I call coconut oil a healing panacea. It's amazing what it's done for me so far & I've only been using it for a short time (about 2 wks).
I use organic unrefined virgin coconut oil from local healthfood stores. So far I've tried Nutiva brand but I like La Tourangelle brand much better. Nutiva feels greasier & takes much longer to absorb. It also has a stronger coconut scent, which smells great, but for me lingering scents become cloying. La Tourangelle absorbs into my skin far more quickly like a cream would & feels divinely soft. I don't know why the difference, but I perceive it.
Coconut oil on my face has transformed my hyper-oily, irritable, ruddy, acne-prone skin into normal, glowing, soft skin. Now that my pores have a break from putting out so much sebum, they actually look smaller. My complexion is clear & smooth & it doesn't break out. I haven't had fresh problem-free skin like this since before puberty (I'm 37 now). Frankly, it's really remarkable how adding healthy oil on top of oily skin causes it to normalize its oil production. My face is no longer oily & it's also not dry. I spent a small fortune on tons of skincare products over the years trying to control the oil. Now all it takes is a $5 jar from the healthfood store that will likey last a year if not more.
My skincare is now pared down to 4 products: organic foaming cleanser (Oliva), an anti-aging serum (like Estee Lauder ANR or something w/plant stem cells), a little coconut oil, & a strong glycolic acid cream or lotion (exfoliation is still necessary for my thick, crusty skin).
I also use coconut oil on my feet at night before bed (sometimes covered w/socks but not always) & all over my body after showering & shaving. In the morning my legs & arms feel moisturized & baby soft.
For haircare, I apply coconut oil to dry hair under a shower cap for 1-2 hrs before showering. My hair is bleach highlighted & chemical-processed, but the coconut oil has strengthened my compromised hair & softened all the crunch out of the ends. I do this oil pre-treatment only once a week because the softening effects are durable & longterm through multiple showers. My hair feels like healthy virgin hair that's never been damaged. Again, I've spent small fortunes on haircare products to repair chemical-damaged hair, including $100 on Pureology Nanoworks shampoo & conditioner set (not impressive enough to continue buying, & the perfumey fragrance was way too strong for me). None of them worked like coconut oil.
I discovered coconut oil to begin with because I burned out (chronic stress) & got sick, so I use the oil in my diet for internal nutrition & digestive support. The lauric acid in it is anti-microbial, the caprylic acid in it kills fungus (like yeast overgrowth), & the medium chain fatty acids it contains provide energy & promote fat burning. I read books about all the kinds of ways this oil feeds & protects the body's cells, both inside & out.
The only ONE single regret I have about coconut oil is that I didn't learn about it sooner. This product could have enhanced so many years of my life. Now I'm doing coconut-everything: soaps, cleansers, lipbalm, coconut milk, & coconut flour (I'm currently eating low-carb, which works well for me). I'm happy to at least know about it now rather than never finding out. Just a short time using this oil has produced an amazing WOW. It promotes health & helps the body heal itself inside & out.
UPDT 11/18/13 -
So I'm 41 now & I haven't used coconut oil on my skin for a few yrs, ever since my skin went dry all over (as well as developed a whole soup of unexpetedly early troublesome peri-menopausal symptoms). My skin got really dry & coconut oil wasn't helping it...neither was maracuja oil, which I had also liked...finally, neither were argan oil nor CeraVe cream nor Korres body butter (at least not in dry winter weather). Ultimately, I found that hyaluronic acid was very soothing & quenching, & nothing relieved my unpleasant skin decline until I added topical estrogen (I like Life-Flo BiEstro-Care cream). I also like monoi oil (which is coconut oil steeped w/exotic Tiare gardenias, a prized traditional Tahitian beauty treatment that smells divine) but I prefer to use it only in summer - it's light & aborbs into the skin quickly (especially the Nars Body Glow II oil).
I used to be such an unabating oil slick all my life, & now I'm the Sahara desert. I never thought I'd ever wish to have my oil back! I still use coconut oil in my diet (for cooking & also add to my daily coffee), but I worry that topical coconut oil might further dry out my skin, so I haven't tried since my oily days. I'm desperately in need of some sebum...my friend suggested I try jojoba oil, which is purported to be most similar human sebum, so I'll test out that option. I still believe in & highly value coconut oil - it's magnificent.
UPDATE: after using this on and off for a while, i just think my skin is extremely dry for this to be that effective. it works very well if you use it everyday but i just dont have the time to wait for it to soak in. SO i am now using baby oil which has turned my skin into silk=) BUT note i have tried this for OCM and it works wonderfully, calms my skin down so much and makes my face glow!
so i have like these awful bumps on the back of my arms and have been on a relentless pursuit to find something to get rid of them. the technical name for these bumps is "keratosis pilaris" but heck who cares, i think its more like permanent goosebumps. anywho, totes did some research and experimented with creams/lotions but nothing has come close to what coconut oil has done. it literally got rid of the bumpies and redness overnight!!! i just slather it all over after a shower, and sloshily walk around waiting for it to dry. then just slap on my pjs and when i wake up my skin feels so delectable! there is a bit of a downisde though, because its winter in oz i have noticed that it tends to dry my skin out for some reason. did anyone else have this problem?? and the fact that it is greasy and hard to use doesn't really help. BUT overall i think this has saved my skin!!! love it!
I tried using this on my body (thank god not on my face) and it caused me to get tons of red spots (acne?). It clogged my pores like crazy. My boyfriend had the same exact experience.
I'm bummed about this, because it smells good and, apart from the bumps, left my skin super-smooth.
The search for the perfect moisturizer for super dry, super sensitive skin continues. . .
Last week, I spent five days out west ( Nevada, Arizona, California ). Like some visitors, I underestimated the use of sunscreen and moisturizer ( my bad ). Yep, I packed both, but apparently didn't use enough. I arrived home with extremely dry, parched skin. I had read the reviews on here about coconut oil, and was impressed with some of the results. I tried it and it has help 100% with my rough cheeks, chin and forehead. I may not use this all the time, but be sure it will go in my suitcase the next trip out west. A++
I like! As an avid fan of face and body oils - I decided to try this. I use crisco on my face, and hair, and I think it does a wonderful job. It keeps my ends in shape and keeps my skin hydrated, healthy, less oily, and pimple free. BUT crisco kinda smells like french fries and its a really really heavy oil. Its cottonseed and soybean oil. So I was at my local supermarket and came across a huge tub of coconut oil. I bought it thinking it would be perfect for summer since its consistency is lighter, and plus the coconut smell! Its a solid and melts on contact, whereas crisco does not. The only thing I was disappointed in is that it doesn't smell like coconut - or anything at all - which is a good thing, but I really wished it smelled like coconut.
I slathered my hair in it last night, and I noticed my hair seemed to drink it up. I washed it out in the morning with 2 washes. It seemed to wash out very easily, and I probably could have gotten away with washing it just once, but I did twice just in case. I have fine, thin hair, and today my hair is noticeably bouncier than usual. Usually after I blowdry, my hair is a frizzy mess, but today I didn't even need to straighten. I really like this stuff, and I will probably use it everyday at least on my ends.
I LOVE IT. I have dry skin, so when my skin is really dry I use some coconut oil. I had some red patches on my skin and they are gone after using it. I tried using it in my hair and that was a big mistake, my hair was all greasy, so i do not reconment that, but to the skin its AMAZING! xD
I'm a huge fan of coconut oil. I use it everywhere. All over my body, my lips, a tiny bit on the ends of my hair. Lots of uses. It smells great but doesn't cause any irritation like products with artificial scents might. Never breaks me out and it does amazing things for my hair. If I could only take one beauty aid to a desert island this would probably be it!
I get my coconut oil in a plastic screw top tub. When it's in solid form its fine but when it melts it gets a bit messy. My climate is quite cool so its okay but I travelled to Australia with it and as soon as I entered the country my coconut oil melted and stayed in liquid form unless I put it in the fridge. It wasn't a huge deal though since it's amazing uses make it all worth it. I use it solely as an eye make up remover (and sometimes for emergency lip balm or moisturiser if I haven't got any on hand). I use a cotton pad, scrape a bit out of the tub, hold it onto my eye for 10 seconds and voila! EVERYTHING including waterproof products wipe off without tugging and excessive wiping! I LOVE IT and this is coming from a girl that wears full eye make up everyday and used to religiously only use Lancome Bi Facil! I thought I'd never find anything that worked as good as Bi Facil until I discovered coconut oil, and soo incredibly cheap it is so worth it! Of course I follow with another cleanser to clean off the oil and rest of my face.
This stuff is amazing.
So many uses and you get so much for such a good price.
I melt it down and use it in my hair masques.
I mix it in with my body lotion (especially in the winter) for extra hydrated baby soft skin.
After washing my face (when my face is still wet) I put a little in my hands and put it all over my face and pat my face dry. My skin is so soft the next morning and not one breakout.
I also have naturally curly dry hair. When I wear my hair natural I put a little coconut oil in my hands and scrunch my curls and they come out beautiful, soft and defined.
The list goes on and on for this god send. Definitely a good buy.
As all the comments verify below this product has so many uses!! I love using it on dry skin patches or after I have shaved my legs. It smells soooo good too, it reminds me of the summer. I will try on my hair like some other posters have suggested and update!