Years ago, I associated coconut oil with elderly people and the lighting of special lamps. I had never heard of any other way this popular and easily accessible oil could be used. I've since been enlightened on just some of the many ways this oil can be used to benefit us and I've always had a bottle (or two) on hand over the past few years as a result. Coconut oil can exist in two states: solid and liquid. In cooler temperatures (lower than about 76F) coconut oil may appear more solid and white, usually becoming as firm as ghee, butter, or margarine. In warmer temperatures (higher than about 76F) coconut oil may look like a clear liquid and can be poured and drizzled like any other oil. From my experience, the older the oil and closer it is to being rancid, the blotchier, yellow-er, and darker it gets, and the more impurities it has. Basically, the closer it looks to baby oil = good. The closer it looks to thick, dark honey = bad. If it's going rancid, it will also smell and taste bad, which you will become better at identifying the more you use good coconut oil. Light, oxygen, and heat can cause quicker deterioration of the oil so be sure to keep it tightly covered and stored at a steady temperature, out of direct light. Here are some of the ways I've been using coconut oil that have been quite beneficial to me: Skin lotion: I have used nothing but coconut oil on my skin and my son's for the past few years. So far, it has helped dramatically reduce the appearance of some sun damage (eg sun spots and discoloration), prevented further damage to scarred skin, stabilized my combination skin, dramatically reduced the appearance of stretch marks (compared to some that never had coconut oil applied), and continues to be the most long-lasting non-drying product for dry skin that I've tried so far. Also great as a lip balm, eye cream, and can be combined with other products to make other skin products. Hair: I've used coconut oil as a deep conditioning mask, conditioner, detangler, anti-frizz and added shine agent, and protecting serum for my hair against sun damage and coloring damage. I've also had notably less split ends since beginning to use it this way. Scrubs: I've been making my own scrubs and masks with coconut oil with great results and now prefer it to commercial products. Great with scrubs for lips, face, body, hands, and feet with a smooth moisturizing effect as well as in organic face masks. Cooking: Coconut oil can be used to replace any oil or butter (that I've tried so far). Cooking coconut oil (found in most groceries) has a very high smoke point and is practically flavorless. It's filled with healthy fats, which you can use to intentionally increase weight healthily if you wish and blends well in all kinds of recipes. Some recipes work better with solid coconut oil, others work better with liquid coconut oil. Allergic and Other Skin Reactions: Due to the antibacterial and antifungal properties, coconut oil is famous for soothing insect bites and rashes and for helping to heal infections, bruises, and minor cuts and scrapes. Wonderful as a healing salve on its own or with honey if you wish. Seasoning Cast-Iron Dishes and Wooden Cutting Boards (worked for my bamboo board) Wood/Furniture Polish (on its own or mixed with lime juice or fresh orange juice) Shaving Cream and/or after-shave moisturizer (if used as a shaving cream, you don't need the after-shave!) DIY Vapo-Rub (1/4 cup of coconut oil and/or another carrier oil if you wish, and a few drops of eucalyptus oil) DIY teething, tooth ache, and wisdom teeth pain relief (1/4 cup of coconut oil and a few drops of clove oil) Make-Up Remover (massage about a tsp of oil all over face, wash off. Use a mild soap or face wash to remove moisturizing effect if not needed. Also removes ink.) Prevent Stains on Skin (Apply coconut oil on your skin before painting, for example, to make it easier to remove and may most likely wash right off!) Massages and Joint Compression (great for easing joint pain) Natural Deodorant Ear Cleaning (mix with hydrogen peroxide and leave 15-30 minutes in one ear at a time to cut down on wax build up. Hold a piece of cotton to your ear and turn to the other side when done and the released wax will fall out.) Bath Oil (add a few drops to your or baby's bath for a moisturizing, skin smoothing effect.) Remove rust (apply a few drops to scissors, knives, etc. and let sit for 1-2 hours. Wipe clean with a warm, damp cloth. Can also be added to squeaky hinges.) Shoe shiner (great for leather and synthetic materials) Insect repellent (great on its own or with other oils such as citronella) These are just a few of the ways I've learned so far but it can also be used in many other ways eg. car detailing, increasing nutrient absorption and metabolism (great for weight loss), as an energy boost, as a coffee creamer, in a salad dressing, for cracked heels and elbows (even paws and noses), to minimize heartburn, and to lubricate blades and appliances. What do you think about coconut oil now? Would you give any of these uses or others a try?