Active Ingredients: Coconut

Tiffany Ong Beauty Expert
Active Ingredients: Coconut

Does coconut do good for the skin just as much as it tastes good?

Coconut oil was once all the rave. Touted to be the one-stop-fits-all solution for practically every skin, hair or diet concern, but it has had its fair share of controversies with some praising its benefits and becoming a cult favourite, while other state that its benefits are overhyped. So what’s the deal? To simply put it, coconut oil can’t be considered a beauty “cure” that can solve every skin, hair or body concern, there’s no such ingredient that can. But that doesn’t mean that it isn’t a great ingredient, coconut oil definitely has its benefits but it also has its limits.

Coconut oil/extract, as we all know is extracted from coconuts, but it is also referred to as lauric acid. It is derived from the white fleshy inner parts of coconuts.



Keeps moisture in

  • Coconut oil/extract is occlusive, meaning that it sits on top of the skin sealing the moisture underneath and prevents the chances of TEWL (transepidermal water loss).
  • Coconut oil/extract also contains high levels of linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid, which can help to smoothen the skin.
  • Contrary to popular belief, coconut oil does not “hydrate” the skin, rather it works by locking the existing moisture in the skin preventing the skin from dehydration. Read more about the difference between moisture and hydration, here.


  • The lauric acid found in coconut oil/extract possesses antibacterial properties which can help to kill bacterial on the skin and reduce inflammation.
  • Coconut oil/extract is also rich in vitamin E and other proteins that have anti-fungal properties.

Enhances the skin barrier

  • A study in 2019 showed that coconut oil can strengthen the skin barrier function, however, not enough research has been done to 100% back tuck this point.

Benefits the hair too

  • Those struggling with dry and brittle hair due to heat damage or bleaching can try applying coconut oil as a leave-in treatment.


What to note?

  • People with acne prone skin or congested skin should avoid coconut oil as it is one of the more comedogenic oils out there. this means it the skin can’t absorb coconut oil and it sits on top of the skin which can suffocate the skin and clog up the pores. Due to this, we recommend coconut oil to be applied on the body instead, as the face is more prone to oil buildup and congestions which can lead to acne breakouts.
  • Like all ingredients and products, do conduct a patch test prior, especially those with sensitive skin and chronic skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis and more.


Products we recommend 

KraveBeauty Matcha Hemp Hydrating Cleanser

kravebeauty matcha hemo hydrating cleanser

This bouncy gel cleanser is as satisfying to use as it is effective. It uses coconut-based surfactants to deeply cleanse without stripping. Instead, nourishing Matcha and Hemp Seed Oil restore essential amino acids and antioxidants to the skin. It lifts away impurities and irritants without drying out your skin - no tight-feeling.


COSRX Low pH AHA Barrier Mist

cosrx low ph pha barrier mist

A facial mist containing coconut fruit extract and PHA that maintains your skin's optimal pH level, moisturises whilst strengthening and protecting your skin's barrier. Formulated with 98% coconut fruit extract to keep skin moisturised and 5% gluconolacctone (PHA) to balance the skin’s pH level.


The INKEY List Turmeric Moisturiser

the inkey list turmeric moisturiser

A moisturiser containing curcuma longa plant extract that protects your skin from environmental stresses and can help to prevent and heal dry skin. It also reduces redness and irritation, revealing a brighter and more youthful complexion. Its formula also contain coconut oil.

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