Sephora Is Selling a $38 Jar of Coconut Oil, and Black Women Everywhere Are Unimpressed

It’s the holiday season, so I’ve put myself on a bit of a moratorium from my usual Sephora habit, since I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who deserves presents this Christmas. That said, I occasionally get my fix by drifting through its virtual aisles and living vicariously through friends’ shopping sprees, which is why I was eager to know what Yesha Callahan, deputy managing editor of The Root, scored on a recent trip.


Aside from second-guessing an impulse-splurge on cult skin care fave T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial from Drunk Elephant, she had one question: “Why is there a brand there that sells a $38 jar of coconut oil?”

Needless to say, I was intrigued; after all, it’s also the season of peak moisturizing. I rushed to Sephora’s site, determined to see for myself. And there it was: a 7-ounce, $38 jar of Coconut Melt, courtesy of Kopari Beauty, a Pacific-based brand that markets tropical beauty.

Sure that both Yesha and I had missed something, I checked the ingredients:

“100% Organic Coconut Oil”

Just to clarify, Kopari insists that this is “not your kitchen coconut oil.” As detailed in its product description:

Kopari tested dozens of coconut oils from all over the world and discovered the most premium for use on both skin and hair. Like fine wine or olive oil, the quality of the fruit as well as where and how it is harvested makes all the difference. Kopari’s coconut oil is sustainably sourced from small family farms in the Philippines and made from fresh, virgin, and 100 percent organic coconuts. The quality, texture, absorption, and aroma is unlike any other oil on the market. Discover what thousands of Kopari fans have—not all coconut is created equal.

Agreed, and I’m going to ignore that shade about my kitchen. But when it comes to coconut oil intended for external use, you generally just need to know two things: whether it’s organic and unrefined, because these are the best qualities for topical use.

But just to make sure I wasn’t tripping, I did a Facebook snap poll, garnering results from women of all races—and a few men. For the sake of our core demographic here at The Glow Up, I’ll just include the responses from black women:

“7oz?! Not when Costco got a gallon for less than that. I’m judging ... I thought it was going to have some added ingredients for that price. Like unicorn tears or something.”

“It’s a no from me. The organic (no coconut smell!) Trader Joe’s version for $6 is just fine. Thanx.”

“Noooooooo. Again: Noooo. GTFOH.”

“Uhh...they got me fucked up, and I’m finna see what this $3.00 coconut oil talkin’ bout from Brandless.”

“Nope! I’ll stick with my economy Costco jar!”

“Hard nope.”

And my favorite response, because LeBron’s face was all of us on that thread:

“Ingredients: Coconut Oil.”

LeBron James (ESPN via Giphy)

To be fair, Kopari’s shimmery bronze Coconut Body Glow, scented with gardenias (shoutout to Billie Holiday) might be what’s up, because even at $42 for a 3.4-ounce bottle, it beats my decadelong Nars Monoi Body Glow habit ($59 for 2.5 ounces). But though Kopari’s Instagram features a handful of melanated beauties, including Victoria’s Secret Angel Jasmine Tookes, I’m feeling like its coconut oil—I mean, “Coconut Melt”—might not really be for “us.”


But, hey, if it gets white women to consider their own need for full-body moisturizing, I guess all that money goes toward a good cause.

Maiysha Kai is managing editor of The Glow Up, host of The Root Presents: It's Lit! podcast and Big Beauty Tuesdays, and your average Grammy-nominated goddess next door. May I borrow some sugar?



Biiitch! Somebody’s trying it. “Not your kitchen coconut oil” shows the height of their bullshit because from a food and safety perspective, your kitchen coconut oil is top standard because it’s been vetted with stricter standards for eating, as opposed to merely cosmetic use. Furthermore, coconut oil has a standard chemical composition, so, no source is “most premium” - as long as it is fresh (vs stale/expired), with no impurities/dilution, one sample of 100% coconut oil is technically equivalent to another.

And yes, when Costco can hook a sister up with~2kg/72oz tub of organic, cold-pressed, virgin coconut oil for less than $20, Kopari needs to cut the crap.