We all know that coconut oil has an endless list of benefits. Is treating acne one of them? Let’s find out.
First things first – we need to explain how coconut oil works on acne. Since coconut oil contains medium-chain fatty acids which have an antimicrobial effect, it’s safe to say that coconut oil has the potential of killing acne-causing bacteria.
Half of these fatty acids is the so-called medium-chain lauric acid which has been shown to kill P. acnes (the bacteria that causes acne), viruses and fungi.
Now that we’ve established the effects of coconut oil for acne, let’s take a look at the different ways that you can use it on your skin.
If you’ve ever had to deal with acne scars, then you know just how long the treatment can last for. with severe cases, you have to undergo several months of treatment in order to notice the slightest improvements.
Coconut oil works by killing acne bacteria and stopping the breakouts in the first place. And if you don’t have any breakouts, then there’s no reason to worry about the scarring that goes along with it.
It’s rich in vitamin E, which is known for its healing benefits. Vitamin E can potentially contribute to the normal functioning of the sebaceous glands, which produce sebum on the skin. In addition, coconut oil also has anti-inflammatory properties, which can also repair scarring and prevent pimples because inflammation is needed in order to produce acne and acne scars.
Moisture is essential for healthy and glowing skin. Using coconut oil can be an effective moisturizer for some people. If you want to use coconut oil as a moisturizer, simply add a drop or two on the palms of your hand, rub it between your fingers in order to warm it up and massage it gently on your face at night, after you’re done with your regular skincare routine.
Due to its natural antibacterial and antifungal properties, coconut oil makes for a great face wash. After taking off your makeup, rub a small amount of coconut oil on your face and neck, in circular motions and gently massage it onto the skin. Once you’re done, wash your face as you would regularly and tap it dry with a towel.
Probably one of the most popular uses of coconut oil is as a makeup remover. It even removes waterproof makeup, which sometimes even store-bought makeup removers can’t do.
For this method, you will need to put a small amount of the oil on a cotton pad and gently rub it on your eyes. After a couple of minutes, wash your eyes with water in order to remove the excess oil. If you want, you can also use it for your face makeup. Apply the same method, only this time you might need a few cotton pads in order to remove all the makeup. Wash your face and apply a night serum (if you need one) afterward.
Not only will this natural makeup remover work wonders for eye makeup, but it will also leave the delicate skin under the eyes moisturized. This can slow down aging as well as help with dark under eye circles and bags. Not to mention, the makeup that you’ll put on the next day will look flawless under that hydrated skin.
As mentioned above, coconut oil can hydrate the skin under the eyes and make it appear more youthful and dewy. It’s a great option for a natural eye cream because it moisturizes without making the skin look and feels oily afterward.
If you’re on the lookout for a natural eye cream, try this one out! Dab some coconut oil under and around the eye area with a tapping motion. Be careful not to rub it in too hard, since it’s a delicate spot. Repeat this twice a day, in the morning and before going to bed.
Did you know that coconut oil is proven to be an amazing wound healer? Studies show that it aids and speeds up the healing process, as well as increasing the amount of collagen which the skin produces. All you need to do is apply a thin layer of coconut oil on your wound multiple times a day. This will allow for hydration as well as provide a helping hand in terms of recovery.
According to the comedogenic scale, coconut oil is considered highly comedogenic. It contains a lot of fatty acids, and more than 90% of that fat content is saturated, which is not really ideal for those who have problematic skin.
This is not to say that if you apply coconut oil you will break out no matter what. Everyone’s skin is different, and each reaction will be different. Which kind of coconut oil you use can also have an impact on whether or not you’ll end up breaking out. Processed coconut oil and virgin organic coconut oil don’t produce the same reaction in the skin. Extra virgin coconut oil hasn’t been modified, so all the vitamins and benefits are untouched. However, some people claim that this type is too heavy for their skin and it might be a problem if you have oily skin. Refined coconut oil has had some of its benefits, fatty acids and antioxidants extracted, so it might be easier on the skin but at the same time not as beneficial.
Despite all the awesome benefits that come with coconut oil, unfortunately, it’s not suitable for everyone. There’s not a universal way to determine if coconut oil will work for you, so you’d have to test it out for yourself in order to see your skin’s reaction to it.
Some dermatologists claim that applying coconut oil as a topical treatment might not be suitable for people who suffer from oily skin. Why is that so? Well, coconut oil ranks high on the comedogenic scale, meaning that it has the potential to clog up pores. Not to mention, applying it as a moisturizer can lead to an increase in sebum production, which, in turn, can cause additional acne.
Even though it contains some bacteria-fighting and acne-preventing properties, coconut oil can make acne worse. There is a chance that your skin won’t agree with it, and you should always be careful when trying out new products on your skin.
The thing about coconut oil is that it contains a lot of saturated fat, which turns into a liquid when applied anywhere on the body. Some experts claim that there’s a chance it might return to its natural state, which is quite buttery when it sits on the skin. This can end up clogging your pores and causing breakouts. If you have oily or acne-prone skin, it might cause some issues for you.
If you really want to try it out, you can help your skin out by exfoliating properly on the previous day. Use a gentle, non-abrasive exfoliator and rub it in circular motions all over your face. This will remove any dead skin cells and rejuvenate the skin from the outside. That way, when you do apply the coconut oil, it will probably stick better onto a clean and exfoliated surface.
Now that the risks of applying coconut oil topically have been covered, let’s look into whether eating coconut can result in breakouts.
Coconuts, the fruits known for their peculiarly sweet taste, are a great source of fiber, they’re cholesterol and gluten free and they are low in sodium. You either love them and you hate them, and unless taste is your main concern, it seems that there is no reason to hate them for their effect on the skin.
This is because there haven’t been any trustworthy studies thus far in order to give a definite answer to this question. Generally, people who aren’t allergic to coconut don’t suffer any negative consequences from consuming it regularly in a moderate amount.
There is no guarantee that you will experience the benefits mentioned above. Reactions to coconut oil often fall at the opposite end of the spectrum. But there is definitely a way through which you can make sure that there are little to no side effects from applying it topically.
This method is called a patch-test and it consists of trying out a new cosmetic product or method on a small area of the face first in order to see how your skin will react to it without risking breakouts all over your face. All you need to do in order to try out this method is apply some coconut oil using some of the methods mentioned above on a small area of the face, repeat this step and wait for a couple of days so that you get a reaction.
If your skin starts to improve then it means that you can go ahead and use it all over. If it doesn’t and you experience some breakouts, redness or irritation then it means that coconut oil is not the best option for you. Instead, you can go with some milder oils which are more suitable for acne-prone skin and which are deemed as non-comedogenic on the universal scale. Such oils include jojoba oil, grapeseed oil, and apricot kernel oil.
No cosmetic product comes without any side effects. It’s important to keep in mind that even the greatest acne fighting ingredients can cause trouble with some skin types.
That being said, coconut oil is not yet proven to be very successful in fighting acne, so this list of side effects might be longer than other non-comedogenic oils such as hemp seed oil and pomegranate oil. So, which side effects can a person who uses coconut oil topically experience?
The most common side effects include allergic reactions, irritation, and breakouts. Allergic reactions are fairly avoidable, so don’t apply it on the skin if you suffer from a coconut allergy. We’ve talked about using patch tests on the skin, and you should always practice doing that in order to avoid any irritation on a large surface on the face.
Breakouts can happen, but it’s very rare for your skin to break out so seriously that the acne won’t go away after a couple of days. If you do notice that your skin doesn’t agree well with coconut oil and it causes you to break out on the places that you put the oil, then stop using it immediately. Instead, visit a dermatologist in order to get the best and fastest treatment.
Consuming coconut oil can sometimes lead to acne as well. But this mostly happens when somebody uses extremely large quantities of coconut oil when cooking and messes the balance of their omega 3 to omega 6 ratios. Even though science is quite unclear on this subject, excessive oil consumption, especially if it’s full of saturated fat can lead to acne. This is not to say that you can’t have any oil, but do use it in moderate amounts or switch to one with less saturated fat, like flaxseed oil or olive oil.
Coconut oil contains some ingredients such as lauric acid which can help with acne, and there’s some evidence which suggests that it can help with acne scarring.
However, people with oily and acne-prone skin should be very careful when trying it topically for the first time, since it can often lead to breakouts.
Consult your dermatologist if you do plan on using it, and stop if you notice any negative effects.