Coconut oil is a multipurpose hero ingredient from body care to cooking. For skin care, the natural oil is formulated into many thick salves and creams—but sometimes you just want to go directly to the source and use straight coconut oil. Given you are about to slather it all over your face, hair, and body, you might be thinking: Are there better coconut oil options that I should be using for this specific purpose?
Turns out, yes. If you are using the oil for its beauty benefits (not, say, cooking or home projects), here are some of our favorites—with intel on why it might be the option for you.
Shea Moisture 100% Extra-Virgin Coconut Oil
This classic option is exactly what the name implies: nothing but high-quality, fair-trade extra-virgin coconut oil. (Often, brands will fold in cheaper ingredients, like mineral oils or lesser quality oils, too.) Given it’s just coconut oil, you get all of the goodness it has to offer: It’s rich in vitamin E, an antioxidant that nourishes and protects skin and hair, as well as natural triglycerides to help retain moisture and keep skin smooth.
Dr. Bronner’s Fair Trade & Organic Whole Virgin Coconut Oil
We know we said this list was just for beauty uses, but this one you could use for cooking, too. It just happens to be a great body lotion. Why? It is expeller-pressed from fresh, carefully dried coconut kernels whose brown inner skins have been left on, resulting in a more aromatic oil. Read: it smells great. This will be your best bet if you are normally one to reach for scented lotions or the like. It’s also certified to USDA-standards.
Sephora Collection Multipurpose Oil in Coconut Oil
Sephora’s in-house line has a trio of multipurpose oils at very reasonable prices—there’s hemp, jojoba, and this coconut option. We love the easy-to-use packaging: You simply squirt out your oil rather than having to scoop it out of a jar. It also makes for an easy on-the-go version so you don’t have to lug around a heavy jar.
Palmers Coconut Oil Balm
This uses fair-trade, organic coconut oil, but it’s then blended with a few other natural butters and oils to give it a thicker texture. How thick? Well it’s almost more a solid than liquid. To use it, you flip the jar over, unscrew the top, and pressed mold is attached to the cap. Then you hold the lid and can glide the product on the skin without getting it all over your hands.
The Body Shop Coconut Nourishing Dry Oil
Love the idea of coconut oil but want something lighter? This dry oil is your best bet. A dry oil is simply one that is fast-absorbing and doesn’t carry as much slip (thus, feeling “drier”). They’ve become endlessly popular for those who find other oil options too occlusive.
Herbivore Organics Coconut Body Oil
This is the beauty lover’s coconut oil, as it blends together a few other extracts to make the skin care benefits even greater. For example, it contains orchid extract, a natural humectant that draws moisture to the skin and locks it in, as well as camellia seed, which is rich in omega fatty acids. It’s topped with notes of jasmine for a lovely scent.
Kopari Organic Coconut Melt
This is 100% unrefined, organic coconut oil—that’s pure stuff. The brand notes that it’s derm-tested and safe for sensitive skin. A few ways you can use it: Deep conditioning hair mask pre-shower, drop a dollop in the tub for a nice soak or just all over for a moisturizer.