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As many of you know I am currently pregnant with baby #2. And, like most pregnant women I am diligently working to prevent stretch marks. During my first pregnancy I used Nature’s Gate Oatmeal Colloidal Body Lotion which was perfect because I have very sensitive skin. But it has approx. 35 listed ingredients, most of them are reputable, but one of them is Canola Oil, which is a major no-no in my book and should be avoided at all costs. Aside, I still question why a lotion needs to have this many ingredients, surely I can buy 100% Shea Butter or some other seed oil to use as a moisturizer?

And then I found Coconut Oil. I have been using coconut oil in cooking and baking for quite some time (I love to use it on the griddle when I’m making buckwheat pancakes – yum!). But it had not occurred to me that I could slather it all over my body, pregnant belly included, and then some. I do now and I love it!

No, it does not smell like the coconut oil tanning lotion we all used in the 90’s. It is actually scent free (when cooked it does impart a slight coconut-ty flavor.)

But as a body lotion, or hair condition, or deodorant – yup, that’s right, it has anti-microbial properties – it is divine. You can also use it as a natural shaving cream, to kill yeast infections, to treat psoriasis or eczema, as a lip moisturizer, on split ends or to tame frizzing hair (a small amount goes a long way), mixed with certain essential oils as a bug repellent (citronella, lemongrass, tea-tree, cedar or mint would be good options), on your cuticles to improve your nail beds.

For those of you with little ones, try coconut oil for cradle cap, as a diaper cream for cloth diapers. For nursing moms take 3-4 tablespoons to increase milk supply or use in replace of lanolin cream for sore nipples.

Simple ways to introduce Coconut oil into cooking or baking would be as a replacement for butter, or even simpler, grease your cookie sheets or muffin tins with it. In Asian stir-fry dishes it is amazing, use it as a replacement to your other cooking oil.

Google it yourself, the uses are endless.

Look for extra-virgin, non-hydrogenated, unbleached, unrefined, undeodorized coconut oil. You are looking for the pure stuff. Like many products natural is always better, for you and your babies!