The Best Coconut Oil for the Face and Body

It smells tropical, and actually works.

by Donna Freydkin
Originally Published: 

Coconut oil has been hailed as the silver bullet that can do anything from zap zits to eradicate wrinkles (just beware of eating it). And yes, there’s some truth behind the hype. It’s definitely worth finding the best coconut oil for skin. Coconut does instantly melt into your skin, making it a solid moisturizer. But it’s not for everyone. Especially for those with oily skin, it can clog pores and make your adult acne worse.

“I mean, it smells nice, but …. It’s a good natural product. But like any product, it’s not for every person,” says board certified dermatologist Dr. Gary Goldenberg, of Goldenberg Dermatology in New York City.

That being said, if you’ve done a patch test and love the results, coconut oil can be something of a very affordable skin care go-to.

“Coconut oil is a great moisturizer. Being a fatty acid, it can help with dry skin, eczema or psoriasis. It may also have anti-inflammatory properties that may be helpful to treat these conditions. It may also have anti-bacterial properties, which some claim may be helpful in acne. But I would be cautious using an oil in acne-prone skin, since it may occlude pores and cause more breakouts,” says Goldenberg.

As far as the coconut oil you see in Whole Foods, yes, you can use that on your face. In fact, says Dr. Nava Greenfield of Schweiger Dermatology Group in Brooklyn, “using that specific type of coconut oil is great! But some people find it too greasy as a pure oil so it is added to a lot of products, and diluted down, to be only one ingredient.”

Based on dermatologists’ recommendations, coupled with our own research and experience, these are the best coconut oils for your skin and body.

The Best Coconut Oil For Your Skin

Pros: Coconut oil is the first ingredient in this amazing moisturizing stick, which is portable, mess-free, and deeply hydrating.

Cons: This is meant for dry skin. So don’t use it if you’re on the deeply oily side.

Pros: This wonderful body polish uses very fine sugar crystals to slough away dead skin, while coconut keeps it soft, moisturized, and silky. The lemon scent is like a cup of coffee in the shower.

Cons: Because it has coconut oil in it, this scrub is too oily for some.

Pros: There’s coconut and kelp extract in the shampoo and conditioner combo to make your hair shiny, healthy, and smelling like the beach in a bottle. Coconut oil amps up the moisture factor.

Cons: It’s not a great detangler, so if you have very coarse hair, use a separate conditioner.

Pros: It’s a mist, so it’s a great choice when you just want a hint of a fragrance.

Cons: It’s a mist, so the fragrance wears off.

Pros: If you have dry, parched skin, try OCO. It will both moisturize and soften your face and will also help prevent premature wrinkles and aging. It’s soothing if your skin is irritated.

Cons: It’s more of an oil than a cream, when it comes to texture.

Pros: This coconut-based face cream is soothing, absorbs quickly, and leaves no shiny residue.

Cons: The brand says this cream is safe for all skin types, but if you have oily skin, coconut is likely not the right product for you.

Pros: All the buzzwords are here. This coconut oil is pure, GMO-free, and sustainably harvested. It’s a rich moisturizer for your face, body, and hair. Yes, hair.

Cons: Some folks got a product that they say smelled rancid and oily, so smell before using.

Pros: This coconut oil is made from coconuts sourced from organic farms in the Philippines. It’s cold-pressed, so its higher quality. For every unit sold, the brand says it plants a coconut tree in the Philippines.

Cons: You get a small bottle for the price.

Pros: This scrub is great for those with sensitive skin, because it leaves your skin fresh and glowing, without any irritation. It’s like a beach, in your shower.

Cons: It’s messy, as most scrubs are, but totally worth it.

Pros: You’ll wish you could eat this lotion, which smells delicious. It’s a blend of coconut and other ingredients, goes on smoothly, leaves no greasy residue, and helps get a handle on dry, rough skin.

Cons: There are some issues with the pump not working, or breaking after a few uses.

Pros: This coconut body scrub doesn’t rip off your upper layer of skin. Instead, it gently exfoliates, and leaves your arms and legs feeling smooth and glossy.

Cons: Some say the citrusy smell is overpowering.

Pros: This coconut body butter is made from organic, virgin, cold-pressed Community Fair Trade coconut oil to soften and condition your skin. As with most things coconut, it’s ideal for dryer skin.

Cons: For purists, this product has a ton of extra ingredients, many of them not exactly recognizable.

Pros: The holy grail of coconut skin care fans, the Kopari melt can be used from head to toe and is safe for all skin types. No, you can’t eat it. But yes, it will help you look younger.

Cons: It melts like, well, butter, but so does the oil above, for much less.

Pros: This body balm goes on smoothly, absorbs quickly, and keeps your skin hydrated all day long. Coconut is one of its main ingredients, along with other products you actually recognize.

Cons: If you have oily skin, this isn’t for you. Plus, the price.

Pros: These masks are great for sensitive skin. They’re refreshing, rejuvenating, and relaxing. And they’re chock-full of coconut.

Cons: If you’re not used to sheet masks, the texture can be off-putting.

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