We knew that coconut oil was a pretty versatile product to have on hand, but Shannan Monson—a registered dietitian and the founder of Nutrition Simply—is here today to show us just how practical this one ingredient can be in our beauty routine. Her trio of handmade hacks are below!
You know that feeling you get when you didn’t know something existed, and then the minute you find out about it, you can’t live without it? I’m fairly certain coconut oil invented that feeling. With potent antimicrobial and antibacterial properties—and an aroma that will leave you daydreaming about a vacation to the Greek Isles—it’s no wonder that this superfood has become a favorite staple, not just in the kitchen, but in our bathrooms as well. If you’re looking to start replacing your skincare products with natural options, here are three simple ways to put coconut oil to work as a refreshing and detoxifying addition to your beauty routine.
Nourishing Coconut Oil Hair Mask
- Coconut oil
- Whip coconut oil with your hands or a stand mixer. Whipping makes the oil easier to work into hair, but is not necessary.
- Lather into hair, working your way from tips to roots until completely coated.
- Let the mask sit for at least 20 minutes or as long as desired, rinse and wash.
I love to apply a coconut oil mask, put my hair up in a tight top knot and then carry on with my day! My hair is a tad darker, so it really doesn’t even look greasy, just shiny, and I’ll often leave it in the entire day. The coconut oil is so nourishing to the hair, and helps to lock in moisture and protect from damage all the way to the hair follicle. Also, it smells fantastic—did I mention that already?
Black Lava Body Scrub
- Black lava sea salt
- Coconut oil
- Add 1/2 kiwi, 1/4 cup salt and 1 tablespoon coconut oil to a small bowl.
- Mix until combined.
- Scale recipe as desired.
- Lather on hands and body and gently exfoliate.
- Store body scrub in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
You can substitute the black lava salt for any kind of coarse salt, but the black lava sea salt contains activated charcoal (you know…from a volcano) that’s been shown to help support the body’s natural detoxification process. Plus, it looks gorgeous and would be a thoughtful gesture to put in a pretty bowl in the guest bathroom when you’re entertaining guests, or a sweet gift to put in a small jar to pamper a new mama.
Cooling Aloe Vera Lotion
- Aloe vera plant
- Coconut oil
- Use a sharp knife to cut off an outermost, mature aloe vera leaf that is at least eight inches long.
- Run under clean water and gently rinse.
- Slice the aloe vera leaf lengthwise, and softly scrape out about 1 tablespoon of aloe per cup of coconut oil.
- Whip together until combined.
- Generously lather lotion on your body, and reapply as desired.
- If the aloe leaf still contains aloe, wrap tightly in plastic wrap or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
- Continue to use for up to two weeks.
This is the simplest, most refreshing 100-percent natural lotion I’ve used, and I just love it. Aloe vera is a rich source of antioxidants, including vitamins C, E and beta-carotene. Plus, it’s proven to help treat minor rashes, burns, infections and even acne. That’s not even touching on the benefits of coconut oil. You could say coconut oil and aloe vera are quite the power couple. So go ahead—lather up!