Coconut oil, which has long been a popular product in tropical countries throughout the world has seen a surge in sales over recent years. Many advertisements and even consumers promote that coconut oil has a multitude of health benefits. These benefits include promoting healthy growth in hair while also giving it that shine everyone is after. Producers also state that coconut oil helps with digestion and weight loss. Some believe that coconut oil can even give immunity to certain infections by strengthening the immune system. With all of these bold statements about the positive effects of coconut oil, many have also said that coconut oil has had positive benefits on their skin by using the oil as a moisturizer, while others have stated that it can even help with acne. This article aims at examining whether or not coconut oil has a positive or negative effect on acne.
Does it cause acne?
When coconut oil hit the cosmetic market in the United States many believed it could be a panacea for acne and other skin related problems. Natural is always better right? Well not necessarily. When examining the affects that coconut oil has on acne there were many mixed reviews. Some stated that placing a small dab of the coconut oil directly on a pimple caused a decrease in redness while others gave horrifying testimonies as a result of using coconut oil and their entire face broke out more as a result from using the oil. Here are the basic facts that we found about coconut oil and their results when used on skin:
- Coconut oil is a dry oil
Because coconut oil is a “dry” oil rather than a wet oil, this means that coconut oil can actually make any present acne or inflammation worse. Many suffer dry skin with acne, and a dry oil is only going to make one’s skin even drier. As a result, your body will compensate by producing more oil. This will in turn cause more pores to be clogged – leading to an increase in breakouts.
- Coconut oil is comedogenic
You might ask what is comedogenic to start off this section. Well let me give you the definition: comedogenic is defined as tending to cause blackheads by blocking the pores of the skin. Kristina Holey who is a skin specialist and has numerous articles posted about skin health in regards to acne states that “the molecular structure of coconut oil is simply too large for the skin to absorb. Therefore, instead of benefiting the skin, coconut oil sits on top of the skin and clogs pores.” She goes on to state that coconut oil is not a bad oil for the body, it’s just the molecular structure for this oil may not be the best sorted cure for acne. (See the diagram below and how high the comedogencity of coconut is compared to other oils)
So after that analysis many might say that they have still had great success with coconut oil and that there is no way that it causes acne. If it works for you then that is great – but with any home remedy it is important to analyze the scientific facts about the make-up of the product. What we currently know is that coconut oil is very fatty and can undoubtedly clog pores. It is also a dry oil that can result in your skin producing more oil than it already is; making breakouts exponentially increase. Although if you still want to give this natural home remedy a chance for helping with acne I’d suggest using a journal and monitoring your face and the acne present before and after using coconut oil and stopping immediately if you see a breakout.