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Best coconut oil for skin and hair: Moisturise, whiten teeth and remove makeup

Jade Vincent
30 Jan 2019
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Coconut oil is a big deal in the beauty industry, but which one is best for you?

Coconuts aren’t just for pina coladas. Coconut oil has been used cosmetically for centuries and there are many benefits to using it in its raw, organic form. The oil is extracted from raw coconuts and it can work wonders with dehydrated skin, dry locks and stained teeth.

Tired of processed skincare and bodycare products? Coconut oil is a multipurpose miracle product that’s ultra-nourishing and antibacterial. It’s also completely natural and vegan.Yet has only started making waves in the beauty industry recently.

But not all coconut oils are created equal. Below, we’ve gone into a little detail about different types of oil and which ones might work best for you. So, if you want to find out if coconut oil is a fad or fab, keep on reading.

How to buy the best coconut oil for you

What can I use coconut oil for?

There’s no one way to use coconut oil: moisturise dehydrated skin, hydrate dry hair, remove makeup, whiten stained teeth, improve oral hygiene – the list goes on. It’s even suitable to use on babies as it’s super gentle and nourishing on their delicate skin.

Coconut oil is great for cooking with, too. Use it to fry, roast and bake – and it’s a fantastic vegan alternative to butter. Many speculate about it’s impact on our health, but like most things, it’s fine when consumed as part of a balanced diet. For a comprehensive list of the best coconut oils for cooking, click here. 

What are the types of coconut oil?

Whatever you intend to use the coconut oil for, it’s important to choose the right type. The first step is deciding between unrefined, often called virgin or extra virgin, and refined. Refined coconut oils are bleached to remove their original colour and scent, compared to unrefined coconut oils that are left in their most natural state after extraction.

Healthy fats, nutrients and vitamins are often stripped from refined oils during processing. These all work wonders for your body and skin, so to really get the most out of using the oil in your beauty routine, the unrefined types are best.

Buying cosmetic or cooking-grade coconut oil may be another factor you’ll want to consider. Cooking-grade coconut oil is produced at a higher standard and is safe to ingest, while cosmetic-grade coconut oils sometimes contain other ingredients and perfumes. 

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Best coconut oils to buy

1. Vita Coco Coconut Oil: Best coconut oil for your skin

Price: £6.99 (250ml) | Buy now from Boots

Sometimes processed moisturisers can do more harm than good for dry skin. For a natural and gentle alternative, coconut oil is the perfect fit. It’s high in ultra-nourishing vitamin E and amino acids, as well as lauric and caprylic acids, which work to protect and maintain the moisture levels in the skin.

Our pick of the best? The Vita Coco Coconut Oil is fantastic to use as a body moisturiser. The extra virgin (unrefined) oil is 100% raw and cold-pressed from organic coconuts to preserve the natural nutrients and vitamins. It’s cooking-grade coconut oil, so feel free to add to recipes. We like to apply the oil straight after a shower and find that the formula melts almost immediately and feels lightweight and non-greasy on the skin. You can also use Vita Coco as a hand cream, nail and cuticle butter or lip balm. 

While ideal for applying to your body, use coconut oil on your face with caution. Extremely dry skin may benefit but coconut oil is comedogenic, which means it can clog pores and cause acne and blackheads. We’d advise against using on oily or acne-prone skin types.

Buy now from Boots


2. Nutiva Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil: Best coconut oil for hair

Price: £11.09 (444ml) | Buy now from Amazon

Nourishing, thick and balmy coconut oil can be used on all hair types, but it really works best with long, curly textures that tend to dry out.

Use the Nutiva Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil as a hair serum to hydrate dry ends and tame flyaways or as a deep-conditioning hair mask to nourish locks that need a little extra attention. The Nutiva coconut oil is cold-pressed, organic and naturally packed full of acids and antioxidants that will penetrate deep into hair follicles. With a strong aroma of coconut, you’ll never want to wash the mask from your hair.

For best results, apply two to three tablespoons to thick hair (or one to two tablespoons for thinner hair), paying special attention to the lengths and ends. Cover the hair with a shower cap and leave overnight. In the morning, you’ll wake to super soft and swishy hair. Just make sure to use a deep-cleaning shampoo, and maybe even wash twice to make sure all the product is removed.

Buy now from Amazon


3. Lucy Bee Coconut Oil: Best coconut oil for oil pulling and teeth whitening

Price: £11 (500ml) | Buy now from Amazon

Oil pulling can be a natural and gentle way to improve oral health, freshen breath and whiten teeth. Like a detox for your mouth, using coconut oil can give you a brighter and healthier-looking smile as it removes the bad bacteria and plaque that naturally build up. Thanks to the oil’s high concentration of lauric acid, toxins are cleared without irritating the teeth or gums.

The Lucy Bee Extra Virgin Coconut Oil is a fantastic option for oil pulling. The coconuts are harvested from the Philippines and cold-pressed to maintain a beautifully rich taste and aroma, which is perfect for oil pulling. The company cares for the environment, too, as it refuses to use monkeys to collect coconuts and the oil comes in a fully recyclable jar. The food-grade coconut oil is safe to ingest, Fair Trade and non-GMO.

Simply heat one to two teaspoons of coconut oil and swish around your teeth like a mouthwash for 20 minutes. That’s plenty long enough for the coconut oil to “pull” any toxins from your mouth.

Buy now from Amazon


4. KIKI Health Organic Coconut Oil: Best coconut oil for removing makeup

Price: £6.90 (500ml) | Buy now from Look Fantastic

Some makeup removers feel like they’re stripping the skin, leaving your face feeling uncomfortably tight and dry. Coconut oil quickly melts away stubborn makeup such as waterproof mascara and long-wearing foundation, while hydrating and caring for your skin. Plus, it’s antibacterial, antifungal and anti-inflammatory.

The Kiki Health Organic Coconut Oil has a pure, unrefined formula that’s suited to cleansing and removing makeup. Cold-pressed, like many others in the list, the Kiki Health oil has preserved many key nutrients that will soften, hydrate and detoxify your skin. Similar in texture to a balm cleanser, the oil is solid at first but soon melts into a liquid once applied.

For best results, apply a pea-sized amount over dry skin – it’s gentle enough to use over your eyes, too. Then rinse your face with warm water and a flannel or muslin cloth, while taking care to thoroughly remove all traces of the coconut oil. To be sure the coconut oil has properly been removed, we’d recommend washing your face again with a cleanser that’s suited to your skin type.

Buy now from Look Fantastic


5. Kokoso Baby Coconut Oil: Best coconut oil for babies

Price: £7.49 (186g) | Buy now from Boots

Has your little one got dry skin? Nappy rash? The Kokoso Baby coconut oil has been specially formulated by dermatologists to treat children’s dry and irritated skin. Not only is the coconut oil great at nourishing the skin, but it can be used as a massage oil or a bottom balm after changing their nappy. It’s suitable for newborns and upwards and has a lightweight texture that’s easily absorbed by babies skin.

The 100% coconut oil is raw, organic and unrefined, so you can be sure that no nasties have made their way into each pot. Naturally, you’ll want to be assured that using coconut oil on your little one won’t do them any harm - after all, your baby’s skin is delicate. To be on the safe side, we’d apply a small amount of coconut oil to your child’s skin as a test.

Buy now from Boots

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