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Coconut oil: 12 Inexpensive beauty products to make at home

April Dykman is a writer for GetRichSlowly.org, which has been named “Most Inspiring Money Blog” by Money Magazine. Her articles also have appeared on FOX Business, the Good Life and other publications. April holds a degree in journalism...

Coconut oil to the rescue

Skin care products can bust anyone's budget. Moisturizer, eye cream, lip balm, body butter, scrubs, hair products -- even drugstore brands can add up. Even when money's tight, there's no need to go without when it comes to beauty! Here's how to use coconut oil to make effective, inexpensive beauty products that are free of preservatives and irritating ingredients.

Coconut Oil

Making your own beauty products has a lot of advantages and is easier than you might think. You'll save money by doing it yourself, you'll do the environment a favor (less waste, no chemicals), and you'll reduce your exposure to questionable ingredients. All you need are these fairly simple recipes that require only one or two ingredients -- one in particular.

Coconut oil: The ultimate multi-tasker

Health benefits of coconut oil

Organic, extra-virgin coconut oil is becoming popular as a cooking oil alternative, but you can put that jar to use in your beauty routine as well. Coconut oil is about 50 percent lauric acid, which supports a healthy metabolism and is being studied for its anti-fungal, anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties.

Quality virgin coconut oil is white and has a fresh coconut scent. It's inexpensive and healthy, and it smells like a tropical beach vacation. What's not to love?

Uses for coconut oil:

1. Face cream

Lauric acid reputedly improves acne, making it a good option for some with oily and combination skin.

2. Make-up remover

Coconut oil is an effective makeup remover and a natural moisturizer.

3. Face mask

Add a bit of honey (a natural antibacterial) to coconut oil and apply to your face. Leave the mask on for 10 minutes, then rinse.

4. Lip balm

Apply to chapped lips. You also can transfer a small amount to a container for lip moisture on the go, but be careful in summer months -- heat liquefies the oil.

5. Body moisturizer

Apply after a bath or shower to lock in moisture.

6. Bath soak

Pour a little coconut oil into your bath and enjoy a relaxing soak.

7. Body scrub

Add a tablespoon of brown sugar to three tablespoons of coconut oil for a delicious body scrub.

8. Foot treatment

If you have calluses or rough heels, exfoliate with a pumice stone right before bed. Slather coconut oil on your feet and put on a pair of socks to lock in moisture overnight.

9.Cuticle cream

Apply to cuticles, then push them back with an orange stick.

10. Deep conditioner

Massage warmed coconut oil to your scalp and hair. Wait 15 minutes, then rinse. You don't need to use conditioner after shampooing.

11. Dry, split ends

While there is no fix for split ends other than a haircut, you can work small amounts of coconut oil into fried strands to smooth them out and add shine.

12. Shaving oil

Ditch the can of shaving cream. Apply coconut oil before shaving for smooth, nick-free skin.

Where to get it

You can find organic, extra-virgin coconut oil in the health food aisle of your grocery store, at your health food store or even online. Make only small batches of product and use them up quickly, because your homemade beauty boosters are preservative-free!

More on making your own beauty products

Homemade beauty: Home skin care recipes
Homemade skin care using seasonal fruits and vegetables
Homemade winter hair treatments

Live large... but spend small. Read more!

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