It has been endorsed by some of the most beautiful women in the world, including Miranda Kerr, Gwyneth Paltrow, Emma Stone, and Madonna.
So, it is no surprise that coconut oil has cemented its place as the must-have beauty ingredient for our skin.
Every beauty brand, from Clinique to Sol de Janeiro, Burt’s Bees, Paula’s Choice, Murad, and Kiehls, is increasingly calling upon its benefits for its skincare products. Yes, this includes coconut oil for the face. And body. And cuts, scrapes, and other minor wounds.
And for a good reason: Coconut oil is antibacterial and antifungal, a great moisturizer, and a vitamin powerhouse.
And it smells like cookies!
However, you don’t need to consume coconut oil to reap the beauty benefits. Here are 40 topical skincare uses for it in your very own home. All you need is a small amount of coconut; you are all set to glow!
Remember, beautiful skin doesn’t have to be complicated — sometimes, the best-kept secrets are nestled within nature’s simplest offerings.
PS: Always use cold-pressed coconut oil, preferably extra virgin coconut oil.
Coconut oil for the body
I would always pick coconut oil if I was stuck on a deserted island and could have only one body care product. Why? Let’s count the reasons.
The hydration hero!
Coconut oil doesn’t just sit on top of the skin; it dives deep into the layers, packing a punch of hydration that’s hard to beat. The rich fatty acids create a barrier, sealing moisture and giving your skin a healthy, plump appearance.
Parched, super-flaky skin? Stir together equal parts coconut oil and olive oil. Add a few drops of rose or frankincense essential oil, and you will have a concoction that no store-bought lotion could rival!
A powerhouse of vitamins
Coconut oil is rich in vitamins E and K — which are vital for skin health. Vitamin E is a potent antioxidant, while Vitamin K aids in healing, making coconut oil a nourishing treat for your skin.
Coconut oil’s anti-inflammatory properties can help reduce redness and swelling, relieving various skin conditions like atopic dermatitis and eczema.
Boosts skin immunity
Coconut oil’s rich lauric acid content can bolster your skin’s immune system, helping it fight pathogens and infections.
Encourages skin regeneration
Applying coconut oil to damaged skin can speed up the healing process, encouraging the growth of healthy, new skin cells.
Enhances skin elasticity
The natural collagen production that coconut oil promotes can improve skin elasticity, preventing stretch marks and sagging skin.
Reduces oxidative stress
The antioxidant properties of coconut oil can reduce oxidative stress in skin cells, preventing signs of premature aging.
Smooths skin texture
Coconut oil can help smooth rough and uneven skin texture by promoting the shedding of dead skin cells. And yes, you also need to shed dead cells on body parts other than the face!
Strengthens the skin barrier
Coconut oil forms a protective barrier on the skin’s surface, shielding it from environmental toxins, pollutants, and harmful bacteria. It also prevents transepidermal water loss, helping keep skin well moisturized.
Balances skin’s pH
Using coconut oil can help balance your skin’s pH levels, reducing the risk of acne breakouts and skin infections.
With its cooling properties, coconut oil provides relief from sunburn. It hydrates the parched skin and aids in healing, preventing peeling and flaking.
You can use coconut oil straight out of the jar to soothe a sunburn, but if you want to elevate the benefits, try this recipe:
- Take 1 cup of cocoa butter, 1/2 cup cold pressed coconut oil, and four teaspoons of sweet almond oil
- Place all ingredients in a double boiler over medium heat until the butter has melted
- Pour into a jar and allow to cool
- Massage a small amount over the body immediately after sun exposure to soothe sun-parched skin
Body butter bliss
Rich in fatty acids, coconut oil makes a great body cream. Pull it straight out of the jar (I decant it into a pretty bottle just for an added feel-good element) and smooth it all over your body while skin is still wet after a shower.
It will melt into your skin like a luxurious body butter, providing deep, long-lasting hydration. And poof, you are a soft-skinned goddess!
Softens rough elbows and knees
Apply coconut oil to rough patches on your elbows and knees to moisturize and soften the skin, making it smoother and more supple.
An effortless shaving companion
Coconut oil provides a smooth surface for your razor, reducing the risk of nicks and cuts. Post-shaving, it acts as a hydrating aftershave, reducing any razor burn and leaving skin silky smooth.
Nature’s very own exfoliator
Swap those harsh scrubs that tear your delicate skin for this natural alternative. When mixed with sugar or sea salt, coconut oil transforms into a gentle yet effective exfoliant, sloughing off dead cells to reveal soft, smooth skin beneath.
Want a more indulgent scrub and have 5 minutes to spare? Try this simple recipe for the most luscious coconut oil scrub:
- Take six tablespoons of coconut oil, brown sugar, and ten drops of orange and lemon essential oils.
- Beat the coconut oil till it’s soft and fluffy.
- Next, add the remaining ingredients and stir well.
- To use, massage into damp skin while in the shower; on rinsing off the scrub, you will be left with a very thin layer of coconut oil, which shall keep skin soft and supple.
- Store the excess scrub in the refrigerator.
Regular use of coconut oil may diminish the appearance of cellulite thanks to its hydrating and skin-tightening effects.
To make an easy cellulite cream, Mix 1 cup each of coconut and jojoba oil, 20 drops each of cypress essential oil and juniper essential oil, and ten drops of lavender essential oil. Massage into the affected areas of the body and leave overnight.
Prevents and reduces the appearance of stretch marks
Regular application of coconut oil during weight fluctuations can help prevent and minimize the appearance of stretch marks.
Coconut oil reduces stinkiness with its antibacterial properties. Add a little lavender or lemon essential oil for an extra deodorizing effect.
Regular application of coconut oil can lighten the skin of your underarms, reducing any hyperpigmentation.
Relieves tired feet
Pop your feet into a warm footbath with three tablespoons of coconut oil and half a cup of mixed spice. The lauric acid in coconut oil will help bring balance to your hard-working feet.
Headed outdoors? Take this all-natural insect repellant with you:
- Take 1 cup of coconut oil, two tablespoons of olive oil, and 20 drops of patchouli, citronella, or eucalyptus essential oil
- Mix all the ingredients and store them in a jar
- Apply liberally all over the body
Coconut oil for cuts, scrapes, and other minor wounds
According to several research studies, the benefits of coconut oil include potent antimicrobial properties that are an excellent first response action for minor wounds.
Healing wounds and scars
Coconut oil forms a thin antiseptic and antibacterial layer that protects the wound from dust and germs. Plus, it speeds up the healing process by increasing cellular turnover and stimulating collagen.
So, slather a bit of coconut oil on a scratch, scrape, or small cut, and your wound may heal faster and resist infections. As a bonus, it also helps reduce the chances of scarring.
A soothing solution for eczema and psoriasis
With its anti-inflammatory and moisturizing benefits, coconut oil offers relief for chronic skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis, easing the itch and reducing redness.
Fights fungal infections
Coconut oil is rich in caprylic acid, a potent antifungal agent that treats athlete’s foot, Candida, and other fungal conditions.
Rub the oil into your feet, concentrating on the affected areas (add some tea tree oil for a bonus). Put on socks so you don’t slide around the room. Repeat 2-3 a day until the problem is gone.
Insect bite relief
Applying coconut oil can soothe insect bites’ redness, swelling, and itchiness.
Treats cold sores
Coconut oil possesses an unusually high percentage of lauric acid (the Harvard School of Public Health pegs it at 47%), which is antiviral (known to help treat cold sores, herpes, boils, acne, and warts).
How to use coconut oil for a cold sore? Mix two tablespoons with five drops of oregano oil and use at first sight of a cold sore.
Removes warts and moles
When coconut oil is applied after an apple cider vinegar compress for a few weeks, moles and warts have been known to “slide off” or disappear. This is attributed to the oil’s antiviral and antifungal properties.
Heals cracked heels
Dry, cracked feet? Rub coconut oil and go over the flaky areas with a pumice stone. For an intense treatment, slather on the oil, wear an old pair of socks and leave overnight.
Coconut oil for the lips, nails… and other bits and bobs
As proof that there’s no part of our body that cannot be helped by coconut oil, allow me to present the following.
Coconut oil contains medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs). These fatty acid esters absorb quickly and efficiently and help transport nutrients to the cells.
Massage it into nails to help strengthen them or rub it into fingertips to soothe and prevent hangnails.
Rub coconut oil into your cuticles to soften them, making it easier to push them back or trim them, resulting in a polished, well-groomed look.
Say goodbye to chapped lips — slather plain coconut oil on your lips for ultimate hydration. I use a small mini-mint container and fill it with coconut oil to carry around. It’s solid at room temperature and melts with body heat while applying.
This recipe is a bit complicated, but see it through, and you will have the most luscious, most soothing, most effective hand cream ever:
- In a double boiler, melt together ten tablespoons of extra virgin coconut oil, three tablespoons cold pressed sweet almond oil and four tablespoons of beeswax pellets
- Remove the pot from the burner and stir in 5 drops of lemon essential oil
- After cooling, massage it into your hands to hydrate and banish dark spots (I put some into an empty lip balm or mini-mints tin and pop it into the purse for easy access.)
Rub a little coconut oil on your nose to help with the dryness, soreness, and redness of colds and allergies.
Coconut oil for the face
I am not all that keen on applying coconut oil on your face, with one caveat: if you have flaky, dry skin that has no issues with pimples (as it can clog pores), this may be your ticket to soft, smooth, and scar-free skin.
The one skin type it’s perfect for? Sensitive skin. If your skin is red, irritated, and inflamed, coconut oil is gentle enough to use, offering hydration without irritation — unlike many commercial products.
Prevents premature aging
Coconut oil is loaded with antioxidants that combat free radicals — the culprits behind premature aging. Regular application can help maintain youthful skin, warding off the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Reduces the appearance of age spots
The antioxidants in coconut oil can help fade age spots and hyperpigmentation, giving your skin an even tone.
Soothes dry skin
Honey and coconut oil? It sounds messy but combine equal parts of both and slather them onto your face for 10 minutes. This combination works wonders on dry skin, especially in winter!
Yes, coconut oil can also work for acne-prone skin. Rich in lauric acid, coconut oil possesses antimicrobial properties, targeting acne-causing bacteria head-on. Regular use of coconut oil can help reduce breakouts and calm inflamed skin.
How to use coconut oil for acne? Mix it with nutmeg powder, leave it on your blemish for 10-15 minutes, then wash off. Again, this is for dry skin — oily skin, you have other options!
The one time I would recommend coconut oil for the face with every skin type is after excessive sun exposure.
Is facial skin feeling the effects of the outdoors? Soothe it with a liberal application of aloe vera gel to which a few teaspoons of coconut oil have been added.
It’s high in antioxidants, prevents destructive free-radical activity (the primary cause of aging), and lessens skin spots caused by over-exposure to sunlight.
Coconut oil for makeup
Yes, coconut oil can work in your makeup routine as well!
A dab of coconut oil on your cheekbones over your makeup can act as a natural highlighter, giving your skin a subtle, dewy glow. It looks like your skin but more radiant, which is why many natural makeup brands use it as a base ingredient in their formulas (like RMS Beauty’s Living Luminizer Highlighter — one of my favorites!).
Handy lip gloss
Plain coconut oil also makes for a superb lip gloss — VERY shiny!
The perfect makeup remover
Cleanse away the dirt and pollution by massaging coconut oil into your skin.
The makeup — including waterproof mascara — melts away. At the same time, the oil’s antibacterial and antimicrobial elements protect and enhance the skin’s natural flora.
And the best part? No harsh chemicals are involved! It’s gentle on the eyes and nourishes your lashes simultaneously.