Beauty/ Frugal/ HEALTH/ HOME/ Natural Products

Coconut Oil as a Moisturizer + 6 More Ways I Use it in my Beauty Routine

I am a HUGE fan of coconut oil, for many reasons, but today I’m just going to focus on why I love coconut oil for my skin.  I have been using it in place of lotion as a body moisturizer for about a year now and I LOVE IT!  

The main reason I started doing this was because I read about how so many body lotions contain parabens and chemicals, and with my cancer history, I am being very purposeful about getting rid of as many toxins in this house and on my body as possible! 

Its been all over the news that they are finding parabens in the breast cancer survivors breast tissue.  My ears perked up with this because I have been in the beauty business for years as a cosmetologist, and parabans seem to be in EVERY beauty product.  I have also met way too many young hairstylists that also battled breast cancer, and it has made us all say “hmm.”
Parabens are a group of compounds widely used as antimicrobial preservatives in food, pharmaceutical and cosmetic products, including underarm deodorants. Parabens are absorbed through intact skin and from the gastrointestinal tract and blood.
Measurable concentrations of six different parabens have been identified in biopsy samples from breast tumors (Darbre, 2004). The particular parabens were found in relative concentrations that closely parallel their use in the synthesis of cosmetic products (Rastogi, 1995). Parabens have also been found in almost all urine samples examined from a demographically diverse sample of U.S. adults (Ye, 2006a).
Parabens are estrogen mimickers, with the potency of the agonistic response being related to the chemical structure (Darbre, 2008). They can bind to the cellular estrogen receptor (Routledge, 1998). They also increase the expression of many genes that are usually regulated by estradiol and cause human breast tumor cells (MCF-7 cells) to grow and proliferate in vitro (Byford, 2002; Pugazhendhi, 2007). Nevertheless, parabens as a class do not fully mimic estradiol in the changes in cellular gene expression nor are the effects of all parabens identical (Sadler, 2009).
    Parabens are estrogen mimickers.”  This really made me pause, as my cancer and the majority of breast cancers are fed by hormones.  I had symptoms of estrogen dominance for years and I often wonder if this contributed to my diagnosis.
    As I have been trying to avoid parabens, I have been on a kick of making my own beauty products. There are some wonderful healthy organic body products out there, but they usually end up costing “an arm and a leg,” so have been quite motivated to make my own or to figure out a simple, inexpensive & healthy alternative. 
    {even the Stars use it!}
    Here are a few ways I have been using coconut oil on my skin:
    1. I use it to shave.  I wrote about this here.  I can’t tell you how wonderful it is to shave with a natural product.  I no longer have bumps, and my pores are nice and small now.  No irritation!  It makes sense…when I read what is in those cans of shaving cream, I am not surprised that my skin reacts with little bumps and irritation!  Especially when one slathers it on, then takes a razor that makes little nicks in the skin for those irritants to penetrate even deeper.  Blech.

    {my fav razor is a Mach 3 Gillette.  I have been using it for years.  Even with all the fancy smancy lady like razors out there, I still prefer my Gillette.  Yes, the refill blades are expensive, but they last forever and I love how close of a shave I get with this razor!  Plus, I have a thing for black and silver…}
    2. I use it as body oil to slather on while still in the shower.  This is my last step of my shower.  Then when I towel off I am super soft and there is no need for body moisturizer.
    3. I use it as a body moisturizer.  On days I do not shower or use it in the shower, I will use it in place of lotion.  Especially on my legs before a hot date with my Todd.  It gives a great glow.
    4.  Just recently, I have been using it as a facial cleanser.  Yep, you read that right.  It is called the “oil cleansing method.”  You can read about it here at Sorta Crunchy.  The whole idea of it is that cleansers strip moisture, and then your body over produces oil to make up for it, which leads to breakouts and unbalanced skin. The idea that oil dissolves oil is key with the oil cleaning method.  I have done this for about a week and my face is more clear than it has been for months…I am amazed.  I am also amazed at how moisturized my skin is.   Moisturized skin is plump skin, which helps with the appearance of lines. I will be writing a whole post on this after I have used this method a bit longer.  
    5. I have been using it as an eye make up remover.  I wrote a post on Homemade Eye Makeup Remover, and talked about a recipe that used olive oil.  Well, I am all about simplifying, and since I am already using coconut oil to wash my face, I also started using it to wipe away eye makeup.  It works beautifully.  
    6. I use it as a cuticle oil.  Occasionally, when I have extra on my hands, I will rub it into my cuticles.  No more hangnails!

    7. I use it at a key ingredients in my Homemade Coconut Lime Sugar Scrub.  This is one of my most FAVORITE beauty products.  Love!

    Pretty impressive, huh?  Think of the money I am saving by not buying eye makeup remover, shaving cream, body lotions (lets face it, us women usually have at least 5 different types sitting around!), face moisturizer, cuticle oil & body scrub!  Think of the space I am saving in my home by having one jar of coconut oil instead of 10 bottles of all these products!
    That makes me VERY happy!

    –I buy a large container on Amazon, I love the Nutiva brand.  It is organic and wonderful.  Trader Joes also started carrying coconut oil.  Yay!
    –Coconut oil is very unique.  It is a solid up to I think 76 degrees, then becomes a liquid.  So depending on the temperature of your house, you will either be scooping the oil if solid, or pouring it if liquid.  
    –I use coconut oil in recipes, like this one, the Best Recipe I Ever Messed Up.  For beauty purposes, I scoop some out and store in a small 8 oz mason jar.  I love the Elite series glass jars.  They have a nice wide mouth and are a cute shape.  I also keep coconut oil in a small 4oz jar to throw into my gym bag.

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  • Kimberly
    February 22, 2015 at 12:10 am

    I have been using it on my stomach all throughout my pregnancy (currently 38 weeks) and have not gotten a single new stretch mark and also faded all the ones I got from my first pregnancy. it’s SUPER amazing as a hair mask too

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  • Laurie
    June 4, 2013 at 1:29 pm

    My daughter has been telling me about coconut oil for a year now. It seems like every day I find new uses for it! I use it to wash my face, made my own eye cream (with vitamin E), use it as a body lotion with some essential oil added and also a TINY bit on the ends of my hair instead of all the other zillion products I’ve used before. The other day I accidentally spilled a tiny bit on my hardwood floor and instead of wiping it clean, I rubbed it into a scratch nearby on my floor—It totally covered the scratch! I went around my floor and touched up all the little nicks and scratches. Crazy!

  • Anonymous
    May 3, 2013 at 4:54 pm

    I also use it as underarm deodorant as it has antibacterial components.

  • Anonymous
    May 1, 2013 at 1:44 pm

    I usually use it for my hair.. It’s amazing !

  • Only A Girl
    April 18, 2013 at 3:05 am

    I have been shaving with it, and I also use the Mach Turbo razor… but I have notice my razor dulling super fast with the coconut oil. Any ideas about that?

  • Jessica
    December 18, 2012 at 2:32 am

    love these ideas! i’m a little worried about all that oil going down the drain though. do you find your drains get gummed up? have you found a way to ensure the oil, as you rinse it off, doesn’t start lining your drain/pipes?
    thanks! 🙂

  • Monarch
    December 9, 2012 at 4:42 am

    Is there a link for your cocnut lime sugar scrub?

  • Monarch
    December 9, 2012 at 4:41 am

    Is there a link for gow to make the coconut lime sugar scrub?

  • Monarch
    December 9, 2012 at 4:41 am

    Is there a link for your cocnut lime sugar scrub?

  • ashley kokron
    December 8, 2012 at 7:32 pm

    i havent used coconut oil much. except to put in the ends of my hair to prevent split ends and static (harsh winters in north dakota, btw coconut oil rubbed in to your scalp and left on for 20 mins then washed out helps your hair grow) but i am in looooovvvveeee with extra virgin olive oil! i use it for shaving, body wash, eye make up remover and face wash, and at 4 bucks a bottle it usually lasts me 2 weeks!

  • Anonymous
    November 12, 2012 at 5:26 am

    I started using it as a moisturizer and OCM ! love love love it ! my face is soft and moisturized. Also put in my hair and lips. Haven”t cooked with it yet but has great taste. Mine is from TJ’s. Will not use anything else now.

  • Carla Campbell
    October 28, 2012 at 8:45 pm

    I use my Kitchen Aid mixer to “whip” up a portion. It takes a little while but makes it easier to use. I used this for my beauty needs. As a side note, my dog loves coconut oil and will stare at me until I add some to his crumbles.

  • Angela Magnotti Andrews
    October 12, 2012 at 7:16 pm

    This is a wonderful article. Not only did I learn about new ways to use coconut oil, but I also learned about estrogen dominance, which may very well explain a lot of issues I have had physically. I’m going to do some more research for sure!

  • Shannon
    September 28, 2012 at 5:34 pm

    I use coconut oil as a facial cleanser, a deep conditioner for my hair AND I use it for my homemade body butter (includes shea butter, essential oils etc).I love it! It works better for me than any store bought moisturizer or cleanser that I’ve ever used.

  • Charlotte
    September 27, 2012 at 6:28 pm

    Hurray, coconut oil! I have been using (and loving) it as a moisturizer, but it never occurred to me to shave with it, also! Stupid question: Do you use it exactly as you would shaving cream, and “shave” it off with the razor? Or do you apply it, rinse, then shave straight? If it’s the former, have you noticed if the oil dulls your razor more quickly? Thanks for sharing!

    • Amy Bowman
      September 27, 2012 at 7:52 pm

      Yep, exactly like shaving cream. I have not noticed my razor getting dull more quickly. Not a dumb question at all!! Make sure you check out the link above to my Coconut Lime Sugar scrub. It is amazing and gives me the softest, smoothest legs ever!!

  • Jane Craske
    September 27, 2012 at 4:02 pm

    Sold! I’ll have to give it a try.

    • Amy Bowman
      September 27, 2012 at 7:04 pm

      Hi Jane! Let me know what you think..

  • Nicole Greene
    September 27, 2012 at 2:53 pm

    haha! Someone as crazy as me! I found coconut oil a couple of years ago and have been using it for all of the above (except for the OCM) ever since! I will be interested in how it works for you for that. I simply stopped using anything on my face when I clean it and put the coconut oil on afterward. That works pretty well for me. I also use it for an after sun AHHHH. Not that I go out and tan but if anyone happens to get a burn we put on the coconut oil. Works much better and faster than Aloe Vera for us. It is also in my homemade sunscreen and makes the BEST popcorn ever!

    • Amy Bowman
      September 27, 2012 at 7:03 pm

      I will have to try using it to make popcorn! Yum!!

  • Anonymous
    September 27, 2012 at 1:43 pm

    I am going to have to try this. When using for face cleaning, is there any certain way to use this? I love your blog and find lots of stuff I use now from it.

    • Amy Bowman
      September 27, 2012 at 7:00 pm

      Well, right now I just slap it on, rub over my eyes to get off the eye makeup, massage it in a bit in circular motions. I then get a wash cloth nice and hot, then just press it into my face for a minute to let the steam penetrate, then wipe clean with washcloth. I have not had to use any moisturizer.

      In #4 above, there is a link to Sorta Crunchy which gives lots of detail in the Oil Cleansing Method..I don’t do it exactly right yet. 🙂

  • alison
    September 26, 2012 at 5:02 pm

    I starting using coconut oil last winter on my crazy, dry skin. It was wonderful, even on my face it made the biggest difference. And a jar lasts forever because it takes very little to get the job done. Great share Amy!

  • Anonymous
    September 26, 2012 at 9:12 pm

    I love coconut oil! i have just recently started using it as a moisturizer on my face, i use a mixture of raw honey and baking soda as a face wash which leaves my face soft as well. never thought about it as a shaving lotion but now i will give it a try.

  • Kate@StillRoomToGrow
    September 26, 2012 at 5:46 pm

    Can’t wait to read about your face cleaning experience with coconut oil. Thanks for sharing all these wonderful tips!

  • Emilie
    September 26, 2012 at 5:13 pm

    When you use coconut oil as a lotion, do you wipe off afterwards? How do you keep from feeling oily or sticky?

    • Amy Bowman
      September 26, 2012 at 7:50 pm

      I do not wipe it off after. It rubs in nicely. I never feel sticky. I only feel oily if I use too much. I little goes a long way!