Longing for the beach? I know I am, especially after testing out all these coconut-y products. But the smell of coconut does a lot more than trigger thoughts of daiquiris and beachside resorts. Read on, and you’ll be surprised to learn about all its beauty-full benefits!
Coconut for the skin
Health coach and Some Kind of Runderful writer Kimberly A. Daly schooled me on coconut oil, telling me that it’s made up of fatty acids that mimic those naturally produced by your body. “Your skin is able to easily drink it up without the risk of clogged pores,” Daly says, “and once penetrated, the lipids get to work repairing tissue and encouraging dead cells to turn over, making skin smoother and softer.”
1. Coconut Body Butter (on sale for $10; regularly $20) at The Body Shop
You probably don’t want to smell like a walking coconut cream pie all day. That’s why you’ll appreciate that this body butter starts off smelling like coconut but dissipates quickly, leaving behind a subtle scent—and silky-smooth skin.
2. Shea Moisture Coconut Hibiscus Body Wash ($11.15) at Soap.com
This nourishing body wash is the perfect cleanser for dry skin. The formula smells wonderful and leaves the body feeling cleansed, refreshed and soft.
3. Rituals Wai Wang Body Cream Scrub ($23.79) at Bath & Unwind
Slough off those dead surface cells, increase circulation and hydrate the skin with superfine Chinese bamboo grains, white lotus, yi yi ren and coconut. Your skin will feel brand-new after this luxe, spa-like treatment!
4. Purify Coconut Water Cleansing Wipes ($6) at Pacifica
Perfect for the gym or travel, these cooling, pre-moistened coconut water–cleansing wipes remove dirt and debris without drying the skin. Note: They won’t remove waterproof mascara.
5. Coola Sport Liplux SPF 15 ($12) at SkinStore
Loaded with coconut oil and fruit butters, this ultra-nourishing, water-resistant balm will keep lips baby-soft (even in harsh conditions) while shielding them from the sun’s rays.
6. Primal Pit Paste ($8.95 or $10.95) at PrimalPitPaste.com
There’s even coconut for your pits! Just a dab of Pit Paste helps suck up moisture and odor all day with a combo of coconut oil, shea butter, baking soda and arrowroot powder. Available in unscented, thyme and lemongrass, lavender or creamsicle (for the younger set). And if you can’t get with the paste, there’s also a stick for $2 more.
Coconut for the hair
If you’ve got dry, brittle hair, you’ll be happy to know that coconut oil is a great reparative treatment. It conditions your hair, adds shine and even fights dandruff. “Coconut is not only highly nutritious and rich in fiber, vitamins and minerals, it also functions as a protective antioxidant,” says Dr. David Bank, a board-certified dermatologist and director of The Center for Dermatology, Cosmetic & Laser Surgery. “It promotes healthy-looking hair, helping to soften the hair and relieve dryness and flaking in the scalp.”
1. Curls Blissful Lengths Kukui Nut Elixir ($11.95) at Amazon
This lovely smelling treatment is a blend of natural oils like organic grape seed, kukui nut and coconut. When massaged into the scalp, the Elixir encourages healthy hair growth.
2. Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Style Milk ($10.99) at Ulta
With coconut, silk proteins and neem oil, this styling milk nourishes and defrizzes the hair while also providing excellent curl control with no buildup or crunch. It smells a bit like a piña colada when applied, which is fun, but the scent vanishes fairly quickly, so you don’t smell like an island bar all day!
3. Dark and Lovely Super Softening Hair Butter ($8.99) at Walgreens
This dense hair butter is for extra-thirsty hair and contains coconut, honey and guarana root to drench even the driest, thickest locks with non-greasy moisture.
4. Crème of Nature Straight From Eden ($11.99) at Luxe Beauty Supply
This recently launched straightening system is plant-derived, so it won’t damage the hair like other relaxers do. It’s available in two formulas for different hair types and uses coconut and avocado to help protect the hair from the straightening process.
Coconut for everything else
Did you know that extra-virgin coconut oil right out the tub is a cult favorite beauty secret? Many enthusiasts use it in the kitchen to replace fats like butter, but it’s also a massage oil for sore muscles, a balm for dry lips, a face cleanser, makeup remover, shave oil and even a teeth cleaner!
I’ve tried the Carrington Farms Extra Virgin Coconut Oil ($5.99 at LuckyVitamin.com) for a number of these purposes, and I have to say it’s pretty fabulous!
The Body Shop: Get free shipping on $50 or more.
Soap.com: Take 20% off your first order, plus get free shipping on $25 or more.
Pacifica: Score a free Lip Quench with orders of $25 or more.
SkinStore: Get 20% off your purchase.
Ulta: Save $3.50 off $10 or more.
LuckyVitamin.com: Enjoy free shipping on $49 or more.