Replace These 6 Beauty Products With Coconut Oil and Save $360 per Year

coconut oil, vegan, healthy
Samantha Dunscombe/The Penny Hoarder

Most people have heard about the health benefits of cooking with coconut oil. But did you know you can use coconut oil as a beauty product?

It’s true: switching from your standard beauty products to coconut oil can save you tons of money and give you the same (and sometimes better!) results as high-end products.

6 Money-Saving Beauty Tips for Coconut Oil

I’ve replaced six everyday beauty products with one $3 jar of coconut oil from Walmart and have saved more than $30 per month — that’s over $360 a year. Here are the products I replaced, and how I used coconut oil instead.

1. Body Moisturizer

What I Used to Buy: Oil of Olay Body Moisturizer ($8)

Coconut oil is most famous for being a skin moisturizer. In tropical regions, where coconuts grow, locals have been using coconut oil for centuries to protect their skin from the harmful effects of sun and heat. Coconut oil is made up of medium-chain-length fatty acids (triglycerides) that enhance the moisture barrier of your skin, softening and protecting your skin from dryness.

How to Use It:

  • Spoon out a small (teaspoon-sized) chunk of solid oil and rub it between your hands until it melts
  • Start with less than you think you’ll need. If you use too much, your skin may not be able to absorb it all.
  • Massage the melted oil into your skin

2. Lip Gloss

What I Used to Buy: Eos Lip Balm ($3)

Coconut oil is a natural source of vitamin E, which promotes skin growth, repair and smoothness. Vitamin E not only makes lips shiny and soft, it repairs cracked and chapped lips. Since it’s all natural (and good for you), you don’t have to worry about accidentally ingesting toxic chemicals.

How to Use It:

  • Use your finger to rub small circles on the solid oil in the jar, until it melts on your finger.
  • Dab the oil on your lips.
  • Use it under or over lipstick, or all by itself.

3. Shaving Cream

What I Used to Buy: Skintimate Shave Gel ($3)

All the properties that make coconut oil a great moisturizer make it a great for shaving. Not only does it condition your skin while you shave, but since it’s an oil, it’s water resistant, so it stays put while you make sure you’ve given yourself the perfect shave.

How to Use It:

  • Bring your jar of coconut oil in the shower, so the heat will melt the solid oil.
  • Pour a small amount of liquid into your palms.
  • Smooth on any area (even sensitive bikini areas) you want to shave.
  • Not only does the oil protect against nicks and cuts, it’s clear — which makes it easier to avoid shaving any existing wounds.

4. Exfoliating Cream or Body Scrub

What I Used to Buy: Garnier Exfoliating Cream ($5)

You know those scaly heels and elephant-skin elbows? Tackling these problems is where coconut oil really shines. Use the oil on its own or create a coconut-oil-and-sugar scrub, suggests Beauty Expert Julyne Derrick.

How to Use It on It Own:

  • Scoop out a small chunk of oil.
  • Immediately start rubbing the solid oil into your heels or other rough-skin areas.
  • Coconut oil is naturally grainy as a solid. As it melts, those granules soften and transform into a smooth liquid. As you rub solid chunks of coconut oil on your skin, the granules will exfoliate while the emerging liquid moisturizes.

5. Makeup Remover

What I Used to Buy: Sephora Makeup Remover ($8)

Some drugstore makeup removers can be harsh on sensitive skin. Coconut oil is a safe and natural alternative — and it even removes waterproof mascara.

How to Use It:

  • Scoop out a pea-sized amount of coconut oil and rub it between your hands until it melts.
  • Soak up the liquid oil with a cotton ball.
  • Swipe the cotton ball over your face to remove makeup.

6. Hair Conditioner

What I Used to Buy: Dove Deep Moisture Conditioner ($5)

Coconut oil contains proteins that help strengthen and smooth your hair. It’s particularly effective at repairing split ends and restoring a natural shine. Since it doesn’t contain any of the chemicals found in many hair conditioners, you don’t have to worry about coconut oil stripping away your hair color.

How to Use It:

  • Bring your jar of coconut oil into the shower with you to allow the heat to melt the solid oil.
  • Pour the liquid into your palm and massage through your hair.
  • Rinse thoroughly and be careful not to use too much oil on your scalp or in your bangs. If you don’t rinse thoroughly enough, your hair could appear slightly oily when it dries.
  • Tip: Coconut Oil is great for making hair shiny and soft, but not great at detangling. Be careful when combing after conditioning with coconut oil.

Tammy Banfield is a professional lifestyle blogger and freelance writer. When she’s not scouring the world (and the web) for the best ways to save money and live better, she can be found running with her dog and organizing her next book club meeting.