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9 Proven Benefits of Coconut Oil

It's true—coconut oil is pretty miraculous for your wellness, heart health and beauty. Here's a bunch of benefits of coconut oil!

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Young woman applying coconut oil in bathroomAquarius Studio/Shutterstock

It Keeps Breakouts Away

Just one tablespoon of coconut oil can help improve your skin’s look and texture. It may also help protect against skin inflammation, which is associated with acne and other skin disturbances, explains Natalie Rizzo, MS, RD, author of The No-Brainer Nutrition Guide For Every Runner.  Try it out topically with our favorite coconut oil face mask.

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coconut oil and fresh coconuts on old wooden tableMaraZe/Shutterstock

It’s Super Heart Healthy

The fix for high cholesterol might be coconut oil. It has tremendous benefits for keeping cholesterol in check! “Coconut oil can increase good cholesterol (HDL),” says Rizzo.

Find other foods that can help with high cholesterol.

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Woman with problematic hairNina Buday/Shutterstock

It Strengthens Your Hair

There are benefits of coconut oil for your hair, too. “Research has found that coconut oil can reduce the protein loss in damaged and undamaged hair. Since our hair is exposed to the elements, like sunlight and pollution, this can be helpful in reducing everyday damage,” says Rizzo. To protect your locks, make our 3-ingredient coconut oil hair mask.

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A small bottle with natural coconut oil and a fresh coconut nut on an old wooden table. elizaveta66/Shutterstock

It Gets Rid of Makeup Easily

You can take advantage of coconut oil to wipe away makeup in a gentle and effective way. “It does a great job breaking down make up even waterproof mascara and hydrates the skin at the same time,” says Michalczyk. You can keep it on your face without washing with water or wash off with water before going to bed, she says.

Here’s our DIY recipe for an all-natural makeup remover.

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Young woman sick in bed with temperature drinks hotIrina Bg/Shutterstock

It Keeps the Sniffles Away

For people with skin infections caused by bacteria or fungi, coconut oil can help stop the growth of these microorganisms when applied directly to the skin, says Michalczyk.”The lauric acid in coconut oil makes it especially good for fighting harmful organisms like skin bacteria or a fungus,” she says.

In a study that tested the antibacterial properties of 30 types of fatty acids against 20 different strains of bacteria, lauric acid was found to be the most effective at blocking the growth of bacteria! Here are the best foods to eat during flu season.

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Closeup of woman hands holding a bowl with nourishing mask for applying to hair or skinMaryna Pleshkun/Shutterstock

It Hydrates Your Hair

The essential fatty acids naturally found in coconut oil nourish your strands. You can apply coconut oil to the ends of your hair for 15-20 minutes to help ease frizz. “It’s a cost-effective way to moisturize your hair while you do other things around the house,” says Michalcyzk. Did you know that a banana hair mask can help with split ends and breakage?

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Bulletproof coffee, blended with organic butter and MCT coconut oilOksana Mizina/Shutterstock

It Might Increase Fat Burning

There’s a reason people on the keto diet add coconut oil to their coffee or use it in baked goods for its fat-burning effects. The medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) and the benefits in coconut oil can boost fat burning, which can aid in weight loss efforts and keep your metabolism high.

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bowl of coconut oil on wooden tableMaraZe/Shutterstock

It Helps Keep You Full

Since the benefits of coconut oil involve helping the body get into a ketone-burning state, and it’s high in saturated fat and MCTs, it may also fill you up faster and work as an appetite suppressant. In fact, a study found that among 14 men, those who ate the most MCTs at breakfast consumed fewer calories at lunch.

Isadora Baum
Isadora Baum is a freelance writer and content marketer, as well as a certified health coach. She writes for various publications, such as Bustle, Shape, Abbott Nutrition Newsroom, Men's Health, Clean Plates, the Vitamin Shoppe, SoulCycle, and more. She also can't resist a good sample, a glass of red wine or strong margarita, a new HIIT class, or an easy laugh. Beyond magazines, she helps grow different businesses through blogging and content marketing strategy. To read her work or inquire, please visit her website:

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