Hair

4 Reasons Coconut Oil Is Our Beauty Secret Weapon

Feb 25, 2015
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4 Reasons Coconut Oil Is Our Beauty Secret Weapon

There’s been a lot of buzz about this particular oil lately—people are “pulling it” and putting it in their coffee. But we really perked up when we started hearing about its beauty benefits from some of our favorite stylists and skincare experts. We spoke with dermatologist Ava Shamban to find out how best to use coconut oil to soften, calm, and hydrate your skin, hair, and nails.

It Can Shrink a Pimple

Coconut's antibacterial properties help rid the skin of the strain of bacteria that leads to acne, according to Dr. Shamban, while its anti-inflammatory molecules calm red, swollen spots. She recommends warming up a small amount of oil between clean fingers and applying it directly to problem areas before bed.

It Quenches Dry Skin

Packed with natural lipids, coconut oil helps replenish the moisture you lose to the cold, pollution, and aging, softening even the most dehydrated skin. Dr. Shamban advises applying it after you shower to slightly damp skin, focusing on rough elbows, chapped lips, patchy thighs, and cracked cuticles. Or combine its hydrating powers with sesame and sunflower seed oils in Whish’s Coconut Body Oil.

It Softens Brittle Hair

The same lipids that nourish skin can also restore moisture to parched strands. To treat dry hair, Dr. Shamban suggests trying a coconut oil-infused conditioner or a DIY coconut oil mask: After shampooing, take a dab of coconut oil and massage it into your wet hair from roots to tips, then wrap your hair with a towel. After an hour, rinse thoroughly and style as usual.

It Removes Pesky Eye Makeup

Looking for a gentle way to take off your indelible black liner? Coat a cotton pad with coconut oil to gently remove it and your stay-put mascara. Coconut oil is totally safe for the sensitive skin around the eye area, Dr. Shamban says, and can even help prevent smile lines and crows feet thanks to its anti-inflammatory powers.

Maura L. Writer and editor. Ask me about natural skincare, TV shows, and where to find the best burritos.