The hype around coconut oil is all too real. The internet is full of articles that detail the benefits of this extracted oil. I recently fell down the rabbit hole of coconut oil’s many uses and was convinced that I should just bathe in it. When I found out that a few of my friends had been putting coconut oil underneath their eyes to combat dark circles, I followed suit and decided to test it out for myself.

I decided to consult with a professional and reached out to Neutrogena skin care expert Bertha Baum, D.O., who said she didn't recommend coconut oil to her patients, citing the fact that it can clog pores.

She suggested alternative options, such as rosemary oil, which is a known anti-inflammatory and reduces the restriction of the capillaries around your eyes. "That can be mixed with coconut oils to relieve puffiness. But in general [coconut oil is] not my first choice to get results for patients," she said.

Despite Dr. Baum’s reservations, I decided to carry on with my beauty experiment. I opted for unrefined coconut oil as it is the most pure form.

coconut oil
photo: iStock

I picked it up at my local Target store, crossed my fingers that it would work, and put it to the 30-day challenge. As not to disturb my facial routine — my skin is sensitive and reacts to any slight changes — I decided to apply it every night after I washed my face, right before bed. 

The first night came and went and I swore up and down that it had already lightened my circles.

After a couple nights of consistent application, I took note of how soft my under-eye skin felt. I tend to get dry, rough patches from time to time, so this was a pleasant surprise. However, upon further inspection, I realized that my circles were the same color and size as they were when I first started. Nothing had diminished, nothing had blown me away...yet.

Around the halfway point of my trial, I started to come to terms with the fact that perhaps this was a fluke. I saw more vibrancy in my under-eyes with my Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Night Oil ($105, Sephora) in a couple of days than I had with coconut oil in a couple of weeks. I continued in my quest to finish off strong and keep my eyes peeled for any potential improvements.

Ultimately, I fell victim to the placebo effect — my expectations were set too high.

Needless to say, after the remaining two weeks of my coconut oil experience came to a close, there was no visible change. I’m comfortable with how my under-eyes look, even if they’re a bit dark, so I won’t be continuing the coconut oil journey to see if change occurs after a longer period of time. Instead, I'll reach for my trusty concealer on days when I want to even out my skin tone. 

Has coconut oil ever worked for one of your beauty woes? Let us know in the comments below.