I Tried Coconut Oil In Every Way Imaginable To See If It’s Worth All The Hype
And I mean every possible way.
Hi there! I’m Mathew Jedeikin, and I’m a fan of Pinterest, coconut oil, and Gwyneth Paltrow.
I mean, I love coconut oil, to a certain extent. I’ve had a full jar of it in my kitchen for months that I’d use occasionally to roast vegetables or to bake with. But I’m always seeing pins and articles on all of the various (and supposedly, super healthy) uses for coconut oil. They say it’s great for your hair, amazing for your skin and face—some even suggest it may help you sleep better, and that it can help with anxiety and depression.
And according to Gwyneth and Goop, you can even use coconut oil as a personal lubricant!
Would an increase in my coconut oil intake help me deal with my own anxiety? Would using coconut oil to wash and moisturize my face help my skin look better? These were the types of questions I was looking for answers to when I decided to dedicate a week of my life to using and consuming coconut oil in almost every way imaginable.
1. I would eat as much coconut oil as possible: by using it whenever I cooked, eating spoonfuls of it every morning, and testing out a few other recommendations I’d read for how to add this magical oil to my daily routine.
2. I would use coconut oil (or homemade concoctions) to replace all of my main beauty products. Specifically, I’d make my own Pinterest-inspired face wash, toothpaste, and deodorant. I’d also use pure coconut oil to condition my hair and moisturize my face, lips, and hands. Oh, and yes, my husband and I would attempt to use it instead of lube.
Sunday: Starting the week with a coconut oil breakfast and lots of preparations.
I had decided to start every day by adding a spoonful of coconut oil to my standard breakfast, which normally consists of an apple and a cup of coffee. Just to, you know, get a head start on consuming a shit ton of the stuff.
Eating the coconut oil straight from the jar was interesting. Pretty much just like one might imagine, a mouthful of coconut flavored oil that I tried to let melt before forcing it down.
Later in the morning I whipped up my face wash, toothpaste, and deodorant.
For the face wash, I mixed coconut oil with honey and lemon essential oils. The toothpaste consisted of coconut oil, baking soda, and more lemon essential oils. The deodorant was a blend of coconut oil, baking soda, corn starch, and lavender essential oils. All-in-all, I spent about $25 on the supplies, and it took about an hour to mix and jar everything.
My first impression of the face wash, followed by moisturizing with pure coconut oil, was that my skin felt different, but not bad different. Good different!
Sure, my face and hands felt a little more oily than they do with my regular moisturizer, but it wasn’t nearly as bad as I’d expected. In fact, it made my skin feel a little more hydrated after just one day.
Monday: Testing out my homemade deodorant, and using coconut oil instead of conditioner.
The weirdest thing about the deodorant was that it was a paste. So I had to use my hands to rub on my armpits. I’m used to a standard Dove brand deodorant stick, so this did take some getting used to. But you know what, it totally worked. Even after doing some cardio in the afternoon, I was pretty much odor free all day.
Using coconut oil as a conditioner replacement, however, was an absolute bust.
Not only did it leave my hair feeling very oily, but my husband David isn’t a big fan of coconut, and he didn’t exactly enjoy the aroma when we were snuggling on the couch watching television later that evening.
Tuesday: Starting the day with coconut oil in my coffee.
One of the tips I heard about was that you could stir coconut oil directly into your coffee instead of cream. So, on Tuesday I decided to give it a try. I hadn’t wanted to risk such a bold move on a Monday when caffeine is of the upmost priority.
It was pretty gross. The coconut oil didn’t mix into the coffee. Instead, it formed a layer of oil that just floated on top.
I’m not gonna lie. If this hadn’t of been part of a challenge, I probably would have dumped the oily coffee and poured myself a new cup.
Wednesday: Let’s talk about coconut oil toothpaste.
After a few days of using my baking soda/coconut oil/essential oil homemade toothpaste, I began to question its effectiveness.
I’m not a dentist—and maybe it was just the lack of artificial flavors—but my teeth didn’t feel as clean as they did when I was using regular toothpaste.
Plus, scooping the toothpaste out of a jar and trying to get it to balance on my toothbrush definitely wasn’t as easy as simply squeezing a tube.
Thursday: Giving up on coconut oil as a hand lotion and lip balm.
I’d wanted to stick closely to my challenge for a full week, but after only a few days my fingertips were noticeably chapped. So, I ditched the coconut oil and resumed use of my regular hand lotion.
I couldn’t take it any longer. After dropping coconut oil as a hand lotion, I decided that I needed my loyal chapstick!
Although my face was feeling more hydrated, my lips definitely weren’t.
Feeling guilty, I decided to try a natural coffee replacement I’d read about that consists of coconut oil and chia seeds.
Yeah, no. It definitely did not energize me like a cup of coffee does, and all of those chia seeds got stuck in my teeth.
Friday: Finding out that coconut oil does make for a semi-decent lube.
Who would’ve thought?
I feel like it’s important to note here that I’m definitely not recommending that you stop using whatever lube you currently prefer. It’s a very personal choice, and there are a lot of options out there.
Also, there are a few things to be aware of. According to Gwyneth, who consulted with Dr. Maggie Ney of the Women’s Clinic in Santa Monica, you shouldn’t use oil based lubricant with latex condoms. Additionally, coconut oil can affect sperm motility, whatever that means. Fortunately, I’m a gay man,and my husband?—?and I aren’t trying to conceive at the moment?—?so the coconut oil did work for us.
Was it as, um, as comfortable as the lubricant we normally use? No. Will we use it again? Probably not. Unless we’re in a weird situation where it’s our only option.
Saturday: Ending the week with side-by-side photos.
I was eager to take photos bright and early on Saturday. I’d been feeling like the skin on my face was feeling healthier, so I was anxious to see the side-by-sides.
Unfortunately, you can’t really see any difference in the pictures.
Can you? I mean, I totally can’t see any change.
When I looked in the mirror, my skin did seem a little less red, but only slightly. And yeah, it’s hardly noticeable in the photos.
I was hoping for something more drastic in my before and after pictures because I wasn’t really feeling any different otherwise. I’d been eating spoonfuls of coconut oil all week, and was using it in almost every meal I cooked, but I didn’t necessarily feel any healthier. Like, I didn’t sleep any better than normal, and I didn’t feel less anxious. Talk about a buzz kill.
I really liked my homemade coconut oil honey face wash, and will definitely continue using it. Maybe for not every wash, but it was the biggest winner of my DIY beauty products. Although they sort of worked, the deodorant and toothpaste weren’t really my jam.
I guess everyone is different, but for me, coconut oil didn’t really make for a good conditioner, lip balm, or hand lotion. Lube? Sort of, but not very well. I’d love to be one of those people who can just use one product for everything, but coconut oil definitely wasn’t the does-it-all solution I was hoping it would be.
Consuming a bunch of coconut oil didn’t make a dramatic difference in my health. Who knows, maybe a week wasn’t long enough to feel the full affect of coconut oil? I’ll still continue cooking with it, and I’ll occasionally moisturize my face it, but I would say that benefits of, and number of healthy uses for coconut oil, may be just a little over-hyped.