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Benefits of coconut water for glowing skin

Drinking coconut water to stay hydrated in summer? It does more than rehydrating you. Know the benefits of coconut water for skin.

Coconut water is widely consumed as a refreshing natural drink. It is best known for keeping people hydrated, but there are also other health benefits of coconut water. This refreshing drink is also good for your skin. Drinking coconut water can be beneficial for your skin, and may help to deal with problems like acne. You can also include coconut water in your summer skin care routine. Let us tell you the benefits of coconut water for your skin.

What is coconut water?

The clear liquid found inside green coconuts is called coconut water. It is a natural source of electrolytes, including potassium, sodium, and magnesium, says dermatologist and cosmetologist Dr Mounica C. It is distinct from coconut milk, which is made by grating the flesh of mature coconuts and mixing it with water. Coconut water can be enjoyed fresh from a young coconut, or you can find it bottled or canned in grocery stores. However, for maximum benefits, consume it fresh.

Green coconuts on a beach
Drink coconut water to keep your skin hydrated. Image courtesy: Freepik

What are the benefits of coconut water for skin?

Coconut water is packed with nutrients that can potentially benefit your skin in thr following ways:

1. For dry skin

Drinking coconut water can be especially helpful for people with dry skin. Coconut water is a natural source of electrolytes and other hydrating compounds that can help replenish moisture in your skin cells, giving it a plump and dewy appearance, says the expert.

2. Anti-ageing properties

Cytokinins, found in coconut water, are believed to have anti-ageing properties. They may help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles by promoting cell regeneration, says the expert. Also, coconut water contains antioxidants that can help protect your skin from free radical damage, another contributor to wrinkles.

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3. Improved elasticity

Collagen, a protein known for keeping skin firm, and coconut water have a connection. Coconut water can serve as a food source to help boost collagen production, leading to firmer and more youthful-looking skin.

4. Oily and acne-prone skin

According to a 2017 study published in the Journal of International Society of Preventive and Community Dentistry, coconut water has an antimicrobial effect. So, it using coconut water may help in treating acne. Also, lauric acid in coconut water has potential anti-inflammatory properties. This may help soothe irritation and reduce breakouts. For oily or acne-prone skin, coconut water can offer mild astringent properties, says Dr Mounica.

5. Soothes sunburn

Too much exposure to sunlight can lead to sunburn, which can increase the risk of other conditions such as dark spots and wrinkles. Coconut water can provide relief for sunburn due to its cooling and hydrating properties.

Coconut water in a glass
Drinking coconut water is better than applying it. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

Is it better to drink coconut water or apply it for skin benefits?

The effectiveness of coconut water for skin benefits varies between drinking it and applying it topically, with drinking being the more advantageous option, says the expert. Here’s why:

Drinking coconut water for skin leads to:

1. Enhanced absorption
Our digestive system is optimised to absorb nutrients from consumed food and beverages efficiently. By drinking coconut water, the body can effectively utilise its electrolytes, vitamins, and minerals for overall health improvements.

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2. Hydration
Dehydration poses a significant concern for skin health. Direct consumption of coconut water effectively hydrates the body internally, leading to improved skin moisture levels and appearance. Topical application provides minimal hydration in comparison.

Applying coconut water to skin

1. Limited absorption
While the skin can absorb certain nutrients when coconut water is applied topically, the absorption rate is notably lower compared to ingestion, says the expert.

2. Temporary effects
Coconut water has many benefits for skin. But the hydrating or soothing effects that you get from topical application of coconut water are likely short-lived.

How to include coconut water in skin care

Even though drinking coconut water provides the most benefit for your skin, here are some ways you can incorporate it into your skin care routine for a topical approach –

1. Facial toner

Utilise fresh coconut water as a natural toner to rejuvenate and shrink pores. Dab chilled coconut water onto a cotton pad and gently swipe it across your cleansed face. However, due to its natural sugars, it is best to dilute coconut water with water or green tea before using it as a toner.

2. DIY face masks

You can use coconut water’s moisturising properties as a base for homemade face masks.

Dry skin: Blend coconut water with mashed avocado or honey for added nourishment.
Oily skin: Mix coconut water with clay to absorb excess oil and refine pores.

3. Facial mist

Transfer coconut water into a spray bottle for on-the-go hydration and revitalisation, particularly refreshing during summer.

4. Ice cubes

Freeze coconut water into cubes and gently massage them onto the face to soothe and reduce puffiness, particularly beneficial for tired or irritated skin.

5. DIY scrubs

Pair coconut water with natural exfoliants like sugar or coffee grounds to create gentle facial scrubs, effectively eliminating dead skin cells and unveiling a radiant complexion. However, limit its usage to once a week.

Opt for fresh, unsweetened coconut water or young coconuts to ensure optimal effectiveness, suggests the expert. Also, since topical coconut water offers temporary hydration, follow it up with a moisturiser to seal in moisture.

What are the side effects of coconut water for skin?

Coconut water can be safely used by most people, but it may cause side effects in some, particularly if applied topically to the skin. These potential side effects include –

  • Those allergic to tree nuts might also react to coconut, and can experience symptoms like swelling or difficulty breathing.
  • Excessive use or mixing with comedogenic ingredients may lead to pore blockages. Diluting coconut water before use can help minimise this risk.
    In rare cases, topical application may cause irritation, especially on compromised or sensitive skin.
  • Coconut water’s natural acids could increase sun sensitivity, potentially resulting in sunburn if applied before sun exposure.

Incorporating coconut water into your skin care routine can help nourish and rejuvenate your skin. But take advice from a dermatologist before incorporating coconut water into your skin care regime, especially if you have pre-existing skin concerns.

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