It’s no secret that the beauty community really, really stans coconut oil. It’s been a trendy ingredient for the better half of a decade and there’s basically a zero percent chance it’ll be canceled anytime soon. That’s largely because coconut oil has a ton of amazing skin and beauty uses. People slather coconut oil on their face as a moisturizer, clean their skin with it via the double-cleanse method, and it’s even recommended by skincare experts for post-treatment care. And did we mention how inexpensive it is?
Below we’re giving you the deets on how to use coconut oil for all the aforementioned uses, plus more. Yep, you’ll def wanna snag a jar of the stuff the next time you’re at the grocery store.
Coconut Oil Use #1: Moisturizer for Your Face
Putting coconut oil on your face isn’t recommended for everyone since it can be comedogenic (aka, it can clog your pores), but if your skin tolerates heavy oils and creams then it’s a great way to hydrate your skin.
“For dehydrated [or mature] skin types, coconut oil can increase moisture levels and help skin come back to life from feeling dull and dry,” says aesthetician and makeup artist Shannon Irene.”
It’s best to apply coconut oil at night so it has a lot of time to sink into your skin, but you can add a dab to your favorite BB cream or moisturizer for daytime use, as well. If you have acne-prone skin, or very sensitive skin, we recommend skipping this coconut oil use.
Coconut Oil Use #2: Massage Oil
Why splurge on a boujee bottle of massage oil when you could hit up your local health grocer for a giant tub of delicious-smelling coconut oil? You can use it straight out of the container (if it’s solid it’ll melt into oil in seconds via the warmth of your hands) or you can infuse it with a couple drops of your favorite essential oil. For an extra treat, warm it up for about 10 to 15 seconds in the microwave. Just make sure it’s lukewarm instead of hot before using it.
Coconut Oil Use #3: Body Lotion
“I love using coconut oil head to toe for hydration. It leaves the skin hydrated and with a sheen,” says Irene. She adds, “It really looks great when applied to your body in summer, especially on your legs, arms, and stomach.” We recommend applying it all over your body (towel-dry skin is best) after your shower, especially if you’ve just shaved.
Coconut Oil Use #4: Oil Pulling
The beauty skincare community owes a lot of thanks to Indian Ayurvedic techniques like yoga, dry brushing, and yes, oil pulling. If you’re not familiar, oil pulling is the process of swishing coconut oil in your mouth for about 15 minutes. Sounds like a drag, but coconut oil’s antibacterial benefits help keep your mouth sparkling clean. This means better breath (your cubical mate thanks you in advance), fewer cavities, whiter teeth, and healthier gums. Find out how to do oil pulling here.
Coconut Oil Use #5: Makeup Remover
If you’re not keen on the idea of leaving coconut oil on your face all night or all day, try using it as a makeup remover or as the first step of your double cleanse instead.
“The coconut oil removes makeup and daily pollution from your skin. To use it, gently massage the coconut oil on your face and then wipe away with we beauty wipes [or a damp washcloth],” says Irene. “From there, follow up with a gentle cleanser to balance out skin and then finish with your favorite serum and moisturizer.”
Coconut Oil Use #6: DIY Body Scrubs
You don’t have to be a DIY beauty queen to whip up a sugar scrub. Simply combine two parts of an exfoliating ingredient — like coffee grounds, sugar, or sea salt — with one-part coconut oil and go wild. Just make sure you only use the coconut oil scrub on your body since the heavier exfoliants are too abrasive for your face.
Coconut Oil Use #7: Hydrate Cracked Feet
This might just go down as one of our absolute favorite uses for coconut oil. Cracked, gnarly feet are a dreadful summer reality with all the sandal-wearing and chlorine exposure. At night, douse your feet with a generous glop of coconut oil, wrap them lightly in saran wrap, and then throw some socks on. (The socks are important because they’ll keep you from slipping. Trust us on that one.) You can keep the coconut oil treatment on overnight or just for an hour or two before bed. When you’re done, wash with soap and water.
Coconut Oil Use #8: Revive Dry Hair Ends
If you’re dealing with super parched hair, try massaging a little bit of coconut oil onto the mid-shaft and through your ends. Irene says, “Coconut oil used as a hair treatment is fantastic, as it will boost moisture in dry, brittle hair and give it a beautiful sheen. Leave it on about 20 minutes or more — I sleep in it sometimes — and then shampoo and condition as normal.”
Coconut Oil Use #9: Tame Pesky Flyaways
On that note, you can also use a very tiny amount of coconut oil to press down frizz and flyaways. Again, coconut oil is pretty heavy so a little goes a long way here. Try using a fine-toothed comb with a small amount of coconut oil and then pull it through your hair. This is better for thicker hair types who don’t get oily hair too quickly.
Coconut Oil Use #10: Nourish Cuticles
In the same way that coconut oil nourishes your face, body, feet, and hair, you can use it on your cuticles to keep them healthy and pretty. Massage a little bit around your fingernail, let it set for about 10 to 15 minutes, and then wash with soap and water. You can wear gloves to keep things from getting too messy.
Coconut Oil Use #11: Post-Treatment Care
“Coconut oil is a go-to ingredient to help heal skin after procedures, such as chemical peels and laser treatments,” says Irene. “It soothes the skin and feeds it moisture to bring it back to balance from irritation.” The fact that it’s antimicrobial also helps keep infection away.
This list is not an exhaustive one, but hopefully, we showcased just how dope coconut oil is and why it’s a must-have on your beauty shelf. You can find jars at any grocery store and online. If you’re looking for a product that’ll look pretty on your vanity, try Conscious Coconut Coconut Oil, $17, or Kopari Organic Coconut Melt, $28, which both contain 100% coconut oil and no other ingredients.