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Coconut oil has an all-natural ability to soften, moisturize, and hydrate parched, needy skin. It works its magic thanks to a healthy dose of fatty acids that nourish the skin and provide germ-fighting, anti-inflammatory benefits. If that’s not enough, it also locks in moisture to keep you looking dewy.
Should you add this beautifying elixir to your daily skin care ritual? Maybe, but it very much depends on your skin type.
To help you decide, we’ve rounded up 7 of our favorite coconut oils for skin that’ll smooth, soften, and slay.
7 best coconut oil products for skin
- Best for exfoliating: Herbivore Botanicals Coco Rose Exfoliating Body Scrub
- Best for removing makeup: Burt’s Bees Natural Facial Cleansing Oil
- Best for dry skin: Sports Research Fractionated Coconut Oil
- Best for complexion: cocokind Facial Repair Oil
- Best lightweight: e.l.f. Hydrating Coconut Mist
- Best for travel: Conscious Coconut Coconut Oil
- Best for after sun: Burt’s Bees Aloe & Coconut Oil After Sun Soother
There are a few essential deets to consider before adding products to your cart. Here’s what we looked at when choosing our fave coconut oils:
- Customer reviews. We crawled through user reviews to find consensus upsides and red flags worth noting about the top-rated products on the market. Buuut, remember that even products with rave reviews might not suit your skin.
- Ingredients. Wherever possible, we chose cold-processed coconut oil. Why? Because the alternative is hot extraction, which reduces the valuable antioxidants in the oil. And you really want to avoid that.
- Price points. Who doesn’t love a bit of luxury? But there are plenty of quality buys at all price points. Remember that you may be spending more money on fancy packaging rather than a better product.
Products also got extra points from us if they were dermatologist-approved, organic, and cruelty-free.
- $ = under $10
- $$ = $10–$20
- $$$ = over $20
Let’s dive into the list!
|Coconut oils||Herbivore Rose Exfoliating Scrub|
Burt’s Bees Facial Cleansing Oil
|Sports Research Fractionated Coconut Oil||cocokind Facial Repair Oil||e.l.f. Hydrating Coconut Mist||Conscious Coconut Coconut Oil||Burt’s Bees Aloe & Coconut Oil After Sun Soother|
|Ingredients||virgin coconut oil, Moroccan rose, shea butter, pink clay||coconut oil and rosemary||100% fractionated coconut oil||coconut oil and rosehip||coconut oil and vitamin E||100% pure virgin coconut oil||coconut, aloe, and beeswax|
Best coconut oil for exfoliating:
- Price: $$$
- Added ingredients: Moroccan rose, pink clay, and shea butter
- Reputation: pricey but effective body scrub
This scrub is serving exotic pale pink sandy beach vibes. The color is scrumptious, the smell is ah-mah-zing, and most importantly — it works.
Yes, it’s on the pricier end of the scale, coming in at almost $40, but folks confirm that no matter how rough and dry your skin, you’ll be left with a smooth, sexy glow. So Gimmee! All you need do is massage a handful of the exfoliating body scrub over your skin and leave for a couple of minutes for intense moisturization. Then rinse and admire. Tada!
Herbivore also cares about the planet. They avoid synthetic ingredients and have pledged to remove virgin plastic from their packaging altogether by 2025.
Best coconut oil for removing makeup:
- Price: $$
- Added ingredients: argan oil and rosemary
- Reputation: effectively removes makeup with no oily residue
Burt’s Bees appears on our list again with this fantastic makeup removing product. Their unique blend of Argan and coconut oil naturally lifts makeup, leaving only clean, soft skin.
It’s a dermatologist-approved product that won’t break the bank, made with natural cruelty-free ingredients and zero dodgy chemicals.
Just be careful applying the oil near your eyes, as a few reviews mention it stings like a B. You have been warned!
Best coconut oil for dry skin:
- Price: $$
- Added ingredients: 100% coconut oil with nothing added
- Reputation: nourishes dry, damaged skin
Fractionated what? Don’t worry. It’s still coconut oil, but it’s undergone a particular process, so it sinks into your skin rapidly and is less likely to clog up pores. As you’d imagine, that makes Sports Research Fractionated Coconut Oil an excellent choice for peeps with acne-prone skin or super dry, thirsty skin.
It’s a versatile oil that leaves skin silky smooth, and you can also use it to boost hair health.
Sports Research is a great option for anyone with allergies as the cold-pressed oil is free from milk, eggs, shellfish, peanuts, wheat, soy, or gluten. And, of course, it’s vegan and cruelty-free. It’s also manufactured in a fancy cGMP-compliant facility, so you know the product is high quality.
Best coconut oil for improving complexion:
- Price: $$
- Added ingredients: vitamin E and organic rosehip oil packed with vitamin C
- Reputation: moisturizes and brightens skin
The cocokind brand claims that its facial repair oil can smooth, soften, and brighten skin while reducing dark circles and improving tone and texture. Naturally, not all reviewers have reported the same glowing results, but many come away raving about their skin tone and blurred blemishes after use.
The oil has a heavy, nourishing feel and a light buttery scent. You can use the facial repair oil alone or as a second step following their texture smoothing cream to lock in hydration.
As the cherry on top, cocokind is USDA Organic and Fair Trade certified.
Best lightweight coconut oil:
- Price: $
- Added ingredients: vitamin E and B, vitamin B5
- Reputation: lightweight alternative to regular coconut oil
Let’s face it, although coconut oil’s fantastic for your skin, it’s hella greasy. There’s no need to worry about that with this hydrating lightweight facial mist that smells like heaven. You’ll have zero gloopiness, but all the goodness of skin-quenching vitamin E and B5.
You can use this nourishing spray to prep your face for makeup or as a cooling, moisturizing spritz.
Some users love the light coconut scent, whereas others complain it smells slightly sickly. Overall though, stellar reviews.
Best coconut oil for travel:
- Price: $$
- Added ingredients: pure 100% organic cold-pressed virgin coconut oil
- Reputation: trusted, TSA-approved, USDA Organic and Fair Trade certified
Carry this coconut oil wherever your adventures take you, as the small but perfectly formed tube is TSA-approved.
Conscious has waived their magic wand and managed to cram four times the average amount of antioxidants into their coconut oil. They also boast a 48-hour oil to tree promise for their small-batch hand-pressed oil. Not only that, but they claim this product has 20 different daily uses, from soothing bug bites and rashes, moisturizing lips and cuticles, and even acting as a natural deodorant.
On the whole, peeps love this stuff, but there’s the occasional review that mentions how tricky it is to dispense, as it’s solid at room temperature.
Best coconut oil for after-sun:
- Price: $
- Added ingredients: glycerin, beeswax, and aloe
- Reputation: #1 Dermatologist-recommended, zero parabens or SLS
With nearly 7,500 rave reviews and costing less than $10, there aren’t many negatives to this after-sun soother. It’s a quick-absorbing face and body lotion designed to soothe and hydrate with coconut oil and aloe vera.
Burt’s Bees is the number one dermatologist-recommended natural skin care brand, offering responsibly sourced ingredients from nature. Also, no bunnies were harmed in the making of their products. What’s not to love?
Using coconut oil on your skin is pretty straightforward. First things first, though: Store it in a cool, dark, and dry place like a cupboard to get the best from your coconut oil. Avoid high moisture areas, like the shower, as the moisture can ruin the oil.
A little coconut oil goes a long way, so if you’re planning on moisturizing your face, you only need half a teaspoon or so. First, scoop out your oil and liquefy it by rubbing it gently in your hands until it feels silky and light. Then it’s just a matter of smoothing the oil onto your face and neck.
Some people apply coconut oil twice a day, while others find leaving it on overnight is too much. If you’re new to using coconut oil, it’s best to start with an application in the morning and see how your skin reacts.
Coconut oil is safe for most people to use on their skin, but as with everything in life, there are things to consider, including:
- Allergies. Don’t wait until after you’ve drenched your face in coconut oil to find out that you’re allergic! Spot test a small area of skin on the inside of your wrist or behind your ear to see if you’re sensitive. Otherwise, you could have rashes, eczema, hives, or other reactions.
- Breakouts. If you’re prone to breakouts or your skin is excessively oily, you may find that coconut oil makes the problems worse.
- Ingredients. Make sure your coconut oil is cold-pressed, so all the good stuff is preserved. Also, be aware of added ingredients. Things like aloe or rosehip have added soothing skin benefits, but preservatives and other chemicals can have the opposite effect.
Coconut oil alternatives
If coconut oil doesn’t suit your skin type, there are a few other plant-based alternatives to consider:
- Olive oil. Packed with antioxidants and oleic fatty acids, it’s super moisturizing.
- Argan oil. It’s filled to the brim with vitamin E and antioxidants. Plus, it’s lightweight and nongreasy.
- Avocado oil. Oleic acids, check. Nutrients, check. Antioxidants like vitamin A and E, check.
- Grapeseed oil. It’s lightweight and chock full of omega 3s, and vitamins D, C, and E.
- Rosehip oil. This one’s rich in vitamin A to boost moisture levels and reduce fine lines.
If you’re still on the fence about using coconut oil on your skin, here are a few common questions that folks have had and our best shot at clearing them up.
Can I use coconut oil on my face?
Absolutely! According to a 2019 study, using coconut oil on your face is not only safe, it might well help with irritating skin conditions, like eczema and contact dermatitis. It may also soothe rosacea.
But there are always exceptions to the rule. If your skin is on the greasy side or acne-prone, using it on your face might not be the best move.
Can coconut oil remove blackheads?
Coconut oil doesn’t typically boast blackhead removal as one of its many benefits. In fact, it can have the opposite effect, as some peeps may find the oil clogs their pores, leading to breakouts and blackheads.
That said, you can buy coconut oil scrubs that claim to remove blackheads, so these might be worth a try.
Does coconut oil prevent skin infections?
Potentially. Coconut oil has antimicrobial properties that may prevent and treat skin infections. A component of coconut oil called monolaurin can disintegrate some bacteria, including ones that cause acne. It can also zap viruses and fungi.
Can I leave coconut oil on my face overnight?
Maybe — it depends on your skin. Some folks might find that it clogs their pores and leaves them far more prone to breakouts. But, on the flip side, others find it helps clear up zits and blemishes and leaves bright, soft skin in its wake.
Which coconut oil is best for skin?
Virgin, cold-pressed coconut oil is best for skin health. It’s less refined, meaning it retains the beneficial compounds otherwise lost in the heat extraction process. These include antioxidants and beneficial plant phytonutrients.
Opting for something organic also means no pesticides, chemicals, or additives in the finished product, which is a huge plus for your skin.
There’s a ton of coconut oil products to choose from, and there may be some that suit you perfectly. That said, for others, the oil can clog pores and trigger breakouts.
If you’re keen on trying coconut oil, opt for an organic, cold-pressed option, like the ones we’ve suggested, and try it on a small area of skin first before fully adding it to your skin care routine.