8 Benefits of Coconut Oil to Get Rid of Acne
Everyone that has experienced puberty has also experienced the telltale signs of an oncoming pimple: the painful pressure, the red, raised bump. While most people suffer from acne the worst during their teenage and young adult years, acne can occur to anyone at any stage of life for a variety of different, and many that suffer from acne report being self-conscious about their condition. Whether you have infrequent and random breakouts or experience frequent bouts of severe acne, doing what you can to prevent it from happening and treat it before it becomes a larger problem is a main goal, and will ultimately keep your skin looking younger longer.
There are a variety of different ways to help prevent and treat acne, but with the recent surge in popularity of coconut oil as a popular cure for many different ailments, it is not surprising that coconut oil can be helpful for those who are suffering from acne.
What is Coconut Oil?
As the name suggests, coconut oil is a saturated fat oil that is used for a variety of different uses. While the word oil generally conjures up images of a yellow, unpleasant liquid, coconut oil generally presents as a white solid or semi solid depending on the temperature, and if not overly processed, still tastes and smells mildly of natural coconut.
While many people tend to fear saturated fats, both saturated and unsaturated fats are necessary to keep all systems of the body healthy. When eaten in moderation, there is no reason not to utilize all the benefits that coconut oil and other saturated fats offer. It is derived from mature coconuts in a variety of different processes, and it can be eaten to utilize its benefits, or used for holistic and medicinal purposes, such as skin and hair care.
Coconut oil does not go rancid quickly and can keep upwards of two years without losing any of its healthy purposes. This being said, it is best to keep coconut oil in a glass jar, and storing in the refrigerator will help to ensure the longest shelf life possible, though it can be store in the pantry or cupboard for easier spreading and use. Unlike other types of oils, changes in temperatures will not change the quality of the coconut oil.
What Causes Acne?
Pinpointing a single cause of acne is almost impossible, as many different conditions can cause or exacerbate acne. Underlying conditions such as pregnancy, PCOS (or polycystic ovarian syndrome), and other hormonal disorders can present with a symptom of acne. Genetics can also play a huge role in who suffers from regular acne and those who only get a couple of pimples every so often.
In the simplest terms, the rise of androgen in the body, which is a sex hormone that is found in both males and females, can increase the production of oil on the skin. When your pores and hair follicles are inundated by too much oil as well as bacteria and dirt, pimples occur. That it is why it is necessary to treat acne both internally as well as internally.
1. Coconut Oil Can be Taken Orally or Applied Topically
While some supplements for acne relief work best applied topically or taken orally, coconut oil can be utilized either way and still deliver great results for acne relief. Keep in mind a little bit of coconut oil will go a long way.
Warm a small amount of coconut oil in your hands, a half of teaspoon or less, and apply to the affected areas. (1) It is important to note that while most people do not have worsening symptoms of acne with the use of coconut oil topically, there are people that do not react well to the increased level of oils on their skin.
Test out how your skin will react by applying a small amount of coconut oil to a small area of the face once a day for three or four days to ensure you won’t see an increase of acne.
You can also incorporate coconut oil into your daily supplement routine. (2) Many people see relief by taking a tablespoon of coconut oil with each meal, which will not only help with acne related concerns but can also speed up weight loss, aid in digestion, and help regularize sleep. (3) It is also possible to see benefits from incorporating coconut oil into your daily cooking routines instead of other forms of fats. If you don’t like the taste or texture of coconut oil, it is easy to incorporate it into smoothies as well.
If you can tolerate both oral and topical use of coconut oil, most see best results with a combination of the two. Use the best coconut oil that you can afford, as the cheaper oil will be more processed and have less of the beneficial properties outlined below.
2. Coconut Oil and Vitamin E
Coconut oil is a good source of vitamin E, which is key in helping to prevent outbreaks of acne. (4) Vitamin E helps to balance hormone levels in the body, which is key to helping balance out the production of the body’s natural oil levels.
Additionally, vitamin E is an antioxidant, that can also help to heal pimples after they have already popped up and reduce the appearance of any potential scarring.
3. Coconut Oil and Fatty Acids
Coconut oil is a fantastic source of both lauric acid and capric acid, which are antibacterial and antiviral agents that are commonly found in foods that are higher in saturated fats. (5, 6)
These can help control the bacteria on your skin and within your body that cause pimples and acne outbreaks, which means that harsher, stronger antibiotics usually prescribed by doctors to treat moderate to severe acne can be avoided or not utilized as frequently.
By doing so, coconut oil can also help to prevent the increasing problems we are now facing with antibiotic resistant bacteria. Lauric acid and capric acid are also anti-fungal which can help to fight any sort of acne related issues that are caused by fungal infections.
It is important to choose a coconut oil that is sold unprocessed enough to still be in a solid form, rather than a liquid form, if you are looking to take advantage of fatty acids, particularly lauric acid.
Keep in mind processing as well as temperature can make a difference in how liquid coconut oil is, so avoid overly processed and hydrogenated coconut oil to still reap the healthy benefits.
4. Coconut Oil is Anti-Inflammatory
Pimples can be incredibly painful, particularly for those who are suffering from cystic acne. Cystic acne is a particularly painful kind of acne that produces larger and deeper pimples that can be particularly difficult to get rid of.
The soothing nature of coconut oil goes to work immediately, and can help to cut down on pain, redness, and size of the pimple when applied topically.
5. Coconut Oil is Cleansing and Moisturizing
While it may seem counter-intuitive to use an oil to clean dirty skin, due to the high levels of fatty acid and anti-inflammatory agents, coconut oil can be utilized as a mild cleanser in and of itself. (7)
By using it, along with an exfoliating wash cloth and warm water, the pores will be open, allowing the natural coconut oils to remove the dead skin and bacteria. You can also add various essential oils, depending on your skin type, to increase the benefits of your coconut oil cleanser. This will not only help with pimples, but frustrating blackheads that many people suffer from and can be difficult to get rid of.
If you have a different cleanser that you prefer, coconut oil can also be utilized as a moisturizer throughout the face or just a particularly dry areas of the skin. Leave on for ten minutes, and then wipe excess oil off with a soft towel.
6. Coconut Oil Is A Fantastic Makeup Remover
Anyone who wears make up knows an important part of preventing acne is removing all makeup before bed. However, even self-reported strong makeup remover designed to take off even waterproof makeup can sometimes leave residue behind, causing blackheads and pimples.
Coconut oil is a gentle make-up remover that will break down the water insoluble particles in makeup and leave your eye area moisturized while helping to prevent wrinkles by supporting the collagen in skin. (8)
7. Coconut Oil Can Help to Heal Acne Scars
Coconut oil has many different properties to help prevent and stop acne, but can also help treat the lasting scars and marks after a particularly deep pimple. (9)
Coconut oil can help to keep the scar clean during the healing process and help to lighten dark marks on the face.
You can utilize coconut oil by itself, or combine it with honey, aloe vera, or lemon juice for extra strength scar and mark fighting power.
8. Coconut Oil Does Not Usually Cause Bad Reactions
Many people who suffer from acne also have to be mindful of the ingredients that are in their daily skin care products, whether over the counter or doctor prescribed, as there is potential for these products can cause problems irritation and even allergic reactions.
Since coconut oil is so soothing and neutral, there is little cause for concern with bad reactions when consuming or applying coconut oil topically as long as it is taken in moderation and responsibly.
Regardless of who is suffering from acne, there are definite benefits to trying coconut oil as a means to help prevent and treat this painful and potentially embarrassing condition.
While there can be not one end all cure to acne, particularly moderate to severe acne, and the underlying disorders that may cause acne, eating healthy, drinking enough water, and using the aforementioned tips can definitely help those who are suffering from acne. The pleasant smell and taste are an added bonus.