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. 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.
This ultra-nourishing face cream is made from coconut oil, combined with essential vitamins A, D3, E, and organic botanical oils.
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.
This coconut oil is pretty much as pure as can you get, making it ideal to use on your face and body. It's got one ingredient: organic, unrefined, cold-pressed virgin coconut oil.
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.
Unlike other coconut oils, which look right at home in your pantry, this one comes in a gorgeous glass jar that makes for a very fabulous gift.
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.
Meet your new favorite face and body scrub and exfoliator, which is a blend of coffee and coconut to keep everything nice and youthful.
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.
This lotion, a blend of coconut oil, lemon verbena and lime, smells like summer in a jar.
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.
While not as pure as edible coconut oils, the Body Shop's version is ideally formulated to moisturize your skin and leave it smelling deliciously tropical.
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.
This miracle product is made from one ingredient (coconut oil) and is the skin care junkie's go-to multitasker. It smooths skin, yes, but also helps get rid of under-eye circles and serves as a great massage butter.
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.
The only way to describe this blend of coconut, passion fruit, and geranium is like enveloping your body in the softest, most delicately-scented blanket.
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.
Look no further than Chris Pratt to know that dudes love their sheet masks. And might we suggest this coconut one to make your skin brighter and more radiant.
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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