25 Homemade Coconut Milk Beauty Recipes

We’ve praised coconut oil over and over, but let’s not forget about its equally impressive sibling: coconut milk. We often throw it into smoothies, curry, or soups, but did you know it has a slew of skin benefits too? Read on for 25 coconut milk beauty recipes that nourish from head to toe.

I’ve discussed my love for coconut oil plenty of times—it was my secret weapon for stretch marks during and after pregnancy and now I’ve found so many other beauty uses for coconut oil.

And my coconut love confession continues. Now I have another favorite: coconut milk!

Drinking coconut milk can also have benefits for the skin, as it contains medium-chain triglycerides that can help to nourish and hydrate the skin from the inside out. But if you’re looking for ways to use coconut milk on the outside, these are some of its benefits and our favorite ways to add it to our beauty routine.

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Beauty Benefits

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  • Natural anti-inflammatory—Coconut milk can help to reduce inflammation in the body, including the skin. It has been shown to be effective in treating skin ailments, such as eczema, psoriasis, and dermatitis, due to its natural fatty acids that help to soothe and calm the skin.
  • Healthy fat content—The healthy fats in coconut milk lock in moisture and help hydrate chapped or dry skin naturally. 
  • Nutrient-rich—The milk is rich in vitamins C, E, B1, B3, B5, and B6, along with minerals such as iron, selenium, calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus. These nutrients help to nourish the skin and keep it healthy and glowing by promoting cell turnover and collagen production.
  • Protein-rich—Coconut milk contains healthy proteins and lots of essential fats [source]. I know what you’re wondering—how come we’re using coconut milk instead of coconut oil? Coconut milk has more proteins than the oil, making it better at helping hair rebuild from the root instead of just moisturizing and conditioning.
  • Antioxidant-rich—It has also been shown to have potent antioxidant activity, which protects our cells’ DNA from damage [source]. 
  • Natural conditioner—Coconut milk can be used as a natural conditioner to hydrate and strengthen hair, providing the nutrients for healthy growth and reducing hair fall. Massaging coconut milk into the skin can also help to improve blood circulation and increase the flow of nutrients to the hair follicles.
  • Strengthens hair—Coconut milk’s medium-chain fatty acids penetrate the hair follicles, nourishing and strengthening the hair. It is also rich in lauric acid, which has antimicrobial properties that help to protect the scalp from infections.

Body Wash + Cleanser Recipes

Coconut milk face cleanser

Rose Milk Cleanser: This soothing milk cleanser made with rosewater is beneficial for all skin types, but especially for acne-prone, thanks to the addition of probiotics. For the coconut milk, be sure to use the creamy part, not the watery liquid.

Makeup Remover: Coconut milk can also be used as a natural makeup remover. Apply a thin layer of coconut milk to the skin and wipe away with a cotton pad dipped in cold water.

Plus, this can also help remove any yellow tint after a turmeric face mask.

Coconut milk body wash

Coconut Milk Face + Body Wash: This is probably the least expensive body wash you’ve ever used, but it may feel like the most luxurious. You can also use it on your face, and it just calls for two ingredients: 

Combine the ingredients in a squeeze bottle and lather up. The mixture tends to separate after sitting for a while, so you may just have to shake it up a bit before using it.

Face Mask Recipes

coconut milk face mask with pineapple

Pineapple AHA Mask: Combine ¼ cup chopped pineapple (you can also use canned pineapple) with 1 tablespoon of coconut milk. Apply evenly over your face, neck, and chest. Let it sit for 10–15 minutes. Rinse, pat dry, and slather on moisturizer.

Don’t overdo it with a pineapple mask like this—once a week is plenty. And since you are removing a layer of dead skin cells, you might be extra sensitive to the sun, so be sure to apply ample SPF.

Coconut milk mask recipe

Hydrating Coconut Mask: Mix coconut milk, turmeric, and honey to create a brightening and hydrating face mask.

Coconut Milk Toner: For a refreshing toner to cleanse the skin of impurities and dead skin cells, dilute 1 part coconut milk with 2 parts rosewater and apply it to your face using a cotton pad.

Body Scrub Recipes

Coconut milk body scrub recipe

Coconut Scrub: Homemade scrubs are one of my favorite things ever. After using one, your skin feels so amazing, and the tropical coconut-y scent is an extra bonus.

  • ½ cup coconut milk
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • 1 heaping tablespoon coconut oil (you can warm it up in the microwave if it’s still solid)

Mix everything in a bowl. Use this scrub to exfoliate and remove dead skin cells, revealing smooth and glowing skin.

Coconut milk scrub recipe - pre tan scrub

Pre-tan scrub: Prepare your skin for self-tanning with this tropical-scented oil-free scrub that’s made with coconut milk, ground rice, and ginger to exfoliate without leaving any greasy residue.

  • ½ cup coconut milk
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • 1 heaping tablespoon coconut oil (you can warm it up in the microwave if it’s still solid)

Coconut Milk Hand Scrub: Mix coconut milk, sea salt, and lemon juice to create an exfoliating hand scrub that removes dead skin cells and softens hands.

Bath Soak Recipes

coconut milk powder bath recipe

Coconut Baking Soda Soak: We’ve all heard of taking a milk bath, right? Google it, and you’ll see tons of super beautiful—not to mention relaxing—photos of people in baths of milk with floating flower petals surrounding them. Well, it’s time to change it up and use coconut milk instead.

Combine the ingredients in a small bowl and whisk well. Add the mixture to running bathwater and use your hands to swish it around until it dissolves completely.

coconut milk bath recipe with oatmeal

Coconut Oatmeal Soak: This oatmeal bath is a great option for soothing irritated or sunburned skin.

Combine these ingredients in a small bowl. Add this mixture to your bath and enjoy. I recommend using the whole thing in one bath, but you can use less if you prefer.

coconut milk exfoliating bath soak

Exfoliating Bath Soak: This bath soak is rich in vitamins and minerals that nourish and moisturize your skin.

Combine these ingredients in a bowl. Add the mixture to your bathwater and soak for 20–30 minutes.

coconut milk foot soak with pineapple

Soothing Foot Soak: Combine coconut milk with pineapple for a relaxing foot soak that softens skin and pampers tired feet.

Easy Coconut Bath: You don’t need a recipe to add it to a bath. Just add a cup (or a whole can) of coconut milk to your water for a moisturizing and relaxing soak.

Lotion Recipes

coconut milk lotion with cucumber

Cooling Cucumber Lotion: If you’ve spent too much time in the sun, cool down with this cucumber, coconut milk, and aloe healing lotion.

coconut milk shaving cream recipe

Coconut Milk Cuticle Oil: Mix coconut milk with a few drops of vitamin E oil and massage it into your cuticles for moisture and nourishment.

Coconut Milk Shaving Cream: Whip together coconut milk, shea butter, and a few drops of your preferred essential oil for a nutrient-rich, emollient shaving cream.

Shampoo + Conditioner Recipes

coconut milk leave in conditioner recipe

Coconut Leave-In Conditioner: This DIY leave-in conditioner softens, detangles, and supports hair growth.

Coconut Milk Hair Conditioner: Mix ½ cup coconut milk with 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, and apply it to your hair after shampooing for soft and shiny locks.

Coconut Milk Hair Serum: Combine 1–2 tablespoons of coconut milk with a few drops of argan oil and apply it to the ends of your hair for added moisture and shine.

Hair Mask Recipes

coconut milk hair mask recipe

Conditioning Hair Mask: This hair mask will help to nourish and moisturize your hair, leaving it soft and silky.

Whisk the oil and coconut milk together. Apply to damp hair. Leave it on for 30 minutes before washing it off with warm water.

Coconut milk mask recipe

Protein Hair Mask: Coconut milk not only detangles unruly hair, but it also boosts moisture from scalp to ends. When combined with egg, this protein-packed mask will retain shine while conditioning the hair.

Coconut Rosemary Mask: Combine coconut milk with 1 tablespoon of honey and 2 drops of rosemary essential oil. Apply to your hair, leave it on for 30 minutes, and then rinse for hydrated and nourished locks.

Hint: Before using, put your canned coconut milk in a bowl and whisk to combine the solid and watery parts. You’ll get a smooth texture that makes it easier to add to beauty recipes.

Storage

Canned coconut milk spoils quickly, so you’ll want to store your body products in the fridge and use them within 7–10 days. You can also freeze leftover coconut milk in an ice cube tray and thaw it out just before making a fresh batch of beauty products. 

FAQ

Can I give these coconut milk beauty recipes as gifts?

Definitely! But since they have a short shelf life, you’ll need to use a preservative. Leucidal Complete is my personal favorite, but you can find many different types and brands on Amazon.

Does coconut milk lighten skin or reduce discoloration?

I couldn’t find any scientific studies on the subject, but according to Google, it might. Chances are, any skin-lightening effects it might have would be gradual and extremely minimal.

Can I use coconut milk on my face?

Yes, coconut milk is great for the face. Our coconut milk body wash recipe would make the perfect gentle face cleanser. And if you replace the turbinado sugar with either caster or brown sugar, our sugar scrub can double as a face scrub. As always, be sure to avoid the eye area!

Will coconut milk make me break out?

Coconut oil is slightly comedogenic, meaning it may cause some people to break out. And since the full-fat coconut milk we recommend in these recipes contains coconut oil, it might also cause your acne to flare if used too often. If you notice irritation or pimples, simply discontinue the coconut milk, and it should go away on its own.

Lima EBC, et al. Cocos nucifera (L.) (Arecaceae): a phytochemical and pharmacological review. Braz J Med Biol Res. 2015.

Karunasiri AN, et al. Antioxidant and nutritional properties of domestic and commercial coconut milk preparations. Int J Food Sci. 2020.

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