Posted: Aug 27, 2013 11:00 AM
Now being sold by the vat at warehouse stores, coconut oil is the hottest oil around. Coconut oil enthusiasts number its uses in the hundreds, but certain concepts seem a little nuttier than, well, a coconut.

Hotter than the tropics

Don't get me wrong; I like a bandwagon as much as the next girl, especially the kind that adds a little bit of coconut flavor to homemade granola bars or the slightest scent of coconut to extra-smooth hair. So I bought a giant container of coconut oil — or two, if we're counting — and dove into the magical world of coconuts.

I figured I couldn't go wrong with something that grows on some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. I thought every new use I found would bring me a little closer to the zen mindset of piña coladas and sleeping in. I knew my family would relish the chance to improve our health — and our looks — with an oil more amazing than even the mystical Fountain of Youth.

I was mistaken.

Internet searches for coconut oil uses reminded me there's a reason I apply SPF 400 carefully to my easily-burnt skin. Tropical sunshine doesn't just fry skin — it can trick your brain into thinking bad ideas might actually work.

A mechanic's best friend?

close-up view of bicycle chain

Rub a little coconut oil on your cuticles if you will, but using it as a fix-all for car doors and bike chains seems a little unsavory. No one wants to find bicycle grease in their next batch of coconut-oil cookies, and the potential for cross-contamination just seems too high to risk mechanical uses.


Coconut oil as a personal lubricant is touted as a natural way to enhance your sexual pleasure, but that idea didn't exactly make me feel like swiveling my hips, hula-style. I like to think my husband is pretty open-minded but unscrewing the lid to something I just used to treat my split ends might make him a little worried about possible side effects. Candle companies around the world have perfected the art of bringing tropical scents into any room of your house — leave the coconut oil out of my bedroom.

Where will it end?

Maybe you're more innovative than me and think the coconut car oil and tropical lubricant seem perfectly rational, but I have to wonder when the coconut craze will slide into dangerous territory. A slip-and-slide with a little extra slide? Sports scandals caused by athletes greasing the ball? A new street dancing craze featuring a coconut oil-assisted head spin?

No thanks. Not me. Now if you'll excuse me, I think it's time to rinse off my coconut oil hair treatment...

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