Skin Care

Coconut Oil For Acne – Benefits And How To Use It Effectively

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Coconut Oil For Acne – Benefits And How To Use It Effectively Hyderabd040-395603080 September 4, 2019

Acne is a bothersome issue that many of us face. Despite it being a common problem, not all of us can find the right treatment for it. While many people resort to prescription drugs, not everyone can deal with their side effects. Therefore, natural remedies for treating acne seem like a safe solution. And what could be safer than coconut oil? Yes, coconut oil can fight acne effectively! In this article, we will explore all the reasons that will motivate you to try it at least once. Take a look!

Benefits Of Coconut Oil For Acne: Does It Help?

Benefits Of Coconut Oil For Acne Does It Help Pinit

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Coconut oil is extremely versatile. It is used for skin care, hair care, and in food because of its zero-cholesterol content. Coconut oil is widely preferred for skin care because it contains high levels of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) or medium-chain fatty acids (1).

Medium-chain fatty acids include lauric, capric, and octanoic acids that have strong antimicrobial effects and can prevent the growth of disease-causing microbes (2). Coconut oil is primarily rich in lauric acid that helps in killing harmful bacteria, including P. acnes, the acne-causing bacteria (3), (4), (5).

A study found that lauric acid was more effective than benzoyl peroxide in reducing acne and inflammation (6). Benzoyl peroxide is a topical medicine usually used for treating acne.

Another study found that a combination of retinoic acid and antimicrobials (such as lauric acid) had a steady growth-inhibitory effect against Propionibacterium acnes and Staphylococcus aureus (7). Both these bacteria are responsible for acne.

Coconut oil also contains capric acid, which, along with lauric acid, has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. It is also effective against P. acnes bacteria (8).

Coconut oil is also beneficial for post-acne healing of the skin. Your skin needs proper care and moisturization for healing. Acne often leaves behind scars. Applying coconut oil to acne can prevent scarring by promoting collagen synthesis.

A study conducted on rats found that using virgin coconut oil helped in healing wounds quickly. Coconut oil promoted collagen cross-linking and increased the activity of fibroblasts (collagen producing cells) (9).

Coconut oil is an excellent moisturizer. It also heals acne and acne scars. But, can everyone use coconut oil on their skin? Is it suitable for every skin type? Let’s find out in the next section.

Is Coconut Oil Suitable For All Skin Types? What Are The Risk Factors?

Is Coconut Oil Suitable For All Skin Types What Are The Risk Factors Pinit

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Coconut oil is good for acne, but it is NOT suitable for people with oily skin.

Why?

Coconut oil is comedogenic as it contains fatty acids. About 90% of the fat in coconut oil is saturated fats, which can clog your pores.

There are different types of coconut oil available on the market. These are: refined coconut oil, processed coconut oil, and virgin coconut oil. While refined and processed coconut oils are mostly used for baking, cooking, and other purposes, virgin coconut oil is especially beneficial for your skin.

The suitability of coconut oil or any other natural ingredient depends on your skin type. If you are susceptible to pore blockage, any comedogenic ingredient can easily clog your pores.

Coconut oil is best suited for dry and combination skin types. To be on the safe side, it is better to apply coconut oil only to the affected area rather than on the entire face. This will prevent any further breakouts.

Now, take a look at which type of coconut oil is best suited for skin care purposes and how you can pick the best of the lot.

Which Type Of Coconut Oil Is The Best? How To Pick The Best?

Which Type Of Coconut Oil Is The Best How To Pick The Best Pinit

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Picking the right coconut oil for your skin can be confusing. The endless varieties and brands available on the market complicate the process. We are here to help you out.

Coconut oil comes in three varieties:

  • Unrefined coconut oil
  • Refined coconut oil
  • Processed coconut oil

Unrefined Coconut Oil Or Virgin Coconut Oil: This is extracted from fresh coconuts through wet milling or quick-drying processes. This helps in keeping the polyphenols and phytonutrients of the oil intact. This is the best type of coconut oil for skin care.

Refined Coconut Oil: This is extracted from dried coconuts, and it loses some of the nutrients during the extraction process.

Processed Coconut Oil: Lauric acid is removed during the processing of this type of coconut oil.

Pick coconut oils that are labeled ‘cold-pressed,’ ‘virgin,’ ‘extra virgin,’ or ‘raw.’ Before you make your purchase, check the label for the nutrient content and the percentage of lauric acid and other essential components. Also, look for seals, such as ‘fair trade-certified’ and ‘non-GMO’ on the bottle. You can also use fractionated coconut oil, which is already in the liquid form. This type of oil does not contain compounds that solidify and are, thus, easy to use.

Now that you know which type of coconut oil to pick, let’s move on to the next section and find out how you can use it on your skin.

How To Use Coconut Oil For Acne: DIY Methods To Try At Home

1. Coconut Oil And Baking Soda For Acne

Coconut Oil And Baking Soda For Acne Pinit

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You Will Need
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
Method
  1. In a bowl, mix together the baking soda and coconut oil.
  2. Apply the paste on the affected area.
  3. Massage gently with your fingertips for 5-10 minutes.
  4. Leave it on for another 30 minutes.
  5. Wash it off with cold water.
How Often?

2-3 times a week.

Why It Works?

Anecdotal evidence suggests that baking soda may help in reducing your acne as its drying effect can reduce the size of pimples and relieve inflammation.

Note: Baking soda may not be suitable for all skin types, especially sensitive skin. This is because it can damage the acid mantle of your skin and dry it out, thus worsening your acne. Always consult a dermatologist before using this remedy on your face.

2. Coconut Oil And Tea Tree Oil For Acne

You Will Need
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 2-3 drops tea tree oil
Method
  1. Mix both the oils and store in a glass jar.
  2. Massage a few drops of the mixture on the affected area.
  3. Leave it on for 30 minutes and wash off with cold water.
How Often?

Every alternate day.

Why It Works?

A study has shown that 5% tea tree oil is an effective treatment for mild to moderate acne vulgaris (10).

Note: Do a patch test before using tea tree oil on your face.

3. Coconut Oil And Aloe Vera Gel For Acne

Coconut Oil And Aloe Vera Gel For Acne Pinit

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You Will Need
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh aloe vera gel
  • 1 glass container
Method
  1. Blend the freshly scooped aloe vera gel.
  2. Mix coconut oil with the gel.
  3. Store the mixture in the glass jar.
  4. Massage a little bit of the mixture on the affected area.
  5. Leave it on for at least 30 minutes.
  6. Wash it off with cold water.
How Often?

2-3 times a week.

Why It Works?

Aloe vera gel not only moisturizes your skin but also helps to reduce acne inflammation (11).

4. Coconut Oil And Turmeric Powder For Acne

You Will Need
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • ½ teaspoon lemon juice
Method
  1. Mix all the ingredients in a glass bowl and keep it aside for
  2. 10 minutes.
  3. Microwave it for just a few seconds.
  4. Massage it gently on the affected area.
  5. Leave it on for 20-30 minutes or until it dries completely.
  6. Wash it off with lukewarm water.
How Often?

2-3 times a week.

Why It Works?

Turmeric has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial effects on your skin that help control acne breakouts and keep your skin healthy (12).

5. Coconut Oil And Sea Salt Scrub For Acne

Coconut Oil And Sea Salt Scrub For Acne Pinit

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You Will Need
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 ½ tablespoons sea salt (finely ground)
  • Washcloth
Method
  1. Mix the coconut oil and sea salt in the bowl.
  2. Apply the mixture on the affected area.
  3. Massage it in a circular motion for 5-10 minutes.
  4. Leave it on for another 5-10 minutes.
  5. Use a wet washcloth to wipe your face clean.
How Often?

2-3 times a week.

Why It Works?

Rubbing sea salt on your face has a scrubbing effect which helps unclog your pores and get rid of dead skin cells. Coconut oil relieves acne and keeps your skin moisturized.

6. Coconut Oil, Green Tea, And Honey For Acne

You Will Need
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon green tea (freshly brewed)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 cotton swab
Method
  1. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Use a cotton swab to apply the mixture on the affected area.
  3. Leave it on for 15-20 minutes.
  4. Wash it off with lukewarm water.
How Often?

Once every alternate day.

Why It Works?

This face pack feels soothing on the skin. The green tea in it has the potential to reduce sebum secretion and treat acne (13). Honey can inhibit the growth of P. acnes bacteria (14).

7. Coconut Oil And Yogurt For Acne

Coconut Oil And Yogurt For Acne Pinit

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You Will Need
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon yogurt
  • ½ teaspoon lemon juice
Method
  1. Mix the lemon juice, coconut oil, and yogurt in a bowl.
  2. Apply a thick coat of the paste on the affected area.
  3. Leave it on for 15 minutes.
  4. Wash it off with lukewarm water.
How Often?

Once every alternate day.

Why It Works?

While coconut oil fights acne, yogurt can improve the moisture, brightness, and elasticity of your skin to make it look more youthful (15).

If you have decided to try out these remedies and are thinking of buying virgin coconut oil, check out the next section for our recommendations.

Best Coconut Oils For Acne

Here are a few products you can check out:

  1. Garden of Life Raw Extra Virgin Coconut Oil – Buy it here!
  2. Nutiva Organic Virgin Coconut Oil – Buy it here!
  3. Handcraft Fractionated Coconut Oil – Buy it here!
  4. Skinny & Co. 100% Raw Coconut Oil – Buy it here!

Coconut oil binds with the sebum produced by your skin to extract all the dirt and impurities and unclog your pores. So, always do a patch test before using pure coconut oil on your skin because not all skin types react the same way to it. Also, avoid leaving coconut oil on your face overnight and stop immediately in case of any adverse reaction.
If you still have any more questions about coconut oil, drop them in the comments section below and we will get back to you.

References

  1. Coconut Oil”, Harvard T.H Chan School of Public Health.
  2. Short- and medium-chain fatty acids…”, Archives of Oral Biology, US National Library of Medicine.
  3. Health Effects of Coconut Oil…”, Journal of the American College of Nutrition, US National Library of Medicine.
  4. Fatty Acids and Derivatives…”, Antimicrobial Agents And Chemotherapy, US National Library of Medicine.
  5. The antimicrobial activity of liposomal…”, Biomaterials, US National Library of Medicine.
  6. Antimicrobial property of lauric acid against…”, Journal of Investigative Dermatology, US National Library of Medicine.
  7. Solid Lipid Nanoparticles…”, Journal of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, US National Library of Medicine.
  8. Anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory…”, Journal of Dermatological Science, US National Library of Medicine.
  9. Effect of topical application of virgin…”, Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, US National Library of Medicine.
  10. The efficacy of 5% topical tea tree oil gel…”, Indian Association of Dermatologists Venereologists and Leprologists, US National Library of Medicine.
  11. Aloe vera Juice and Acne Vulgaris: A Placebo-Controlled Study”, Asian Journal Of Clinical Nutrition.
  12. Effects of Turmeric (Curcuma longa) on Skin Health”, Physiotherapy Research, US National Library of Medicine.
  13. Green Tea and Other Tea Polyphenols”, Antioxidants (Basel), US National Library of Medicine.
  14. Honey: A Therapeutic Agent for Disorders of the Skin”, Central Asian Journal Of Global Health, US National Library of Medicine.
  15. Clinical efficacy of facial masks containing yoghurt…”, Journal Of Cosmetic Science, US National Library of Medicine.