Coconut oil is great for cooking, but it may be even better as a beauty product! Many of the natural beauty products in stores these days feature coconut oil as a main ingredient, and for good reason! It’s naturally antibacterial, an excellent moisturizer for both hair and skin, and of course, and it smells wonderful too! 🙂 But instead of shelling out the cash for those expensive natural beauty products, it’s much cheaper to learn how to use coconut oil in your beauty routine at home!
In fact, there are so many amazing ways to use coconut oil in your beauty routine that it would take me days to list them all here. So instead, I decided that I would put together a list of the very best coconut oil beauty hacks, and that’s what I’ll be sharing with you in today’s post! Below you’ll find 11 ways you can use coconut oil to look and feel your very best!
A Crash Course In Coconut Oil
What Is Coconut Oil?
Coconut oil is the oil extracted from pressing coconut meat. It is a solid at room temperature due to its high saturated fat content, but has a fairly low melting point (78°F), which is why it tends to melt in the pantry when it’s hot out. Its high fat content makes it excellent in moderation in your foods, and it’s a wonderful natural moisturizer to add into your regular beauty routine.
Like many types of vegetable oil, natural coconut oil has a yellow tinge to it when it’s in a liquid state. So on those especially hot summer days, don’t worry, your oil hasn’t gone bad!
Refined coconut oil, which is made from dried coconut meat (or copra), is put through extensive processing. Steaming the oil deodorizes it and removes some of the flavor. It is “bleached” by getting filtered through clay, which removes all impurities, bacteria, and much of the remaining flavor.
The high smoking point makes refined coconut oil ideal for stir-fry, deep frying, and searing meats.
Unrefined coconut oil, also known as virgin coconut oil, is made from raw, fresh coconut meat, and is not processed the same way as refined oil. It retains its coconut flavor and aroma, making it perfect for coconut lovers everywhere.
It has a lower smoking point, so is better suited for quick sautés than deep frying. It’s also the best coconut oil to use on your skin, but both refined and unrefined oil can be used for baking and beauty.
The terms “extra virgin” and “virgin coconut oil” are used to describe unrefined coconut oil, but these terms are unregulated in the industry.
Organic coconut oil is made from coconuts that have been grown according to USDA certified organic standards and are free from pesticides.
Fractionated coconut oil goes through a distilling process, which separates the lauric acid from other saturated fats (solid fats) so they can be removed. Thus, fractionated oil stays in liquid form even at lower temperatures. It’s often the oil of choice for beauty products as it is more easily absorbed into the skin.
Why Is Coconut Oil Good For Your Hair And Skin?
Essential fatty acids (EFAs) – We’ve all heard that our bodies need omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. They are called “essential” fatty acids because they are, you know, essential, and they can work wonders on your skin too. But most people think those fatty acids need to come from your diet in order for your body to reap the benefits. So do you need to slather yourself in them as well?
Using sunflower oil, studies have shown that topical application of EFAs to the skin is just as effective, if not more so, in reducing chronic dry skin and other skin-related EFA deficiencies. Ingesting EFAs involves the digestive system, which means you may end up losing much of the value for your skin once your other organs (especially your liver) have absorbed what they need.
When applied topically, EFAs do make it into your bloodstream after approximately two weeks of daily use. Even after such a short amount of time, the test subjects had increased levels of EFAs in both their red blood cell membranes and plasma.
To put it simply: you can also benefit from using essential fatty acids ON your skin, and not just by ingesting them into your body. This is one reason why liquid coconut oil is a fantastic choice to use as a massage oil or an essential oil carrier.
Not only are omega-6 fatty acids present in coconut oil, but so are large amounts of lauric acid. Also found in breast milk, lauric acid is a medium-chain triglycerides oil (MCT oil) that can help protect against harmful pathogens and increase levels of good cholesterol. It also has antibacterial properties and is excellent at combatting acne, psoriasis, and eczema.
12 Of The Best Coconut Oil Beauty Hacks
1. Oil Pulling
Oil pulling is the process of swishing with specific oils that have antibacterial and antiseptic qualities an extended period of time. Studies have shown this is an effective way to maintain and improve oral health (and give you whiter teeth).
As for the taste, using extra virgin coconut oil can make the experience a bit more pleasant for novices. Raw coconut oil is far more tasty on its own than other olive oil and vegetable oil choices!
Just put a tablespoon of solid coconut oil in your mouth, wait for it to melt, then swish it around your mouth for 15-20 minutes. Spit the oil out (in the trash, not the sink), then rinse and brush your teeth.
Just make sure you don’t swallow. If you do, all of the grime and bacteria you just swished away will go into your stomach, instead of in the trash. Gross.
Swishing the oil around creates friction that gently scrubs plaque and stains off your teeth. For more information about oil pulling, check out my post on the topic at the link below.
Related: Oil Pulling For A Healthier Mouth
2. Makeup Remover
Coconut oil is such an effective makeup remover, it even makes waterproof makeup melt right off! Just put some coconut oil on a cotton ball or pad and sweep it over your eyes to remove makeup. Then follow up by washing your face as usual.
Coconut oil effectively removes makeup while being gentle on your delicate skin. It’s also hydrating too! If you want to go the extra mile, check out the link below to learn how to make a natural makeup remover solution that also contains coconut oil.
3. Moisturizing Body Scrub
Why waste your money on store-bought body scrubs when you can whip one up at home in seconds? Just mix 1/2 cup of coconut oil with 1 cup of sugar or coarse salt, and mix well. If you want, you can also add 5-6 drops of your favorite essential oil for fragrance.
Use your homemade coconut oil body scrub once or twice per week to keep your skin super smooth and moisturized! Get more details at the link below.
4. Shaving Cream
Out of shaving cream? You can use coconut oil instead! Just rub some coconut oil between your hands to melt it a bit, then spread it over your skin and shave as usual.
While you can use coconut oil alone as a shaving cream, combining it with other moisturizing ingredients can make it even better! Check out the link below to learn how to make your own luxurious skin-nourishing shaving cream.
5. Treatment For Rough Heels
Has winter dryness left you with rough, cracked skin on your heels? Use coconut oil to help heal and soften heels overnight! Just slather it onto your feet before bed, then pull on a pair of socks. In the morning, your skin will be much softer and smoother.
For the same heel-softening benefits of coconut oil, plus the benefits of more restful sleep, check out the link below to learn how to make my favorite homemade Sleep Salve.
6. Cuticle Oil
Treat dry, flaky, or peeling cuticles by rubbing coconut oil over them. It will help moisturize the skin around your fingernails and help protect your manicure at the same time.
7. Under-Eye Cream
Eye creams are often among the most expensive beauty items you can buy. Why waste all that money when you can use coconut oil instead? Spread a small amount over the delicate skin under your eyes to minimize dark circles and fine lines.
Or better yet, check out the link below to learn about my multi-purpose “beauty wash” containing coconut oil!
8. Hydrating Face Mask
Whip up a quick and easy face mask that will leave your skin feeling hydrated and rejuvenated! In a small bowl, mix together 1 teaspoon of coconut oil, 1 teaspoon of honey, and the flesh of half an avocado. Apply the mixture to your face and let sit for 45 minutes. Afterward, rinse thoroughly with warm water.
9. Skin Brightener
Use coconut oil to help lighten age spots and other areas of discoloration on your skin. In a small bowl, mix the juice of one lemon with 1 tablespoon of organic virgin coconut oil. Rub the mixture onto affected areas to naturally brighten and moisturize your skin.
10. Face Highlighter
After applying your makeup, apply a tiny dab of coconut oil to the tops of your cheekbones. It will act like a highlighter and give you a perfect dewy glow!
11. Beauty Supplement
Work coconut oil into your diet to reap various health benefits, including boosts to your immunity and your energy levels! You can use coconut oil for cooking as an easy way to get more in your diet, or mix a spoonful into your morning coffee, tea, smoothie, or hot cocoa! (There are also convenient coconut oil supplements you can take, if that’s more your style!)
12. Hair Growth & Health
Studies have shown that coconut oil is highly effective in strengthening your hair. One particular study concluded that:
Among three oils [coconut oil, mineral oil, and sunflower oil], coconut oil was the only oil found to reduce the protein loss for both undamaged and damaged hair when used as a prewash and post-wash grooming product.
Studies have also shown that coconut oil has anti-fungal qualities, which can not only help treat and prevent scalp dryness, but also the yeast infection that causes dandruff.
Note: These tips are not recommended for anyone with coconut allergies. To avoid an unexpected reaction, test a small amount of coconut oil on the inside of your elbow and wait to see if any skin irritation or reaction occurs before proceeding.
Do you use coconut oil as part of your beauty regimen?