Guide to Using Coconut Oil for Skin Care

How Should I Use Coconut Oil on My Skin

How Should I Use Coconut Oil on My Skin?


Coconut oil, celebrated for its moisturizing and nourishing properties, can be a valuable addition to your skincare arsenal. But to reap its benefits without any missteps, it’s essential to apply it correctly. Here’s a simple guide:

Choose the Right Coconut Oil

When considering the use of coconut oil for skincare, the type you choose plays a pivotal role. Not all coconut oils are created equal, and their production processes can significantly impact their quality and, consequently, their effectiveness on the skin.

Virgin or Extra Virgin:

This type of coconut oil is derived through a method known as cold pressing. The oil is extracted from the fruit without the use of high temperatures, ensuring that it retains most of its natural, beneficial nutrients. Being unrefined, virgin or extra virgin coconut oil offers a more organic and wholesome experience. It’s closer to nature, often showcasing a subtle coconut aroma and retaining its antioxidant properties.

Virgin (or Extra Virgin) Coconut Oil


  1. Pure & Natural: Extracted through cold pressing, it retains the maximum natural nutrients from the coconut.
  2. Rich in Antioxidants: Contains higher levels of Vitamin E and other antioxidants, which are beneficial for the skin.
  3. Subtle Coconut Aroma: Has a pleasant natural coconut scent, which can be desirable in skincare and culinary applications.
  4. Optimal Moisturization: Offers superior hydration due to its unprocessed nature.
  5. No Chemicals: Free from bleaching agents, deodorizers, or any other chemicals.


  1. Shorter Shelf Life: Being natural, it might not last as long as its refined counterpart.
  2. Price: Generally, more expensive due to the quality and method of extraction.
  3. Solid Form: Tends to solidify under cooler temperatures, which might require melting before use.

Avoid Refined:

On the other hand, refined coconut oil undergoes a more intensive process, which might involve bleaching, deodorizing, or other chemical treatments. Such procedures can strip the oil of its natural, beneficial compounds. While it might be more neutral in scent and flavor, refined coconut oil is typically not as nutrient-rich as its unrefined counterpart. Hence, for skin benefits, it’s advisable to stick to the virgin varieties to ensure you’re harnessing the full potential of the coconut’s natural goodness.

Refined Coconut Oil


  1. Neutral Scent and Taste: Lacks the strong coconut aroma, which can be preferable for certain cooking or skincare applications.
  2. Higher Smoke Point: Suitable for cooking methods that require high temperatures.
  3. Longer Shelf Life: The refining process extends its usability duration.
  4. Cost-Effective: Typically less expensive than virgin coconut oil.


  1. Lost Nutrients: The refining process strips away some of the beneficial nutrients found in virgin coconut oil.
  2. Chemical Processing: Often treated with chemicals like bleaching agents and deodorizers.
  3. Potential Irritants: Some people with sensitive skin might react to refined oils due to the chemical residues.
  4. Lesser Moisturization: Might not be as hydrating or nourishing as virgin coconut oil.

2. Pre-application Preparations

  • Cleanse Your Skin: Always start with a clean canvas. Remove makeup and wash your face with a gentle cleanser.
  • Patch Test: Especially if you’re a first-time user, test the oil on a small area of your skin. Wait for 24 hours to ensure no allergic reactions occur.

3. Application Techniques

  • As a Moisturizer: Warm a small amount of coconut oil in your palms and apply it to your face and body in upward, gentle strokes. Allow it to absorb before wearing clothing.
  • For Oil Pulling: Swish a tablespoon of coconut oil in your mouth for 15-20 minutes, then spit it out. This can improve oral health and naturally whiten teeth.
  • As a Makeup Remover: Apply a dab of coconut oil to a cotton pad and gently wipe away makeup.
  • Lip Balm: A tiny amount can keep lips hydrated and soft.
  • Cuticle Care: Regularly massaging fingers and toes can soften cuticles and boost nail health.

4. Post-Application Tips

  • Avoid Excess: Coconut oil is rich. Using a large amount can make your skin feel greasy. Remember, a little goes a long way.
  • Night-time Use: Given its heavier texture, many prefer to use coconut oil in the evening, allowing the skin to absorb it overnight.
  • Sensitive Areas: For areas like the under-eye, use sparingly to avoid any irritation.

For further insights on coconut oil’s versatile applications and to understand its full spectrum of benefits, browse our comprehensive guide on coconut oil in skincare.


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