How to Use Coconut Oil for Skin

It's difficult to top the versatility of coconut oil in beauty products. Whether you're dealing with dry, scaly patches or need help getting your skin clean at the end of the day, coconut oil can get the job done. No matter how you plan to use it, you'll want to warm the coconut oil between your fingers in order to make its semisolid consistency easier to spread.

Hydrate Your Skin
Many commercial moisturizers contain mostly water, which hydrates the skin initially but leaves it feeling parched again once it dries. Coconut oil, on the other hand, doesn’t evaporate, and the fats it contains help trap water to provide lasting moisture. The sweet-smelling oil also helps strengthen the skin barrier and has anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and antioxidant properties. While it's perfect for dry skin, coconut oil may be too heavy for oily complexions if applied all over -- just use it around your eyes as a hydrating eye cream. Dab dry areas of your body, like your elbows, knees, heels and legs, for additional soothing.

Remove Your Makeup
If you wear makeup regularly, you know that a traditional facial cleanser isn’t always enough -- particularly if you use waterproof cosmetics like eyeliner and mascara. Coconut oil makes an ideal makeup remover because it can break down the oils in your makeup that help it adhere to the skin without you having to pull or rub it. Before you wash your face with your usual cleanser, gently rub a little coconut oil across your makeup with a cotton pad and rinse with warm water.

Highlight Your Face
Highlighting adds dimension and a flattering illumination to your skin. Cosmetics companies offer highlighting products in both powder and cream form, but they usually have a lot of shimmer, which can emphasize fine lines, wrinkles and enlarged pores. For a subtler look, grab your jar of coconut oil instead. Dabbing a small amount of the oil along the tops of your cheekbones over your makeup adds a soft sheen that will catch the light for a natural glow.

Shave More Easily
Instead of shaving gel, use a dab of coconut oil to help the razor glide across your skin. Store-bought shaving creams often contain harsh chemicals that can dry out your skin and keep you from getting a close shave. Not only does coconut oil provide enough slip to get a close shave, it’ll actually moisturize your skin as you go. Coconut oil’s antibacterial properties also mean that you won’t have to worry if you get nicked.