Is coconut oil a beauty miracle? 11 coconut products for hair and skin

They smell great, and work even better.
by Donna Freydkin / / Source: TODAY
coconut hair skincare beauty oil cream lotion
Getty Images / dermstore

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What kale was to superfood junkies, coconut oil has become to beauty buffs.

You can't enter a store without bumping into balms, oils and creams featuring the ingredient, and smelling that beachy scent. And, there are so many uses for it.

First, the basics: Coconut oil is extracted from raw coconuts or dried coconut kernels. It's been found to be an effective moisturizer and, it can be a great (and cheap) way to smooth hair, reduce frizz and tame flyaways.

"But is it truly the miracle ingredient capable of curing every skin woe? No," said Dr. Shereene Idriss, a New York-based dermatologist at Union Square Laser Dermatology. "Coconut oil is a pure oil which makes it act more like a wax, therefore making it extremely comedogenic and occlusive."

If you have particularly oily skin, maybe coconut products aren't for you.

"It will more than likely clog your pores, leading to inflammation and breakouts. It is therefore not for everyone, and should be approached with caution," Idriss added.

But, for some of us, coconut products work wonders.

"As a moisturizer, coconut oil has superior properties as a natural ingredient. We are also seeing more facial cleansers and body washes replacing harsh sulfates with gentle coconut cleansers that clean the skin without stripping it of its natural lipids," said Dr. Kavita Mariwalla, a dermatologist based in Long Island, New York. "In hair products, coconut oil will be particularly hydrating. By hydrating the cuticle of hair, it has less tendency to split and be dry. This gives it a natural shine."

Here are some of our go-to, tried-and-true coconut creams, oils and lotions.

1. Archipelago Coconut Lotion, $21, Amazon

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This blend of coconut oil and jojoba is skin care heaven.

This product is also available from Dermstore for $25.

2. Viva Naturals Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, $10, Amazon

With a captivating scent reminiscent of the beach, this pure coconut oil keeps your face, hair and legs soft and moisturized with no greasiness. Then, you can even throw it in a pan for cooking.

You can also pick this up at Walmart for $16.

3. Eminence Organic Skin Care Coconut Age Corrective Moisturizer, $58, Dermstore

This blend of coconut oil and coconut water is best for normal to dry skin types.

This is also sold at Dermstore, for $58.

4. Herbivore Botanicals Coco Rose Coconut Oil Body Polish, $36, Dermstore

Exfoliate gently with this concoction made of coconut oil and Moroccan rose. It's great for perking up in a morning shower.

You can also scoop this up at Nordstrom and Sephora.

5. One Love Organics Skin Dew Coconut Water Cream, $56, Dermstore

This is one of my personal heroes. It's very moisturizing and highly absorbent, leaving your face glowing and ... well ... dewy.

6. Sun Bum Coconut Lip Balm, $5, Amazon

My lips are severely chapped year-round. During a recent beach vacation, this balm saved them. Bonus: It smells incredible and provides SPF 30 sun protection, which is the minimum most dermatologists recommend.

The balm is also available at Ulta and Dermstore for $4.

7. The Body Shop Coconut Body Mist, $13, Ulta

When it's hot outside, heavy perfumes can be cloying. So try this light, bright tropical mist instead.

8. Sister & Co Coconut Oil, $12, Asos

You can use this cold-pressed oil for everything: cleaning your face, hydrating it and reveling in its exquisite scent.

9. Savor Beauty Coconut Jasmine Pre-Cleanse Oil, $32, Nordstrom

This luxurious oil removes makeup gently.

It's also sold at Neiman Marcus for $32.

10. Kora Organics Noni Glow Body Balm, $34, Sephora

Heads, shoulders, knees and toes ... this helps soothe dry spots and patches all over.

11. Cocokind Organic Skin Butter, $12, Amazon

Reach for this butter when skin feels particularly dry and itchy.

We also love the brand's Organic Matcha Face Moisturizer, sold at Thrive Market.

More smart beauty buys:

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