Coconut oil has gained a lot of popularity in recent years. It is used extensively in cooking and in beauty products. There are hundreds of DIY articles online that use coconut oil in homemade soaps, creams and body oils. Recently, I started using some essential oils on my hair and in skin care products - I have always used coconut oil for hair massage but I have never used it on my skin directly.
Source:Flickr:Phu Thinh Co
I thought I would give it a try and used some on my face last night. This morning in the mirror I was sad to see two medium-sized acne spots. Turns out, coconut oil may not be right for my sensitive acne prone skin. There could be other reasons but I have not had inflammatory acne in years now - special thanks to green smoothies and a sugar free diet.
I have personally never used it in my cooking, but I do know a lot of people who use it considering how wonderful it is for immune system, digestion and weight loss. But, when it comes to skin care, I have seen mixed results. This was long before I even heard about oil cleansing - my mom used to tell me to clean my eye makeup using coconut oil. I have used it as a makeup remover for eyes and can confirm that it works really well. Unfortunately, it does not work that well for acne prone or dry facial skin.
While reading the comment section on blogs dedicated to coconut oil, I have seen very confusing results. Some people are extremely happy with it while others complain about breakouts.
Coconut oil is mostly made up of saturated fat. Saturated fats solidify at room temperature while unsaturated fats remain liquid. Coconut oil is a truly rich source of palm kernel oil and lauric acid. A study has shown that lauric acid significantly penetrates the skin and accumulates in stratum corneum, which is the top layer of skin cells. Unfortunately, coconut oil has been given comedogenicity rating of 4 on a scale of 0 to 5 with 5 being the highest. Comedogenic means pore clogging and is likely to cause acne breakout.
Some people are happy with how coconut oil works on their skin - everybody has a different skin type. Our skin produces it’s own sebum. So, if we apply heavy oil on our face, it can interfere with the production of sebum and confuse the skin. The skin eventually lowers the production of sebum resulting in drying skin for some people. Coconut oil is a dicey choice for acne prone skin as well. The lauric acid is known to fight the acne bacteria but being a heavy oil, it may clog pores resulting in further acne breakouts.
The conclusion is that if you have very dry or acne prone skin, it might be a better idea to look out for another oil - unless you are a brave soul and would like to give this a try on your face. But if your skin tolerates coconut oil, you are one of the lucky ones to find something that works for the complete body, both internally and externally.
Hi, I started to use coconut oil on my face a few weeks ago and broke out with really bad spots. I am 50 years old and wondered what on earth was causing this. Not realising it was clogging the pores as you mentioned. Thank you, time to try sesame oil this time :-)
The same thing happened to me After reading all the positive claims about the wonders of coconut oil on the skin, I tried it for a few days, and broke out in spots in a way I haven't since I was a teenager.