Published by PETA Staff.

Coconut oil has become known for being a great all-natural skin moisturizer, but did you know that it also has a ton of other uses? There are hundreds of ways to incorporate coconut oil into your daily routine—just always make sure that the brand you’re buying doesn’t support forced monkey labor. Steer clear of Thai coconut producer Chaokoh to ensure that your oil is monkey-friendly. The sensitive, intelligent monkeys that these brands use and abuse are deprived of their freedom and forced to pick coconuts.

Luckily, many brands use coconuts from other regions, such as Brazil, Colombia, and Hawaii, where monkey labor is not typically used. Look for items from those locations when you choose your products.

For a light coconut fragrance, use unrefined oil. If you prefer no scent, select a refined product.

Coconut Oil Shareable

Here are our top 30 ways to use coconut oil:

1. Toothpaste (for animals and humans): Combine equal parts baking soda and coconut oil. Add stevia to sweeten and/or an essential oil for flavor.

2. Hair conditioner: You can leave the oil on your hair as an overnight conditioner or make a defrizzing conditioning spray, as seen here:

3. Skin moisturizer: Whip coconut oil, a couple of drops of vitamin E oil, and an essential oil together for a quick DIY skin lotion.

4. Face/body scrub:

1 Tbsp. coconut oil
1/4 cup sea salt
1/4 cup organic sugar
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
Couple of drops essential oil (if you want it to be scented)

  • Combine the ingredients and apply to skin.

5. Shaving cream: You can use it instead of shaving cream or as aftershave lotion (check out number 3!).

6. Lip Balm: Scoop a dollop into a small container, and you’ve got a vegan lip balm.

7. Coffee creamer: The key to using coconut oil as coffee creamer is blending it instead of stirring it.

8. Frying Oil: Oil up that pan with coconut oil to make any dish healthier.

9. Deodorant: You can use it by itself as a deodorant, or follow this recipe:

3 Tbsp. coconut oil
6 Tbsp. baking soda
Couple of drops essential oil

  •  Combine the ingredients and apply under arms.

10. Furniture polish: Yep, it makes wood look shinier.

11. Cold sore soother: This truly miraculous oil kills bacteria and helps rejuvenate cells, thus helping pesky cold sores heal.

12. Mosquito bite soother: The same properties described in number 11 help heal mosquito bites, too.

13. Paw and skin treatment for cats or dogs: If your animal’s paws are cracking or he or she has dry skin or a hot spot, try applying the oil to the affected body parts.

14. Dog or cat food supplement: Add it to your dog or cat food to help make coats shiny and skin more hydrated.

15. Makeup remover: Apply with a cotton pad to your eyes and face at the end of the day.

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16. Chocolate Fruit Pops: You can make these with bananas, kiwis, or any other fruit!

3 bananas or 6 kiwis
12 popsicle or lollipop sticks
1 cup dark chocolate chips
1/4 cup coconut oil

  • Quarter the bananas or halve the kiwis.
  • Puncture each piece of fruit with a stick, place in a freezer container, and freeze.
  • Melt the chocolate and coconut oil in a saucepan or microwave oven.
  • Dip the frozen fruit into the chocolate mixture.
  • Place each piece of chocolate-covered fruit in the freezer container and refreeze.

Makes 12 servings

17. Chocolate-Dunked Coconut Delights!

18. Pan greaser: Use it instead of questionable hydrogenated substances.

19. Baby lotion: Want to keep your baby’s skin soft and smelling sweet? Apply to skin as needed.

20. Lubricant: Yep, that’s right. Just be sure not to use it with latex condoms. Try polyurethane ones instead.

21. Yeast infection treatment (for animals and humans): Coconut oil contains caprylic acid, which is excellent for combating yeast infections both internally and on the skin and in the ears. You can mix the oil with food or apply it topically. For dogs, the dose is 1 tsp. per 10 lbs.bodyweight per day.

22. Butter for baking: Use it as a substitute for butter or margarine.

23: Butter for popcorn: Same idea as number 22! You can pop the corn using coconut oil, and also use it as a topping—it melts wonderfully. Then add salt for savory popcorn or cinnamon and sugar for a sweet snack.

24: Sunburn soother: Use instead of aloe to relieve sunburned skin.

25. Salad dressing: Try making your next salad dressing with it instead of olive oil.

26. DIY shampoo (for animals and humans): 

1 cup pure liquid castile soap
1 cup water
1.5 Tbsp. coconut oil
5 drops your favorite essential oil (Try peppermint oil.)

  • Combine ingredients and apply to hair, as usual.

27. Moisturizing face mask: Once a week, cover your face with oil before bedtime (and sleep with a towel on your pillow!).

28. Makeup brush cleaner: The oil helps cut through the dirt on the brushes.

1 tsp. coconut oil
1 cup warm water

  • Combine the ingredients.
  • Soak the brushes in the mixture overnight.

29. Shoe polish: Yep! Make that vegan leather shine by softly rubbing a dollop of coconut oil into it with a washcloth.

30. Cuticle oil: Soften your hands during a manicure with this vegan moisturizer.


Ask These Grocery Chains to Stop Supporting Forced Monkey Labor