how to wash your face with coconut oil

Coconut oil has many uses in the kitchen; in cooking in place of unhealthier oils, mixed into hot oatmeal or smoothies, or spread on toast.

You may have seen my previous post about using it as the main ingredient in this DIY deodorant. It also does double duty in the bathroom as cheap and very effective moisturizer, and now…face wash. Who knew?

You are thinking, that can’t be good for my face right? It’s oil! Won’t that make my face oily? Science 101; like fights like, in this case, oil fights oil. I have been using it as a face wash and eye makeup remover for a few months now and my skin has never looked better. I used to get random breakouts, and they have drastically improved since I switched to this do-it-all multi-tasking oil. My skin feels plump and my skin tone is also more even.

How to do it:

  1. wet your face
  2. scoop up a small amount (1/2 tsp.) with your fingers
  3. massage into your face like you would with any other cleanser
  4. rinse off any makeup
  5. wet a washcloth with hot water and place it over your face, leaving it there until it cools (a few seconds)
  6. exfoliate off any excess with the washcloth and you’re done

Following this regimen you will no longer need a toner or a moisturizer either – more money and time saved!

Some other uses for coconut oil:

Shave gel 

Cuticle moisturizer

Powerful hand and foot moisturizer

Random rash remover (anytime the kids get random rashes, I put coconut oil on it)

Hair conditioner

Curly hair definer (I use this on my baby girl all the time)

What do you use coconut oil for? Read the comments below, some of them will surprise you!

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I’d love to live in a world where green juice is on every menu, going barefoot is totally normal, and homes downsize instead of up-size. Plant-based cook and aspiring minimalist, my un-fussy food and minimalist musings have been featured on Mind Body Green, Kris Carr, Happy Herbivore, Mint.com and The Local Beet Chicago, to name a few. When I’m not simplifying busy people’s plates and getting more fresh whole foods into busy folks, you can find me devouring books on food and culture, trying not to fall over doing downward dogs, then finishing my day off with a big glass of organic red wine and a hunk of dark chocolate. I show stressed-out folks how to re-connect with food and un-fuss everything about their cooking + home, so they can enjoy a more experience-rich life.

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49 comments on “how to wash your face with coconut oil
  1. Gillian says:

    I have curly hair and use just a little coconut oil in place of a gel after I’m out of the shower. Works well at taming the frizz and my hair is soft, not sticky and crisp! I focus mostly on the ends so that the top of my head doesn’t get too greasy. I’d say I only use about a pea sized amount. I have thin long hair.
    My husband uses it as well, and he has straight short hair. But I have heard some women with straight hair say it’s too greasy.

    I’ve tried coconut oil as a face moisturizer, and it didn’t work well for me, I look forward to trying it this way! That would be awesome if it worked :) Especially for trips!

    • Thanks for the tips Gillian! I have straight hair and have to be careful where I put coconut oil and how much or I will have flat, greasy hair.

      Instead of using it as a separate moisturizer, as I mention in the post, I wash my face with it, then cover with a warm cloth then rub off the excess. This leaves just enough on my skin that a moisturizer is not needed.

      I do use it as a body moisturizer when traveling or if my skin is extra dry.

  2. Cristina says:

    I love it in my homemade baby wipe solution, cooking, and as a lotion for our dry skin. We use fractionated coconut oil so we don’t smell like pina coladas.

  3. Barbara says:

    I have straight, fine hair and use coconut oil as a pre-wash mask on my hair. I apply to dry hair, about 1 tblspn, and leave for 30 minutes. Then I shampoo as normal. My hair is shiney and full of body. Love this.

    I just started using coconut oil as a face wash and wanted to see how everyone uses it. I am hoping for less wrinkles and sags!

    • Thanks Barbara – I have not tried it as a pre-wash mask. I am going to give it a try. How often do you do this?

      • Barbara says:

        I do this every time I shampoo. Since using the pre-mask method I don’t need to shampoo as often. I use to wash my hair every day, now I’m doing it 2-3 times a week. My hair has body and fullness, and believe me when I say I am amazed I can go that long now between shampoos.

        I’ve read that some people start out doing it before every shampoo and then cut back to once or twice a month. Since my hair was so damaged prior to this, I think I will keep doing it with every shampoo a bit longer.

        One other thing I did notice after about two weeks use. I don’t lose hair when I shampoo now. Use to, before the pre-mask, I would lose hair by the handful when shampooing, not now. I can’t say that it regrows my hair but it keeps what I have!

    • Sara says:

      Hi! My coconut oil
      is hardened. Do i heat it into a liquid before applying to hair? Thanks :D

  4. Hannah says:

    I just tried this method for face-washing and I’m already in love! One jar of coconut oil lives in the kitchen for cooking, another in the bathroom for hair, skin, and now face, and a third is in our bedroom for personal lubricant. Anti-fungal, doesn’t dry out skin- I’d highly recommend it to anyone! In the summer I keep some in the fridge, and when it’s hard, I break it into pea-sized pieces. Before bed I insert one down there to fight against yeast.

  5. Diana says:

    I’ve been using coconut oil as a hair mask & moisturizer & I love it! I’m excited to try it as a face wash. I had one question, do you exfoliate just with the washcloth afterwards?

  6. Jayme says:

    Do you only wash your face at night?

  7. Rachel says:

    I add about 1/2 a tsp to a teaspoon of baking soda to the oil when I want a face scrub instead of just a wash.

  8. Lina says:

    I started using it as body lotion a few months ago, and my skin feels amazing :) I also like to dab it on chapped lips. I’ve been using jojoba oil as a face moisturizer… but maybe I should give coconut oil a try!

  9. kitty says:

    Hi~

    Just wanted to ask about the steps listed above – since I don’t really wear make up do I just leave the oil on then put the hot wash cloth on my face then rinse the oil off?

    • Yes, I still would, or just wash some of it off with water and scrub your face a little with a dry towel while you dry it. I skip the wet towel when I don’t have makeup on and just use the dry towel to exfoliate a little.

  10. Miranda says:

    Looking forward to trying this as a face wash/moisturizer all in one! Thanks for the tip on adding the baking soda for a scrub if needed. I rarely wear makeup but look forward to trying it for makeup removal as well as daily face wash. I despise all the steps involved in other types (cleanser, serums, moisturizers, etc) as well as the ingredients in facial products.
    So, I assume it does not bother the eyes at all?? Anyone with issues of any sensitivity under/around eyes?

  11. Jess says:

    I love doing this! It’s like a mini spa treatment in my own bathroom, especially if I add a drop of essential oil to my washcloth.

    I don’t know if anyone else said this, but I’ll just be the one to say it: coconut oil makes an amazing lubricant. Yum.

  12. veganmiam.com says:

    Coconut oil is versatile, isn’t it?

  13. Allyson says:

    Okay, now that I’m 2 weeks in to your deodorant (with stink free glorious success), I am going to try this too. I do wear makeup (tinted SPF moisturizer, etc) so I’m curious to see how it works. I have tried natural creamy face washes and they just don’t take off makeup. Thinking some lavender and peppermint oil might be nice additions. :)

  14. Jessica says:

    Hi! I’ve been doing this for a week now and my acne looks much better! My skin also looked radiant the first few days, but then it’s started to get dry. I have combo skin and we have super hard water (which dries out everything!) so I’m just wondering what may help? It’s weird that at first the coconut oil seemed to really hydrate but now I feel dry a few hours after doing the wash? Thanks!

    • Hi Jessica! I’m so glad to hear your skin looks better! You’ll have to experiment a bit. My skin does the same thing. Sometimes it will be too much, other times too dry. Experiment with washing just once a day with coconut oil or try another oil? I’m in the process of figuring out a new toner too. Right now I’m trying raw apple cider vinegar mixed with water. I haven’t gotten the exact formula down but washing less could work, I find if I wash too much my skin gets dried out.

  15. Cindy says:

    I am wondering about the coconut oil hardening in the drain pipes and clogging it.

  16. Robin says:

    try it for brushing your teeth.. its anti-fungual and will heal problems with your gums

  17. Elinor says:

    I love using coconut oil, is it still necessary to use a toner? (An then reapply oil as moisturiser?) Do you ever follow with an SPF? What would you use? Sorry for so many questions!
    I’m going to try out the deodorant too, I’m in uk, I’m guessing corn starch is corn flour…. Thanks!

    • I find it sometimes nice to do toner (plain witch hazel or apple cider vinegar & water) before cleaning. I rotate oils these days and like avocado oil or hazelnut oil too. For me I like it about 3x a week, and usually don’t need moisturizer after, but see what your skin wants, sometimes you might need a little more in spots. I think corn flour might not be as fine as starch. Corn starch is easy to find though!

    • Cindy says:

      No, I don’t think cornstarch is corn flour! And corn starch can be loaded with GMOs so I use Arrowroot Powder instead. Also, my husband and daughter both thought the baking soda was to harsh for their skin. I asked at Whole Foods and she said there is a “real” baking soda that is not like the traditional Arm & Hammer. But, my husband and daughter are now just using coconut oil itself and are havign no problems being stinky!! We willsee if that changes in warm weather.

      • Thanks Cindy. Since I’m always talking organic sometimes I forget to say it :) My baking soda is Bob’s Red Mill brand. Let me know how just using coconut oil works!

      • Elinor says:

        oh I think I have arrowroot I’ll give it a try, Do you have suggestions/recommendations Jacqueline for an spf?
        I love the oil as a lotion, not sure yet on my face, I always had quite good skin, until I got scared of the parabens etc, I tried to find a natural/organic moisturiser, spending quite and bit, but breakouts or tight feeling skin after use, so now I’m a bit scared to get more breakouts but I want to use something natural and cheapl! so Im a bit tentative with the oil on my face, chin and forehead mainly but want to work!

        • I mostly use my makeup as SPF, alternating between elf brand from target and pur minerals. If I’m out in the sun all day I’ll use one of the natural sunscreens I use on the kids.

  18. Hi! I just started using coconut oil to wash my face and was wondering if doing so before getting into the shower messes up the process in any way? Thanks! Love your post!

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