Is coconut oil a good skin moisturizer?

I have been using coconut oil on my body after showering. Is there any risk that the fats in the coconut oil could be absorbed and affect my blood triglyceride and cholesterol levels?

Is coconut oil a good skin moisturizer?

Coconut oil seems very faddish right now.   Not only is it in Trader Joe’s and other markets,  but it’s being put in various lotions, cream and sometimes just used straight.    Dermatologists are starting to see some reactions to coconut oil.   When it’s pure, it’s hard to know if the oil itself has become rancid and is oxidized or if the reactions are to contaminants that occur during processing.  Difficult to know.

Everyone needs to learn how to smell oils and cooking oils and know whether the oil is rancid.   Rancid oil has an unpleasant smell to it that’s hard to describe!   If rancid, it should be thrown out!

There really is no risk of elevating your blood fats with a skin oil.   There’s no evidence that I know of that it’s absorbed into the blood in any quantity.

Coconut oil should not be used on acne prone skin and it can also clog pores on the body and cause an inflammation called folliculitis.

Hope this helps, Dr. Irwin

Dr. Brandith Irwin, MD

Ask me your skincare question!

Hi, I’m Dr. Irwin. I believe that consumers deserve a medically trained and unbiased skincare advocate.

  • All our content is written and researched by myself.
  • My medical office in Seattle has treated thousands of patients for 15+ years.
  • This site is not affiliated or financially tied to any product, treatment or device.
Ask Me Something
SkinTour Skincare
One of the best investments in your skin is your daily skincare. Why? Because you can prevent many problems with blotchy skin color, lack of glow, texture, some types of acne, and fine lines with good skincare products. You can also correct some of these problems with effective skincare products. Great skincare is often more expensive because quality ingredients are expensive. Some companies spend on research/development which benefits all of us and adds to the cost. Are they worth it? In general - yes! I have handpicked some of what I consider to be the best skin care products, and offer them for sale on SkinTour's shop. This is based on my team and I's testing and research at our clinic. Many of the products are in my own regimen. What could be better than using skin care products a dermatologist uses?!