest, educated self! Much love <3