10 Nourishing Coconut Oil Beauty Treatments To Try This Winter

With one bottle of organic coconut oil, you can make over your regimen—naturally.

January 18, 2017
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Let's work backwards. When you think about the health benefits of coconut oil, we're going to guess that the last thing that comes to mind is rubbing the edible plant grease all over your face. Or your arms. Or your hair. But a growing body of research, countless experts, and an army of natural-beauty devotees swear by the stuff for just about everything. Are they onto something?

Yes, according to our experts. Coconut oil is used in many natural beauty products, and for good reason: It's naturally antibacterial and antifungal, it's an excellent moisturizer, it can penetrate hair better than other oils, and, well, it smells like cookies. (You can even make your own coconut oil lip balm.)

"Yum," says Tieraona Low Dog, MD, director of the fellowship program at the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine. "Is there anything more luscious than coconut oil?"

We can't think of anything. But we can think of 10 amazing uses for it in your very own home that don't require spending a fortune on store-bought products. In fact, all you need is one thing: raw, organic virgin coconut oil.

Here, our completely natural DIY beauty tricks with coconut oil.

Related: 4 Things To Know Before Buying Coconut Oil

someone moisturizing with coconut oil
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Soothe Dry Hands

This won't work for dry digits when you're on the go, but at home, coconut oil can work wonders on your dishwashing-parched hands. "I keep a jar of organic extra virgin coconut oil by the kitchen sink and put a little on after washing my hands to keep them soft and moist," says Low Dog. And if you cook with coconut oil—you can sub it for butter in baking recipes because it’s solid at room temperature—scoop out a little extra for your hands, too. "Whenever I cook with coconut oil, I make sure to moisturize my hands with it too," says Katrine van Wyk, a holistic health and nutrition coach based in New York.

Try this: Toss a few Carrington Farms Organic Coconut Oil Paks in your bag so you can moisturize on the go.

woman looking at self in mirror
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Highlight Cheekbones

Nothing perks up a tired face like a little highlighter, but you don't need store-bought products to achieve the same effect. Simply sweep a small amount of coconut oil on top of makeup and leave it alone. It looks like your skin but glowier, which is why many natural makeup brands use it as a base ingredient in their formulas.

Try this: Want something more portable? Try Living Luminizer by RMS Beauty, with a coconut-oil base and light reflecting pigment.

woman shaving legs in tub
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Shave Your Legs

Conventional shaving cream is an expensive cocktail of chemicals that you don't need to get a nice clean shave on your legs or underarms. Coconut oil, on the other hand, is inexpensive, naturally antimicrobial, and smells divine. Plus, its skin-soothing properties will leave your skin looking hydrated (but never greasy).

Try this: For shaving, nothing does the job like Nutiva Organic Virgin Coconut Oil.

woman using a hair conditioner
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Deep Condition Your Hair

There's a reason many conditioners contain coconut oil: It's better able to penetrate hair (and prevent protein loss) than mineral and sunflower oil, according to research. "I use it in my hair and on my skin for deep conditioning," says Tasneen Bhatia, MD, an integrative doctor and owner of the Atlanta Center for Holistic and Integrative Medicine. Apply a quarter-size dollop to your hair, comb it, and then pile it into a loose bun. You'll want to place a soft towel over your pillow or sleep in a shower cap. In the morning, shampoo as usual with a gentle cleanser.

Try this: Coconut oil in a squeeze tube, like Coco Luxe 100% Organic Unrefined Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, makes for insanely easy application.

woman removing eye makeup with cotton swab
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Remove Eye Makeup

Yes, coconut oil even works on waterproof mascara! Put a little on a cotton ball and gently sweep it over your eyes, paying attention to your under-eyes as well. The oil does a great job breaking down waxy, inky eye makeup, and leaves the delicate area hydrated, too. Once you're done, wash your face as usual.

Try this: Keep this night cream-sized container of Cocovit Coconut Oil in your bathroom for easy PM use. 

woman moisturizing legs with coconut oil
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Moisturize All Over

A recent animal study found that when applied topically, virgin coconut oil can speed up wound healing, and a human study found it to be effective in increasing hydration and reducing water loss in seriously dry skin. Sounds like a recipe for a really good lotion to us! It's a health-expert favorite, too. Says Wyk: "It smells delicious, is very affordable, and leaves my skin feeling nourished and smooth."

Try this: For all over use, try Coconut Revolution Organic Coconut Oil for the Body.

woman washing face
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Clean Your Face

Because coconut oil is naturally antibacterial, antifungal, moisturizing and, according to research, great for atopic dermatitis, many women swear by its use as a nighttime moisturizer for their face, too. Try the double-cleansing method: Simply rub the oil in circular motions all over your face and neck, giving yourself a gentle massage as you go. When you're done, wash off the residue with your favorite cleanser. (If you're adult-acne prone, avoid this technique unless you know your skin tolerates coconut oil.)

Try this: RMS Beauty Coconut Cream is 100% coconut oil left in its raw state to preserve every living enzyme and nutrient, allowing it to work magic on your skin.

woman with shiny hair
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Add Shine To Your Hair

Smooth a tiny amount of coconut oil onto your ends to add a little shine, or on flyaways if you have dark hair. Remember that a dab will do you: Any more and your hair might appear greasy.

Try this: This container of Cocovit Coconut Oil is small enough to toss in your purse—so you can tame frizzy hair anywhere! 

ingredients to make a body scrub
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Make A Luscious Body Scrub

Here's a little DIY beauty secret: That store-bought body scrub you save for special occasions? It's a waste of money. That's because you can make one yourself with ingredients you already have in your kitchen. Low Dog agrees. "I love to do this. It's wonderfully moisturizing, great for the skin, inexpensive, and blissfully absent of chemicals you can't pronounce!" To make your own, Low Dog suggests melting ½ c of coconut oil at very low heat. Pour it over 1 c of brown sugar or salt and stir well. If you have some on hand, add in five drops of your favorite essential oil or some pure vanilla extract for a scrub so fragrant you'll want to eat it.

Try this: If you don't feel like formulating your own scrub (we won't judge!), try Yes To Coconut Polishing Body Scrub.

someone massaging their foot
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Have A Little Rubdown

Many store-bought massage oils have either coconut or jojoba oil as their base. Cut out the middleman and go straight to the bottle. It's slippery, skin-friendly, and moisturizing, too.

Try this: Opt for a liquid coconut oil like Molivera Organics Fractionated Coconut Oil, which goes on extra easy.

Related: 6 Things That Happened When I Replaced All My Beauty Products With Coconut Oil

This article was originally published by our partners at Prevention.