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Lifestyle & Nutrition

Coconut Oil As Face Cleanser – Does It Work?

What is the oil cleansing method and does it actually work?

After being challenged by a friend who raved about the oil cleansing routine and how it transformed her skin, I decided to give it a try.

Having very oily skin myself, I’ll admit I was a skeptic.

In this post I want to share the basic concept of cleansing skin with coconut oil, my method, and how it worked for me.


My Skin

I’d heard about the oil cleansing method but thought there was absolutely no way that’d work for me as I have very sensitive combination skin which results in a very oily and acne-prone t-zone and dry patches on my cheeks.

Wouldn’t oil just make my t-zone even more of a grease ball throughout the day?

I was already using oil blotting sheets regularly on top of using cleansers and toners specifically formulated for oil control. Turns out I was wrong!

The Method

1. Take a teaspoon of coconut oil and massage onto your face.

2. Let the coconut oil sit on your skin for a minute or two as you soak a washcloth in hot, steamy water.

3. Wring out the excess water from the washcloth and hold it onto your face. The steam will dissolve your makeup and excess oil.

4. Wipe away the extra oil and old makeup that was removed.

5. I usually follow up with a little more coconut oil as a moisturizer. (Not enough to make my face feel greasy or shiny. You want your skin to absorb it!)

6. Repeat in the AM and PM.

The Basic Concept

Like dissolves like. When massaged into your skin the coconut oil will dissolve your skin’s own natural oil and impurities that it produces. The steam opens your pores and allows it to be easily removed.

Coconut oil is known to clean skin, kill bacteria, and moisturize.

Coconut oil supposedly draws out impurities. This could mean that it might make the skin worse for a few days before it gets better.

A little oil will help your skin avoid over-compensating with its own oil production. For example, has anyone else noticed that the more you wash your hair, the oilier it gets?

The same concept can be applied to your face. Your body produces oil as a natural reaction to fight against dryness. Using harsh facial cleansers and toners in order to fight oil and acne may actually be making those things worse, which I figured out in my case was 100% true.

Oil Cleansing Necessities

1. Dr. Bronner’s – Organic Virgin Coconut Oil

Organiz Virgin Coconut Oil

2. Towels

Organiz Virgin Coconut Oil

3. Bathrobes

Organiz Virgin Coconut Oil


My Results

Day 1

My first observation: the oil cleansing method feels so amazing on the skin. It dissolved my makeup really well (even my stubborn waterproof mascara I had worn that day!) and left my skin looking super glowy from the start.

Day 2

I woke up with some dry patches on my cheeks. Nothing new for me, but in order to keep things as natural as possible, I sloughed off the dead skin using a small amount of sugar. Call me crazy, but using sugar as a natural facial scrub is one of the cheapest and most effective exfoliators I’ve used. That seemed to do the trick. My nose still got oily by midday, requiring an oil blotting sheet while I was out and about, but that was nothing out of the ordinary.

Day 3

I almost gave up the routine when I noticed that I had a couple small breakouts on my chin and more noticeable blackheads on my nose, but I decided to give it a fair shot and stick with it. Usually, switching up my skincare routine at all results in my skin acting out a bit.

The crazy thing? Despite those breakouts, my skin was noticeably less oily today! I didn’t blot my t-zone with any oil blotting sheets or powder. Could this actually be working?

Day 4

I repeated the natural sugar scrub before I cleansed my skin. That seemed to help the blackheads become less noticeable. My skin looked and felt a lot better today. Even my husband complimented my skin and he had no idea I was trying anything out of the ordinary!

Day 5

By day five I had really started to love cleansing my skin with coconut oil. The oil felt great and the steamed washcloth was really relaxing at the end of a long day. After cleansing, I put on the smallest amount of oil as a moisturizer and my makeup actually stayed on without sliding off. Who would have thought!

Day 6

No complaints here. My skin was finally starting to get used to this new routine. I was surprised at how fast my skin adapted to the oil cleansing method after years of using cleansers that specifically targeted oily and acne-prone skin. I had no new breakouts and my skin felt a lot more moisturized, even in the areas where I typically got dry patches.

Day 7

I’m a total oil cleansing convert. My skin had really grown to love the new routine and in turn didn’t overcompensate by overproducing tons of oil on its own.


I’m a bit of a germaphobe so I recommend transferring a little coconut oil into a small jar with a little spatula so that you aren’t dipping your hand into the big jar each time. I found these little glass jars with small spatulas that worked perfectly on Amazon here.

Coconut Oil and its Benefits

Rich in essential fatty acids, coconut oil contains lauric acid (antiseptic), caprylic acid (antifungal), capric acid and myristic acid (cleansing, protective and nourishing). Thus, it has repairing effects on the skin barrier, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, healing and anti-ageing effects.

One of the many advantages of coconut oil is that it is a vegetable oil that can be applied to thin, sensitive skin. For example, it is perfect as a lip balm because it deeply moisturises the most delicate parts of the skin. It can also be used as an anti-wrinkle cream under the eyes and as a moisturising cream on the eyelids.

Moreover, it is recommended for soothing burns because it accelerates the healing of wounds. For example, tattoo artists recommend it as an after-tattoo treatment for its antiseptic and healing benefits. In after-sun care, coconut oil is also very effective because it has regenerating properties. This powerful moisturiser is used, in particular, to soothe sunburn.

In view of all these benefits, there is more than one reason to fall in love with this vegetable oil that will take care of your skin’s health!

Will it work for you?

Maybe. It honestly all depends on your skin type. Some people’s skin reacts really well to the oil cleansing method and others won’t. It should also be noted that your skin might take longer than a week to adapt to the oil cleansing method.

Switching anything up in your skincare routine, especially when adding in coconut oil (which draws out impurities) might make things worse before you see any improvements.

Which coconut oil should I use for face cleansing?

Pure, 100% natural and cold pressed coconut oil.

To take advantage of all its benefits, it is important to choose a quality coconut oil, pure, 100% natural and above all obtained by first cold pressing. This process of extraction of the oil guarantees the maximum conservation of all its essential active ingredients. A virgin oil, which has not undergone any chemical treatment or refining, and whose criteria are specified on the label, are proof of a quality vegetable oil.

What are other alternatives to coconut oil?

If you have oil skin and coconut oil does not suit your skin. Don’t get disappointed. Fortunately, there are other oils you can turn to. These oils have a very low comedogenic index and work wonders on your skin. This is the case with desert date oil, which is ideal for oily and blemished skin. Light and penetrating, it effectively fights acne and associated spots. The result: your skin is more luminous, smooth and radiant.

The same goes for bissap oil, which is also an excellent anti-stain treatment. To regulate the sebum and to find a matified skin, you can also opt for jojoba or sesame oil. As for black cumin oil, it will make your skin smoother and make all your acne disappear in record time. Thanks to their nourishing, anti-blemish and illuminating properties, these oils are much better alternatives.

Will coconut oil clog your pores?

Like I said, that answer could vary from person to person. In my case, my skin reacted really well and after a couple days, I had no breakouts or blackheads from adding coconut oil to my skincare routine.

Overall, it remains that my mantra is the simpler the better. I absolutely love how simplified my skincare routine is now and that there are no harsh chemicals coming into contact with my face.

Have you tried cleansing with coconut oil? What were your results? Share with me in the comments below!


I’m a writer, new mom and foodie. I love sharing what I know while making others feel beautiful. On this blog, I share my healthy lifestyle, simple meals, fitness tips and experiences.

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Kara Bout It