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Cosmetic Uses of Virgin Coconut Oil

Did you know that if you use the typical department or drug store brands of cosmetics daily, you could be absorbing nearly 5 pounds of chemicals into your body annually?

Many of these widely distributed products that are highly advertised and hyped, including some of the ones your dermatologist sells, have been linked to deadly inflammatory conditions and even cancers. 

See Harmful Ingredients in Personal Care Products on the ingredients found in many over-the-counter cosmetic and personal care products that can be harmful to your skin and overall health.

You might want to check your personal care product labels and see if they include any of the following: Mineral oil, sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), petrolatum, propylene glycol, gycerin, collagen, elastin, hyaluronic acid, alpha hydroxy acids (AHA’s), bentonite, fragrances, kaolin, lanolin, lauramide DEA, sodium chloride, or benzophenone. These are the culprits we don’t want to put on our skin, which is the largest organ in our bodies.

Some of these ingredients are even advertising buzz words that we have become accustomed to believe that they are actually good to have in our products, but nothing could be further from the truth.

Making your beauty products yourself is the very best way to be sure that you're not ingesting or applying these and many more dangerous chemicals topically.  This can be both fun and easy to do when using your own Virgin Coconut Oil.

Quality virgin coconut oil is crystal clear and has a fresh coconut scent. It's inexpensive and healthy, and it smells like a tropical beach vacation. What's not to love?

Uses for virgin coconut oil:

1. Face and body moisturizer

Coconut oil topically acts as a wonderful moisturizer for all types of skin, including dry and aging skin. Coconut oil is a safe solution for preventing dryness and flaking of skin and it makes a perfect massage oil, as well. It is known to delay the onset of wrinkles, and sagging of skin which normally become prominent with age. Coconut oil also helps in treating various skin problems including psoriasis, dermatitis, eczema and other skin infections. Coconut oil should and does form the foundation ingredient of various personal care products such as soaps, lotions, and creams. Coconut oil also helps in preventing premature aging and degenerative diseases due to its antioxidant properties.

For an all-natural moisturizer after bath or shower, pure coconut oil is my favorite. It’s a beauty-fuel moisturizer and a potent source of the beneficial fat lauric acid. I put a tablespoon in my herbal tea and sip this before, during or after my bath or shower. Your thyroid gland loves coconut oil as it helps to nourish it. One of the symptoms of hypothryroidism is dry skin so we get double the benefits when we use coconut oil internally and externally as often as possible.

Whether your skin is dry or oily or even if you struggle with acne, coconut oil turns out to be antimicrobial, antifungal, and antibacterial, which explains why it heals skin conditions so well.

2. Make-up remover

Coconut oil is an effective makeup remover and a natural moisturizer.  Just put a little bit on a cotton ball and use as you would commercial products.

3. Face mask

Add a bit of honey (a natural antibacterial) to coconut oil and apply to your face. Leave the mask on for 10 minutes, then rinse.

4. Lip balm

Apply to chapped lips. You also can transfer a small amount to a container for lip moisture on the go, but be careful in summer months -- heat liquefies the oil.

5. Bath soak

Pour a little coconut oil into your bath and enjoy a relaxing soak.

6. Body scrub

Scrubs offer a fantastic opportunity to remove dead skin and make you feel invigorated in the process.  Here is a recipe for a homemade Coconut Oil Sugar Scrub, that is easy to make and store:


Coconut Oil Sugar Scrub

1 cup organic coconut sugar
1/3 cup fine ground Himalayan Chrystal or pink salt
1/2 cup cold or expeller pressed, virgin, organic, coconut oil
2-3 tablespoons almond oil
1 tablespoon vitamin E oil
1 or 2 drops of lavender essential oil (or you can use rose essential oil)

Since you might have a nice jar with lid on hand which you may have saved from the recycling bin you can start with your own recycled jar, or buy a “Ball Jar,” add the Himalayan Chrystal or pink salt, coconut oil and then add the rest of the ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon. (I like to keep a small wooden spoon in my shower or next to the tub to stir the scrub and spoon it into my hand for easier application.)


7. Foot treatment

If you have calluses or rough heels, exfoliate with a pumice stone right before bed. Slather coconut oil on your feet and put on a pair of socks to lock in moisture overnight.

8.Cuticle cream

Apply to cuticles, then push them back with an orange stick.

9. Coconut Oil Shampoo: It’s not difficult to make your own shampoo.

Homemade Coconut Oil Shampoo

1/4 cup coconut milk (Thai canned coconut milk)
1/3 cup liquid castile soap (like Dr. Bronner’s)
1 T Virgin Coconut Oil,
1 teaspoon almond oil and
10 to 20 drops of fragrance, if you like

Combine all ingredients in a blender or whisk thoroughly and pour into a recycled shampoo bottle or jar and shake well. Shampoo as you would with any shampoo and rinse well.


10. Daily hair conditioner

Coconut oil is great for all hair types, thin, thick, straight or curly—coconut oil helps amazingly and after blow drying or flat ironing apply a little to your hands and use to achieve a sheen.

11. Deep conditioner for hair

Perhaps once a month, or after coloring, perming, straightening or other treatment, slather coconut oil on your scalp and let it soak in for about 15 minutes and then rinse, or shampoo out. 

11. Dry, split ends

While there is no fix for split ends other than a haircut, you can work small amounts of coconut oil into fried strands to smooth them out and add shine.

12. Shaving oil

Ditch the can of shaving cream. Apply coconut oil before shaving for smooth, nick-free skin.

There are related external applications of Virgin Coconut Oil on our Health Benefits page.

Portions of this page were excerpted from care2.com's article on "11 Beauty Uses for Coconut"



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