Does Coconut Oil Help Acne?
Once your family realizes that you have knowledge about natural remedies, they’ll come to you for just about everything. So it wasn’t surprising to have a young teen in the family reach out for some advice about dealing with acne. After mentally checking off all the various products I’ve come across, the one I turn to for so many things came to mind – coconut oil. With a bit of research, it became obvious that there was some potential.
How Does Coconut Oil Help Acne?
Acne happens when hair follicle glands become clogged, usually with a combination of dead skin cells and the oils secreted by those glands. The exact cause for this isn’t known with certainty, but it’s believed that hormones called androgens can play a part (which makes sense when you consider that puberty is a common time for acne to occur).
The blockage also causes a bacterial issue. Propionibacterium acnes lives in the follicle glands where it is normally held in check, but acne and other conditions can cause it to grow and multiply at a very fast rate. Because this accelerated growth rate further exacerbates the problem, using something to control this bacteria would prove helpful. Here’s a unique way to determine if you have this bacteria – use a black light as P. acnes will glow orange.
Having said that, coconut oil is high in fatty acids including lauric and caprylic acid which are antibacterial. It’s these components which make the use of coconut oil for acne prone skin a beneficial remedy. Because coconut oil is penetrating, it’s also helpful to use coconut oil for acne scars to minimize their appearance.
Using Oil to Combat Oil
Yes, it does sound counterproductive to use an oil to counter a problem caused by too much oil. And, truth be told, for some people it doesn’t work. There are some skin types that simply don’t like coconut oil - especially if the skin wasn’t properly cleaned before applying the oil.
For example, using coconut oil when the skin is extremely clogged with dirt, makeup or debris isn’t going to work. It’s important to use an exfoliating product to clear the gunk first. In other cases, the person’s pores are simply quite large and prone to clogging. It’s possible to overcome this by mixing the coconut oil with other oils to reduce the chance of it clogging the large pores. Consider oils such as geranium, myrrh, grape seed, black cumin seed, olive, hazelnut or sunflower. Each has specific benefits that can work well with coconut oil.
Does the Type of Coconut Oil Matter?
If you’ve read other posts on this site, by now you probably know exactly what I’m going to say here. It absolutely does matter what type of coconut oil you use. You should also use natural remedies from trusted sources that are pure, unadulterated, organic, and handled properly to maintain constituent viability.
In this case, you should also look for one more thing – extra virgin. This type of coconut oil has the least processing involved and is quite close to being the raw product loaded with everything you want.
However, one caveat here is that it may be too heavy for your skin if you have an extremely oily complexion. If this is the case, you can go with the fractionated, liquid form of coconut oil. You’ll miss out on some of the lauric acid and long-chain fatty acids but you’ll still get the benefit of the medium-chain ones, as well as vitamins and antioxidants.
How to Use Coconut Oil
So, now you know that coconut oil could be helpful for acne, although it won’t work for everyone. Now, the question is how to use it. While using it on the affected skin topically is certainly the recommended method, there is nothing to say that you cannot ingest it as well or instead. Healing from the inside is never a bad idea and it can get to some of the underlying potential causes for acne breakouts.
Perhaps there aren’t many concrete studies that show that coconut oil in your diet is going to end to your acne problems. But there have been numerous people who have added coconut oil to their diet for the other benefits and after a while realized they had clearer skin.
Don’t worry, you don’t have to use a lot. It’s easy to get two to three tablespoons into your diet. In fact, one way you might find pretty interesting is to blend a bit into your coffee in the morning. It adds incredible flavor and can give you a real boost of energy. It is also known to speed up your metabolism and boost your immune system – not bad side-benefits while clearing up your skin, I’d say!
Coconut Oil in Place of Acne Drugs?
If you head to your doctor with a severe case of acne there’s no doubt that they can prescribe something. Why shouldn’t you just do that? Here’s why – Isotretinoin, formerly sold as Accutane, is one of the most dangerous drugs ever made.
The lawsuits are piling up with some very serious side effects coming out – suicide, depression, birth defects (near 100% chance if used during pregnancy!), inflammatory bowel disease, aggressive behavior, headaches, rectal bleeding, blurred vision, nausea, strokes, muscle weakness, and even psychotic reactions.
I don’t know about you, but I’d rather have acne all over my body than take a chance on a drug like that. Even though many of the side effects are considered rare, it doesn’t seem worth it when there are more natural remedies with far less risk.
What Else Can I Do?
Whether you use coconut oil internally or externally or as a coconut oil acne scars treatment, there are additional things you can do to reduce acne breakouts. Drink plenty of water, avoid sugars and grains, get sufficient sleep and exercise, protect the beneficial bacteria in your stomach by avoiding antibiotics when unnecessary, get sufficient Vitamin D and take steps to reduce stress in your life naturally.
The worst thing to do is let acne steal your self-confidence. Don’t listen to those that say, “You’re a teenager, you’ll grow out of it” and suffer through it. There are things you can do to clear up your skin without endangering your health to do it. Give coconut oil a try and the next time someone asks you, “Does coconut oil help acne?” you’ll be able to give them a first-hand account of how it worked for you.