In recent years, nothing has stolen the show like coconut oil. You can easily buy it by the jar at any grocery, drugstore, or health market. There’s even a saying that pouring coconut oil on everything will fix all your problems! Obviously, this is a humorous exaggeration, but it does shed light on how coconut oil may help your skin woes. Unlike commercial toiletries, this remedy is free of chemicals and toxins. Its versatility also allows you to use it in place of multiple products, something minimalists will be glad to hear. How’s that for simple, natural beauty?
What Is Coconut Oil?
Coconut oil is made from coconut meat. The nut, or fruit, of the coconut palm tree is the coconut you’re familiar with.1 Most of the world’s coconut oil is produced in India, Indonesia, and the Philippines.2
The primary fat in coconut oil is lauric acid, coming in at 45 to 53 percent. This fatty acid is the reason behind coconut oil’s amazing properties!3 However, 92 percent of the coconut oil’s fat is actually saturated, so it’s not the best choice for people at risk for heart disease.4
For everyone else, small doses can be part of a healthy diet.5 But when it comes to your skin? Don’t hold back, because using it on the daily will have excellent benefits.
What Coconut Oil Does For The Skin
1. Removes Makeup
Forget the makeup remover. With coconut oil, everything from foundation to mascara will slide right off. All you need is a cotton ball and a bit of coconut oil. Even better, it won’t sting your eyes and skin like commercial makeup removers.
As a powerful emollient, coconut oil softens and soothes the skin. Its humectant properties also mean that it locks in moisture.6 While removing makeup or facing the cold, coconut oil can be a lifesaver.
3. Soothes Inflammation
From allergic reactions to dermatitis, angry skin has many causes. Calm it down with the anti-inflammatory effects of coconut oil.7 Plus, with its moisturizing powers, itching and irritation will subside.8
4. Fights Acne
Pimples are tiny bacterial infections that affect over 40 million Americans. Fortunately, coconut oil is also a natural anti-bacterial! The lauric acid fights Propionibacterium acnes, the microbe behind breakouts.9 It also won’t cause irritation and dryness like salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide, two commercial treatments.10
5. Protects Wounds
Wounds like cuts and scrapes are vulnerable to infection. To avoid such problems, apply coconut oil for its anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-viral properties. It’ll kill germs and prevent infections, allowing the wound to properly heal.11
6. Enhances Skin Barrier
Strong skin depends on essential fatty acids. This is exactly what you’ll get with coconut oil, which is full of beneficial fat. The American Journal of Clinical Dermatology shares that it’ll improve both function and repair of the skin barrier.12
7. Promotes Skin Growth
On top of strengthening the skin, coconut oil also helps it regenerate. This is vital for wound healing and overall skin health. It specifically encourages epithelialization, the process of re-growing tissue, along with collagen production.13 Finally, a reason to stop dropping cash on anti-aging creams.
How To Use Coconut Oil On The Skin
After washing your face, pat it dry. Gently rub in a small amount of coconut oil. Alternatively, you can use it in place of face wash. It’s so hydrating that you won’t need a moisturizer!
|↑1||Coconut Oil. MedlinePlus, U.S. National Library of Medicine.|
|↑2, ↑5||Eyres, Laurence, Michael F. Eyres, Alexandra Chisholm, and Rachel C. Brown. “Coconut oil consumption and cardiovascular risk factors in humans.” Nutrition reviews 74, no. 4 (2016): 267-280.|
|↑3, ↑11||Dayrit, Fabian M. “The properties of lauric acid and their significance in coconut oil.” Journal of the American Oil Chemists’ Society 92, no. 1 (2015): 1-15.|
|↑4||Amarasiri, W. A. L. D., and A. S. Dissanayake. “Coconut fats.” (2006).|
|↑6||Verallo-Rowell, Vermén M., Stephanie S. Katalbas, and Julia P. Pangasinan. “Natural (Mineral, Vegetable, Coconut, Essential) Oils and Contact Dermatitis.” Current allergy and asthma reports 16, no. 7 (2016): 1-11|
|↑7, ↑12||Vaughn, Alexandra R., Ashley K. Clark, Raja K. Sivamani, and Vivian Y. Shi. “Natural Oils for Skin-Barrier Repair: Ancient Compounds Now Backed by Modern Science.” American Journal of Clinical Dermatology (2017): 1-15.|
|↑8||Hussain, Zahid, Hnin Ei Thu, Ahmad Nazrun Shuid, Prashant Kesharwani, Shahzeb Khan, and Fahad Hussain. “Phytotherapeutic potential of natural herbal medicines for the treatment of mild-to-severe atopic dermatitis: A review of human clinical studies.” Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy 93 (2017): 596-608.|
|↑9||Yang, Darren, Dissaya Pornpattananangkul, Teruaki Nakatsuji, Michael Chan, Dennis Carson, Chun-Ming Huang, and Liangfang Zhang. “The antimicrobial activity of liposomal lauric acids against Propionibacterium acnes.” Biomaterials 30, no. 30 (2009): 6035-6040.|
|↑10||Acne. FamilyDoctor.org, American Academy of Family Physicians.|
|↑13||Nevin, K. G., and T. Rajamohan. “Effect of topical application of virgin coconut oil on skin components and antioxidant status during dermal wound healing in young rats.” Skin Pharmacology and Physiology 23, no. 6 (2010): 290-297.|