I Traded All My Lotion For Coconut Oil But Was Not Prepared For The Effect On My Body

by Rebecca Endicott
Becca is a writer and aspirational dog owner living in NYC.

If you love reading about the next big superfood, you’ve probably heard some whispers about using coconut oil for skin, hair, and just about everything else.

Coconut oil has received a lot of press lately, as the great healthy fat for cooking and mixing into meals.

Meanwhile, the superfood has made an equally big splash in the beauty world. Lots of people use coconut oil as a hair product these days.

Some people have even dabbled in using coconut oil on their dogs!

For some time, people who obsess over the latest face creams and hair care products have known the benefits coconut oil can have on one’s skin and complexion.

Lots of folks swear up and down that coconut oil will clear your pimples, zap your wrinkles, and give you an all-around glow.

Still, most of the time, ‘super’ products aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. Could using coconut oil for skin really make that big of a difference?

I decided to put it to the test, and committed to using nothing but coconut oil to moisturize my face for one whole week.

I’ll be the first to admit it; I was really surprised by what happened to my skin.

Is Coconut Oil Good For Your Skin?

coconut oil for skin
Rebecca Endicott for LittleThings

First things first, I set out to do some research on coconut oil and what I would be getting myself into.

There are a lot of conflicting opinions out there about coconut oil.

Into The Gloss, a well-regarded beauty website, lists dozens of beautiful people who swear by coconut oil for all of their face cream needs.

The Los Angeles Times concurs, noting that coconut oil both hydrates and helps kill off bacteria.

On the other hand, coconut oil is fairly comedogenic, which means that it’s pretty good at blocking pores, according to

Rebecca Endicott for LittleThings

Coconut oil for skin might get mixed reviews, but I knew I was going to give it a shot, because its many benefits are well documented.

According to Vogue, coconut oil contains a lot of lauric and caprylic acid. These ingredients are known for helping to reduce redness and inflammation, evening out skin tones and helping to squash breakouts.

Beyond that, it’s known for being an excellent moisturizer that sinks in quickly.

If you decide to use coconut oil as a beauty product, make sure to use cold-pressed, virgin, organic coconut oil. That way, you’ll avoid slathering all sorts of unknown preservatives onto your skin.

Virgin coconut oil keeps really well, and lasts pretty much indefinitely in the fridge.

How To Use Coconut Oil For Skin

better your skin with coconut oil
Rebecca Endicott for LittleThings

Using coconut oil on your skin is a fairly simple process, but it depends how you want to use it.

Some people use coconut oil to remove makeup. The slick oil is great at picking up even the most stubborn eye makeup and foundation.

If you use it as a makeup remover, you can follow up with ordinary face wash and moisturizer.

Other folks smooth the oil on as a moisturizer after they’re done washing up, and let it simply sink into the skin.

Some people let the oil serve as makeup remover, face wash, and moisturizer — and double-down by using it as body moisturizer, too.

Why I Wanted To Try Putting Coconut Oil On My Skin

putting coconut oil on skin
Rebecca Endicott for LittleThings

I have had problem-skin my whole life. As a preteen and teenager, I suffered from bad cystic acne breakouts that left my skin sore and very red.

As an adult, I mostly grew out of the bad skin, though I still dealt with occasional hormonal breakouts.

But things really got exciting on the skin front when I switched a medication in 2017. The new medication worked perfectly for me, but with one major side effect: my skin was breaking out as badly as it ever did during my teen years.

Plenty of experience had taught me to cover up my breakups pretty effectively. But under my face of makeup, the situation was getting dire.

Day 1

coconut oil experience
Rebecca Endicott for LittleThings

When I committed to the coconut oil experience, I decided that I was going to go all-in.

I was going to use coconut oil as my face wash, my makeup remover, and as a whole body moisturizer.

I kept the jar in my shower, and on the third day, when I realized I need to shave my legs, I decided to use it as shaving cream, too.

One the first day, I wasn’t sure what to expect. After my shower, I dipped a clean washcloth straight into the jar (coconut oil is solid at room temperature, but melts into a liquid in a steamy bathroom) and then glopped the oil straight onto my eyelids to remove any leftover mascara.

I rubbed my makeup off, then continue daubing the oil over my face, before going to rinse. Oil repels water, so it didn’t go particularly well.

I decided to scrub off the oil with my washcloth and just put my ordinary moisturizer on top — I was very worried my skin was going to rebel.

I also completely forget to use the oil as a body moisturizer, and didn’t remember until I had already smoothed on my ordinary cream. I resolved to do better the next day.

Day 2

coconut oil experiment
Rebecca Endicott for LittleThings

On the second day of the experiment, I got my act together. I noodled around on the internet until I saw that a couple of people had recommended a more effective approach for using coconut oil for skin. Armed with my new knowledge, I finally figured out a system that worked for me.

I took my nightly shower, and applied the coconut oil to my body immediately after turning the water off, without drying off.

Then, I wrapped up in the towel to let the oil absorb for a bit.

Meanwhile, I turned to my face. I used a clean washcloth and just a dab of oil to take off my makeup.

Next, I rinsed my face with water and just a tiny bit of my ordinary face wash. (I know, I know!)

Lastly, I poured a little pool of oil, smaller than a dime, into my hand, and spread it onto my face. I focused on putting the oil on my dry cheeks, and put hardly any on my oily forehead.

My skin was still looking pretty rough, but I hoped that things would start to turn around soon.

Day 3

<u>Day 3</u>
Rebecca Endicott for LittleThings

The third day, things had started to turn around, but not as much as I had hoped.

I tried to ignore my still-inflamed skin, and focused on my latest, cool, new coconut oil innovation: I could use it to shave my legs!

I applied a little bit of oil before getting into the shower, and discovered it didn’t wash off too quickly, thanks to its water-repellent properties.

I smoothed more oil on my legs in the shower, and shaved my legs, figuring that the slick oil would work just like shaving cream.

In the end, I think it actually worked better than shaving cream: My legs ended up smooth, and no cuts or ingrown hairs appeared during the making of this experiment. Success!

Day 4

treatment for sunburn
Rebecca Endicott for LittleThings

By Day 4, my skin was actually looking a lot better, but you wouldn’t know it to look at my face!

I have fair skin, and I managed to get a bit sunburned on the very first nice day of spring. My skin was looking quite pink, but it also seemed to be clearing up, a lot.

My notoriously dry cheeks were positively glowing. I didn’t experience any bad breakouts in my T-zone from the extra oil. And I saw some hormonal breakouts around my chin totally disappear.

Still, I was pink like a boiled shrimp, so it was hard to appreciate. Fortunately, coconut oil is also a home remedy for sunburn!

Day 5

coconut oil harmony
Rebecca Endicott for LittleThings

By Day 5, I was a coconut convert.

My skin on my face was the clearest it had been in weeks, and my whole body seemed to be appreciating the extra moisture. Even the redness seemed to be subdued.

I may have to give some credit to the sun I got the day before, since sunshine is a well-known folk remedy for clearing up problem-skin.

I decided to believe that the coconut oil and the sunshine worked together in magical harmony to help banish my pimples.

That said, I did notice that I had a few more blackheads than I normally do, especially in the naturally oily skin over my temples.

Day 6

<u>Day 6</u>
Rebecca Endicott for LittleThings

Day 6 was more of the same. After deciding that coconut oil was a miracle cure, I decided to go to work without makeup, throwing caution to the wind!

It felt good, and very freeing to spend my day without worrying once about smudging my concealer or eyeliner, but by the time I got home, trouble was brewing.

A few of those irritating blackheads on my temple were red and inflamed, clearly thinking about turning into a full-blown breakout.

I resisted the urge to pick, and continued with the regime, though I definitely had a pang of regret as I slathered a fresh coat of greasy oil over the problematic area.

Day 7

coconut oil reduces pimples
Rebecca Endicott for LittleThings

The final day, I woke up in the morning and discovered that I had been rewarded for resisting the urge to pick at my skin.

The threatening breakout at my temple had miraculously disappeared! All that was left was a smidge of redness and a slightly bumpy texture.

Overall, my skin was clear as can be, and was visibly different from how it appeared at the beginning of the week.

Beyond the obvious disappearance of pimples, I discovered that my skin felt smoother to the touch.

It was a huge improvement, and enough to convince me that coconut oil is the fairy-godmother beauty product I never knew I was missing.

So, is coconut oil right for you?

Maybe! Everyone has different skin, and everyone will react differently to this oil.

To give it a shot, try applying coconut oil to just one part of your face, or try it as a makeup remover first. If you like the results, you can keep trying it for more and more uses!

It’s also worth noting that people with tree nut allergies should not use coconut oil, because it may trigger a reaction.

Also, a piece of advice: If you try this experiment, keep your coconut oil in the fridge. It keeps much better that way.

Do you think you’ll give coconut oil for skin a try?

If so, be sure to SHARE for everyone who loves out-of-the-box beauty treatments!