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Coconut Oil For Acne: Does It Help?

Coconut Oil For Acne: Does It Help?

Truth be told, using coconut oil for acne is a practice that harks back centuries, if not millennia. Ever since our forefathers discovered the versatile nature of this fruit that thrives naturally alongside coastal shores, coconut oil acne has featured in a variety of homemade treatment routines for skin breakouts. But is coconut oil good for acne or this is just another of those overrated and overhyped mythical panaceas? Well, there's only one way to find out.  Read on.

The popularity of using coconut oil for skin acne can be traced back to some of its revered dermatological properties that puts head and shoulders above most commonly available skincare products. In a way, these properties are best enunciated by the numerous benefits that using coconut oil for breakouts offers to an acne patient. And this includes the following;

Benefits Of Coconut Oil For Acne

It's good to clarify from the onset that coconut oil is extracted industrially or domestically from the flesh or 'meat' of the fruit itself. It tends to be a clear liquid when heated and a white solid in room temperatures. Pure coconut oil is quite resilient and can withstand a variety of temperature changes under long storage stints without going bad or rancid. In fact, this is one of the many reasons it has found a place in many civilisations, both past and present, as far as skincare is concerned. Speaking of which, here are some of the numerous benefits of coconut oil on skin acne that you can look forward to should you adopt this mode of treatment.

1. Superior Hydration Whilst Treating Acne

what does organic coconut oil do for your face

Chemically speaking, coconut oil consists of MCFAs (medium-chain fatty acids) aka MCTs or triglycerides. These acids are quite different from the usual long-chain fatty acids that you will find in other saturated oils that tend to worsen acne rather than help clear it. But thanks to this MCFA constitution of coconut oil, the emollient packs a number of hydrating capabilities that can prove to be highly beneficial in reducing inflammation in dry skin whilst treating acne. It's actually one of the innumerable reasons using coconut oil for breakouts is recommended particularly for those with perpetually dry skin.

That aside, coconut oil has been shown to improve the moisture-retention capacity of the skin by helping repair cracks and stem water loss. Experts also have strong reasons to theorize that the oil aids in replacing essential fatty lipids losts from the exterior-most layer of the skin. Remember that these are the same fatty lipids that make up the skin's primary function that keeps environmental extremities out and moisture locked in. What's more, it also contributes to the suppleness and youthful-looking appearance that is associated with healthy skin.

To add on this, coconut is also known for its linoleic acid content, which has been observed to restrict excessive moisture loss from the skin. And bearing in mind that a well-drenched skin is less easily inflamed than a constantly dry one, you start to get the idea how using coconut oil to clear acne makes you less vulnerable to breakouts.

2. Packs a Number of Incredible Antibacterial Properties

The crux of coconut oil acne treatment is founded on the fact that the emollient is rich in lauric acid, which is believed to be potent at inhibiting the activity of acne-causing bacteria. Reduced activity of these acne-associated bacteria will of course translate to lower skin breakout incidence and a marked reduced severity should it occur.

There's also plenty of anecdotal evidence that appears to suggest that lauric acid can also help with acne scarring and reduce the conspicuousness of the post-inflammatory blemishes. Actually, it employs almost the same mode of action utilized in AENO's Cystic Acne Scar Remover that has built a name for itself as one of the most effective hyperpigmentation-fading treatments on the market. AENO’s superstar acne remover is, nonetheless, a more powerful remedy in this aspect since it draws its efficacy from a specially-formulated array of active ingredients that are not present in coconut oil. 

Apart from its antiviral and antibacterial properties, coconut oil also packs a choke-full of beneficial fatty acids that complement its acne-fighting properties to help you maintain your newly-earned flawless skin easily.

3. An Excellent Exfoliant Base

how do i use coconut oil for my face

Coconut oil may not be an exfoliant by itself but it acts as an exceptional base for DIY exfoliants such as coarse sea salt or sugar. And taking into account the numerous benefits of exfoliation as far as controlling breakouts go, it is not exactly hard to get a feel of the many benefits of coconut oil on skin acne. And these include the likes of;

  • A brighter and more luminous skin
  • Softening and smoothening of the complexion by evening out the bumps and papules
  • Removal of dead skin cells keeps the pores open thereby preventing future breakouts
  • Open/unclogged pores allow other acne treatment products an unhindered access to the skin's underlying layers.

4. Loaded with Antioxidants

Coconut oil packs several phytonutrients (also known as plant compounds) and a collection of antioxidants that have proven to be pivotal for stemming inflammation and combating environmental stressors. In effect, apart from inhibiting and stopping acne at its tracks, it also has an anti-aging effect since the combination of phytonutrients and antioxidants can boost the skin's overall nutrient factor. Besides, just fighting environmental irritants goes a long way in preventing the premature appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.

5. Soothes Irritated/damaged Skin and Helps Acne Scars Heal Better

coconut oil for skin breakouts

Those with acne-prone skin or ultra-sensitive and easily-irritated skin will find the soothing effect of coconut oil - particularly when applied regularly -  quite welcoming. And by alleviating itchiness, irritations and general discomfort, this soothing relief keeps you from exacerbating your past acne scars (by scratching) or worsening an already festering breakout. Either way, even if your skin is not inflamed, you can always use a bit of epidermis soothing and relaxation everytime you pick up the emollient. Moreover, there's also plenty of anecdotal evidence that shows how the oil can tone down the characteristic temporary redness that occurs in the early stages of a skin breakout.

6. Reduces the Conspicuousness of Wrinkles and Fine Lines even When Treating Acne

The fact that it is highly absorbent and is easily soaked up by patched (dry) skin means that coconut oil is the perfect tool for making those annoying wrinkles and fine lines disappear. In other words, apart from helping you in your quest against skin breakouts, this oil plays a fundamental role in contributing to that elusive ageless look that we all yearn for. Most importantly, it does this while also fighting infection, healing scars and inhibiting the activity of acne-triggering bacteria.

Coconut Oil Uses For Different Type Of Acne

coconut oil for acne

There's nowhere else the multitasking magical powers of coconut oil shine more than its relevance in treating or minimizing different types of acne. While there may be many coconut oil uses for acne as we have figured out above, its ability to be versatile enough to play a leading role in the treatment of different types of skin breakouts is impressive. Experts have attributed this unique adaptiveness to its potent anti-inflammatory properties, skin soothing ability and the presence of lauric acid in its chemical makeup.

So, how does coconut oil help acne? The short answer to this is by being a cleanser, moisturizer and a decent spot treatment remedy all rolled up into one. In addition, coconut oil is one of the few non-comedogenic emollients that can hydrate your skin without clogging, blocking or plugging your pimples.  With that effectively out of the way, here is a quick premise on how using coconut oil for acne comes alive in different scenarios.

1. Coconut Oil for Cystic Acne

Cystic acne is one of the most complex and hard-to-treat forms of acne. Dermatologists believe it's because it's typically the result of deep cysts forming so deep underneath your epidermis that standard acne treatments can hardly penetrate to impart their healing potency. This is also the reason you need a remedy that is particularly formulated to combat cystic acne; a good example is AENO's Cystic Acne Treatment & Scar Remover.  Such a remedy combines the unique healing abilities of coconut and an array of other natural ingredients to reduce the severity/intensity of heavily inflamed cystic lesions. 

That aside, it's important to bear in mind that this type of acne is usually precipitated by a number of factors such as the accumulation of dead skin cells, oil and bacteria  which explains why it is mostly commonly observed in people with naturally oily skin. The nexus between coconut oil and cystic acne treatment can be traced back to the presence of lauric which, as a matter of fact, makes up 50% of the oil's medium chain fatty acids. As pointed out earlier, lauric acid has been shown to be effective at killing propionibacterium acnes, the pathogen responsible for the progression from milder forms of acne to fully blown cystic episodes.

Moreover, the oil's antimicrobial fatty acids also contribute at inhibiting an unrestricted multiplication of p.acnes bacteria thereby giving the skin a chance to repair and heal itself making it less probable that a few pimples or zits will worsen to cystic acne. Nevertheless, it is coconut oil's ability to hydrate the skin without blocking or plugging up the pores that is of real significance as far as the tussle against acne goes.

2. Coconut Oil Pimples

Coconut oil has this remarkable way of moisturizing the skin without making it look greasy or gross. This often results in a characteristic silky smoothness that makes pimples less conspicuous and inflamed. What's more, experts also believe that coconut oil is capable of triggering a series of events that culminates in the fast healing of broken skin in the aftermath of a skin breakout. 

In addition to this, the hydration effect of the oil also comes in very handy when you're using a potentially drying acne-fighter such as tretinoin or benzoyl peroxide to control your pimples. In such instances, the coconut emollient will counterbalance the skin-dehydrating effects of these OTC acne medications to make your treatment regimen less gruelling.

So, is coconut oil good for pimples? Definitely, especially when used in conjunction with OTC medications containing potentially dehydrating active ingredients. Other than that, there’s only so much that coconut oil can do to extract you from your pimples quagmire.

3. Coconut Oil and WhiteHeads

The biggest concern when coconut oil is mentioned or discussed in dermatological circles often revolves around, "Does coconut oil help blackheads or whiteheads?"  This disquetitude originates from the misconception that oil and blackheads don't mix, which is true to some extent. However, you have to remember that coconut oil is non-comedogenic in nature hence any worry that it could aggravate your symptoms by plugging your skin pores should be shelved. In the meantime, you could do with some of the medicinal effects of coconut oil that have proven to be useful in reducing the prevalence of blackheads and whiteheads.

Can Coconut Oil Cause Acne?

can consuming coconut oil cause acne

There are several reports that seem to suggest that coconut oil causes acne or worsens it. It's also not surprising that you could be currently asking yourself questions like, "Will coconut oil make me break out?".

Well, the disquiet and myths that surround coconut oil are highly subjective and opinionated. You see, coconut oil - as established earlier in this write up - is a very good skin hydration agent. Some people like to use it in place of their standard moisturizer especially if they happen to suffer from perpetually flaky, itchy and dry skin. As such, it is not exactly recommended as a salve for people with naturally oily skin as it is more or less an overkill. Chances are, you'd be served better by a much lighter emollient if you have very oily skin. In short, it's safe to say that coconut oil causes acne only when used in the wrong way or by the unintended demographic.

The takeaway here is that you should avoid leaving coconut oil on your face overnight if you have very oily skin as it can lead to pore-clogging that later culminates to whiteheads, blackheads  or pimples. Also, it is imperative to put into consideration that the high moisturizing effect of coconut oil works best for flaky, dry and chafed skin. Otherwise, you may want to pursue standard acne treatment using products that have been specifically developed for taming skin breakouts, especially if you have extremely oily skin. 

But one may ask, "Can eating coconut oil cause acne?"  No, it will not. In fact, coconut oil packs a foray of antioxidants that could prove to be a great additive to your nutritional regimen. Furthermore, dermatologists believe that substituting extra virgin coconut oil for acne in place of conventional cooking fat is not just good for your skin but healthier for your cardiovascular system too.

The Takeaway

Coconut oil is a decent remedy for controlling acne, especially if you have reddened, inflamed or chafed skin. The lauric acid in the oil can kill and slow down the multiplication of pimple-causing bacteria. It's reasonably good healing properties can also contribute to healing the lesions and wounds left in the wake of a debilitating acne episode. Most importantly, cleansing and exfoliating your skin is easier and less uncomfortable when you are using coconut oil thanks to the presence of saturated fats that stem inflammation and soothe irritation with a pampering moisturizing effect. Having said that, you’d be better served by a specially-formulated acne treatment product that employs well-balanced active ingredients to combat breakouts. At the end of the day, there is only so much that coconut oil can do to take your complexion to the next level of flawlessness.

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