Coconut Oil: Your Everyday Secret Weapon

Give this pantry staple a new life.

Chances are, you have some coconut oil sitting in your kitchen cabinets, untouched except as a cooking ingredient. But the pantry must-have has plenty of uses that go beyond the kitchen. Below are just a few ways to incorporate coconut oil into your life—and you'll love the results!

Beauty Benefits

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Look no further than your kitchen for an easy way to leave your skin super hydrated. Not only does coconut oil help mosturize and improve the lipid content of your skin, it also helps fight signs of aging and acts as a mild sunscreen.

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The body benefits of coconut oil don't stop with just your skin—it works wonders on hair as well. Tame wild flyaways and frizz with a dab of coconut oil, or use it as a mask to increase your mane's shine factor.

If the inside of your medicine cabinet is a maze, purge the unnecessary items and replace with a bottle of coconut oil. Use it as a shaving gel, a makeup remover, a massage oil, or add a little sugar to make it natural body scrub.

If you haven't tried oil pulling, pick up a bottle of coconut oil and give it a swish. This centuries old trick whitens teeth, freshens breath, and gives your body a (much-needed) detox. The oil mixed with salvia will pull the toxins from your body.

Health Remedies

Use it to clean up cuts. Lauric acid, which works to kill bacteria in your body, makes up 50 percent of coconut oil's fatty acids.

Add an extra jolt to your morning cup of joe with a splash of coconut oil. Making coconut oil a part of your daily routine will work to boost your metabolism.

"Coconut fats have special fats called medium chain triglycerides (MCTs)," Dr. Oz says. "It has been shown that breaking down these types of healthy fats in the liver leads to efficient burning of energy."

Coconut oil's lauric acid isn't just good for killing bacteria: It also helps to lower your cholesterol. Instead of using butter to grease your next pan, swap in coconut oil instead.

Cooking Uses

If you're a die-hard baker, but want to stay healthy too, try substituting coconut oil for your go-to cooking oils. Coconut oil is a great subtitute outside the oven as well. Sprinkle some on your popcorn in lieu of butter to keep the calories down.

Coconut oil gives you energy! Make it a part of your gym routine with a before or after (or both!) smoothie with some coconut oil thrown in.

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