At one time, coconut oil was widely believed to be the panacea for all of one's hair, skin, and diet woes. Although some specialists put the brakes on the oil's dietary benefits, it only prompts the question: what about coconut oil for the skin? Even though some studies may say it's not good for you to consume in excess because of coconut oil’s effects on raising blood cholesterol, does that mean we should stop using the vitamin-rich elixir all over our bodies?
The answer is no, not at all. Coconut oil is excellent for the skin due to its inherent antimicrobial characteristics; however, it may aggravate acne-prone skin. Even though debatable, most people love and praise coconut oil for its natural ability to make our skin feel soft, hydrated, and beautiful all over.
I have used coconut oil as a natural beauty remedy for years. I am constantly astonished by how many uses there are for this plant-derived ingredient in our daily life, from hydrating our skin to removing makeup! With coconut oil being natural and safe, I love that it cuts down on the number of products I need to keep in my bathroom cabinet. It lowers the clutter on my shelf with one jar, and significantly reduces my waste.
What is Coconut Oil?
We probably don't need to tell you that coconut oil, also known as lauric acid, is an oil made from coconuts. Nevertheless, the elements of coconut oil must be highlighted in this context. Coconut oil contains lauric acid, which has antibacterial characteristics and can help kill bacteria on the skin and relieve inflammation. As an emollient, coconut oil has significant quantities of linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid that can be utilised as a skin-soother.
- Because of the lauric acid present in coconut oil, it has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory qualities that are beneficial to the skin. It also aids in the exfoliation of dead skin cells on the outer layer of the skin, resulting in softer skin.
- As an all-natural 'anti-aging' moisturiser, coconut oil is an excellent choice for use on the skin. By keeping your connective tissues firm and supple, it can help decrease the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
- Coconut oil is high in medium-chain fatty acids, which helps your skin retain moisture while making it appear and feel silky smooth.
- A study published in 2019 indicated that virgin coconut oil reduced inflammatory indicators and improved skin barrier function, all of which are important for skin health. Researchers also found that extra virgin coconut oil decreased transepidermal water loss (TEWL) and increased skin surface lipids which ensures that it locks in moisture.
Are there any side-effects?
Unless your skin is particularly prone to congestion and troublesome breakouts, coconut oil can do wonders for the skin due to its nutrient-dense composition. However, if your pores clog quickly and blackheads are your nightmare, you should avoid coconut oil, which is thick and considered one of the more pore-clogging oils on the market (i.e. it is more likely to cause a pimple or two).
Alternatively, you can apply it only to areas that have considerably fewer oil glands than your face and scalp.
If you don't have acne-prone skin, you can use coconut oil as part of your daily skincare routine. If your skin is congested, consider oils like calendula, hemp seed, rosehip, which may be less prone to induce breakouts in oily skin types.
How do we use it?
My favourite techniques to apply coconut oil to my skin are listed below. If you know of any other coconut oil swaps that aren't on this list, please do share them in the comments so that we can all try them!
While we enjoy a good natural body lotion, there are occasions when you go for the bottle only to discover that it is empty. In such situations, coconut oil can be a fantastic substitute for moisturising and nourishing your skin. You'll love it even more after using a body scrub that exfoliates because it really lathers up and locks in the moisture.
Due to the fact that coconut oil is comedogenic, it might block pores. Before fully adopting it into your skincare routine, you may want to perform a patch test on your skin to determine whether or not it causes build-up.
2. Lip balm and exfoliant
Coconut oil works miracles on chapped lips. Best of all, it's natural and non-toxic (no parabens, petrolatum, or BHA). See for yourself. You can use a small amount on its own or mix it with another favourite oil that you like (try jojoba or maybe even sweet almond).
When it comes to lip treatments, coconut oil is a great base for a natural sugar scrub or homemade lip exfoliant. Try this three-ingredient organic dish that can be refrigerated for up to two weeks. You’ll need:
- 1 tablespoon of organic coconut oil
- 2 tablespoons of brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon of organic honey
Warm up the coconut oil and add all the other ingredients to a bowl. Mix well and pour into a glass container with a lid. Store it in a cool place or refrigerate it for up to two weeks.
3. Makeup remover
This is possibly my favourite application of coconut oil outside of the kitchen. I can't remember when I last bought "makeup remover." Instead, I use around half a teaspoon of coconut oil on a damp cotton ball to remove everything from foundation to eye makeup. It is gentle on my eyes and skin and is a natural and affordable makeup remover.
4. Nail & Cuticle Oil
Coconut oil is essentially a moisturiser that can perform miracles from head to toe, and this includes our nails and cuticles. While I enjoy using Vitamin E oil to strengthen my nails, I've discovered that applying a small amount of coconut oil to my cuticles each night helps repair any cracks and makes my nails healthier.
5. Tame the frizzies
Coconut oil makes an excellent leave-in hair conditioner, particularly if you have thicker locks or frizz-prone hair. Before bed, apply a pea-sized amount to the ends of your hair (make sure to wash it out in the morning). As a natural cure for frizz, you can also use a drop to run through your hair after styling.
NESARA by Nicky Products with Coconut Oil
As with any ingredient, trial and error are important. Coconut oil could block the pores, so it's a good idea to start with a patch test.