Coconut Oil For Skin Care

I live in the Sequoia National Forest of California in an historic home on a five acre homestead and write about food and nutrition at the Traditional Foods website.

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coconut oil for skin

As high-end skin care products grow in popularity incorporating therapeutic oils such as pomegranate seed oil or marula oil, coconut oil continues to be used as a base in many products because it is both highly moisturizing and also sinks into the skin very quickly. You can certainly spend your money on a cream or lotion with a coconut oil base, but do not overlook the obvious: You can buy coconut oil itself to use as a cosmetic.

Coconut Oil As A Moisturizer

Coconut oil can readily replace your lotions and other moisturizers. After a shower or bath, rub coconut oil into your dry skin and let it soak in. Massage it into extra dry areas, let it sit for a few minutes, and wipe off the excess if you have applied too much. You will likely find it to be more effective than lotion itself and after several days of applying it, you may find that you do not need to apply it as often as you did a moisturizing lotion.

Coconut Oil For Scalp Care

As with the rest of your skin, coconut oil is an excellent scalp moisturizer. If you suffer from dry areas on your scalp or any sort of dermatitis, apply to coconut oil to problem areas and rub it in. You can do this at the beginning of your bathing routine and wash it off at the end, but it would be more effective still to rub it in some hours before bathing allowing it to sit on the scalp for as long as possible. In fact, consider rubbing it in multiple times in those hours for best results.

Coconut Oil For Facial Cleansing

A more surprising use for coconut oil is for skin cleansing. Rather than using a facial cleanser, you can actually use coconut oil. Here is the simple system to use in a shower or bath:

  1. Moisten your face and neck with water at the beginning of your shower or bath.

  2. Rub in coconut oil, always rubbing in an upward direction.
  3. Massage the oil into your face and neck for as long as your bathing schedule allows, always rubbing upwards.
  4. Continue with the rest of your bathing routine.
  5. At the end of your shower or bath, moisten a clean washcloth and wipe off any excess oil, again rubbing upwards.

This oil cleansing system is highly moisturizing and you may find more effective than your actual skin cleansing system for removing makeup and other debris. It is certainly a simple and inexpensive method to try.

Coconut oil is versatile — it is great in baking and saute but is a great complement to your bathroom toiletry cabinet as well. We keep a jar in the kitchen and one in the bathroom to take advantage of this versatility. 


  1. Jason Ellis says:

    What’s the difference between an oil like this that cleanses the skin and another that clogs pores?

  2. Jessi Larson says:

    Great post. I love coconut oil. It will also work as a natural sunscreen too. Plus you will smell amazing after you use it. I haven’t thought about putting on my scalp. I wonder if it would wash out of your hair though.

  3. Yes!! there are some benefts from coconut oil. I have skincare product that made from VCO (virgin coconut oil), and it’s effective to solve some skin problem.
    rich amor recently posted…Cara Tepat Menghilangkan KomedoMy Profile

  4. Not doubt that coconut oil would improve skin health, as it is well known for its health capabilities. Thank you.

  5. I use defragmented coconut oil. It’s the same thing just not the smell because I don’t want to smell like a pina colada.

  6. I have yet to find an organic coconut oil that has a smooth texture. I don’t mind the smell (actually like it), but I can’t handle the flaky texture. Maybe I haven’t found the right brand yet…

  7. Thanks Amanda for this very informative article! I am always on the lookout for natural beauty remedies and I love coconut oil. Actually I knew that it is great as a moisturizer, but never knew that it could be used as a facial cleanser as well. Thanks for this tip!
    Oge recently posted…Healthiest Foods to Keep in Your KitchenMy Profile

  8. I’m always amazed at the number of uses for coconut oil. Great info!
    Clara recently posted…Make Your House Smell GoodMy Profile

  9. Ruth&Matt says:

    Ian we agree with you on the flaky texture. We decided to mix organic coconut oil with raw honey from our beehives when create a skincare line made with our honey. They really pair well.

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