Acne is one of the most common and widely spread chronic skin disorders affecting millions of people around the globe.
In the United States alone, it affects 17 million people every year.
This article tends to discuss the efficacy of naturally obtained oil known as coconut oil in preventing acne breakouts as well as its contribution to the health of the skin and body health in general.
About Coconut oil
This oil is derived from the kernel of coconuts from the coconut palm tree. It is an edible oil that makes up for 2.5% of the world’s vegetable oil.
It can be extracted in two ways known as the ‘dry processing’ and the ‘wet processing’.
While in the dry processing, the kernel or meat is kept out in the sun to dry, in the wet processing, an emulsion of oil and water is created with the protein of the coconut.
It has often been hailed as an oil effective in multiple ways to one’s health. It has been known to boost the immune system, cure thyroid, heart disease, diabetes and obesity among many others. However, these loud claims have been extremely debatable in the medical market even presently.
Coconut oil is largely composed of saturated fat, forming almost 92% of it. The fatty acid content includes 44% lauric acid and 16.8% mysristic acid.
These have been known to contribute towards the various health benefits that coconut oil procures.
How coconut oil treat acne?
The composition and contents of coconut oil contribute towards preventing acne breakouts in a number of ways. Firstly, it contains capric acid and lauric acid which exhibit strong antibacterial properties.
While on the one hand by orally consuming it, it will fight and destroy the acne-causing bacteria, on the other hand, applying it on the face will add to the surface of the skin a protective layer of the acid which will prevent any further infection.
Secondly, the presence of vitamin E prevents blockage of the skin pores and regulates sebum protection along with keeping your skin healthy and moisturized.
It is also known to exhibit anti-inflammatory properties that help in reducing the acne induced inflammation and the resultant redness and swelling.
Moreover, while vitamin K also shields the cells against bacteria, vitamin A is known to maintain the overall health of the skin.
How to use coconut oil for acne
Coconut oil can be used either orally or topically. When taken in orally the amount sufficient will be not more than 2 to 5 tablespoons a day in order to see the required response.
When used topically, it can be used as a spot treatment by applying it directly on the affected area with a cotton ball or used as a moisturizer.
When using it as a moisturizer, you first need to clean your face which can be done either by washing it with a medicated soap or better still by steaming it which will open up the pores.
After this, a few drops of coconut oil can be taken on the palm of your hand and applied on the face with the help of your fingertips in a circular motion.
It can also be added to various face masks in order to ensure effectiveness.
While adding it to a honey and lemon face mask will contribute towards adding the astringent property of lemon and enhancing the anti microbial property of honey, adding it to a banana and turmeric face mask will increase the hydration of the skin through the banana.
Turmeric’s anti bacterial and anti septic properties will also facilitate healing of the skin. It can further be used in a nutmeg and avocado face mask which will contribute towards protection of the skin with its anti oxidant properties.
In order to use these masks, a uniform and consistent paste of all these ingredients should be made and applied. This should be left on to dry for 10 to 15 minutes after which it can be washed off with lukewarm water.
Cost: Coconut is fairly inexpensive when compared to other types of oils. A pint of coconut oil, extra virgin will cost anywhere from 12$ to 18$
Storage: Refrigeration is not required. It can be kept at room temperature but tends to solidify at a temperature below 75 degrees F.
Other Benefits of coconut oil
Coconut oil has numerous health and skin benefits. Some of them have been enumerated below:
It possesses anti viral properties and tend to kill viruses that cause herpes, measles and AIIDS among other forms of infections
- It is an anti bacterial and is used for ulcers
- It is also effecting in healing fungi and yeast infection
- It is an efficient source of energy
- It tends to facilitate the absorption of various nutrients in the body along with facilitating digestion
- It improves the secretion of insulin and helps in maintaining the blood glucose level
- It provides protection against osteoporosis
- It has been known to reduce inflammation and pain
- It tends to reduce epileptic seizures
These are only some of the benefits of coconut oil. There are even more benefits that procure to both the health of the skin and general bodily health.
Possible Side effects of coconut oil
Coconut oil, though a solution to so many health problems, has also been responsible for certain side effects as such. These side effects are enumerated below:
- Since it has a large fat content, it may lead to extra weight gain
- It might also increase cholesterol if taken in high amounts
- Allergic reaction might lead to anaphylaxis
- It can release toxins in the blood during the course of killing infections which can further lead to flu like symptoms. This however tends to disappear over time.
- Excess coconut oil consumption may also cause diarrhea and intestinal distress
In order to avoid the effects of coconut oil consumption and to ensure maximum benefits from the treatment, you need to be cautious while using it. Mentioned below are certain precautions you must observe:
- It is safe for use during pregnancy and while breast feeding. However, you must not exceed the recommended amount.
- You must inform the doctor about all prescriptive and non-prescriptive medications/ drugs and herbal supplements that you are taking.
- You must check for allergies before starting to use this.
- It may increase your cholesterol level and thus it is advised that people with cholesterol problems do not use it
What users say about coconut oil for acne?
We did an analysis of online consumer reviews to see if using coconut oil has been an effective treatment of acne based on what people who have used it have experienced. Here is a summary of what they liked and disliked about using coconut oil:
What they liked about it:
- Good moisturizer: A lot of people said that coconut oil worked great as a moisturizer. It did not make your skin appear oil and yet kept it hydrated. Coconut has been known for its moisturizing properties for a long time.
- Removes spots: Apart from healing acne, coconut oil was also found effective in doing away with the acne induced scars. This served as an added benefit as people could use one product to deal with both these problems.
- Inexpensive: Most consumers were happy with the fact that coconut oil is a fairly inexpensive product when compared to other such treatments. It, therefore, was not a burden on the pocket of the people looking for an easy and cheap cure for acne
What they did not like about it:
- Caused breakouts : Some consumers complained that coconut oil caused breakout when the used it topically. This, however, is a very rare occurrence and mostly happens when either you are allergic or you use really high amounts of oil while applying
- Oiliness: A few people also said that it made their skin extremely oily. This again is a result of using too much of the oil during application
- Redness: Some people had regular instances of redness of the area on which the oil was applied. This might be a result of allergy and does not happen very often.
Coconut oil is an easily available and relatively inexpensive oil that can be found in your nearest grocery store.
It helps in attacking the problem of acne from all sides taking care of the breakouts, inflammation and redness along with scarring and marks.
It can work as one solution for your various problems.
Also, it helps towards the general improvement in the health of your skin and can also be variously beneficial to your bodily health by boosting the immune system.
It also serves as a good moisturizer and will save your skin from the dryness that is often a result of using other acne treatment products.
This can be an all in all product for your skin and it definitely deserves one try.