Coconut Water is Starting to Show Up in a Ton of Beauty Products

If it’s hydrating when you drink it, it's hydrating when you apply it.

Coconut water has been consumed by humans for ages; it's delicious and refreshing. Before modern-day food preservation, one simply cracked open a fresh one every time, because the resulting juice ferments in mere minutes without refrigeration. The "water" is packed with potassium, magnesium, amino acids, and a decent amount of B and C vitamins.

It makes sense for beauty brands to explore this!

Coconut oil is pretty cool and is great for hair and body, but skin and finer-textured hair could benefit from choosing coconut water instead. I gathered a bushel of products that are utilizing the nutrient and electrolyte-rich water found inside a young coconut, a very different approach from oil, which is pressed from the meat of a mature fruit.

The beauty category where coconut water is most used is makeup. It’s all the rage, in fact. From Smith + Cult’s Flesh Riot Flesh Riot Lip Lacquer to Too Faced Hangover Primer, makeup made hydrating by coconut water is becoming standard.

Too Faced Born This Way is an oil-free foundation that has awesome buildable coverage. It adheres better with a dewy primer like their Hangover, or if you want to go a smidge more matte, Marc Jacobs Beauty Under(cover) (also made with coconut water). I love the shade range of this foundation; it’s definitely not for pale people only, and they're even launching six more shades this fall.

Josie Maran was among the first to add coconut water into makeup to bring the hydration. I tried the Coconut Watercolor Eyeshadow, Coconut Watercolor Lip Stain and Shine, and the Coconut Watercolor Cheek Gelee.

I really enjoy the colors. The eyeshadow needs to be used conservatively, blended, and set unless you don’t mind creasing. Rio de Rose Gold is so fun with a smoky eye look. The lip stuff is mostly awesome —I prefer the thick textured Smith + Cult gloss—but the Poppy Paradise stain is really adorable and stays on so well.

Josie Maran’s Cheek Gelee is the real winner in my eyes. Its buildable, blendable, and dabs on to achieve a dewy, natural-looking finish. All three products moisturize as you wear them—not typical of a blush, stain, or eyeshadow.

Hair is also catching onto coconut water trend, and I like OGX’s affordably priced Weightless Hydration Coconut Water line. Smells good, cleans well, is not a ripoff. (Though I loved OGX’s Coconut Oil line, it was sooooo heavy, and I have to admit I was using it for the smell.)

This shampoo gave me good volume and a clean scalp; the conditioner was penetrating but not greasy or too thick. My favorite of this crew was the spray, which smelled like the coconut cream I used to use at the tiki bar and gave me some nice shine without being too silicone-y.

For skin, I wish I could order a case of these dang DHC Bio Cellulose Masks and wear one every single night.

Nata de coco is an Asian dessert made from fermented coconut water that DHC has used to develop this sheet mask. It fits better than any other mask I've ever used—so well that you could wear around the house. My skin felt plump and nice after rocking this ultra-thin duder for an hour, letting the serum sink in before hitting the pillow. Neem, shell ginger, glycerin and hyaluronic acid all help fight impurities while imparting some heavy-duty moisture.

I usually use cheapie masks that cost 10% of this one's $9.50, but I won’t lie: it’s worth it for photo prep or special occasions.

  • Have you tried any other products made with coconut water?
  • Do you drink it, or would you rather put on your hair and skin?

Photos: Maria Penaloza