The Benefits of Coconut Oil in Your Beauty Routine

Coconut Oil | Totalbeauty.comThe fashion world has "It" models, the health world has trendy, hard to pronounce superfoods ("ah-sah-EE" anyone?), and the beauty world has miracle oils. Moroccan and argan oils had their moment of glory, but they're old news now. Coconut oil is next in line for 15 minutes of fame -- it is to beauty what Cara Delevingne is to fashion. Everywhere you look, coconut oil is being flogged as the next best thing. It removes makeup! You can shave with it! It'll whiten your teeth! It even came up in our 5 Questions interviews with both Giada De Laurentiis and Miranda Kerr, surrounded with the words "love" and "favorite."

Should everyone run to the store and buy gallons of it? Before you fall for all of the hype, see how coconut oil fared in our rigorous road test. We dropped $20 for a big jar of Nutiva Coconut Oil (organic, extra virgin, and cold-pressed) and shared it around the office to find out if coconut oil lives up to its reputation as the new "it" oil for hair, skin, nails and teeth.

Coconut Oil | Totalbeauty.comCoconut oil as...a makeup remover:

"Does coconut oil work as a makeup remover? Technically yes, but I wouldn't recommend it. I applied a little to a cotton ball and swiped it across my eyes, and it did remove most (but not all) of my mascara and concealer. However, it also seeped into my eyes. When I was reading in bed later, I would occasionally blink and wind up with a film blurring my vision -- not ideal. If you're really in a pinch and coconut oil is all you have to wipe away your mascara, you could use it. I'd just be very careful not to get it in your eyes."

-Sarah, Senior Editor

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Coconut oil as...a frizz fighter:

"I have fine hair, so I was extremely conservative with my coconut oil application. I put 3 drops in my palm, rubbed my hands together, and smoothed away a few flyways. While I didn't notice any major frizz-fighting benefits, the coconut oil made my hair soft, and my ends looked less fried. I'll stick with something more potent for frizz fighting (not that any product stands a chance in the 100-degree, 95-percent humidity heatwave we're having in New York City right now), but I'm loving the coconut oil as a dry-end treatment."

-Dawn, NYC Beauty Editor

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Coconut oil as...a shaving cream:

"I am the self-professed anti shaving cream girl from the nasty beauty habits article. Regular shaving cream doesn't moisturize as much as I need it to, so completely dropped it from my shaving routine. Of course I was chosen to try coconut oil as a shaving cream. After showering, I rubbed each of my legs with a tablespoon of coconut oil. My legs instantly felt moisturized and I didn't even have to apply lotion after I shaved. I got an incredibly smooth and clean shave from using coconut oil, and even days later, my legs still look shiny and smooth. The coconut oil worked not only as a shaving cream (better, actually), but also as a deep moisturizer -- exactly what a shaving product should do. I will absolutely use coconut oil to shave with from now on."

-Claire, Editorial Intern

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Coconut Oil as...a night cream:

"Despite the fact that I pretty much loathe the smell of coconut, I have to say using it as a night cream was surprisingly rejuvenating. I had to keep it solid in the fridge, so after a little heating, it went on super smooth all over my face. All I needed was a little and my face felt like it was getting pampered all night long. Compared to my usual night serum or cream (depending on the day), it was a bit oily for my liking by the morning. But other than that, I'd definitely try it out again!"

-Tiffanie, Assistant Editor

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Coconut Oil as...a cuticle treatment:

"After using coconut oil on my cuticles a few times, I can confirm that it is an effective cuticle treatment. Of course, I should add a disclaimer that I've never used a regular cuticle treatment before, so I don't have much frame of reference. I should also mention that one shouldn't use coconut oil on one's hands while in the bathroom with the door closed, because one might then find oneself trapped in the bathroom as a result of an inability to turn a doorknob with oily hands. Hypothetically, of course."

-Megan, Production Intern

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Coconut Oil as...a whitening toothpaste

"I was hesitant put oil all over my teeth, but this actually worked surprisingly well! I mixed in a bit of baking soda to build up the texture and began to brush. The coconut oil really polished the surface of my teeth, leaving them pearly, super white (even after morning of coffee and a night of red wine), and with that smooth, post-dentist feeling you can't help but rub your tongue over. My teeth have also been a bit sensitive lately, but when brushing with coconut oil, I didn't feel any of the usual pain that the harsh chemicals in my regular toothpaste make worse. The only problem was the lack of minty freshness. I still felt like I needed to re-brush with my normal foamy toothpaste or rinse with a minty mouthwash for my mouth to feel completely fresh. So, I'm not quite ready to give up my regular toothpaste, but I'll definitely put in polishing sessions with coconut oil if I can remember to pick up peppermint oil to mix into the paste."

-Erica, Assistant Editor

Coconut Oil | Totalbeauty.comCoconut Oil as...a lip balm:

"This definitely works as a lip balm, but it's a little too messy for my taste. I straight up scooped a bit of coconut oil on my finger and applied it to my lips, which probably wasn't the best idea, since it was super gooey and dripped all over my lips. After cleaning it up a bit and rubbing it in, the oil definitely nourished my lips and stayed on after sipping on my green tea frappe. It smells really nice and I would use it once in a while to nourish my lips at home, but while I'm out or on the go I'd stick to my regular lip balm because it's easier to carry around and apply."

-Sophia, Editorial Intern

Coconut Oil | Totalbeauty.comCoconut oil as...a deep conditioner:

"Confession: I am obsessed with coconut oil. Before this road test, I was already a coconut oil junkie, both in my cooking and my beauty routine. So slathering on coconut oil as a deep conditioner is a no brainer for me. I have dry, overly bleached, damaged curls that soak this miracle oil right up ... and surprisingly it doesn't make my hair greasy or gunky. This stuff works wonders if you work it through slightly damp hair (use a dime-sized amount if you have fine or short hair, and a generous handful if you have a massive head of hair like I do), then sit for as long as you can, ideally an hour, before you shampoo and condition your hair. I'd much rather inhale the sweet aroma of coconut oil for an hour to rehydrate my hair than deal with any of those other natural deep conditioners (I'm lookin' at you, mayonnaise)."

-Lila, Editorial Assistant

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