Coconut oil is arguably one of the healthiest fats on the planet. There are literally thousands of clinical studies on the health benefits of coconut oil that note its ability to aid in weight loss, increase HDL cholesterol, and so much more. Coconut oil uses extend to beauty as well. It is an excellent moisturizer and makeup remover, and a coconut oil face mask is a fantastic way to fight the signs of aging.
Coconut oil is rich in medium-chain fatty acids known as MCFAs. Caprylic acid, lauric acid, and capric acid all offer extraordinary health and beauty benefits. These MCFAs demonstrate antifungal and antimicrobial properties, making coconut oil for skin application so beneficial.
The combination of fatty acids in coconut oil can effectively treat a variety of skin problems. Here are 13 ways to incorporate coconut oil into your skin-care routine.
Exfoliating is the process of removing dead skin cells to uncover more youthful and healthy looking skin. Because of coconut oil’s ability to fight a variety of bacteria, viruses, and fungi, it is an excellent base to build a potent DIY exfoliator. Mix the following ingredients together and use three to four times a week on your face and body.
In the winter months, keeping your skin properly hydrated can be difficult. After your shower and before you dry off, massage coconut oil into your skin. This will help to keep your skin beautifully hydrated even in the driest of climates.
Commercial makeup removers are expensive and often loaded with chemicals. When you need to remove your makeup, reach for coconut oil instead. It will quickly liquify even the most stubborn waterproof mascaras and all-day foundations with ease.
It may seem counterintuitive to apply an oil as a sunscreen, but believe it or not, coconut oil naturally has an SPF of 4 or 5. For those who don’t burn easily, if you work out outside or spend time in your garden, rub coconut oil into exposed skin for protection.
If mosquitos, bees, and no-see-ums are a problem in your area, you will love this coconut oil for skin application. To repel bugs, simply mix a tablespoon of coconut oil with a few drops of tea tree oil or rosemary essential oil and apply to exposed skin.
If you struggle to keep your cuticles from cracking, rub pure coconut oil into your nail beds and cuticles daily. After a few days, you’ll start to notice they are better conditioned and less prone to cracking.
Ingrown hairs, especially on the bikini line, can be difficult to treat. They are caused when individual hairs curl and get trapped under skin instead of growing through. These hairs become inflamed and infections can become a problem that coconut oil is well-equipped to fix. The antimicrobial activity of coconut oil can wipe out the inflammation. From there, use the exfoliating scrub above to help release hairs trapped just below the skin’s surface.
Many diaper rash ointments are filled with chemicals that can actually cause further irritation to the skin. Coconut oil is perfectly safe to use on infants and can help relieve common diaper rash symptoms, including itching, irritation, and inflammation. Continue to apply coconut oil to the skin after symptoms have abated as a protective barrier against further outbreaks of diaper rash.
A good vapor rub is soothing to the skin and helps to open up sinuses and respiratory channels. Mix all of the following ingredients together and apply as necessary on the chest to help improve breathing.
If you are pregnant and concerned about unsightly stretch marks, use coconut oil to keep your skin hydrated and supple. Massaging coconut oil into your belly may help prevent stretch marks from appearing, especially when you stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water each day.
Coconut oil is an excellent massage oil. You can customize your “flavor” by adding essential oils. To spur relaxation, add a few drops of lavender oil. To boost your mood and energy, add orange essential oil or frankincense.
If your heels are dry and cracked, coconut oil can help. Before going to bed in the evening, gently use a pumice stone over the affected areas and then promptly massage in coconut oil. Cover with socks and go to bed. In the morning, wipe any excess coconut oil off your feet before you jump in the shower to prevent a fall.
Create your own customized anti-aging cream to fight wrinkles, fine lines, and age spots. Every evening, mix 1 teaspoon of coconut oil with a drop or two of jasmine oil and a drop or two of frankincense oil to boost skin health and hydration. As a bonus, the jasmine oil can also promote restful sleep!
A coconut oil face mask can improve skin texture and moisture. This DIY coconut oil face mask recipe uses ingredients in your pantry to help refresh your skin, promote the healing of acne, and provide a moisture boost.
Skin isn’t the only thing that benefits from a dose of coconut oil—it is great for hair too! Here are our favorite coconut oil for hair uses.
If you struggle with stubborn tangles, reach for a teaspoon of coconut oil. Rub it together in the palm of your hands, and then gently pull it through the ends of the hair. Use a wide-tooth comb to gently break apart the tangles starting from the ends. Add more as necessary until you are tangle-free.
Coconut oil is an excellent hair conditioner, especially for those with thick curly hair. You can apply it after washing your hair and then style as desired. As coconut oil is quite heavy, don’t apply it all the way to the scalp to avoid weighing down your hair.
You can also use coconut oil as a deep conditioner overnight. Wash your hair and then apply a couple of tablespoons (depending on thickness and length of hair) of coconut oil to your hair, starting at the scalp. Massage from the scalp to the ends and then comb through. Wrap your head in a towel or old t-shirt, and then go to bed. In the morning, wash your hair as you normally do and style.
The combination of castor oil and coconut oil is an excellent way to increase hair growth rate. Mix 1 teaspoon of castor oil with 2 teaspoons of coconut oil and massage into your scalp for 5 to 8 minutes. Focus on areas of particular concern like the temples and top of your head. For a boost of hair growth, add a couple drops of rosemary essential oil to help stimulate blood circulation in the scalp!