From cooking your vegetables to slathering it all over your hair, it seems that coconut oil can be used for anything and everything. However, how beneficial is coconut oil in skincare?
While coconut oil can improve many people’s complexions, it turns out that not every skin type can handle being coated in a thick layer of comedogenic oil.
Coconut oil is known for its lauric acid, which contains antimicrobial properties and is famous for fighting acne-causing bacteria. This would make many believe that coconut oil works wonders for oily, acne-prone skin. However, lauric acid also has a bad reputation for clogging pores.
That’s because lauric acid is occlusive by nature – like any other oil that sits on top of the skin to keep moisture and create a protective barrier against aggressors.
It’s fair to say that coconut oil has its pros and cons in skincare. Let’s dive in deeper.
The Pros of Using Coconut Oil for Skin
One of the most impressive roles coconut oil can play in skincare is that of a moisturizer. This is thanks to coconut oil being rich in medium-chain fatty acids, including lauric acid. Coconut oil also contains linoleic acid, an excellent hydrator.
Coconut oil’s emollient properties can help repair the skin’s barrier function. This refers to the outermost layer of skin that defends your body against environmental threats. So, if you suffer from dry, sensitive skin or atopic dermatitis, coconut oil may be particularly useful.
As well as being super hydrating, coconut oil acts as a protective layer that sits on the top of the skin, locking in moisture. It does this while preventing transepidermal water loss, where water passes through the skin and evaporates into the air.
This protective layer helps treat cracks in the outer layers of the skin more efficiently, making it more difficult for harmful bacteria to invade and cause an infection. For example, nasty bacteria such as staphylococcus, which commonly lingers on the skin.
Coconut oil also has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that can boost wound healing when combined with its hydrating and emollient effects.
Guess what? There are more benefits of coconut oil in skincare. Its antioxidant properties can neutralize and prevent free radicals from the sun’s harsh UV rays and pollution. Applying it as an aftercare solution after baking on a hot day may help soothe and treat the skin.
However, be careful. You shouldn’t apply coconut oil to a sunburn. As it acts as a sealant, coconut oil can trap heat and worsen a sunburn.
The key is to wait a few days for your skin to heal when it no longer feels like it’s on fire. Then you can slather on coconut oil to heal and hydrate your skin.
Should You Use Coconut Oil on Your Face?
While coconut oil has many benefits in skincare, it doesn’t work for everyone and isn’t the greatest acne-fighter.
As mentioned, coconut oil is pretty comedogenic and can clog pores and contribute to acne.
If you have oily, acne-prone skin, avoid applying coconut oil to pimply areas or skip it altogether. It may be best to avoid using coconut oil on your face, chest, upper back, and shoulders, as these areas contain the most oil glands. Consider doing test patches on other areas of your skin, too, to avoid an unwanted breakout.
While many believe coconut oil works as sunscreen, you should avoid this too. Coconut oil is estimated to have an SPF value of 8, only blocking a measly 20% of the sun’s beaming rays . Instead, use a broad-spectrum sunscreen that’s at least SPF 30.
Products containing coconut oil
If you want to enjoy the benefits of coconut oil without adversely affecting your skin, consider choosing products that contain small amounts of the ingredient.
PCA Skin Overnight Lip Mask
The PCA Skin Overnight Lip Mask is designed to nourish and condition dry, chapped lips as you snooze. The lip mask contains coconut oil and soothes chapped, tight lips while reducing unwanted flakiness.
Not only that, but it helps fight visible signs of aging and reduces the appearance of lip lines.
Murad Multi Vitamin Infusion Oil
For a healthy, vibrant glow, reach for the Murad Multi Vitamin Infusion Oil . This innovative treatment oil is powered by six key vitamins, and also contains coconut oil. The oil not only treats premature signs of aging but also boosts hydration, brightens skin, and protects from free radicals for a more youthful, glowing look.
iS Clinical Cream Cleanser
The lightweight, moisturizing iS Clinical Cream Cleanser is powerful but gentle enough to be used on dry, hypersensitive skin. The solution is packed full of bio-nutrients, antioxidants, and restorative ingredients that work together beautifully to cleanse the skin.
After use, your complexion will feel refreshed, hydrated, and clean.
Do you want more skincare advice? Here’s how to choose the perfect sunscreen .