It’s no surprise that I’m a huge coconut oil fan, for it’s the do-everything oil with next-to-zero downside. Coconut oil is loaded with good fats that provide us with energy, able to fight microbes in the body and excellent for cooking. It even smells amazing! But did you know that coconut oil for skin is also a thing? That’s right, you can reap coconut oil’s benefits from the outside-in.
Not only is using coconut oil on your skin an all-natural method to eliminate many of the toxic ingredients that are found on drugstore shelves, but it’s also a cost-effective way to care for your body. Coconut oil also is able to penetrate your skin on a deeper level than your average product because of its low molecular weight and the way it bonds with proteins. (1)
I predict that you will be surprised to learn just how great coconut oil is for the skin. Soon, you can ditch those extra products in the medicine cabinet and try many, if not all, of these 20 ways to use coconut oil for healthy, radiant skin instead!
20 Ways to Use Coconut Oil for Skin
1. Body Butter
Skip the chemicals and fake fragrances found in conventional lotions and whip up your own instead. My homemade body butter recipe uses shea butter, coconut oil, jojoba oil and essential oils of your choice for a butter that’s great for your skin. Slather it on after the shower to lock in moisture.
Why does coconut oil for skin work so well? In part, it’s due to the saturated fats that helps the skin stay moisturized, with the fat preventing moisture loss through the skin’s pores. These fats give the skin a healthy, smooth and even tone. (2)
2. Body Scrub
Moisturize while getting rid of dead skin cells by making your own body (or facial) scrub. Just mix coconut oil with coconut sugar to reveal smoother skin. Try it a few times a week.
3. Body Oil
If your skin’s seriously dry, coconut oil for skin is one of the best remedies. Rub coconut oil in hands to warm it up and then use it in lieu of body lotion. Focus on spots like elbows and knees that tend to get even drier than other spots.
4. Cold Sore Treatment
Prone to cold sores? Dabbing coconut oil on them can help speed up healing time, alleviate pain and reduce the risk of scarring or discoloration.
Coconut oil contains three fatty acids —capric, caprylic and lauric acid — that possess both disinfectant and antimicrobial properties, helping to protect against as well as heal microbial infections. (3)
5. Cuticle Oil
Use coconut oil in your next at-home manicure. Rubbing the oil into cuticles helps keep germs at bay and will loosen up cuticles, making them easier to push back or cut.
6. Detox Bath
A good detox bath is a great way to eliminate toxins while allowing your body and mind to unwind. Create a simple detox bath with coconut oil by adding ¼ cup of Epsom salts, great for detoxing, to ¼ cup of coconut oil into a hot bath. For added aromatherapy benefits, include a few drops of your favorite essential oils.
7. Diaper Rash Guard
Using coconut oil for skin eases the pain, itch and redness of diaper rash. Using it regularly can also help keep it at bay. Use about a tablespoon over affected areas.
8. Dry Hands
If washing dishes or tinkering around the tool shed is taking its toll on your hands, coconut oil is a great remedy. Keep a jar by the sink or in the garage to replenish hands. Bonus: Rub coconut oil over hands and then cover with gloves to get skin soft and supple even more quickly.
9. Face Wash
With its antimicrobial properties and moisturizing abilities, coconut oil for skin is perfect to clean your face. I love my homemade face wash recipe. It’ll kill any bacteria (goodbye, pimples!) while hydrating skin to keep it looking and feeling vibrant.
10. Homemade Deodorant
If traditional deodorants irritate your skin, using coconut oil is a great alternative. Try my three-ingredient homemade deodorant recipe to make your own at home. It hardens into a natural, healthy alternative to store-bought brands that’ll keep you smelling fresh.
11. Insect Repellent
Put down the toxic chemicals and make your own repellent to keep insects at bay. To make about eight ounces of repellent, simply mix eight ounces of coconut oil with 40 to 50 drops of essential oils; some favorites are citronella, clove, eucalyptus, mint and lemongrass. While you’ll need to reapply throughout the day, you’ll avoid introducing harsh chemicals and toxins into your body.
12. Lip Balm
The simplest products are often loaded with frightening ingredients. Instead of accidentally ingesting toxic chemicals through your lip balm, make your own instead. My homemade lavender mint lip balm gets rid of dry, cracked lips — and toxins — for a lip ice that you can feel safe about using.
13. Makeup Remover
Using coconut oil for skin around the eye area will allow you to remove makeup without fear or irritating your eyes. Plus, you’ll give extra hydration to that sensitive area — and reduce your wrinkles! To use, gently rub coconut oil onto lids and dab off eye makeup with a cotton pad or warm washcloth.
14. Massage Oil
Why purchase expensive massage oils when it’s so easy to make your own? Combining coconut oil with several drops of your favorite essential oil does the job just as well; it’ll alleviate sore muscles while also tickling the senses and encouraging a mindful meditation.
15. Night Cream
Keep your skin hydrating and repairing itself while you sleep by applying coconut oil gently on your face. If you’re prone to acne or have very oily skin, try adding a few drops to your normal moisturizer instead to amp up hydration without adding too much extra oil. If you’d like to use coconut oil as a daytime moisturizer as well, combine it with sunblock to reap the benefits throughout the day without risking sun damage.
16. Scalp Moisture
Dry, flaky scalp got you down? Using coconut oil for hair and scalp will keep the area moisturized, discouraging dandruff growth and keeping hair looking shiny. If you have dry ends as well, rub some oil on them to provide deep conditioning.
17. Shaving Gel
Get a close, smooth shave by using coconut oil instead of shaving creams or gels. Coconut oil for skin will help prevent ingrown hairs and razor burn plus add moisture — no extra products in the medicine cabinet necessary! Just rub onto skin, shave and pat dry.
18. Skin Conditions
Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, coconut oil is on a rise in popularity for treating skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis and other skin conditions. In fact, a recent study found that 46 percent of patients with a chronic skin disease who used coconut oil had an excellent response in treating their condition. Meanwhile, only 19 percent of those who used mineral oil to treat their condition had an excellent response. (4) If you suffer from a skin disease, using coconut oil regularly might help alleviate symptoms.
19. Stretch Marks
Stretch marks occur as the skin’s elasticity changes, most frequently after weight gain/loss or pregnancy. Using coconut oil can help reduce the marks that are left behind, helping them fade more quickly while keeping skin moisturized to allow quicker healing.
20. Sunburn Relief
Got a little too much sun? Coconut oil can help soothe inflamed skin, reduce redness and rehydrate skin. The caveat is that while coconut oil does provide minimal sun protection — about SPF 4 — I’d recommend adding red raspberry seed extract or zinc oxide to make a stronger sunblock if you’ll be in the sun for an extended period of time.