I recently started using a lot more coconut oil both in my cooking and around the house. What changed? I’ve been able to find a few places selling fair trade coconut oil at more affordable prices. Until a few months ago, fair trade coconut oil was just way out of my price range for regular use.
Shopping for Ethical Coconut Oil
I totally get shopping on a budget, but when it comes to coconut oil, buying fair trade or organic is really important. Like with chocolate and with vanilla, coconut production can be associated with unsafe and inhumane labor practices. When you choose fair trade or organic, you’re supporting companies that support their workers.
I don’t do a ton of shopping at Trader Joe’s, but they’re actually my first stop for coconut oil. They sell a 16 ounce jar of organic, unrefined coconut oil for $6 to $7. You can also find fair trade or organic coconut oil at Whole Foods or on Amazon. Do a little bit of comparison shopping to find the place with the best price for you.
Refined vs. Unrefined Coconut Oil
If you want to use coconut oil but don’t dig the taste or smell of coconut, refined coconut oil is for you. To refine coconut oil, producers subject it to high heat, which gets rid of the coconut smell. The process can cause trans fats to form, so you need to weigh the health drawbacks against your feelings about the coconut smell. If you’re only planning to use your coconut oil topically, this isn’t an issue, but for cooking it is.
15 Surprising Uses for Coconut Oil
1. Oil Pulling – Coconut oil works well for this oral cleansing method.
2. Lip Balm – Use candelilla wax in place of beeswax for a vegan recipe.
3. Three-in-One Beauty Balm – This recipe is a moisturizer, an eye makeup remover, and an eye cream.
4. Hair Mask – Too much coconut oil can leave your hair greasy, but the right amount gives it a healthy shine.
5. Vegan Creamer – Use coconut oil in place of processed vegan creamer in your coffee.
6. Fight diaper rash – You can rub coconut oil right on your baby’s skin to moisturize and prevent diaper rash.
7. Natural Deodorant – Coconut oil is the vehicle for this deodorant recipe, and it moisturizes your pits while you wear it.
8. Vegan Butter – I’ve been using coconut oil to make my own vegan butter instead of buying processed tub margarine.
9. Moisturizer – This is another use where you don’t need any other ingredients. Just rub a teeny bit of coconut oil into your skin for lasting moisture.
10. Homemade Toothpaste – Coconut oil is the base for this homemade toothpaste recipe
11. Feed it to your dog. – A little bit of coconut oil is safe for your pup and has a ton of health benefits.
12. Feed it to your cat. – Your kitty can benefit from coconut oil, too!
13. Nipple cream – All-natural nipple creams are expensive, and this coconut oil recipe is a great DIY alternative.
14. Cuticle Cream – Massage coconut oil onto your cuticles to soften them up for a home manicure.
15. Insect Repellant – This site includes 10 uses for coconut oil, and the bug repellant recipe is number seven on the list.