6 ways to use coconut oil in your beauty routine

Why this ingredient is well worth the hype

Women's Health Contributor / February 08 2017

Dry skin? Coconut oil. Bad hair day? Coconut oil. Social media is sold on the benefits. But while we’re no stranger to flipping a paleo pancake in it – can the gains extend to beauty? You bet! Here’s six ways you should be using coconut oil in your beauty routine.


A rich moisturiser

Sydney-based dermatologist, Dr Natasha Cook, has been following the coconut oil trend; “It’s a brilliant ingredient in skin care and a great moisturiser,” she says. “It’s all about medium chain triglycerides and medium chain fatty acids. The triglycerides help the lipids that are contained in the outer layer of the epidermis. There are free fatty acids in the natural oils of the skin, which make up part of the barrier wall function. So [when applying coconut oil] you’re actually adding free fatty acids into that structure. That’s why it’s so good for moisturising – it’s putting back what’s already there.” We recommend Coconut Revolution Organic Coconut Oil Beauty Jar.


A shaving cream replacement

Running out of shaving cream? Use your coconut oil for hydrated legs that smell like summer. Try Ecocare Organic Coconut Oil.


An antibacterial treatment

Another benefit? Coconut oil is an anti-inflammatory due to its high lauric acid component. “Top international dermatologist Dr Suzanne Kilmer has recently said coconut oil is great for post-laser care as it’s a natural, potent anti-inflammatory. It’s a natural anti-fungal and antibacterial, it’s bit like zinc, in that sense,” Cook adds. We like Nature’s Way Super Coconut Organic Oil.


A hair treatment

Beyond its benefits for skin, coconut oil also works as a hair treatment, detangling, de-frizzing, hydrating and sealing strands to help prevent damage. Try H2coco Organic Virgin Coconut Oil.


A teeth whitener

The ancient Ayurvedic dental remedy of ‘coconut pulling’ is breathing new life into dental routines of the wholefoods set. “It involves swishing a tablespoon of coconut oil in your mouth one to three times a day on an empty stomach for around 20 minutes,” says Alex Tomic, Director of teeth whitening company HiSmile – which produces a coconut mouthwash. Plus, research from the Athlone Institute of Technology found coconut oil can inhibit the growth of an acid-producing bacterium, a major cause of tooth decay.


A bath oil

Add coconut oil to a warm bath – the oil will stop the water evaporating and drying out your skin. Once you get out, pat the excess oil into your skin. No need to moisturise. Try pureTAN Pure Moisture Organic Extra Virgin 100% Coconut Oil.

For more beauty tips from Women's Health, check out womenshealth.com.au

Caelia is the former Beauty & Grooming Director of Women’s Health and Men’s Health Australia and continues to provide monthly beauty content for Women’s Health. She’s a mum of two and loves to write beauty that is easily adapted into the everyday lives of busy, active women to help them look and feel fantastic. Her freelance credits include Harper’s Bazaar, Body+Soul, Stellar, mamamia network, PopSugar and JONES mag.