Table of contents[Hide][Show]
I have consumed quite a few jars of coconut oil over the years. Our family has used it in everything from coffee to toothpaste to sunscreen. One of the most popular ways to use it is in skin care and personal care products (or just pure coconut oil). Here are 3 of my favorite coconut oil body lotion recipes and why you should use them!
Skin benefits of coconut oil lotion
Coconut oil (cocos nucifera) is high in saturated fatty acids, which gives it a creamy taste when cooking and baking. It also contains a lot of lauric acid. Our body converts this into monolaurin, a substance that is mildly antimicrobial, antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal when applied topically. Coconut oil also moisturizes, leaves the skin feeling soft and forms a protective barrier on the skin.
Unlike mineral oil and petroleum jelly, coconut oil is a natural lipid emollient. This means that it moisturizes dry skin so that it becomes softer and smoother. Studies also show that it can help damaged skin and infections and speed up wound healing. Being naturally antifungal and wound healing, it can be good for acne prone skin.
Moisturizing lotion for eczema
Some dermatologists recommend using petroleum jelly on eczema patches to create a skin barrier. There are several reasons why I don’t think that’s a good idea! If you are looking for an alternative with natural ingredients, coconut oil is an excellent choice.
A 2008 study compared coconut oil to olive oil for atopic dermatitis (the most common type of eczema). The researchers found that virgin coconut oil helped reduce skin symptoms and fight fungi and viruses on the skin. The majority of people in the coconut oil group had staph bacteria on their skin at the start of the study. After using coconut oil, only 1 of them had the bacteria on their skin.
Who Should Use Coconut Oil?
Coconut oil can be quite magical for the skin. However, it does not work best for all skin types. Some people find it too drying on its own, which is why it works better as part of a blend. If you are prone to oily skin and clogged pores, this can exacerbate the situation.
However, some people love it as a body moisturizer to help with skin hydration. It’s also great for people with eczema and little ones with sensitive skin. While allergies to coconut milk and coconut meat are on the rise, coconut oil allergies still seem to be rare. To be on the safe side, you can always test a small amount of coconut oil on the inside of the wrist and check for any reactions before using coconut oil skin care products.
What goes well with coconut oil?
You can certainly rub pure organic coconut oil from the jar onto your skin. Some people use coconut oil cleansing as part of their skin care routine. I prefer to mix the coconut oil with other skin-friendly ingredients. If you make your own coconut oil lotion (or buy some), here are some nourishing ingredients to consider:
- Cocoa butter
- Vitamin E (an antioxidant)
- Shea butter
- Jojoba seed oil
- Aloe vera
You can even infuse your coconut oil with soothing herbs like lavender, calendula, and chamomile.
Where to buy coconut oil lotion
If you don’t have the time or inclination to make your own DIY coconut oil lotion, there are some good ones you can buy at the store. Be sure to read the label and make sure it doesn’t contain any harsh ingredients! I look for skincare products that are cruelty-free and contain no parabens, sulfates, or phthalates. Even natural products can contain preservatives such as phenoxyethanol, which can be harmful to the skin.
Featuring shea butter and coconut oil, this whipped body butter contains clean ingredients.
Refined vs Unrefined Coconut Oil
So I may have convinced you to try coconut oil on your skin, but which kind? Unrefined or virgin coconut oil is pressed from the fresh coconut meat. Refined coconut oil is made from desiccated coconut and does not have a strong coconut odor. Either will work, but virgin coconut oil is my favorite in skin care recipes.
Some brands of refined coconut oil are more chemically processed than others. Both Tropical Traditions and Nutiva’s refined coconut oil are pressed and deodorized with steam. These are healthier options than the chemically processed, solvent extracted versions!
1. Lotion bars with coconut oil
Coconut oil is naturally solid at lower temperatures (below 76 degrees). This makes it the perfect ingredient for lotion bars. Lotion bars (used on dry skin) combine the nourishing benefits of lotion without the need for a liquid, creating an incredibly moisturizing bar.
These bars are intended for use on dry skin and are best used after a shower on warm skin. I like to make variations of these lotion bars, but sometimes I also make these lotion bar sticks. The stick version is even more portable and keeps your hands from getting messy!
The lotion bar sticks are super simple with only 3 ingredients: coconut oil, beeswax and essential oils. The lotion bars have the same, with the added benefits of shea butter.
View the recipe for lotion bars and lotion bars with coconut oil here.
2. Luxurious homemade lotion
Like the lotion bars above, this recipe doesn’t add any liquid, so it’s incredibly nutritious. And because we don’t add water-based ingredients, it has a much longer shelf life (6-12 months). You can customize it to your preference by adding your favorite essential oils. For a firmer lotion, use more beeswax. For a smoother lotion, use less and add more liquid oil such as almond oil.
Check out the recipe for homemade lotion with coconut oil here.
3. Magnesium Body Butter
Magnesium is something I’ve written a lot about in the past. I make my own magnesium oil, which has been immensely helpful for replenishing lost magnesium. My kids will often use it at night to help them sleep better. Magnesium oil also helped me avoid morning sickness during pregnancy.
Unfortunately, magnesium oil can sting and dry out the skin if you’re deficient.
A simple solution is to make it a magnesium-infused body butter instead. It contains a good dose of magnesium, but also hydrates the skin to prevent it from drying out. My kids prefer this version and often rub this or magnesium oil on their feet.
You can find the recipe for magnesium body butter here.
Do you use coconut oil for skin care? What’s your favorite way to use it? Share below!