Why is coconut oil fantastic for your face and hair - in fact all of your skin? Coconut oil has been used by people who live in places where coconuts grow and for good reason. I’m a big fan of coconut oil for skin care. In fact, I chose to use it instead of the usual post-procedure ointments after a pretty deep facial laser procedure last month. My skin healed quickly and without any problems! This is a testament to the healing properties of coconut oil on damaged skin, if ever there was one!
Dermatologist's Tips for Using Coconut Oil in Skin Care
I recommend coconut oil for many skin problems
- to calm highly sensitive allergic skin problems,
- to help soothe scalp dermatitis,
- for people prone to staph skin infections, and
- for post-laser care.
The Benefits of Coconut Oil on Skin
I was asked recently if coconut oil can be used on facial skin, and truth be told, it is a wonderful facial moisturizer.
Skin health ingredients in coconut oil
- It is rich in hydrating triglycerides,
- oleic acid,
- linoleic acid,
- and it contains natural plant-based vitamin E.
Coconut oil has natural antibacterial properties to help reduce harmful skin staph bacteria that can cause infections and folliculitis (pustules). It also helps to lock in moisture while it replenishes lost oils that help keep skin healthy and strong.
Not everyone loves the feel of pure coconut oil on their skin, however. A cosmetically elegant alternative is to use a product that blends coconut oil with other natural skin humectants (moisture-binding ingredients) since it feels less oily on the skin than pure coconut oil does.
How to get the skin care benefits of coconut oil without the greasy feel
Look for a product that uses organic coconut oil as one of the primary ingredients. I created my All Natural Face and Body Lotion to give my patients the benefit of coconut oil in a product that is easy to use and that looks and feels great on their skin. It rubs in quickly and absorbs deeply into the skin to hydrate, heal, and fight bacteria. My lotion can be used on all skin including the face.
How to use coconut oil as a hair treatment
It is also a great moisturizing treatment for dry and damaged hair. Try it! After washing your hair, towel dry it and spread coconut oil onto your scalp and into your hair. Clip your hair up if it is long and let the oil soak in for several hours. Shampoo the oil out, and condition as normal. Your scalp will feel great, and your hair will shine.
Pro-tip: a coconut oil scalp and hair treatment is a simple DIY hair and scalp treatment you can do at home and that you would pay extra for at a spa as an 'add on'!
Keep a bottle of organic extra virgin coconut oil in the fridge. It's great to use when you have irritated or allergic skin rashes, when you need a hydrating hair and scalp treatment, or when you could use a deeply hydrating facial skin "pick me up."
Know though that pure coconut oil can clog pores on your face if you are prone to blackheads.
I tell my acne prone patients to use a sonic skin cleansing brush or a salicylic acid skin cleanser such as my Triple Action Exfoliating Cleanser to wash off the oil so that they get it out of their pores. My Triple Action Cleanser is a great facial cleanser to fight clogged pores.
Author: Dr. Cynthia Bailey M.D. is a Board Certified dermatologist practicing dermatology since 1987. She has done well over 200,000 skin exams during her career and authors the longest running physician written skin health blog in the world.