Skin care

Skincare Sunday: Cafe Makeup Tries Oil Pulling

April 13, 2014

Coconut Oil1

Ever since Into the Gloss did a post on oil-pulling, the media has been buzzing about this ancient technique. Essentially, one holds an oil in the mouth for about 2-3 minutes (some say up to 20 minutes). Just like using an oil cleanser, the teeth and gums are cleansed. Others claim that this technique actually reduces plaque, whitens teeth, and reduces bacteria in the mouth.  Liz and I set to investigate.

Coconut Oil3

The braver of the two of us (Liz) started about a week ago using coconut oil. After seeing her results after only a week, I decided to jump in. I’d heard that coconut and sesame oils tasted the least awful, so I picked up a jar of coconut oil at Whole Foods ($11) to try it. As you likely know, it’s solid at room temperature. I dig a tiny bit out with a spoon, hold it in my mouth until it melts, and hold it there while I check my email. I’ve gone about three minutes to a maximum of ten. I promise:  It doesn’t taste completely terrible at all (unless you hate coconut).

My results after a week of use:

  • My teeth are much whiter.
  • I like these results without the use of harsh peroxides or other chemicals that seems to strip off staining. Some make my teeth very sensitive. Instead, the oil seems to act a lot like an oil cleanser by washing. I’m not having any sensitivity.
  • There is definitely less plaque, although I’ll always floss like a good girl.
  • Bonus points for dabbing some of the coconut oil on the ends of my hair and pinning it up before my morning shower. The oil is a nice deep conditioner.

Overall, not bad for 11 bucks. So long as I remember to use this consistently, I’m looking forward to having whiter, healthier teeth using this method.


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  • Linda April 14, 2014 at 2:55 am

    Urgh, i’m intrigued now. My teeth are getting yellower from all the years of caffeine… and no whitening toothpaste works. But oil in the mouth… hmmm….. does eating fried chicken count?! LOL!!!

  • Marina(Makeup4all) April 14, 2014 at 3:08 am

    Never heard of this method, but am very curious now. Thanks for sharing.

  • Maria April 14, 2014 at 12:39 pm

    Do you rinse it around in your mouth? Do you follow up with brushing or do this after brushing? Very interesting….

    • Amy April 14, 2014 at 3:27 pm

      Yes, I swish it around a bit. I don’t need to very much because the oil goes everywhere pretty fast. After spitting out, I rinse, then brush and use mouthwash. I really don’t want to be ingesting the oil.

    • Amy April 14, 2014 at 5:31 pm

      And yes I do this after brushing. So basically I’m brushing twice

  • Cheri April 14, 2014 at 5:32 pm

    Interesting… Never knew you could do this. I use coconut oil on my skin and face but never on my teeth. I will have to give it a try.

  • Hue Rocks April 14, 2014 at 5:36 pm

    It’s the 1st time I hear about this trick! I’ll definitely try it asap. Thanks!

  • nikki April 15, 2014 at 9:07 pm

    I just tried this and can confirm what Amy and Liz,s results. Olive oil tastes pretty bad but grapeseed oil is pretty much neutral. i saw results after the first time. You know how your teeth feel after getting them cleaned at the dentist? That’s kind of how it feels and yes, it also brightened my teeth immediately as well I’m hooked and telling all my firiends!

  • Sarah April 17, 2014 at 7:18 pm

    Doing it right now! I’m using coconut oil too…I’ve been wanting to try this for a while just because it sounds intriguing. I don’t know that I buy some of the more extreme claims about health benefits but who doesn’t want whiter teeth? I think it’s about time to spit…

    • Amy April 18, 2014 at 6:18 am

      LOL Sarah–I just did mine too! 🙂

  • Beauty and the Scientist April 20, 2014 at 10:24 am

    I’ve never heard of this before and now I ma very intrigued. Thanks for sharing your experience 🙂