From Head to Toe: The Best Coconut Oils for All Your Needs

August 7, 2021

Have you taken a look at your coconut oil options recently? There are so many brands and types that it can make your head hurt to even think about it. This is why we decided to create this guide. We cut through all of the noise and show you the best kind of coconut oil for all of your needs. So, let’s get started! 

What You Should Know About Selecting Good Coconut Oil

As mentioned, you are going to have your work cut out for you when choosing between all the different kinds of coconut oil. This job becomes a lot easier, however, if you know what to look for. So, in the section below, we outline exactly what elements you should keep an eye out for in the healthiest coconut oil.

What Kind of Coconut Oil Is Best? Understanding the Jargon

Coconut oil has been trending for quite some time. This means that companies are often trying to one-up each other by coming up with an “improved” version of coconut oil.

Now, as you can imagine, much of this is marketing. Thus, you have to cut through all the fluff and jargon if you actually want to find the best natural coconut oil.

On this note, here are the top terms that you should be aware of when shopping around for coconut oil:

Refined Coconut Oil 

As the name suggests, refined coconut oil is processed rather extensively. This is done to remove any impurities present in the oil. Unfortunately, this refining process also gets rid of some of the nutrients present in the coconut oil. Due to this, the refined version is often not as healthy as virgin coconut oil.

Virgin/Extra-Virgin Coconut Oil

Virgin coconut oil is the unrefined version and as a result, boasts a higher number of nutrients. Naturally, this oil is more expensive than its refined counterpart. Now, virgin coconut oil can be separated into two categories – expeller-pressed and cold-pressed. The expeller-pressed process utilizes steam or heat to extract the oil. Cold-pressed oil, on the other hand, simply relies on pressure. As such, it tends to retain more nutrients. Cold-pressed oil is sometimes referred to as raw coconut oil as well. So, what about extra-virgin coconut oil? Is it even healthier than virgin coconut oil?

Well, you will be interested to learn that there is no real distinction between virgin and extra-virgin coconut oil. In many instances, companies simply use this tag their oil as being superior. However, there is no real way to determine if this is the case.

Partially Hydrogenated You should definitely stay away from partially hydrogenated coconut oil! This is the process where the saturated fats in the coconut oil are fully or partially hydrogenated. This is often done to extend the shelf-life of the oil. Unfortunately, this process also creates trans fats which are very bad for your health.

man holding a coconut

Coconut Oil Comparison – Should You Buy Specific Types for Different Purposes?

It can often seem like you can use coconut oil for just about anything. Nonetheless, the most common uses are for cooking, skincare, and hair care.

Depending on how you want to use coconut oil, you may be wondering if you need to select a corresponding product.

Now, technically, you can use food-grade coconut oil for your food, skin, and hair. For the best results, though, you may want to use dedicated coconut oil.

This is especially true in the case of skincare.

See, when it comes to applying coconut oil on your skin, you may just discover that fractionated coconut oil is best.

Fractionated coconut oil doesn’t contain long-chain fatty acids. Thus, unlike other forms of coconut oil, it is able to penetrate the top layer of the skin.

This leads to improved hydration and fewer clogged pores. Therefore, it would make sense to use this type of coconut oil on your skin rather than the stuff that you keep in your pantry.

In many instances, coconut oils made for skin or hair have also either been tested for ingredients that can cause irritation or allergies.

So, if you have sensitive skin, specific types may be safer for you to use.

Last but not least, skin and hair-specific coconut oils may also be fortified with certain nutrients. As such, they will offer up far better results.

green coconuts

Should You Go Organic?

These days, people are becoming more and more careful about what they are putting in and on their bodies.

Thus, it is only natural to wonder if you should go organic when it comes to coconut oil. Well, this decision is largely up to you.

See, most experts agree that coconut oil doesn’t show significant pesticide levels. As such, the manner in which the coconuts are grown shouldn’t matter all that much.

However, if you would like to err on the side of caution, it is best to stick with organic versions when buying coconut oil for cooking.

This is especially true if you are opting for a refined version of coconut oil. You can then ensure that no additional chemicals such as hexane are used during the refining process.

When it comes to coconut oil for your skin and hair, you do have a little more wiggle room. Nevertheless, you will discover that most brands today will boast an organic label.

If you don’t feel like shelling out for the added cost, though, you shouldn’t worry about it. It is unlikely that the organic version will offer too many additional benefits.

Related Reading
The Lowdown on Coconut Oil Benefits for Skin

Reviews of the Best Coconut Oil Brands

We went looking for the best coconut oils for food, skincare, and hair care. Thus, we have divided our reviews accordingly.

However, if you are looking for an all-in-one product that can be used for all of these purposes, then there is something for you as well.

Best Organic Coconut Oil

Viva Naturals Coconut Oil

There are a number of elements that stand out with Viva Naturals coconut oil.

The high level of quality, as well as nutrient-rich formula, means that it will serve you well, regardless of what you need it for.

What we Like:

  • USDA Organic Certification: this formula is certified organic, which makes it one of the safest and healthiest options on the market. It is also what makes it just as good for cooking as it is for use on your hair and skin.
  • Versatile Formula: the oil can be used as a spread, for cooking, and for baking as well. With a decent smoke point, you will be able to utilize this oil in most recipes.
  • Light and Non-Greasy: when using on your skin, you will discover that the formula is lightweight and non-greasy, ensuring that you get just enough moisture without clogging up your pores.

What We Don't Like:

  • Hard to Scoop Out: this oil does have a bit more of a solid texture which makes it harder to scoop out of the container.

Best Coconut Oil for Cooking

Here are the oils that will serve you best when cooking.

Related Reading
Your Guide to the Best Coconut Oil for Cooking

Best Cold Pressed Coconut Oil

Nature’s Way Coconut Oil

Nature’s Way coconut oil is quite a versatile ingredient. As such, it can be used in a variety of different ways in the kitchen.

What really stands out about this cooking oil, though, is its top-notch quality and superiority. It can certainly be considered in the running for the best raw coconut oil.

What We Like:

  • Excellent Quality: in addition to being extracted via the cold-pressed process, this coconut oil is also 100 percent pure, unbleached, hexane-free, and gluten-free. Thus, it is one of the healthiest oils out there.
  • Versatile Function in Recipes: this is an oil that can be used straight out of the jar. Due to this, it can be used in smoothies, dips, and similar recipes. At the same time, it is just as great for cooking and baking.
  • High in Nutrients: this coconut oil boasts around 62 percent of MCTs – these are the healthy components of coconut oil. As a result, you can expect greater health benefits.

What We Don't Like:

  • Lower Smoking Point: this coconut oil does have a lower smoking point than some other types. Therefore, you will need to be careful while frying with it.

Nutiva Coconut Oil

If you are someone that uses coconut oil for most of their recipes, then Nutiva will offer you excellent value.

At the same time, the company is committed to quality and safety ensuring that you can enjoy this oil on a regular basis without any worries at all.

In fact, we would go so far as to say that it is one of the best virgin coconut oils on the market.

What We Like:

  • Minimal Processing: this coconut oil has undergone very little processing. Thanks to this, it is completely non-hydrogenated and doesn’t contain any trans fats. So, it is healthier for you to use in your food.
  • Melts Easily: despite being solid at room temperature, this oil is fairly easy to melt. Thus, you can use in a wider variety of recipes.
  • Good Value: you get quite a lot of coconut oil with this product for a decent price. So, if you cook with coconut oil regularly, this will offer the best bang for your buck.

What We Don't Like:

  • Strong Taste and Fragrance: there is no denying that the smell and taste of coconut oil are quite strong. As a result, it can be a little overwhelming for some.

Carrington Farms Coconut Oil

The Carrington Farms coconut oil is excellent as a no-fuss cooking oil. We would argue that it is one of the easiest options to cook with.

We especially enjoy the fact that the oil can be added to food subtly and not take away from the natural flavors of any dish.

What We Like:

  • Remains Liquid: there’s no need to melt this coconut oil as it remains in liquid form. This makes it a lot easier to cook and bake with. It also works well as a base for salad dressings.
  • Is Unscented and Unflavored: if you don’t want the taste of coconut to overpower your food, there is no issue. This oil doesn’t have any flavor or odor, making it perfect for a number of different recipes.
  • Good Smoking Point: this coconut oil has a higher smoking point than olive oil, allowing you to use it for frying and baking.

What We Don't Like:

  • Higher Cost: this coconut oil is a bit more expensive than the rest and thus, doesn’t offer as much value.

Best Coconut Oil for Skin

These are the coconut oils that work best for keeping skin smooth, soft, and supple.

Related Reading
Uncovering the Best Coconut Oil for Face

Handcraft Blends Coconut Oil

Want a coconut oil for your skin that doesn’t make you feel like you are bathing in cooking oil? Then, this is certainly it.

Although this coconut oil is nearly identical to the food-grade versions, it acts just like any other lotion, making it easy to apply onto your body.

What We Like:

  • Highly Absorbent: this coconut oil is incredibly absorbent, ensuring that it penetrates the lower layers of the skin. Thus, it moisturizes more thoroughly.
  • No Scent: there is no scent associated with this coconut oil. As a result, it can be used all throughout the day and isn’t distracting at all.
  • Gentle on Skin: this coconut oil is quite gentle and doesn’t contain any chemicals or added ingredients. Due to this, it is suitable for more sensitive skin and perhaps even for babies.

What We Don't Like:

  • Can Feel Greasy: this oil can feel a little heavy sometimes and may make your skin feel greasy if you use too much.

Invivo Essential Coconut Oil

This is a great coconut oil for anyone who wants to keep their skin moisturized, but doesn’t want anything too heavy.

We also appreciate that this oil is quite nutrient-dense, ensuring that its beneficial results can be absorbed that much sooner.

What We Like:

  • Lightweight: this is an incredibly lightweight coconut oil. While it does moisturize your skin well, there is no fear of your pores being clogged. So, it works well for a variety of skin types.
  • High in MCTs: the oil is quite high in MCTs and since it is readily absorbed your skin is able to get the benefit of these nutrients. Therefore, you should be able to solve a number of skin conditions.
  • Non-Staining: this oil doesn’t stain which means that your bed linen and clothes will be safe.

What We Don't Like:

  • Takes a While to Be Absorbed: the oil does take a few minutes to be absorbed and will sit on the surface of your skin until then.

Molivera Organics Coconut Oil

This Molivera coconut oil is a great choice for anyone looking for quick results. Whether you want healthier or more moisturized skin, this oil should do the trick.

It is also quite versatile and can be used by itself or in combination with other oils. So, it can be used as a carrier oil, massage oil, and more.

What We Like:

  • Penetrates Skin Layers: the oil is able to penetrate deeper layers of the skin. Thus, the moisturizing effects begin inside, ensuring that your skin, overall, is in a much better condition.
  • High in Nutrients: this oil has a higher level of helpful nutritive ingredients. Not only does this keep your skin healthier, but it also works to alleviate skin conditions faster.
  • Long-Lasting: this oil can actually last quite a while, even if you don’t use it all that often. Therefore, you don’t have to worry about it expiring any time soon.

What We Don't Like:

  • Vague Product Details: the company needs to provide more information regarding sourcing and processing of the coconut oil.

Best Coconut Oil for Hair

Now, let’s take a look at the coconut oil that will provide the maximum number of benefits to your hair.

Shea Moisture Coconut Oil

Regardless of your hair type, this coconut oil should certainly do the trick. It is chock-full of healthful ingredients and will help to sort out a variety of issues.

The coconut oil is pure and natural, further ensuring that it will be safe and beneficial to your locks.

What We Like:

  • Incredibly Nourishing: this coconut oil contains minerals, vitamins, and fatty acids. Not only does it restore your locks to their original glory but it works to keep it in good condition for longer.
  • Reduces Frizz: if you suffer from frizz, this coconut oil works wonders to hydrate your strands and to ensure that they sit well on your head, especially with extended use.
  • Lightweight Texture: the lightweight texture of this coconut oil means that it won’t weigh your hair down but allow the strands to move around freely.

What We Don't Like:

  • Liquefies Easily: even the slightest increase in temperature can cause the coconut oil to liquefy, making it more difficult to apply.

Coco & Co. Coconut Oil

Made specifically for cosmetic purposes, this coconut oil is great if you are looking for a product to help whip your hair into shape.

Completely natural and containing moisturizing ingredients, this coconut oil works wonders on all different types of hair.

What We Like:

  • Well-Sourced: this oil is carefully sourced from the freshest coconuts possible. It is also not processed, ensuring that the maximum amount of nutrients remains within the oil, making it more beneficial for your strands.
  • Readily Absorbed: due to the oil being so light, it is absorbed by the hair shaft quite quickly. As a result, you get to enjoy softer and smoother hair faster.
  • Long-Lasting: the formula lasts quite a while. So, even if you use it sparingly, you will not have to worry about the coconut oil going bad.

What We Don't Like:

  • Small Quantity: for the price, the quantity is rather small. Thus, it may not offer the best value of all of the products on the market.

Honeydew Coconut Oil

This is an easy-to-use oil that allows you to apply the product directly into your strands without any issue at all.

One of our favorite aspects was that this oil is specially formulated for your scalp and hair and thus, works a lot more effectively.

What We Like:

  • Excellent for Hydration: this formula is incredibly hydrating and is suitable for dry or damaged hair. You should notice an improvement in your strands rather quickly as the oil is readily absorbed by the hair shaft.
  • Non-Greasy Formula: this coconut oil can be used by individuals with thick and thin strands. Since it isn’t greasy at all, you don’t have to worry about it weighing your strands down.
  • Odorless: this formula doesn’t have any odor at all. Thus, it can be applied to your hair at any time and no one will even know that you have used it. This makes it suitable for day and night use.

What We Don't Like:

  • May Need Reapplying: as it is quite lightweight, you may have to keep reapplying the oil to hair to see the full benefits of the oil.

As you can see, there is quite a bit about coconut oil that you need to know before you can go ahead and purchase your own. To start with, you first need to narrow down which type you actually want!

There’s no need to stress, as this guide contains all of the information that you need. So, whether you are looking for some advice or want to be pointed in the right direction, we have you covered.

Riya Borah
Nutritionist Educator | Riya Borah is a nutritionist educator and her job involves guiding people towards a healthier lifestyle. Growing up in India, Riya was aware of just how much coconut was used on a daily basis. This encouraged her to research the properties of this versatile drupe. It opened her eyes to both the limitation and possibilities of coconut. Her aim is to now educate as many people as possible about the best ways to utilize coconut in their own lives.
An Important Disclaimer
The information on this page should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice. Consult a doctor if you wish to consume any kind of tea regularly for the purpose of treating any condition or illness.
Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API. For the Love of Coconut is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for website owners to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon (.com,, .ca etc) and any other website that may be affiliated with Amazon Service LLC Associates Program. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
Copyright © 2023 · For The Love of Coconut · All Rights Reserved