Coconuts seem to be one of the most useful and versatile foods that benefit the body both inside and out. My daughter and I have been adding its uses to our skincare regimen as of late and so far we have found 13 coconut oil skin remedies that we love!
Coconut oil is mostly made up of short and medium chain fatty acids , which means it is easily absorbed through the skin. When lauric acid and caprylic acid (two of the fatty acids in coconut oil) are metabolized by the body, they turn into amazing antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral components that fight free radicals outside and inside our bodies from everything from sun radiation to toxic chemicals on our behalf.
Coconut oil will penetrate the skin to clean it, to moisturize it, deeply nourish the skin, and kill bacteria that causes acne. No matter what your skin type, we should all be using coconut oil on our skin in the amounts and ways that we find best for us!
I have listed below 13 coconut oil skin remedies that will not only promote healthy skin, but will also prevent damage and promote healing of your skin.
13 Coconut Oil Skin Remedies
Remember those fatty acids I talked about earlier that I said were just as important for the outside of the body as they are for the inside of the body? Part of what they do is to fight the underlying causes of acne due to candida overgrowth and inflammation. Those properties coupled with the antibacterial and antifungal qualities are a powerful combination to rid your body of the things causing or irritating your skin and having acne flare up as well as calming, soothing and re-balancing the natural order of your skin. The natural antibacterial properties of coconut oil can help to reduce the harmful skin ‘staph’ bacterial that causes the infections and unsightly pustules (called folliculitis) associated with severe acne. I remember the expense of the popular at home acne treatments, chemical skin peels and the like, all to simply simply spend a lot of money and never truly get rid of the acne. Although changing your diet (healing from the inside out) is key to healthy skin, using gentle coconut oil topically instead of chemical and antibiotic laden, expensive topical creams will also help to reduce inflammation, sooth irritation and reverse scarring of already battle worn skin.
If your acne is especially difficult, you can consider combining baking soda with coconut oil to make a sort of paste. The strong healing, moisturizing and antibacterial qualities of coconut oil will benefit the skin and nourish it while the baking soda regulates the skin’s pH to help regulate any breakouts. This has been found to be a safe remedy for even the most sensitive of skins. In your ratio of coconut to baking soda, the more coconut oil you use, the more moisturizing it will be, while the more baking soda you use, the more exfoliating it will be. Use the proper ratio to your discretion for your individual skin and condition.
2. Body Scrub
No more spending all of your hard earned money at the fun smelling bath store at the mall. You can make your own easily with ingredients in your own kitchen for barely any investment of time or money. Homemade coconut oil body scrubs are moisturizing, relaxing and healing and you can customize your texture and smell for your own perfect blend. All that you need to do is melt ½ c of coconut oil on the stove at a very low heat. Pour it over 1 c of coconut sugar or himalayan salt (or a combination of both) and stir well. You can add a few drops of your favorite essential oil or even drop in some pure vanilla extract for a scrub so fragrant that you’ll want to eat it (oh yeah, you can!!!).
3. Dry Skin
For the healthiest of skins, the best way to balance from super oily to normal, or from dry to normal is to be using the right oils on our skin! By sing coconut oil you mimic the skin’s natural sebum which kind of ‘tricks’ the skin into producing less or balancing dry skin. Coconut oils is a great facial moisturizer. It is rich in the hydrating triglycerides oleic acid and linoleic acid, and contains natural vitamin E that is plant-based. Dr. Bailey says that “When applied to skin that has just been wet and towel dried, it helps to lock in moisture while it replenishes lost oils that help keep skin healthy and strong.” Remember, everyone’s skin balance is different, so be patient, allowing your skin to detox and re-balance.
4. Facial wash
I know it seems crazy to use oil on your skin when everything you’ve been told or are being given is meant to strip the oils from your skin as if that is what is causing your skin issues. Actually, the effect of coconut oil is actually the opposite! The main reason that we all wash our faces is to wash away the oil that our skin actually needs to be healthy. We use harsh cleansers, thinking the stronger the better, harsh toners because they say it will tighten up our skin, and then we top it off with a cream that doesn’t let our skin breath or an oil free moisturizer when oil is what our skin needs to begin with! Then our skin goes into overdrive producing more oil to make up for it, and we are on the merry-go-round of imbalanced skin once again.
Your skin naturally produces oil because it needs it. Your skin is your largest organ, and as I’ve been learning, the healthy fats in our diets and now on our skin is what actually helps our bodies function to their maximum potential. The oil on our skin occurs naturally for a reason – it helps lubricate, heal, protect, and moisturize for a healthy, young wrinkle and spot free glow!
Don’t freak out when you first start cleansing with coconut oil. Many times the detoxifying nature of the oil can pull impurities from the skin that have been clogged in there and suppressed which can result in your skin getting a little worse before it gets better. That is a normal detoxification response, so be patient. After continuing the routine for a little bit of time (1 week to a month, depending on your skin’s condition), you will see the gradual improvement as your skin learns how to re-balance and begins to do so.
The thing to understand is that the healthy, healing coconut oil that you massage into your skin to clean and moisturize will actually begin to dissolve the hardened oils that have been stuck in your pours full of and continuing to collect impurities. By massaging coconut oil on your facial skin and allowing a hot (not to burn your face off!) washcloth to steam your pores open for 30 seconds or so, you are activating your circulation and opening up your to help the non-essential oils to remove easily. Because “oil dissolves oil”, the coconut oil will clean out the bad oils and replace it with its healing properties to clean, heal, moisturize and refresh your skin. Rinse the washcloth and wipe your face of any excess coconut oil gently, as your face still needs some oil!
5. Healing Salve
Coconut oil is the perfect remedy for helping damaged skin. It is great at calming allergic skin reactions, most skin inflammation (anti-inflammatory properties), topical infections (anti-biotic and anti-microbial properties), and other skin problems with its healing qualities. After properly cleaning a wound, place coconut oil over a cut, infection, or irritation in place of the over the counter or prescription antibiotic cream and watch the magic! It is also recommended for use on skin after any laser treatment or with staph skin infections as well.
Shaving by using coconut oil as the shaving cream alleviates the ingrown hairs that you can experience, especially on your bikini line or underarms. The moisturizing properties keeps the pours open and the skin supple enough that the red bumps and painful pours are a thing of the past!
7. Lip Balm
I realize that carrying straight coconut oil around in your purse is probably not the smartest idea, as it liquifies quickly after about 70 degrees F. But you can dip your finger in it each night before bed and each morning as you put on your makeup to maintain soft lips and have them being nourished around the clock!
8. Makeup Remover
9. Psoriasis and Eczema
Coconut oil provides great relief to irritated and dry skin by soothing and reducing inflammation and redness. It’s natural anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal properties will moisturize to help keep the area clean and help prevent infection. It’s a much better option that an expensive prescription medication. Not only will it deal with the symptoms, but it can get to the root problem by dealing with the causes of the bacteria, fungus and inflammation in the first place.
10. Razor Burn
Coconut oil is a great way to keep your underarms, legs, and other delicate areas smooth and free of microbes and inflammation. The price of women’s shaving cream is enough to cause you to look of other options, especially during the summer time! The soothing properties of coconut oil will keep your legs hydrated and ingrown hair free!
11. Rough Feet and Heels
Summer feet can be so painful! The dry and bleeding heals along with the torn skin on the balls of my feet make wearing flip flops and sandals miserable for me! I had tried every cream out there to remedy how bad my feet would end up each summer, and nothing worked until I added more coconut oil not only to my diet, but also just putting it directly on the bottoms of my feet. The best way that I’ve found to use it topically on your feet is to find an old pair of socks, rub in coconut oil generously on the bottoms of your feet in the evening, and place on the socks so that you don’t break your neck by slipping while you are walking across your floor, or mess up your clean carpet! If you can sleep with socks on, that is best. If not, and you’re finicky like I am, I just cut the toe part off of my socks so that it’s kind of like a work-out glove on my feet. This keeps the coconut oil working on behalf of my poor feet, and protects my sheets from any extra added, unnecessary grease. Once I got my feet healed, balanced and soft again, I very rarely had to do the sock treatment. At the tail end of summer I might need to dab a little on after the beach, but other than that, the underside of my feet and my heals have never been so soft and healthy!
12. Scars and Stretch Marks
A small amount of coconut oil on scars (new or old) and stretch marks minimizes the scar and heals better than any other cream we’ve tried. Rub a small amount 3-4 times per day to the affected area.
People who live in tropical cultures and have a diet and lifestyle that is widely based upon coconut know about the antioxidant protection that coconut oil has when applied topically. Using coconut oil topically as a sunscreen can lessen and even prevent sunburns while still allowing the skin to receive the necessary vitamin D and even tan a little! Commercial sunscreens are highly carcinogenic and are made with refined vegetable oils that have cancer causing free radicals, block vitamin D and actually ramp up the aging process of your skin.
Because coconut oil is filled with medium chain fatty acids, using it as sunscreen actually protects the skin from the radiation damage from too much sun exposure while fighting the free radicals from metabolizing and causing toxin buildup on your skin which internalizes into your entire body.
You can use coconut oil prior to sun exposure as well as using it afterwards on any skin over-exposed to sunlight. The best method of using coconut oil to help your skin avoid sun damage is in your diet. The more anti-oxidants you can eat, the more coconut oil you ingest, the more you are helping your body from free radical damage both inside and out. Don’t be afraid of the sun anymore!
As you can see, the list of uses for coconut oil on the skin goes on and on! I know there are more for me to discover, so I’ll keep plugging along and will add to the list as I learn more!