Is Avocado Oil The New Coconut Oil? I Tested 9 Beauty Uses & Here's What I Found
Avocados: It was really only a matter of time before the ubiquitous superfood made its way into beauty cabinets everywhere. And though some of us have been using avocado meat as an ingredient in DIY treatments for a while, the fruit's oil is slowly gaining ground as a self-care staple.
Are you surprised? You shouldn't be. Avocados are packed with antioxidants, "good" fats, vitamins and essential fatty acids, and the oil is no different. Yes, our skin is a direct reflection of what we eat, so eating avocados is certainly a strong move for great skin and hair, but applying it topically can't hurt.
But is avocado oil's beauty game strong enough to stage a coup and dethrone the reigning kitchen-ingredient-turned-beauty-powerhouse, coconut oil?
After practically overdosing on coconut oil to determine for you, dear readers, whether it lived up to all its beauty hype, I thought it was time to give the old standard a run for its money by comparing it to up-and-comer, avocado oil. Below, you'll find the fruits of my avocado oil-based labor. Some were good, some were bad, some were ugly. All were slippery.
1. Hair treatment
I chickened out a little on this one and opted to just coat the ends of my post-shower hair with avocado oil instead of covering my entire head with a "mask" like I did with coconut oil. Something about pouring straight-up oil onto my scalp didn't sit right with me, so unfortunately I can't speak to avocado oil's ability to treat a dry scalp. What I can say is that it works beautifully as a split end treatment and seriously quenched the thirst of my dry, color-treated tips.
After washing my hair, I towel dried, warmed a tiny bit of oil in my palms and gently applied it to the lower third of my strands. Then I went about my day, letting my naturally wavy hair air-dry. Without any product, my wet hair usually dries a bit puffy toward the bottom. But the avocado oil seemed to be taming fly aways, weighting the hair down just enough that it hung over my shoulders in a pretty, mermaid-like way.
It works! Avocado vs. Coconut: Draw.
It took me three tries to get this right, mostly because I couldn't figure out how not to dump the entire bottle into my hand. But once I figured out the proper tilt angle, it was smooth sailing. No, seriously, my legs felt so smooth after I applied the oil post-shave and it might have all been in my head, but my legs stayed stubble-free for a couple of days longer than they usually do. Sure, I smelled like an avocado for 20 minutes while the oil soaked in, but is that really so wrong?
It works! Avocado vs. Coconut: Avocado (but only because it soaks in faster).
3. Shaving "cream"
I just can't get behind the oil-as-shaving-cream thing. No matter what oil I use, how little I put on my legs in the shower or how new and sharp my razor is, the stuff always gums up the blade after only a couple of swipes. Maybe I need a really thin oil, but avocado isn't it. I'll stick with other ways to lather up for now.
Pass! Avocado vs. Coconut: Double fail.
4. Lip balm
I wanted to like this so badly, but the oil was just too slippery to sit on my lips properly. With the coconut oil, I could slowly melt the solid against my lips, but the avocado oil didn't want to cooperate. Maybe applying it with a cotton swab would have made a difference, but I was stubborn and unwilling to try again after my initial failure to achieve soft, pillowy lips through the power of avocados.
Avocado vs. Coconut: Coconut.
5. Cuticle oil
I thought I'd found my holy grail of cuticle care after the coconut oil test, but avocado oil is my new go-to for all things hangnail. Apply it with a cotton swab like a delicate flower or go all in like me and just dunk your fingertips in a small bowl of the stuff with wild abandon. You can thank me later.
Avocado vs. Coconut: Avocado FTW.
6. Makeup remover
I love oil cleansing. Like, really really love it. It leaves my skin clean and soft, and I've never felt so makeup-free as when I oil cleanse. And while the avocado oil definitely removed my makeup well, it was too viscous for my taste. I'm all for slip when cleansing, but this was borderline-uncontrollable (I think more avocado oil ended up on my bathroom sink and floor than on my face).
I also read after the fact that many skin care professionals don't recommend avocado oil for oily skin (like mine), so the pimples that showed up along my hairline and jaw the next day shouldn't have come as such a surprise. Maybe I was using too much oil or perhaps I didn't get it all off with my warm washcloth, but as someone who oil cleanses every single night, I'm maintaining the subsequent skin flareup wasn't my fault.
Meh. It removes makeup, but left my skin oilier than usual.
Avocado vs. Coconut: Neither.
7. Eye cream
After the oil cleansing breakout, I was wary to put avocado oil on my face for any extended amount of time, but I threw caution to the wind and dabbed a tiny bit under each eye before bed. When I woke up, the skin around my eyes was plump, dewey and completely masked the fact that I'd tossed for much of the night.
Avocado vs. Coconut: Avocado all day (and night).
8. Body scrub
Since I am clearly a trailblazer, there was a dearth of DIY body scrub recipes out there that called for avocado oil, so I subbed out the coconut for avocado oil in this recipe to craft a body scrub for this experiment. I can't say the scrub didn't work, because it definitely exfoliated my extremities, but it was too thin to really sit on my skin beyond the initial scoop-and-pat.
Avocado vs. Coconut: Coconut, but maybe a different recipe would yield different results.
9. Dark spot treatment
Since avocados are so packed with antioxidants, I figured the oil might work as a scar or dark spot treatment and took to the full-body mirror in my apartment to find an errant scar I could test the theory on. Luckily I'm prone to walking into furniture, so my knees and shins were a veritable wonderland of test subjects.
For two weeks, I religiously rubbed a particularly nasty ankle scar (the result of clumsy shaving as a teen) with avocado oil in the morning and before bed. The scar is still visible, but it's definitely lighter than before, so I'm calling it a win.
Avocado vs. Coconut: Avocado, but I didn't test coconut oil as a scar treatment.*
Avocado Oil - 4*, Coconut Oil - 2, Draw/Neither - 3
I used La Tourangelle Avocado Oil for these experiments.
And do you want your passion for wellness to change the world? Become A Functional Nutrition Coach! Enroll today to join our upcoming live office hours.