Say It With Me: Co-Co-Nut

Over the summer, I brought up coconut oil in one of my columns, mentioning that it has a teeny amount of SPF (about 4), which makes it a good moisturizer for arms, face, and neck for everyday protection if your sun exposure is mostly driving and walking to and from the car.

At the time, I had to stop myself from elaborating on the many other uses of the stuff, knowing that I could fill a whole column with that info.

Well, hi, hello … that whole column is upon us. Boom — keep reading.

People who really love the stuff will joke that it’s the solution to any problem. Though that’s a slight exaggeration, the oil really does have many uses.

It took me a while to fully embrace the substance, but I’ve been all about it for several years now. Personally, I mostly use it for skin and household needs and just occasionally for cooking or baking.

Incredibly affordable and non-toxic, this is a one-ingredient product that is readily available. Why not give it a whirl?

There are plenty of products containing coconut oil, but you really just need the raw, real thing.

Here are the ways I use it regularly:

• As face moisturizer
• For removing eye makeup
• As body moisturizer
• On bites, cuts, and just-shaved skin
• To soothe raw skin anywhere on the body
• On the ends of my hair
• To oil wood-cutting blocks
• In cooking and baking
• For “buttering” toast

The oil changes from liquid to solid, depending on room temperature, but is always usable.

When it’s cooler and in solid form, it quickly melts when you put it on skin or in a hot pan. Some swear by a dollop in coffee. And as it’s not an animal product, coconut oil is a cholesterol-free substitute for any recipe calling for butter.

As a skincare solution, it won’t irritate or sting eyes or sensitive skin. It has antimicrobial and antibacterial properties so is just an all-around terrific treatment to use in the home, on the bod, and in your kitchen.

You can pay a huge markup somewhere they have packaged it inventively or be in the know and just grab a big ol’ jar from your favorite grocer.

I spoon out a smaller amount into a little container I keep in my bathroom.

Look for an organic, virgin (unprocessed) jar. Brands are all pretty comparable, but a few I’ve used and like are Dr. Bronner’s (great looking label), Nutiva, and La Tourangelle.

Feel free to email me with any questions you may have about usage or other inventive ways you use the stuff at [email protected].

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