8 Clever Uses for Coconut Oil (That Are Almost Too Good to Be True)

It's basically the Instant Pot of ingredients.

It’s no secret that coconut oil is incredibly popular right now, and for good reason. This versatile ingredient has endless functionality—you can use coconut oil for everything from cooking and cleaning to fighting frizz, less-than-fresh breath, and inflammation. Its delicious flavor, natural ability to moisturize and anti-bacterial benefits make it useful for almost every room in your house. Here are the top eight ways you should start putting your jar of coconut oil to work today.

Frying foods at high heat

First things first, we’d like to clear the air on the whole health-halo thing. Coconut oil has plenty of potential health benefits (keep reading!), but it’s important to keep in mind that coconut oil has an extremely high saturated fat content—about 87 percent of its fat content is saturated. If you don’t believe me, just think about the fact that it’s solid at room temperature. Sorry to burst your bubble.

That being said, the saturated fat content makes coconut oil an excellent ingredient for high-heat searing, sautéing, or frying. Why? Because, unlike the polyunsaturated fatty acids found in vegetable oils, it retains its structure at high temperatures. You won't taste the coconut on your steak either—promise.

Making homemade magic shell

Would I lie to you? Seriously—just melt coconut oil with chocolate in the microwave and let the mixture cool to room temp before drizzling over ice cream. Give it a minute to set, then crack it open with a spoon. So satisfying!

Creating fresher breath

Coconut oil has powerful anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties, which means it may help fight bad breath and gingivitis. One study showed that swishing with coconut oil (aka oil pulling) for 10 minutes reduced bacteria in the mouth as well as an antiseptic mouthwash; another found that daily coconut gargling can reduce inflammation and plaque in participants with gingivitis.

Moisturizing skin

Thanks to its fatty acids, coconut oil is very moisturizing, and it’s safe to use on your body and face for all skin types. It absorbs quickly and gives off a more glowy, dewy effect compared to traditional lotion. The pleasant tropical scent doesn’t hurt, either—you’ll be using it as lip balm before you know it! Keep in mind, coconut oil is comedogenic, so it's not recommended for acne-prone skin.

Fighting stains

Combine equal parts coconut oil and baking soda and mix them together to form a paste. Apply to your stained fabric or furniture, wait five or so minutes, and it should wipe away.

Removing make up

It’s true! Even waterproof makeup can’t stand up to coconut oil. Apply it directly to your skin, or use a cotton pad and let it sit for several seconds, and watch your makeup melt away. Just don’t get it in your eyes, please. Another genius hack: you can use coconut oil to wash your makeup brushes or Beauty Blenders.

Fighting frizz

Indeed, you can use a small amount of coconut oil over your hair to tame flyaways in humid weather. Simply rub it between your hands to heat it up before delicately smoothing it over strands. It helps lock in moisture and boost shine, too.

Battling irritation and soothing eczema relief

Thanks to its anti-bacterial and moisturizing nature, studies have shown that coconut oil may help with the skin conditions dermatitis and eczema.

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