Most of you may have struggled with acne and acne scars. It might have caused you so much trouble that you don’t miss a chance to know about a home remedy. Without further ado, let’s tell you that coconut oil is one of the best cures for acne and the scars associated with it.
Various factors contribute to the formation of an acne. It can be hereditary or genetic. But a major factor is an increase in the androgen or male hormones like testosterone and dihydrotestosterone (DHT). These hormones cause sebaceous glands to make more sebum, which is an oily or waxy matter.1 The excess sebum and dead skin cells clog the hair follicles and bacteria thrive here, causing the immune system to trigger an inflammatory reaction against the bacteria. This is what causes acne.
Wondering how an oil can fight this oily secretion? The contents of coconut oil are antimicrobial and antibacterial, making it effective against acne. Here a few factors that make coconut oil beneficial.
1. Fights Against Bacteria And Fungi
Lauric acid, which is a medium chain fatty acid, constitutes 48% of coconut oil.2 Other fatty acids like myristic acid, capric acid, caprylic acid, and caproic acid are also present in it. They provide the antimicrobial properties to coconut oil, enabling the removal of acne-causing bacteria and fungi from the skin. According to a research study, both capric acid and lauric acid can act against Propionibacterium acnes, the bacteria responsible for acne outbreak.3
2. Can Reduce Inflammation
This is another factor that makes coconut oil beneficial. The anti-inflammatory and pain-reducing properties of virgin coconut oil have been proved in a research.4 The anti-inflammatory benefits of lauric acid and capric acid prevent redness and swelling of the skin that come with acne. Apart from that, the oil has collagen-building nutrients that can provide anti-aging benefits, protecting your face from scars and wrinkles.5
3. Moisturizes The Skin Naturally
Coconut oil is as effective as mineral oil when used as a moisturizer.6 It improves skin hydration and increases the lipid levels in your skin. Thus, the lipid layers function better as a barrier to the skin, protecting it from external environment. This will, in turn, keep away infections. Impurities will stop blocking your skin pores, preventing the formation of acne. Also, supporting the natural pH balance of the skin, coconut oil helps you keep your skin healthy.7
4. Prevents Damage Caused By Free Radicals
Research studies have proved that virgin coconut oil has a beneficial role in improving the antioxidant status.8 The antioxidant capacity in virgin coconut oil could be due to phenolic compounds. 9 How does it help the skin? Well, the antioxidant action of coconut oil prevents the oxidation of lipids, which may impair skin functions. By removing free radicals, the skin will be able to produce new cells and get rid of dead skin cells. This results in a skin free from scars and age spots.
Virgin And Refined Coconut Oil
There are two basic forms of coconut oil:10
- Virgin: This comes with minimal processing. As the name suggests, there are no chemicals in it. However, the flavor of virgin coconut oil will be different depending on brands. Choose a brand whose flavor is of your taste.
- Refined: This form is bleached and deodorized. Used in the food industry, it does not have any flavor.
Depending on your preference, you can choose between virgin and refined oil. However, virgin coconut oil is better in quality.11
Apply Coconut Oil Topically
Massage a thin layer of coconut oil gently on your skin.12 It can be used in combination with other natural ingredients like turmeric, aloe vera, honey, and lemon. If it is too oily for you, wipe it with a clean cloth after 30 minutes. As toxins are expelled from the skin, at first you may experience a round of acne breakouts. But, it will improve in a few weeks.
Acne Treatment Recipes
If you want to use coconut oil with other ingredients, here are two such recipes:
- Combine ½ cup of coconut virgin oil, 1 tablespoon of honey, 1 tablespoon of yogurt, ½ teaspoon of turmeric powder, and a few drops of lavender oil. Apply it daily on your face.13 Honey and turmeric powder have antibacterial properties. And lactic acid in yogurt dissolves dead skin.
- Combine 1 cup of organic coconut oil, 1 tablespoon of turmeric powder, and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. Apply on your face once every other day. Use it daily for oily skin. Store it in an airtight jar in a cool, dark place for up to 2 weeks.14
A Note Of Caution
- For people with very oily skin, coconut oil is not a good option. It may make acne worse for them. They should rather use orange peel for acne.
- Consuming too much coconut oil may loosen the bowels.15 However, it can be used as a remedy for your constipation.
- Do you have troubles with allergies? Then, it is better to test yourself before you start using coconut oil. Apply a little coconut oil on your forearm. Wait for a day. If you are allergic, your skin may turn red or swell up.
- Coconut is a low-allergy-risk food. Even though rare, food allergy symptoms associated with coconut allergy are skin reactions, swelling, nausea, stomach pain, and wheezing.
- If you are allergic, ingesting coconut oil can affect your respiratory system. Coconut-derived products can cause contact dermatitis, a skin rash caused by contact.16 This may leave your skin itchy and inflamed.
- The Food and Drug Administration has recognized coconut as a tree nut.17 If you are allergic to tree nuts, talk to your doctor before you use coconut oil.
Instead of ingesting coconut oil alone, consume it along with other foods. This will help your body to get used to coconut products. Thus, the side effects will be reduced.
|↑1||Questions and Answers about Acne. National Institute Of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases.|
|↑2||Fife, Bruce. The coconut oil miracle. Penguin, 2013.|
|↑3||Huang, Wen-Cheng, Tsung-Hsien Tsai, Lu-Te Chuang, You-Yi Li, Christos C. Zouboulis, and Po-Jung Tsai. “Anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties of capric acid against Propionibacterium acnes: a comparative study with lauric acid.” Journal of dermatological science 73, no. 3 (2014): 232-240.|
|↑4||Intahphuak, S., P. Khonsung, and A. Panthong. “Anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and antipyretic activities of virgin coconut oil.” Pharmaceutical Biology 48, no. 2 (2010): 151-157.|
|↑5||Brandon,Britt. Coconut Oil for Health: 100 Amazing and Unexpected Uses for Coconut Oil. F+W Media, Inc, 2015.|
|↑6||Agero, Anna Liza, and V. Verallo‐Rowell. “P15 A randomized double‐blind controlled trial comparing extra‐virgin coconut oil with mineral oil as a moisturizer for mild to moderate xerosis.” Contact Dermatitis 50, no. 3 (2004): 183-183.|
|↑7||Tietze, Harald, and Arthur Echano. Coconut: Rediscovered as Medicinal Food. Harald Tietze Publishing P/, 2006.|
|↑8||Arunima, S., and T. Rajamohan. “Effect of virgin coconut oil enriched diet on the antioxidant status and paraoxonase 1 activity in ameliorating the oxidative stress in rats–a comparative study.” Food & function 4, no. 9 (2013): 1402-1409.|
|↑9||Marina, A. M., Y. B. Che Man, S. A. H. Nazimah, and I. Amin. “Antioxidant capacity and phenolic acids of virgin coconut oil.” International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition 60, no. sup2 (2009): 114-123.|
|↑10||Coconut Oil: Many Now Embrace It for A Range Of Ills Contrary To Warnings About It’s Saturated Fat. Coconut Research Center.|
|↑11||Oldfield, Jessica. Coconut Oil: Over 60 delicious, nourishing recipes. Hardie Grant Publishing, 2016.|
|↑12, ↑15||Fife, Bruce. Coconut cures: Preventing and treating common health problems with coconut. Piccadilly Books, Ltd., 2005.|
|↑13||Matonis, John. Coconut Oil Handbook: Benefit From Coconut Oil’s Healing Powers for Beauty and Health, Weight Loss, Detoxification, and Metabolism. Paul Beaudette, 2013.|
|↑14||Brandon, Britt. Turmeric for Health: 100 Amazing and Unexpected Uses for Turmeric. F+W Media, Inc., 2016.|
|↑16||Coconut allergy. Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy.|
|↑17||Section 201(qq) of the Act defines the term “major food allergen” to include “tree nuts.” US food And Drug Administration.|