Coconut Natural Skin Hydration Secrets


Coconut fruit can be used in a variety of ways. It has healthy nutritional value and packs a lot of benefits for the body. A derivative of the coconut fruit that stands out in terms of benefits to the skin is coconut water. Coconut water improves skin hydration and has anti-ageing, anti-cancer, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory effects.

The importance of the skin

The skin isn’t only an organ that covers your body and gives you the complexion you have. The skin is the largest organ of the body. It is essential for protecting the body against pathogens, regulating body temperature, maintaining cell fluid, synthesising vitamin D, and detecting stimuli.1

The skin primarily protects the body against exogenous substances and excessive water loss.2 Exogenous substances include infections, allergens and toxic substances.

The skin consists of three layers;

  • Epidermis - the top layer of the skin
  • Dermis - the middle layer of the skin
  • Hypodermis - the bottom of the fatty layer of the skin

The epidermis is the body’s first line of defence and forms an effective barrier between your body’s internal and external environment.1

The stratum corneum is the outer layer of the epidermis and is essential for maintaining an effective epidermal barrier against excess loss of water, electrolytes, and proteins.1

The stratum corneum and sebum are crucial in maintaining the skin's barrier hydration and keeping the skin's surface soft, smooth, and moisturised.2

Factors affecting skin hydration

The stratum corneum is primarily responsible for the skin hydration. Skin hydration is necessary to maintain the skin’s elasticity and protect it from damage. Hydration of the skin also allows the function of hydrolytic enzymes in the skin, which breaks down protein, lipids, nucleic acids, carbohydrates and fat molecules.3

Dehydration of the skin leads to dry skin, which results in reduced skin elasticity and increased roughness and scaliness on the skin.

Some factors affect skin hydration, and they are environmental, nutritional, and age-related factors.1

Environmental factors that affect skin hydration

The main environmental factors that affect skin hydration are ultraviolet B (UVB) exposure to the sun, temperature, and humidity.

Overexposure to UVB radiation increases the thickness of the stratum corneum, which affects the permeability of the stratum corneum barrier, leading to skin dehydration.4

High temperatures and humidity can help your skin stay hydrated. When the weather is hot and humid, it causes you to sweat. Sweating keeps the skin hydrated, but it could cause acne.

Low temperatures and low humidity can cause your skin to be dehydrated, reducing skin elasticity. A decrease in skin elasticity causes you to age faster.

Nutritional factors that affect skin hydration

Nutrition affects hydration and the quality of your skin. Adequate dietary intake and topical skin care are essential for maintaining the moisture and elasticity of the skin.

Vitamin C stimulates ceramide production in the epidermis. Ceramides retain your skin's moisture, preventing the entry of germs into your body.

Calcium helps the skin create new skin cells (cell regeneration). Calcium also aids the production of sebum that moisturises and protects your skin from drying out.

Polyunsaturated fatty acids in vegetable oils and fish oils contain antiinflammatory and antiproliferative substances used in inflammatory skin disorders.

Age factors that affect skin hydration

The more you age, the more likely your skin will be dehydrated. Ageing decreases ceramide and sebum production.5 Ageing also reduces epidermal hyaluronic acid, which causes a decrease in skin moisture.

Coconut water

Composition of coconut water

Coconut is a versatile fruit with great benefits. The coconut fruit has nutritious and medicinal value.

Coconut water is the part of the coconut fruit that hydrates and rejuvenates the body and skin. Coconut water is an undiluted and non-fermented beverage, and the main constituents (in terms of quantity) are sugars. The main sugars in coconut water are fructose, glucose and sucrose.6

Minerals make up the second largest constituent. There are six main minerals in coconut water. They are potassium (K), sodium (Na), calcium (Ca), zinc (Zn), iron (Fe) and magnesium (Mg), in decreasing quantity. Other minerals are iron and zinc, which are present in relatively low concentrations.6

Coconut water also contains sugar alcohols (sorbitol and mannitol), vitamins (vitamin C, vitamin B3, vitamin B5 and niacin), lipids (mainly saturated fatty acids), amino acids (aminobutyric acid, glutamic acid and lysine), organic acids (malic acid and pyridoxine) and phytohormones such as cytokinins and auxins.6

Hydration benefits of coconut water to the skin

Coconut water aids hydration due to the electrolytes present.7,8 Different electrolytes are used to keep water movement in place so that your body can be hydrated and maintain hydration. The main electrolytes involved in body and skin hydration are sodium and potassium.

The presence of sodium and potassium in coconut water is what is responsible for keeping the body hydrated and making you feel rejuvenated. This is why coconut water is called a natural isotonic drink.7,8

Skin hydration is crucial in maintaining the elasticity of the skin, and coconut water improves skin elasticity and complexion.9

Coconut water is a better choice compared to processed sports drinks because it contains electrolytes and natural sugars while being low in calories and carbohydrates.7,8

Other benefits of coconut water to the skin

Aside from skin hydration, the following are other benefits of coconut water to the skin:

Anti-ageing effect

Coconut water can make you look younger because of its anti-ageing effect on the skin. Cytokinins in coconut water are a class of phytohormones (plant hormones) that play a role in anti-ageing.7

Kinetin was the first cytokinin discovered in coconut water and is known to delay cellular ageing in the skin.7 Trans-zeatin is another cytokinin in coconut water and has anti-ageing effects on the human skin.8 The anti-ageing properties of cytokinins reduce wrinkles and sagging skin.

Coconut water also improves skin elasticity and tone, making you look younger.9

Anti-cancer effect

Cytokinins in coconut water have anti-cancer properties, which can help to reduce the risk of skin cancer.8

Antioxidant effect

Antioxidants in coconut water (like ascorbic acid, caffeic acid and total phenolics) help prevent UV radiation, reduce ageing, prevent skin cancer that can result from UV radiation, and have proven beneficial for people with psoriasis and alopecia.10,11

Anti-inflammatory effect

Coconut water has anti-inflammatory effects. The effect of coconut water on skin hydration helps reduce skin inflammation. The presence of cytokinins and antioxidants such as ascorbic acid also relieves the skin of inflammation.6,7,10

Other health benefits of coconut water

Coconut water packs a lot of benefits to your skin. It also has benefits for your body such as7,8:

  • Reduces swelling in the hands and feet
  • Reduces blood sugar problems
  • A good source of minerals for the body
  • Aids digestion
  • Relieves constipation
  • Reduces the risk of heart disease because of its effect on cholesterol
  • Improves blood circulation
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Prevents abnormal blood clotting due to its anti-thrombolytic effects
  • Improves immune function

Consuming coconut water can contribute to your body’s health.

Incorporating coconut into your skincare routine

You can drink coconut water or apply it to your skin.7,8 There isn’t much research on the topical use of coconut water, but there is research on the topical use of coconut water solids on the skin.9

Incorporating coconut water into your skincare routine might involve the following:

  • Drinking coconut water daily
  • The use of DIY coconut-based hydrating masks
  • Purchasing coconut-infused skincare products 

Some people may have allergic reactions to coconut and its products. Those with coconut allergies should avoid drinking coconut water or topical use of coconut and its derivatives. If you develop an allergy, please consult your doctor.


Skin hydration is essential for protecting the body against pathogens, regulating body temperature, maintaining cell fluid, synthesising vitamin D, and detecting stimuli.

The stratum corneum is the outer layer of the epidermis primarily responsible for skin hydration. Skin hydration is necessary to maintain the skin’s elasticity and protect it from damage. Environment, nutrition, and age are factors that affect skin hydration.

Coconut water contains sodium and potassium, which are electrolytes responsible for keeping the skin hydrated and making you feel rejuvenated. Skin hydration is crucial in maintaining skin elasticity, and coconut water improves skin elasticity and gives the skin an even tone.

Coconut water also contains substances that leave the skin with anti-ageing, anti-cancer, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory effects.


  1. Camilion JV, Khanna S, Anasseri S, Laney C, Mayrovitz HN. Physiological, pathological, and circadian factors impacting skin hydration. Cureus [Internet]. 2022 Aug 4 [cited 2023 Sep 14]; Available from:
  2. Bonté F. Skin moisturization mechanisms: New data. Annales Pharmaceutiques Françaises [Internet]. 2011 May [cited 2023 Sep 14];69(3):135–41. Available from:
  3. Practical Dermatology. [cited 2023 Sep 20]. Understanding the role of natural moisturizing factor in skin hydration. Available from:
  4. Im AR, Yeon SH, Ji KY, Son RH, Um KA, Chae S. Skin hydration effects of scale-up fermented cyclopia intermedia against ultraviolet b-induced damage in keratinocyte cells and hairless mice. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med [Internet]. 2020 Jan 11 [cited 2023 Sep 20];2020:3121936. Available from:
  5. Wang Z, Man MQ, Li T, Elias PM, Mauro TM. Aging-associated alterations in epidermal function and their clinical significance. Aging (Albany NY) [Internet]. 2020 Mar 27 [cited 2023 Sep 20];12(6):5551–65. Available from:
  6. Lemos I da ML, Aniceto A, Teodoro AJ. Coconut water: production, nutritional properties and health benefits. OBSERVATÓRIO DE LA ECONOMÍA LATINOAMERICANA [Internet]. 2023 Apr 19 [cited 2023 Sep 14];21(2):971–93. Available from:
  7. Health benefits of tender coconut water (Tcw) | International Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Research [Internet]. 2019 [cited 2023 Sep 20]. Available from:
  8. Tuyekar SN, Tawade BS, Singh KS, Wagh VS, Vidhate PK, Yevale RP, et al. An overview on coconut water: as a multipurpose nutrition. IJPSRR [Internet]. 2021 Jun 15 [cited 2023 Sep 20];68(2). Available from:
  9. Nurturing health & wellness with coconut water solids [Internet]. [cited 2023 Sep 20]. Available from:
  10. Addor FAS. Antioxidants in dermatology. An Bras Dermatol [Internet]. 2017 [cited 2023 Sep 20];92(3):356–62. Available from:
  11. Santos JLA, Bispo VS, Filho ABC, Pinto IFD, Dantas LS, Vasconcelos DF, et al. Evaluation of chemical constituents and antioxidant activity of coconut water (Cocus nucifera L.) and caffeic acid in cell culture. An Acad Bras Cienc. 2013;85(4):1235–47.
This content is purely informational and isn’t medical guidance. It shouldn’t replace professional medical counsel. Always consult your physician regarding treatment risks and benefits. See our editorial standards for more details.

Get our health newsletter

Get daily health and wellness advice from our medical team.
Your privacy is important to us. Any information you provide to this website may be placed by us on our servers. If you do not agree do not provide the information.

Odinakachukwu Ndukwe

Bachelor's of Medical Laboratory Science, University of Cape Coast, Ghana

Odinakachukwu Ndukwe is a Medical Laboratory Scientist and a Marketing Communication Specialist that specializes in content strategy and brand storytelling. She has found a way to merge her passion for public health with communication for better healthcare delivery and experience. Her current focus is on public health and health communication. presents all health information in line with our terms and conditions. It is essential to understand that the medical information available on our platform is not intended to substitute the relationship between a patient and their physician or doctor, as well as any medical guidance they offer. Always consult with a healthcare professional before making any decisions based on the information found on our website.
Klarity is a citizen-centric health data management platform that enables citizens to securely access, control and share their own health data. Klarity Health Library aims to provide clear and evidence-based health and wellness related informative articles. 
Klarity / Managed Self Ltd
Alum House
5 Alum Chine Road
Westbourne Bournemouth BH4 8DT
VAT Number: 362 5758 74
Company Number: 10696687

Phone Number:

 +44 20 3239 9818