Sometimes, it feels like coconut oil is a cure-all for just about anything. Makeup, hair, and skincare experts alike wholeheartedly recommend coconut oil for a wide range of uses, such as using it as a sumptuous hair mask or for moisturizing dry skin. While coconut oil is an all-star ingredient in cooking, it is often included in beauty recipes, too. Coconut oil works great in face masks, DIY body care, and as hair oil to keep flyaways at bay (via The Cut). One use for coconut oil that still divides people, though? Using it to remove makeup.
When it comes to using coconut oil as a makeup remover, the jury is still out on whether it's a good idea. Some die-hard fans swear by it, slathering it on after a day at work and seeing all their foundation, blush, and eyeliner melt away seamlessly. Still, other people fear getting breakouts from using coconut oil on their face, since some report that it can be highly comedogenic, meaning it can possibly clog your pores (via Healthline). However, those reports can get confusing quickly, because coconut oil is also a known antimicrobial through its lauric and capric acid (via Natural Medicine Journal).
This would lead many to think that it can actually help acne and other kinds of skin issues, not make them worse. So what gives? We got down to the bottom of it and collected everything you need to know about using coconut oil as a makeup remover.
If you use coconut oil as a makeup remover every night, you might be freaking out just a bit right now. If you're wondering if coconut oil is to blame for those random whiteheads and blackheads you're getting, don't stress: It might not be doing any harm to your skin at all. It turns out that coconut oil can, in fact, be used as a great makeup remover, but only on certain skin types.
Both Anthony Youn, M.D., a holistic plastic surgeon, and Carl Thornfeldt, M.D., the founder of Epionce Skincare, told Byrdie that using coconut oil as a makeup remover is actually a fantastic idea. According to Thornfeldt, this oil "is antibacterial, anti-yeast, and also works as a great first-aid cream. Because of its detergent effect, it also works well as a makeup remover." So coconut oil does seem to be the cure-all we thought it was, working to slip off makeup after a long day and giving you antimicrobial benefits to boot. Still, both doctors agree you should be cautious, since coconut oil can clog pores for some people, and it might not even moisturize your skin sufficiently.
Dermatologist Corey L. Hartman explained to PureWow that "coconut oil is highly comedogenic, which means it clogs pores and has a high chance of causing breakouts," so he does not recommend it "if you are prone to breakouts or have sensitive skin." It may, therefore, be part of a good skincare routine for dehydrated skin!
If you are one of the very lucky ones and are not prone to pimples in the slightest — and you don't have a sensitive skin type — then you can safely use coconut oil as a makeup remover. You'll love its creamy-to-slick texture and incredible ability to melt away makeup. As cosmetic chemist Joseph Cincotta explained to Allure, it "solubilizes or breaks up water-resistant substances used in eye shadow and mascara, releasing them." This means you will never have to mess with overly-rubbing your eyes again to get all that makeup off — saving your delicate skin and lashes in the process. And if your skin is right for it, Cincotta says that "it's great for your skin, because it moisturizes and smooths." In short, it's a one-and-done product that will get your makeup off and treat your skin to some hydration.
So, how do you use it? Insider recommends grabbing a cotton ball, dipping it into the oil, and rubbing it on your facial skin, eyes, and lips to get off your makeup. Then, take a towel and rub off any excess oil, and always cleanse your face afterward. According to the outlet, this final step is crucial to ensure you don't clog your pores. Meanwhile, Cincotta suggests first rubbing coconut oil in your hands to melt it, and then using your hands to rub it all over your face. Finally, use a cotton ball to remove it along with your makeup. If you're a minimalist, this skincare routine might be for you!