Coconut oil has no positive role in a healthy diet. Because it is a highly saturated fat - one of the few saturated fats that doesn't come from animals - coconut oil can raise cholesterol levels. In the past, coconut oil was widely used in movie popcorn, candy bars and commercial baked goods, but has been phased out of many of these products due to consumer concerns about the health effects of consuming tropical oils.
While there is still debate about the hazards of dietary saturated fats, using cosmetic products containing coconut oil is another story. Although I prefer skin care products with natural anti-inflammatory activity, some components of coconut oil have been studied for their benefits to both skin and hair. The lauric acid found in coconut oil is available in a wide variety of skin and hair care products, including body and facial cleansers, soap and sunscreens. Clinical research supports the safety of these products in general, and the utility of coconut oil to help moisturize skin in particular.