The Best Coconut Oil For Skin: The Ultimate Guide
Slather it on your skin, run it through your hair, and use it in the kitchen – coconut oil has a million magical qualities. Rich and creamy and brimming with natural antibacterial properties, Mother Nature truly does create the best beauty products. Here, we take a closer look at all you need to know about coconut oil and how it can be used to soothe and soften skin. From safety aspects to bountiful benefits, how to find the right oil, and some of our top pick brands, take a look at our ultimate guide to the best coconut oil for your skin.
How to use coconut oil
When it comes to keeping skin soft, one of the most popular ways to call on coconut oil is to use it as a moisturizer. As coconut oil is considered to be occlusive – it effectively sits on your skin and prevents moisture from escaping. Coconut oil comes from the coconut and another name that you may see it under on the skincare labels is lauric acid. Coconut oil naturally contains a whole heap of goodness including omega fatty acids which can also soothe and even out the skin. Using coconut oil on the skin is simple and can streamline your whole routine. Use it on any part of your body to lock in moisture and bring a supple softness.
Is it safe to use coconut oil on your face?
Coconut oil is completely natural and therefore very safe to use on the skin. However, if you tend to have a skin type that is sensitive to breakouts and acne, you may want to switch to something a little lighter as the oil can cause congestion in your pores. For those with sensitive skin, coconut oil is a great choice as it is super soothing.
One of the best uses for coconut oil on your face is to use it as a makeup remover. As a lot of modern-day makeup is made from oil-based ingredients, coconut oil has the power to effectively clear any trace of makeup as it too is an oil-based solution. You can simply rub coconut oil into your palms until it softens and starts to turn to liquid and then sweep your palms over your face, massaging it in, letting it dissolve on the skin, and then rinsing with warm water.
What are the benefits of coconut oil for the skin?
Completely natural, high in saturated fats, and full of anti-inflammatory properties – there’s a lot to love about coconut oil that makes it a natural treat for the skin. Here are a few beautiful benefits of using coconut oil on the skin.
- Antibacterial – as coconut oil is rich in lauric acid it is full of antimicrobial properties that keep the skin free from bacteria.
- Anti-inflammatory – the antibacterial properties also mean that coconut oil has the power to reduce inflammation in the skin. Some studies have also pointed toward coconut oil being able to enhance the function of the skin barrier.
- Hydrating – one of the major benefits of using coconut oil on the skin is the fact that it is super quenching, hydrating, and locks moisture in. Quelling transepidermal water loss and increasing lipid levels leads to skin feeling plumper, and fresher, and can reduce some of the visible signs of aging such as the appearance of fine lines.
- Smoothing – ripe with fatty acids, coconut oil is all about bringing moisture to your skin and stopping inflammation in its tracks. The combination of these things leads to skin feeling more supple and smooth thanks to those medium-chain fatty acids. It also has some exfoliating properties too which also help shed the outer layer of dead skin and bring another level of softness to the party.
- Antioxidant – coconut oil also has antioxidant properties which contribute to skin health, reduce environmental stress on the skin, and further contribute to keeping the signs of aging at bay.
Are there side effects?
With a wealth of amazing properties that all contribute beautifully to the finest flush of skin health, there are many reasons to choose coconut oil. But like with any beauty product, there may be a few small downsides for certain people. You’re experience with coconut oil will really depend on your own genetic predisposition and your own skin type.
For example, those with acne-prone skin may find that coconut oil triggers a breakout as it can be oily and has the potential to clog pores. There are coconut oil brands and blends out there that attempt to balance this by adding additional natural herbal remedies or using coconut oil as an ingredient without making it the star of the show. You can also still use coconut oil if you have acne-prone skin but apply it exclusively to areas of the body that don’t have as many oil glands.
You also want to make sure that choose your coconut oil carefully as not all oils are born equal. This is especially important if you have sensitive skin and want to avoid breakouts and reactions to potentially problematic additives. There are many amazingly clean and pristine coconut oils out there that use cold-pressed methods and carefully sourced virgin coconut which may bring better balance to your skin.
Choosing the right coconut oil
Choosing the right coconut oil is important if you want to get your skin flourishing from the bright and beautiful benefits. Just picking up a tub of the first coconut oil you see may not be the best experience and it’s important to take care and consideration when it comes to choosing what your skin is going to drink. Whether the coconut oil is refined, the process it went through, and the presence of additives or not will all add their own angle in terms of quality. Here are some areas to consider when choosing the right coconut oil, especially for the skin.
- Unrefined – Unrefined coconut oil is richer in plant compounds known as phytonutrients which give it an extra antioxidant boost. Usually, unrefined coconut oil doesn’t go through the same extreme heat process which can kill off a lot of the plant’s natural antioxidants.
- Organic – Organic coconut oil will be crafted in a way that doesn’t call on chemicals, pesticides, or any additives that could lessen its quality or have a harmful impact on your skin.
- Additives – Avoiding additives means choosing a coconut oil that is as simple and close to its natural form as can be. Additives can be harsh on the skin and can also lessen the quality of coconut oil. Some brands may bulk out the coconut oil with lesser mineral oils so always make sure to read the label carefully.
- Certifications – Make sure that the coconut oil you choose has the necessary certifications linked to any claims it makes. For example, being vegan, GMO-free, cruelty-free, and free from allergens.
- Price – Everyone has a different price point when it comes to their beauty budget and there are sure to be options within every range. It is worth looking for virgin cold-pressed oil within your price point though.
What is the difference between virgin and cold-pressed coconut oil?
Cold-pressed coconut oil comes from the dried coconut kernel (also called copra). Virgin coconut oil comes from fresh coconut milk after it separates. Both cold-pressed and virgin oils have health benefits, you always want to look for coconut oil that has been cold-pressed as if it has avoided heat with processing it will have a higher antioxidant count.
To help you get started on your coconut oil skincare journey, we have rounded up a whole heap of options to suit every style. Whether you are looking to quench dry skin, bring some soft relief to sunburn, concentrate on something light and fresh for your face or just looking for an all-around solid option that can be carried from the bathroom to the kitchen, we have some suggestions. Taking ingredients, quality, and balancing simplicity with a little luxury, here are our favorite coconut oils to fall in love with in 2022.
General use for dry skin – Sports Research Fractionated Coconut Oil
Winner of being an all-around awesome coconut oil for dry skin. This offering from Sports Research brings fractionated coconut oil to the table in a way that is less likely to block pores.
After sunburn – Burts Bees
Forever soothing, Burts Bees brings a blast of hydration that will immediately soothe and temper sun sore skin.
Our Top Picks: Best Coconut Oil in 2022
Shea Moisture 100% Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
She Moisture is a classic and for those who don’t want to mess with a good thing, this coconut oil has got you covered. Fair trade, organic, and high quality – there’s nothing in there that doesn’t need to be so you get the full effect of all that vitamin E antioxidant-rich goodness.
Burt’s Bees 100% Natural Facial Cleansing Oil
Burts Bees is a beautiful brand and its natural facial cleansing oil comes in an easy-to-apply spritz bottle and is made with all-natural ingredients. From pure coconut oil to rosemary and argan, it can be used as a face wash, a makeup remover, or for a beautiful blast of hydration. One of the best things that keep coming up about this cleanser is its ability to leave skin oh so soft without any oily residue.
Dr Bronner’s Organic Virgin Coconut Oil
Dr Bronner’s Organic Virgin Coconut Oil crosses all boundaries. As something pure, you can slather it on your skin and also use it in the kitchen if you so wish. One of the big-time bonuses of Dr Bronners is that it has a super-rich fragrance thanks to the inner skins of the kernels being left on.
Herbivore Natural Coconut Body Oil
If you want something a little sweeter in your beauty box, the Herbivore Natural Coconut Body Oil is a good call. Blended with additional extracts of jasmine and orchid, you get a floral fragrant delight with all the goodness of pure and natural coconut oil. The addition of camellia seed also brings a bright burst of omega acids which also adds to softer skin.
Allpa Botanicals Coconut Face Oil
Allpa Botanicals is fabulous for the face and has a luxurious feel that freshens all the senses. With plenty of vitamin E, lauric acid, and sustainably sourced coconut oil – a little of this stuff goes a long way. Lock in moisture and revel in super-soft vitamin-heavy goodness.
Garden of Life Raw Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
Garden of Life Raw Extra Virgin Coconut Oil uses that glorious cold-pressing technique that keeps the coconut oil as natural as can be and doesn’t rely on heat or additives or anything that could disrupt the quality. Being organic and vegan it’s also super rich and fatty with nutrients. Not only will this help your skin lock in moisture but it’s also delicious and creamy when used in the kitchen too.
Pursonic 100% Pure Fractionated Oil
Non-greasy, hydrating, and with a heavenly feel for the skin – Pursonic 100% Pure Fractioned Oil is made with a light formula so it doesn’t weigh skin down. Deeply nourishing and made the fractioned way – it’s perfectly made to be mixed with essential oils if you have any added skin favorite scents you want to add tailor this oil to your tastes.
Nutiva Organic Virgin Coconut Oil
Nutiva Organic Virgin Coconut Oil comes from coconuts plucked out in Southeast Asia where the coconuts are cold-pressed after harvest to keep them as fresh as possible. Using this natural method, you can avoid any kind of bleaching or refining getting in the way of good oil. It’s also fair-trade and non-GMO and comes with a farm-to-table attitude that’s hard to beat.
Coconut Country Living Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
Deeply moisturizing, cold-pressed, unrefined, and extra virgin – Coconut Country Living are all about keeping things simple for your skin. This coconut oil hails from Sri Lanka and cuts out any need for chemicals thanks to its clean and paraben-free approach. Even the packaging is glass making it a good sustainable option for those wanting to serve any harmful plastics that can leach into your oil.
Viva Naturals Coconut Oil
Viva Naturals is made of organic cold-pressed extra virgin coconut oil and is said to be a great choice for those dealing with skin conditions. Rich in moisture and with nothing in there to cause irritation, it can bring relief to eczema and psoriasis.
Cocokind Coconut Facial Repair Oil
An all-around beauty bonanza can be found stashed inside the Cocokind Coconut Facial Repair Oil. With its cooling coconut oil, added rosehip for extra softness, and a glut of vitamins E and C you can say farewell to dark circles, uneven tone, and dryness. This super hydrating repair oil can be a little on the heavy side so for those with oily skin you may want something lighter.
Sports Research Fractionated Coconut Oil
This is a clever take on coconut oil. Yes, it’s still got all the benefits of your usual coconut oil but it has been processed a little differently. The bonus of this process is that it is easily absorbed by your skin and won’t block your pores. This Sports Research brand also has the added benefits of being great for those with allergies and is guaranteed cruelty-free. For those with dry skin or acne, this could be the best solution for silky softness that doesn’t clog you up.
Coconut oil helps keep your skin in tip-top shape. Natural, easy, and full of incredible healing properties, your skin is sure to lap it right up. What’s your experience with coconut oil? Any favorite brands? Share with us.
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