What is the conclusion? Is coconut oil beneficial or harmful to the skin? If so, does it clog pores?
Although it is a relatively recent trend in clean eating and beauty, people have been in a long-term relationship with coconuts for thousands of years. The warmer temperatures where these nuts, drupes, or fleshy fruit-covered seeds grow atop those lovely coconut palm trees were more attractive to our ancestors (and, well, me).
Originally from Southeast Asia, coconut palm palms are now grown throughout the Americas and all across Africa. And it’s simple to see why they are so cherished if you’ve cracked one open directly from the tree.
However, the delicious milky foundation for your favorite vacation poolside beverage is only one use for coconuts. Coconuts are the creamy, tropical equivalent of duct tape; they are the multi-hyphenate of the food and beauty worlds, acting as both milk and meat; they can be ground into flour, whipped into creamy butter, dried into jerky, and, of course, are an all-purpose beauty elixir with uses from head to toe.
The coconut has a subtle taste, but don’t be fooled; it’s packed with vitamins and minerals, including iron, magnesium, vitamin C, fiber, and vitamin B6.
Coconuts for healing
Many academics believe India’s Ayurveda is the world’s most ancient medicine. Vasant Lad, BAM&S, MASc claims that the “Mother of All Healing,” Ayurvedic wisdom, originated in India more than 5,000 years ago.
This traditional medical practice attempts to rebalance the body through food, lifestyle changes, and topical skin treatments. Based on the idea that there are three primary bodily kinds (known as Kapha, Pitta, and Vata), Ayurveda treats illness. The spectrum of these many constitutions often includes chilly to hot, slow, airy, and quick.
In Ayurveda, coconut is a staple meal and topical remedy with advantages for many body types. Coconut oil is advised for many ailments and benefits in Ayurveda and may be cooling.
“Coconut oil contains cooling or pitta-pacifying qualities, according to Ayurveda. Pitta dosha, which is linked to the fire element and is disturbed by changes in heat and temperature, results in sensitive skin syndrome (in which the skin is readily irritated and inflamed with dispersed redness). According to Dr. Neena Chopra, co-founder and Just Herbs’ director of beauty and technology, other manifestations of pitta imbalance include rosacea, eczema, and acne.
On the Just Herbs website, Chopra argues that the presence of lauric acid is the critical element of coconut oil that distinguishes it from other fats. “Virgin coconut oil has the most significant amount of lauric acid, eclipsing mother’s milk. The primary medium-chain fatty acid in coconut oil, lauric acid, has been shown to have antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties.
This is supported by science.
In a research, it was discovered that coconut oil moisturized the skin more effectively than olive oil in persons with eczema or atopic dermatitis. Additionally, it performed better than the widely used mineral oil substitutes. Ninety-three percent of victims found alleviation with coconut oil, compared to 54 percent who used mineral oil. Coconut’s antiviral and antifungal qualities also increased its efficacy in treating skin infections caused by staph bacteria.
Is coconut oil good for you?
The coconut has various health advantages, including a high nutritional content and antiviral and antifungal characteristics. However, there is disagreement among nutrition and beauty specialists on the oil in coconut.
Coconut oil is heavy in saturated fat, commonly exclusively found in animal products, and is thus nutritionally unsound. Heart disease has been associated with saturated fat.
According to the Mayo Clinic, coconut oil has around 50% more saturated fat than butter.
However, some contend that certain saturated fats in coconut oil (known as medium-chain triglycerides) are less dangerous and may even increase levels of healthy HDL cholesterol, even though saturated fat is known to elevate cholesterol levels and be associated with an increased risk of heart disease.
However, unlike most other saturated fat sources, coconut oil also increases good cholesterol levels—even more than other plant-based oils regarded as beneficial, such as olive or canola. The Mayo Clinic notes that just a tiny portion of the fatty acids in coconut oil are made up of medium-chain triglycerides.
Furthermore, there has yet to be much study done to determine if the fat content of coconut oil raises the risk of heart disease. There is still much to learn about coconuts in the diet since they are a staple item across much of the globe, including the Blue Zone-recognized Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rica, where people live far beyond the age of 90.
The topic of using coconut oil for the skin is also contentious. When applied on the face, the advantages of moisturizing and hydrating may be offset by the possibility of blocked pores.
Coconut oil applications for the body
Numerous external applications exist for coconut oil. It is a typical therapy for hair and scalp, and because of its fatty acids and antifungal characteristics, it may lessen dryness and dandruff.
Coconut oil is good for hair, too. The hydrating qualities of coconut oil make hair smooth and soft. Coconut oil is often applied to the hair and scalp as a therapy in Ayurveda and left on for the whole night.
Chopra claims that lauric acid, a component of coconut oil, has a “high affinity for hair proteins and being of a low molecular weight and a straight linear, it can penetrate inside the hair shaft.”
Coconut oil is often used as a moisturizer
Coconut oil is often used as a moisturizer for the skin before and after bathing. At 76 degrees, it becomes liquid, so a little massage in the hands will melt it and make it easier to apply. As the dermatitis research revealed, it could also be beneficial for dry skin, mild skin infections, and skin inflammations. Try it on insect bites as well. It also works well for diaper rash parents.
Additionally, Chopra advises using coconut oil to treat stretch marks. “Coconut oil is thought to be a successful therapy for stretch marks because it enhances collagen cross-linking and helps restore lipid barrier function. One of the safest oils for massages on pregnant women is this one.
Need some assistance in the bedroom? If your preferred lube tube is empty, don’t worry. Coconut oil may prolong intimacy and ease dryness. However, keep in mind that it might reduce condom effectiveness, so if you use coconut oil as a sexual lubricant, be sure you utilize another method of birth control.
Coconut oil is a straightforward and often more economical alternative to well-known makeup removers and cold creams since it removes makeup effectively. According to Chopra, one advantage of using coconut oil to remove makeup is that it has antibacterial characteristics that keep microorganisms at bay. Microbes may thrive on makeup brushes and applicators, resulting in outbreaks and greater makeup use. Therefore, removing your makeup with coconut oil may lower your chance of developing any breakouts.
Does coconut oil clog pores?
With all of coconut oil’s advantages, it’s simple to want to cover yourself in the stuff from head to toe. But if you use it on your face, would it clog your pores? What if you already have acne-prone skin?
A well-known esthetician and dermatological nurse, Natalie Aguilar, claims that using raw coconut oil directly from the container would almost clog your pores. That results from its dense, wax-like oil structure, which can hold moisture. And it may result in clogged pores. This could aggravate acne if you already have sensitive skin.
Aguilar states, “The mixture of lipids and excessive dead skin cells can produce a clogged pore and eruption of a comedone (pimple).”
Dr. Craig Austin, a dermatologist, told Byrdie that he would never advise his acne-prone patients to use coconut oil. “There are a few issues with putting it on your face as it’s considered a comedogenic product,” he said.
When you apply coconut oil to your skin
When you apply coconut oil to your skin, you’re effectively ‘clogging’ the pore with an oil that contains germs and dead skin cells. Being one of the heavier oils, coconut oil effectively rests on top of the dermis and produces a film over the pore since thicker oils are more challenging to absorb by your skin. When bacteria and dead skin cells fester under the surface, your body will create too much sebum, which may lead to acne.
But there’s a catch-22 here, particularly for skin prone to breakouts, since abrasive cleansers or serums may dry out the skin excessively, making outbreaks worse. Additionally, coconut oil may be calming and aid in healing acne scars.
According to Aguilar, some individuals turn to deep cleansing cleansers that dehydrate the skin completely while caring for oily, acne-prone skin. This is one situation where using coconut oil can be beneficial. Using a coconut oil cleanser or dabbing coconut oil on your moisturizer could make your skin feel less stripped, tight, and dry.
According to Austin, “but I never recommend coconut oil to my acne-prone patients,” he adds everybody’s skin might respond differently. “But if you don’t constantly battle acne, your skin might not be as sensitive to it, and it could have a beneficial moisturizing effect.”
But what about those other advantages, like moisturizing or removing makeup?
Using coconut oil allows you to have your cake and eat it. Properly cleanse your face after using coconut oil to remove makeup. This will prevent your pores from being clogged with coconut oil, preventing outbreaks.
So, how can you regularly use coconut oil for skin care without running the danger of closed pores? These goods could be helpful.
Coconut Rich Face Cream by Kopari
This non-comedogenic, moisture-locking coconut cream moisturizes, calms sensitive skin, and helps shield the skin from external aggressors. It doesn’t include silicone, phthalates, parabens, or sulfates.
Coconut Probiotic Water Rehab Cream by Pacifica
Your skin will shine With this moisturizing cream produced with coconut water rather than oil. Coconut oil has antimicrobial properties that aid your skin without blocking pores. This jewel from the dependably vegan Pacifica will hydrate, moisturize, and smell wonderful.
Cosmetics by e.l.f. Hydrating Mist
A calming, fragrant coconut mist from e.l.f. It will hydrate and refresh your skin. All skin types should use this simple spritz, the ideal toner for applying and removing makeup. It nourishes and softens since it contains vitamins B5 and E. Phthalates, parabens, nonylphenol ethoxylates, triclosan, triclocarban, and hydroquinone are all absent from every e.l.f. Product.
Brightening Cleansing Towelettes from Acure
These Acure towelettes, created with coconut water, may quickly and effectively remove makeup or refresh the face. Please keep them in your purse or vehicle for refreshments after going to the gym, the beach, or elsewhere.
Stick Scrub & Cleanser Ultra Hydrating Energizing Coffee by Yes To Coconut
This scrub and cleanser stick combines coconut oil’s moisturizing properties with coffee’s cleaning power to help you wash and moisturize. Utilization is straightforward, thanks to the roll-on stick. Made without silicones, SLS, and parabens.