It has been endorsed by some of the most beautiful women in the world, including Miranda Kerr, Gwyneth Paltrow and Madonna.
So, it comes as no surprise that coconut oil is fast becoming the latest must-have beauty ingredients for our skin.
Even cosmetic companies like Clinique and Kiehls are increasingly calling upon its benefits.
And for good reason: Coconut oil is antibacterial and anti-fungal, it’s an excellent moisturiser, it can penetrate hair better than other oils and, well, it smells like cookies.
However, you don’t need to actually consume coconut oil to reap the beauty benefits. Here are 50 topical skincare, bodycare and haircare uses for it in your very own home. All you need is virgin coconut oil (preferably organic) and you are all set to glow!
Coconut oil as body wash
Creamy body wash: Take 2 cups liquid castile soap (or any unscented body wash), 1 cup rose water, 4 tablespoons coconut oil and 20-30 drops lavender essential oil. Pour all the ingredients into a bottle and shake until everything is mixed well. Shake before every application and use as a body soap.
The coconut oil body scrub(s)
Simple body scrub: Skin feeling parched and flaky? Add some sea salt to coconut oil and use it as a body scrub.
Want a more indulgent body scrub? Take 6 tablespoons each of coconut oil and brown sugar, along with 10 drops each 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 light layer of coconut oil, which shall keep skin soft and supple. Store the excess scrub in the refrigerator.
Honey-lemon sugar scrub: Mix together half a cup each of brown sugar and salt in a bowl. Add 1 tablespoon each of lemon juice, honey and coconut oil; mix well. Use 1-2 times a week for amazingly smooth skin!
Coconut oil body lotion
Deep moisturiser: Parched, 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 ever rival!
It gets better: Slather the (above) concoction all over your body and drape yourself with warm bath towels. Stay that way until the towels have cooled. What do you have right there? A VERY luxurious full body moisturising mask.
Body moisturiser: Rich in fatty acids, coconut oil makes a superb moisturiser. Just pull it straight out of the jar (I decant it into a pretty bottle just for an added feel-good element) and smooth all over your body while skin is still wet after a shower. Poof… you are a soft skinned goddess!
After-sun body lotion: Take 1 cup cocoa butter, 1/2 cup coconut oil and 4 teaspoons sweet almond oil. Place all ingredients in a double boiler over medium heat until the butter is melted. Pour into a jar and allow to cool. Massage a small amount over body immediately after sun exposure to soothe sun parched skin.
Cellulite cream: Mix together 1 cup each of coconut oil and jojoba oil, 20 drops each of cypress essential oil and juniper essential oil, and 10 drops of lavender essential oil. Massage into the affected areas of the body and leave overnight.
Coconut oil for shaving
Shaving cream: Use coconut oil instead of shaving cream – it will help smooth hair follicles for a closer, smoother shave.
After-shave lotion: Coconut oil will help heal your skin after shaving and is especially great for razor burn!
Coconut oil for cuts, scrapes and other minor wounds
Cuts and scrapes: 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.
Warts: Take 1/4 cup coconut oil, 10 drops of lemon essential oil, 10 drops of tea tree essential oil and 2 drops of thyme essential oil. Mix the oils together and apply four times daily to the affected area. Do not wash area for at least 30 minutes after application.
Moles: When coconut oil is applied after an apple cider vinegar compress for a few weeks, moles have been known to “slide off” or just disappear.
Fungal infections: Coconut oil is rich in caprylic acid, a potent antifungal agent that’s superb for treating athlete’s foot, Candida and other fungal conditions. Rub the oil into your feet, concentrating on the affected areas (you can add some tea tree oil for added bonus). Put on socks so you don’t slide around the room. Repeat 2-3 a day until the problem is gone.
Coconut oil for self care
Muscle soother: Take 4 teaspoons Shea butter, 3 tablespoons coconut oil, 2 tablespoons jojoba oil, 6 drops peppermint essential oil, 6 drops eucalyptus essential oil, 4 drops of lavender essential oil and 1 teaspoon beeswax. Melt the Shea butter, coconut oil and jojoba oil, then add the essential oils and pour into an airtight container.
Relaxing night balm: Place a cup of coconut oil in warm water until it softens. Mix in one cup of almond oil and 2-3 drops of rose essential oil. Store in an airtight container, using it as a full-body balm for when you are achy all over. Happy nights are ahead!
Hot flashes: Coconut oil cools hot flashes and night sweats when you put a heavy coating on your scalp, hair (towel over pillow) and feet before bed. Wash it out in the morning.
PMS blend: Take 1/2 cup coconut oil, 15 drops lavender essential oil, 5 drops chamomile essential oil and 3 drops cypress essential oil. Mix everything together and store in a bottle or jar. Apply to abdomen for relieving menstrual cramps.
Insect repellent: Take 1 cup coconut oil, 2 tablespoons olive oil and 20 drops of patchouli, citronella or eucalyptus essential oil. Mix all the ingredients together and store in a jar. Apply liberally all over body.
Mood lifter: To make a superbly indulgent mood-lifting massage oil, melt one cup of coconut oil on low heat and add a handful of basil or lavender. Simmer for 30 minutes on very low heat – do not allow to boil; stir frequently. Strain and pour into a jar and store in the refrigerator. Heat it up a little and use it in place of massage oil to instantly bust the blues!
Coconut oil for makeup
Illuminator: Massage coconut oil into your whole body to add a gorgeous glow to your skin. To enhance the glow, add some sparkling mica to your oil mix.
Lip gloss: Plain coconut oil makes for a superb lip gloss as well – VERY shiny!
Makeup remover: Cleanse away the dirt and pollution by massaging coconut oil into your skin. The makeup – including waterproof mascara – just melts away, while the oil’s anti-bacterial and anti-microbial elements protect and enhance the skin’s natural flora.
Coconut oil for hands & feet
Foot treatment: Dry, cracked feet? Rub some coconut oil and go over the flaky areas with a pumice stone. For an intense treatment, slather on the oil, put an old pair of socks and leave overnight.
De-odourising: Coconut oil has been known to freshen up the stinkiness with its antibacterial properties. Add a little lavender or lemon essential oil for extra deodorising effect.
Tired feet: Pop your feet into a warm footbath laced 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.
Dark patches: Mix the juice of one lemon with a teaspoon of coconut oil and rub into dry and dark elbows and knees to help with spots.
Nails & cuticles: Coconut oil contains medium chain triglycerides (MCTs), a type of fatty acid esters that absorb quickly and efficiently and help transport nutrients to the cells. Massage it into nails and cuticles to help strengthen them or rub into fingertips to soothe and prevent hangnails.
Hand cream: In a double boiler, melt together 10 tablespoons coconut oil, 3 tablespoons cold pressed sweet almond oil and 4 tablespoons grated beeswax. Remove 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.
Coconut oil for the face
Face mask: I am not all that keen on using coconut oil on your face, with one caveat: if you have dry, flaky skin that has no issues with pimples, this may be your ticket to softness. Take 1 egg, 1/2 cup coconut oil and 1 tablespoon honey. Beat the egg in a small bowl until frothy. Slowly add the coconut oil and honey, beating until your mask is the consistency of mayonnaise. Place in the freezer overnight. To use, cut out a small piece and smooth over your face; pop the rest back in the refrigerator. Leave on for 5 to 10 minutes, then rinse off with warm water. I use this one to counter sunburns and take away the pain.
Another face mask: Honey and coconut oil? Sounds messy but combine equal parts of both and slather onto your face for 10 minutes. It works wonders on dry skin, especially in winter!
Face scrub: Coconut oil is terrific at flushing away impurities; just mix equal amounts of oil and baking soda for a rejuvenating scrub.
Lip balm: Simply slather plain coconut oil on your lips for the ultimate in hydration. I use a small mini-mints container and fill it with coconut oil to carry around. It’s solid at room temperature and melts with the body heat while applying.
Eczema: The antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties of organic virgin coconut oil make it an excellent soother for eczema sufferers. Just apply it lightly on the affected area 3-4 times a day.
Colds: Rub a little coconut oil on the inside of your nose to help with runny noses, allergies and sore nostrils.
Acne: Mix some coconut oil with nutmeg and leave on your blemish for 10-15 minutes, then wash off.
After-sun soother: Forgot the sunscreen? Soothe your skin with a liberal application of aloe vera gel to which a few teaspoons of coconut oil is 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.
Cold sores: Coconut oil possesses an unusually high percentage of lauric acid (more than 50%), which is anti-viral (known to help treat cold sores, herpes, boils, acne and warts). Mix 2 tablespoons with 5 drops of oil of oregano and use at the first sight of a cold sore.
Eyelashes: Brush on to eyelashes to boost their growth and pigmentation.
Age spots: Applying coconut oil directly to the age spot will help it fade by preventing free-radical formation.
Highlighter: Simply sweep a small amount of coconut oil on top of makeup. It looks like your skin but glowier, which is why many natural makeup brands use it as a base ingredient in their formulas.
Where is the best place to buy coconut oil? There are so many kinds to choose from, how do you know which one is right?
Any coconut oil is fine, as long as it is virgin and cold-pressed. This way, the processing of the coconut into coconut oil will have kept as much of the nutrients as possible
thanks to this I buy more coconut oil than I usually do. I use the Tiana Organic Coconut oil as its the best one. its like the rawest and purest one ever. Its amazing. Thank you so much
Will try that one next time for sure… thanks for the tip!
very informative. but for dry lips daily, how to store this coconut oil for weeks without refrigeration? can i add some turmeric in it for effective solution?
Virgin coconut oils keeps without rancidity issues for 2+ years. If your oil is slightly yellow in it’s liquid state look for another brand/quality.
That is an exhaustive list.
Gemxi Devi says
Great list, girl! Thank you so much for this info! xx
How about oral oil pulling ?
You swish a tea-tablespoon’s (whatever feels good) worth of coconut oil in the mouth for anything from 5 – 45! minutes to ‘pull’ out any bacteria lodged between teeth, on the tongue and on gums.
The oil will be clear when you spit it out, but the mouth will feel moisturised and healed and smooth – Also good for if you have any cuts or mouth ulcers to soothe them.
I’ve tried it myself and it’s good to do 1-2 times a week whilst changing or in the shower 🙂
Hello its me
Michele Echandy says
You can make an amazing lip scrub and plumper by using sugar honey and coconut oil with a small amount of cinnamon for better plumping results use a drop of cinnamon oil though this recipe works wonders without the cinnamon plumping your lips the cinnamon acts as an irritant therefore plumping your lips
Michela Echandy says
It’s Michela instead of michele
John Marris says
Coconut oil works wonders as a moisturizer, so when I came home from the beach the other day with a nasty sunburn on the backs of my legs. I decided to try a little coconut love.I used COCONUT OIL for massage.
Would u plz tell me what ia the best way to keep home made coconut oil for long time
Virgin Coconut Oil is one of the most stable oils, containing mostly saturated fats. That means you can keep it unrefridgerated for years – whereas you should keep all liquid oils in the fridge in dark bottles to keep them from warmth, light and oxygen so they don’t go rancid. My VCO usually comes in a glass jar which is superior to plastic, as the softeners in the plastic can seep into the oil. Good quality oil should not go rancid but I have found for some coconut oil to start smelling funny after a while, but it was stored in a plastic jar and was probably made of Kopra, sun-dried coconut meat, which can get moldy while drying.
You can also keep VCO in the fridge, but it gets very hard so I prefer to use it at room temperature where it’s much softer. I don’t even have a lid on my jars containing self-made VCO and beef tallow products – much more practical for daily use…
Nubia Bretas says
I’ll try to use my acnes, thanks for sharing, then come back to talk about my experience with this.
Hi, I loved reading your article. Very informative and shared it on my social media page. We are also manufacturing cold pressed virgin coconut oil with other natural ingredients as coconex oil.
Abhishek Prasad says
Thank you for sharing this info with us, we hope to see more info from you.