10 Amazing Beauty Tricks With Coconut Oil

Hello! We whipped up this story for Prevention, and we thought we’d share it with you, too!

What do you use coconut oil for??

1. To soothe dry hands

This won’t work for dry digits when you’re on the go, but at home, coconut oil can work wonders on your dishwashing-parched hands. “I keep a jar of organic extra virgin coconut oil by the kitchen sink and put a little on after washing my hands to keep them soft and moist,” says Dr. Low Dog. And if you cook with coconut oil—you can sub it for butter in baking recipes because it’s solid at room temperature—scoop out a little extra for your hands, too. “Whenever I cook with coconut oil, I make sure to moisturize my hands with it too,” says Katrine van Wyk, a holistic health and nutrition coach based in New York.

2. As a cheekbone highlighter

Nothing perks up a tired face like a little highlighter, but you don’t need store-bought products to achieve the same effect. Simply sweep a small amount of coconut oil on top of makeup and leave it alone. It looks like your skin but glowier, which is why many natural makeup brands use it as a base ingredient in their formulas. If you’re looking for a more portable option, try the cult favorite Living Luminizer by RMS Beauty, which has a coconut-oil base and light reflecting pigment.

3. To shave your legs

Conventional shaving cream is an expensive cocktail of chemicals that you don’t need to get a nice clean shave on your legs or underarms. Coconut oil, on the other hand, is inexpensive, naturally antimicrobial, and smells divine. Plus, its skin-soothing properties will leave your legs looking hydrated (but never greasy).

4. As a deep-conditioner

There’s a reason many conditioners contain coconut oil: It’s better able to penetrate hair (and prevent protein loss) than mineral and sunflower oil, according to research. “I use it in my hair and on my skin for deep conditioning,” says Tasneen Bhatia, MD, an integrative doctor and owner of the Atlanta Center for Holistic and Integrative Medicine. Apply a quarter-size dollop to your hair, comb it, and then pile it into a loose bun. You’ll want to place a soft towel over your pillow or sleep in a shower cap. In the morning, shampoo as usual with a gentle cleanser.

5. To remove eye makeup

Yes, coconut oil even works on waterproof mascara! Put a little on a cotton ball and gently sweep it over your eyes, paying attention to your under-eyes as well. The oil does a great job breaking down waxy, inky eye makeup, and leaves the delicate area hydrated, too. Once you’re done, wash your face as usual.

6. As a body moisturizer

A recent animal study found that when applied topically, virgin coconut oil can speed up wound healing, and a human study found it to be effective in increasing hydration and reducing water loss in seriously dry skin. Sounds like a recipe for a really good lotion to us! It’s a health-expert favorite, too. Says Wyk: “It smells delicious, is very affordable, and leaves my skin feeling nourished and smooth.”

7. To clean and hydrate your face

Because coconut oil is naturally antibacterial, antifungal, moisturizing and, according to research, great for atopic dermatitis, many women swear by its use as a nighttime moisturizer for their face, too. Try the double-cleansing method: Simply rub the oil in circular motions all over your face and neck, giving yourself a gentle massage as you go. When you’re done, wash off the residue with your favorite cleanser. (If you’re adult-acne prone, avoid this technique unless you know your skin tolerates coconut oil.)

Read the last three here.

54 Responses to “10 Amazing Beauty Tricks With Coconut Oil”
  1. Miranda says:

    I use it for all of these things! and I also use it in my DIY deodorant… I swear all anyone needs in life for beauty or household products in Coconut oil, ACV, and baking soda. But I haven’t disciplined myself that far yet…

  2. Morgan says:

    I would strongly urge against using coconut oil on color treated hair. It strips the color.

  3. Rebecca says:

    Cooking, hair, removing makeup, soothing skin (just in general, cuts, post-tattoo), DIY deodorant (counteracts the drying of the baking soda), anti-itch (mixed with lavender EO)…probably more!

  4. Lilly says:

    I too use it for all these things. I also like to mix it with a little baking soda, make a paste, and brush my teeth with it! Coconut oil is great to fight bacteria that causes tooth decay! Great post!

  5. Alex says:

    (psssst your shaving section is messed up!)

    I looove my coconut oil. It’s a great aftershave lotion, very soothing and keeps the bumps down. Helps with the weird upper-arm-bumpies too. And it doesn’t hurt when I inevitably get it in my eye while trying to get make up off :-P Though it can make things a little blurry…

  6. comagirl says:

    Just an FYI, the shaving paragraph is missing. The previous paragraph was repeated instead. Obviously, I was really interested in the shaving bit.

  7. Lolly says:

    Ok, this is a little gross and a lot TMI, but it’s too good not to share. In the last few years I have been suffering from incredibly annoying, recurrent “female issues”. It sometimes seems that all it takes is for the wind to blow in a different direction and I end up with vaginitis or a yeast infection (see? TMI-city!). The last time it happened I started using my usual standbys: vagisil and Monistat. As usual, they didn’t seem to help at all and my condition steadily worsened. And then two things happened: I remembered my GYN telling me that the treatments for vaginal issues are so harsh that they can sometimes make things worse. I also actually bothered to read the ingredients on those products and holy crap! Here were all the nasty, toxic, harsh things that I was so careful to avoid on my face and body, yet here I was, slathering them all over what is possibly the most delicate and sensitive part of me.

    This was right around the time I read one of those posts extolling the virtue of coconut oil on NMDL and I figured I’d try and see if its antifungal properties would work for my problem. The relief was so immediate that I could hardly believe it. I proceeded to use coconut oil pretty much every time I used the bathroom (now for extra TMI: I actually brought a jar with me to work and took it into the bathroom with me every time I went) and what seemed to have been a particularly nasty infection cleared up in a matter of days. So yes, I am very firmly aboard the coconut oil train! Oh yeah, and one more thing: this may seem obvious, but if you are using CO below the belt, I would highly recommend using pads. Otherwise things could get… Messy.

  8. mangomadness says:

    I use coconut oil as a deep conditioner and as a body moisturizer (via a shea butter/coconut oil mixture).

    It’s also great to cook with!

  9. Ana says:

    I actually tried coconut oil as conditioner and it totally works!

  10. Megan says:

    I use it as an over night face moisturizer. Great post! Saw the article on the Prevention site too :)

  11. Allison says:

    Uh Oh! #3 has the text from #2…I’m assuming shaving your legs isn’t gonna perk up your face ;)

    Great post though ladies!

  12. Jami says:

    We use it as sunscreen, moisturizer, hair treatment, to soothe cuts, and I put 1/2 cup of it in our green smoothies every day. It’s also safe to use on little bums who wear cloth diapers. Forget that nasty butt paste stuff — coconut oil is where it’s at!

  13. Sarah says:

    I do believe that number three has the same content as number two, the highlighting tip.

    I love coconut oil for all of the above reasons and as Miranda said- as an ingredient in homemade deodorant because of the antibacterial properties. It makes the deodorant more effective.

  14. Renee says:

    Oops—the copy for items 3 and 4 are repeated!

    Other than that, I LOVE coconut oil for all the reasons you’ve listed.

  15. Michele #2 says:

    I use it as a deep hair conditioner, and also as a body moisturizer by applying sparingly to damp skin after a shower.

    I really like Organic Fiji brand cold pressed certified organic coconut oil because it comes with a pour spout. Most of the time coconut oil comes in a jar or tub which I find hard to work with because it solidifies below 76 degrees. Since I keep my coconut oil in the shower caddy, it’s in a pour-able state by the time I’m done showering.

    They offer it in several varieties with added fragrances, but I always buy the fragrance free version which means it still smells like coconuts but has no added fragrance. I love the smell of it, it’s subtle and it disappears once it sinks into your skin or when your hair dries.

    I haven’t been able to find it in any stores in the NYC area. It can be purchased on their company website for around $25 for a 12 oz container, and somewhat cheaper on Amazon.com.

  16. Nancy says:

    With the exception of a deep conditioner which I don’t need , I’ve used coconut oil for everything listed(glitch alert on the shaving your legs part:)… and then some : oil pulling that I absolutely love… suggested here sometime ago, as one of the ingredients for my DIY toothpaste , DIY teeth whitening, DIY salt or sugar hand scrub , as a deodorant on shaving days .. Currently using Nutiva, exceptional taste.

  17. Rebecca says:

    @Morgan, when I was using conventional dye I loved using coconut oil, it didn’t strip color for me.

    @Lolly, totally agree coconut oil is soothing for the nether regions!

  18. Ariel says:

    For those of you that use coconut oil for skin care, shaving, etc., where and how do you store it? This summer, I bought a tub to use as body lotion and kept it in the bathroom, and one day I realized I had mold growing in it! Suffice to say, that kind of put me off the whole thing. Any advice for using and storing it so it doesn’t get moldy or otherwise contaminated? I was living in a pretty humid climate, so perhaps that had something to do with it.

  19. Emma says:

    @Lolly: thanks for this tip!

    Do you use it internally or externally?

  20. Victoria says:

    I use coconut oil to lightly polish my Brazilian cherry wood floors. (They’re sustainable and purchased at auction) I make an apple cider vinegar cleanser with a little argan oil and Dr. Bronners soap, clean and then condition with a light layer of coconut oil. My floors like look new!

  21. nancy says:

    @ Ariel,
    I wouldn’t like seeing mold on mine either.. The jar I use (29oz/Nutiva brand) for shaving, oil pulling, deodorant for shaving days, etc.. is stored in my bathroom cabinet . I use it daily & use a spatula to remove the amount I need… and I never let any water drop into the jar either. Hope it helps!

  22. danielle says:

    @Michelle, I love the Fiji brand coconut oil; the soap too. I live in central NY and Wegmans carries that brand. Do you have Wegmans in NYC ? I use coconut oil for many of the uses mentioned above. One of the best side effects I have noticed is after using it for awhile as a eye makeup remover; my lashes are longer and healthier.

  23. Lolly says:

    @Emma: Both… Sort of. Mostly externally, but also on the “outlying internal” bits. I didn’t want to get all up in there, since it was my first time using it, but I’m sure it would be fine if you had to (like for a bad yeast infection or something).

  24. Rebecca says:

    @Ariel, water must have made its way into the container. I keep my big jar of coconut oil in the kitchen pantry, and scoop some into a small jar to keep in the bathroom. I scoop from my bathroom container with my fingers, and I make sure they are clean and dry. If I ever did have a problem with contamination (I have not), at least I wouldn’t lose a whole jar.

  25. Rebecca says:

    @Emma, I’ve used coconut oil internally for irritation and I use it as a lubricant sometimes too. It’s fabulous!

  26. Hannah says:

    I love coconut oil! I’ve used it for all of the reasons listed above as well as in my DIY deodorant, and I am planning on making my own toothpaste with it soon.

    For all of the pet owners – after seeing coconut oil for sale in the pet store, I tried giving some to my cat. She LOVES it, and it has all the benefits for animals that it has for humans! Now she runs into the room whenever she smells the stuff.

  27. Kimmy says:

    I use coconut oil as a cleanser and moisturizer and my skin look so good! I have a perpetual glow. @Lolly thank you so much for the tip about using CO for lady issues, I get those every once in a while and it seems that nothing helps! Definitely going to try this. Now that I know about it it seems so obvious! I love all the posts about CO!

  28. Pepper says:

    @Hannah, one of my cats loves it too! I use it as my moisturizer and after a shower she’ll sit and lick my arm until I have to shoo her. I figure it’s probably good for her coat & her digestion so I don’t really mind. I also refill a lip balm pot with it and keep it on my nightstand. I always had perpetually chapped lips until I started doing this, it’s amazing! It’s also the best makeup remover ever, makes a good toothpaste mixed with baking soda, soothes freshly shaved skin, moisturizes hair. Coconut oil is my can’t-live-without-it beauty product and I’m quite obsessed!

  29. Silvy says:

    Interesting use for the nether regions! May have to try it out, should the need arise.

    For now, I’ve been using it as body moisturizer, and it’s an awesome facial massage oil for combo skin! Really helps balance and clear blemishes. I use it to oil cleanse a couple nights a week, and sometimes as or under moisturizer in the morning.

  30. Charlotte says:

    just thinking about putting coconut oil on my face (or on my hands… which sometimes touch my face) is making me break out ;_; i love coconut oil for cooking with though and also put a tablespoon of it in the lemon water i drink twice a day, it keeps my skin nice and supple looking!

  31. Peter says:

    Coconut oil can be added to a moisturizer if the smell is a little strong. I use it on my hair and it works a trreat! Its also the best type of oil to cook with as it remains stable at high temperatures, unlike olive oil which should only be used to drizzle on food such as salads.


  32. meggy says:

    @Charlotte, I know I’m a bit late on the post… but I have terribly sensitive skin and am prone to break outs (which is nearly all the time!), but, I’ve been using coconut oil on my face at night for a while now and have never had a breakout because of it! It has antimicrobial properties, so it actually helps keep bacteria from getting into your pores. Try it one weekend when you have nothing to do just in case!
    And great to know about the use for ‘down under’… will definitely have to remember that!

  33. sarah says:

    Thanks so much for the info everyone! I bought a great-smelling bar of soap from an Etsy store and was looking at the ingredients today – found myself thinking “Are my hands actually getting clean? This is basically coconut oil, huh”. SO good to learn these things and know that my yummy cinnamon cocoa soap is indeed working :) What a cool thing a coconut is, i guess that’s why they’re good to find when on a deserted island ;0) Not to mention the mugs made from the “nut” afterwards! (Sorry, could not resist)

  34. Yvonne says:

    I also clean my rings with it and boy do they shine. Put coconut oil on a toothbrush and clean your ring, Then I heat up a little water in the microwave for 1*2 minutes and toss the ring in it for a few minutes. Make sure you wait for the ring to cool down before you put it on your finger.

  35. karina says:

    I have rosemary,sandelwood and tea tree oil, about a t-spoon of each mixed with about 12 oz. of coconut oil in a jar.I use this for my skin head to toe. smells wonderful and works like a charm. also, i cook off 2 lbs. of butter and make ghee,when its done i mix it with 1 lb. of coconut oil this is fantastic for cooking. a drop of pepperment and a little coconut oil makes great toothpaste too.

  36. Brenda says:

    Where do you get this kind of coconut oil..Is it the kind you cook with or what???

  37. Ida says:

    For easy clean up use coconut oil on cast iron pans after washing and drying. And as others do I use coconut oil for all over body lotion, hair tonic, deoderant, and with baking soda for toothpaste. It is wonderful in frostings and pie crust is the best made with coconut oil. Also add to my smoothies. What led me to this site was to find the best way to use coconut oil on my wood floors.

  38. Canuck says:

    Ok, I’m going to ask a dumb question here…. When you are using coconut oil as a body moisturizer, to remove make up, and on your face, are you using it when it is in its solid form or are you heating it so it is liquid? I must admit I’m confused how to use it. I figure I should understand that part before I look at doing anything with it.

  39. Lily Asher says:

    Extra virgin coconut oil made my toenail fungus disappear. It had been there, coming and going for ages. A podiatrist tried talking me in to expensive laser treatment to have it removed. When I read EVCO was an antifungal I rubbed my feet with it every night and wore socks to bed for around a month and it has totally gone! Also use it in my hair and it feels really bouncy and glossy the next time I wash it. Haven’t found it to strip the colour as one person above mentioned it had done so on them.

  40. Nikki says:

    Just stopping in to say I use this once a week on my permanently colour treated hair and it doesn’t strip the colour. SLS’ in shampoo do though, so watch out for that.

  41. dlp says:

    Looks like the glitter Guide stole your article pretty much word for word, except for the title. Just thought you would like to know.

  42. sophie says:

    I use virgin coconut oil as mouthwash but before brushing my teeth not after. Its called oil pulling and is a great way to remove toxins from your mouth, strengthen gums and whiten teeth. Don’t gargle though as the oil will take toxins from between your teeth and from your tounge. After swirling and pushing the oil through your teeth (at least 5mins) spit out (in a toilet, not sink as it will block drains) and wash mouth out with water, brush teeth with your normal routine and drink a glass of water.

  43. adam says:

    I have had this really painful skin rash develop on my face, mainly around my mouth, I have had this 4 times this year. I have gone to the doctors and everytime they tell me they don’t know what has caused it. I even waited to see a skin dermatologist for 7 months and not even he could tell me what caused it or help to get rid of it. They would just keep giving me dif creams to try. I believe it is from a reaction from Paint, as every time I get it I have been painting the house.

    It starts off as just a red raw rash around my mouth just like a shaving rash, then starts to get worse and feels like prickly heat but worse! Then after a week or so will start to turn super dry and my face would start flaking all dry skin, and my chin and around my mouth would start to crack, I can honestly say it is the worst feeling ever.

    My friend told me I should try rubbing coconut oil over it, I thought why not I was willing to try anything, and to my amazement straight after I applied the coconut oil over my face, Instantly it felt better. The next day my rash was gone, I couldn’t believe it. I love coconut oil and now after reading all these comments, I now know what other amazing uses coconut oil has, I will be using this amazing oil for everything from now on.

  44. shelly says:

    I used it the night I colored my hair and when i washed it out the next morning my hair was stripped of color and the water was tinged with the dye.. now I have strawberry blonde hair instead of light ash brown… but that ok I want to go back to blonde so maybe ill do it again tonight and hope it just keeps stripping the color!

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