Coo-coo for Coconut Oil

Using social media analytics to track the rise of coconut oil for cosmetics

There is a new fruit threatening to eclipse avocado’s popularity. And while it is difficult to make them into a topping for toast, coconuts are used in many other ways — coconut water, coconut milk, and coconut flour, to name a few. Recently, people have started using coconut in makeup, applying coconut oil to moisturize and cleanse.

By analyzing the social conversation about coconut oil, we are able to see how people began adapting coconut oil in their beauty routines. By doing so, we provide valuable insight to brands seeking to understand how consumers are using coconut oil, and why they are doing it.
More broadly, our analysis helps demonstrate how consumer trends in the CPG industry start, spread and supplant existing products.

Rising to the Top: How Oil Became Prominent in Cosmetics

In 2010, much of the cosmetics discussion was centered on using natural ingredients and eco-friendly products, with a small sliver of conversation dedicated to using oils as moisturizers and cleansers. But that soon changed.
From 2010 to 2013, the conversation about using oils as moisturizers and cleansers grew by a factor of 19. By 2016, oils had 33 percent share of voice in the cosmetics discussion, a huge change from the 18 percent share of voice it had in 2010. As people began to realize the effectiveness of oils, certain types of oils emerged in the discussion.


What Are People Saying About Coconut Oil?

Coconut oil’s beauty uses are versatile. Beauty bloggers and makeup artists discuss its uses as a hair conditioner, highlighter, shaving oil, and more. The word cloud shows prominent discussion for moisturizing (butter, conditioner, lotion, mask) and cleansing (facial, cleanse, wipes). The broader discussion demonstrates that coconut oil is incorporated into people’s daily beauty routines.

Over time, the topics about coconut oil shifted. From 2011 to 2012, there was one main topic — using coconut oil to moisturize. Besides using coconut oil to moisturize, the other prominent discussion topic was about how people “love using coconut oil.” As people continued to experiment with coconut oil uses in cosmetics, more topics arose. Starting in 2012, people discussed using an additional cleanser to remove the residue left by coconut oil. Though that topic faded by 2014, other topics continued to foster conversation — how much coconut oil to use, coconut oil to remove eye makeup, benefits of coconut oil, natural skincare products, and extra virgin coconut oil.


The beauty industry can be difficult to understand. A flurry of trends like contouring, highlighting, and cruelty-free beauty can easily overwhelm people. For brands, understanding the trends that are on the rise by looking at the social conversation helps them prioritize areas to focus on. Sometimes, these trends are unexpected, like adapting products that would be used for cooking in beauty routines. By looking at how coconut oil fits into the broader beauty trends using oils, and dissecting the different discussion topics, brands can figure out what makes coconut oil so appealing to consumers.
Download the full analysis of cosmetics trends in the CPG industry below.

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