Myth or Truth: Is Coconut Oil the Best Beauty Product Ever?

Coconut oil is having a moment. Actually, the whole darn nut is—coconut water, coconut milk, coconut flour, coconut sugar, and coconut flakes are in everything these days. You won’t catch this coconut lover complaining one bit!

And now that we know saturated fats are healthy for us, eating all this coconut in any of its many forms is probably not a bad thing (except maybe overdoing the sugar). But what about using coconut oil in our daily beauty routine? Is it really all it’s cracked up to be (get it?)? Or is it just a passing fad?

Coconut Oil for the Face

The first thing to know and love about coconut oil as a natural beauty product is that it’s been used in many cultures for centuries. It’s got history on its side, and that’s a good thing. The other important takeaway is that if you’re using coconut oil straight out of the jar, it’s a singular ingredient. That in and of itself means you’ve got much more control over what goes onto your skin. So rashes or sensitivities that can occur from a multi-ingredient beauty product are much easier to pinpoint when you’re down to just one product.

And yes, it is an excellent moisturizer. Coconut oil also has some antimicrobial properties, so it can help fight (mild) skin conditions like acne, psoriasis, and eczema. Dr. Axe says it makes an excellent moisturizer, and says that 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.”

It also makes an excellent makeup remover (but so does pretty much any oil). If you’re already using coconut oil in your beauty routine, then using it to remove makeup is a no-brainer. Simply swipe a coconut oil soaked cotton ball over your makeup until it’s gone. Then wash your face as normal.

Coconut Oil for the Body

If it’s good for the face, it’s probably good for the rest of your body, too. Coconut oil on its own makes for a pretty decent moisturizer for dry skin elsewhere on the body. Mix it with some salt or sugar for easy DIY body scrubs.

If you’re still using bar soap to shave your legs, see what happens when you give coconut oil a try instead. It makes for a smoother shave and its moisturizing effects will help to protect against dryness too.

Have you yet to make the switch to a natural deodorant? Give coconut oil a try. You can whip up a DIY deodorant with coconut oil and baking soda to help promote dryness and decrease odor. Bonus: It keeps you free from aluminum-based toxic deodorants, too.

Coconut Oil for the Hair

Because of its antimicrobial effect, coconut oil may be helpful in treating lice (but best to use it in combination with a proven lice treatment).

And speaking of hair, coconut oil can be particularly moisturizing for hair—cultures around the world swear by this treatment for healthier, stronger hair. Rumor has it that it may also help to prevent greys.

Shampooing with coconut oil mixed into your regular ‘poo may also help to alleviate dandruff and dry scalp conditions. Be sure to let it sit on the scalp for a few minutes.

Coconut Oil for the Mouth

Some people swear by oil-pulling, a method of swishing coconut oil in the mouth for about 20 minutes to help brighten teeth, prevent decay, and promote fresh breath. While the science is still out on this, adding a little bit of coconut oil to your toothpaste can’t really hurt, and the antimicrobial benefits may help to enhance the decay-fighting power of toothpastes.

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