The Complete Guide on How To Use Coconut Oil For Acne Treatment
In line with our vision to be your top-source for all things skin-related, we went through all the hard work to make you a detailed guide on how to use coconut oil for acne treatment. We believe with the help of coconut oil, you can easily get rid of your acne problem.
Acne is probably the most common skin problem that we all have to face.
When your hormones and the substances in your sebaceous glands (or oil glands) start acting up, clogged pores and breakout of pimples or zits will be the results.
Although acne isn't life threatening, it can affect you in other ways.
Acne problems will make you self-conscious, and ultimately even make you hate how you look.
Fortunately acne is preventable and treatable and that means you don't have to suffer; you can deal with acne head on.
A lot of products and treatments were discovered and produced with the aim of banishing those annoying zits.
Nowadays, a different ingredient is making the rounds as an acne treatment – and the interesting thing is that this powerful ingredient can be easily found in your kitchen.
We want to introduce the wonders of coconut oil, not only to the flavors of your food, but to the treatment of acne as well.
Before we dive into how to use coconut oil for acne treatment, let’s find out what it is and why it’s healthy for your skin.
What is Coconut Oil?
The coconut tree (Cocos nucifera) is a tall nut-bearing tree commonly associated with summer and beaches.
It is known as the "Tree of Life", as literally every single part of it has a purpose.
From the coconut's roots that we may use as furniture and even as an ingredient for beer, to the wide leaves that are used for basket-making and even in building a wooden hut; the coconut tree's uses are plenty and quite innovative.
Of course, even coconut oil has its own use and its benefits include increased wellness of our digestive system and the body in general, especially our skin.
Did you know that coconut oil is the world’s “healthiest oil?”
It was once believed to be unhealthy due to the fact that it is oil, and oil is a substance that can be fattening to your heart. But apparently, coconut oil is a “good brand” of fat.
Why is coconut oil healthy? It is because of a trait that is unique to coconuts and its palm relatives.
Basically, there are two methods to classify fatty acids such as coconut oil.
First is through saturation and the other is through the molecular size of the carbon chain in each acid.
In regards to saturation, coconut oil is relatively higher than the “unhealthy” butter (~ 64%), lard (40%), and even beef fat (40%). At about 90%, coconut oil may be bad news for our hearts.
In terms of molecular size, there are three categorizations for fatty acids; the short-chain fatty acids (SCFA), the medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA), and lastly the long-chain fatty acids (LCFA).
Most of the fatty acid, around 98%-100%, we take is an LCFA. However, coconut oil is not.
Coconut oil is categorized as an MCFA, also known as medium-chain trigylcerides. (MCT). Unlike LCFA, MCFA is healthy for the heart.
Most of the world’s population is at risk of heart diseases such as atherosclerosis, but with food rich in MCFA, we can lower this risk as it has inhibits cholesterol build-up, therefore protecting the heart.
What is IN Coconut Oil?
Aside from being an MCFA, coconut oil is rich in useful vitamins and minerals, which makes its chemical composition helpful for skin care.
Coconut oil has the following vitamins and minerals:
- Lauric acid
- Caprylic acid
- Oleic acid
- Myristic acid
- Capric acid
- Palmitic acid
- Stearic acid
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin E
Lauric acid can help with weight loss, as proven in a 2007 study in “Metabolism.” It can also help with lowering cholesterol levels and protecting the heart as it is an MCFA.
As lauric acid is also a known antibacterial, the bacterial infection that may be causing your breakouts to produce pus can be addressed.
Oleic acid is also capable of lowering the blood pressure, aiding in weight loss, and lastly protecting the cells from free radical damage.
Free radical damage is partially responsible for almost all health problems in the body - this includes skin issues such as acne, crepey skin, and the like.
Coconut oil is also rich in vitamins A, D, and E.
Vitamin A, or the retinoic acid, is known to reduce the abnormal growth and development of acne. It is also an antioxidant which aids in the repair of cells exposed to free radical damage.
Vitamin D on the other hand is shown to be lacking in people with an acne breakouts.
In a 2016 Korean study, the deficiency in Vitamin D was linked with 48.8% of people who had acne. This is compared to the 22.5% people who possessed significant Vitamin D and had less acne.
Vitamin E, being a fat-soluble vitamin and known antioxidant, is of course a big help in acne treatment.
In fact, alpha-tocopherol, which is a Vitamin E compound, is found in safflower oil and sunflower oil. These two oils are the favorite ingredients of our everyday moisturizers.
Lastly, coconut oil is also rich in calcium.
Calcium is also known to heal acne scars.
Acne scars are such nightmares. You no longer have the pimple, but the mark that "Bob the Pimple" left will haunt you which is why it is a must to remove these "battle scars," too.
The Benefits Of Coconut Oil On Skin
1. It is Nature's Moisturizer
All the harsh products you use that claim to wipe out the dirt and clogs in your pores also wipe out the much needed moisture of your skin.
Yes, your pimples might be gone, but your dry skin can lead to a whole new set of problems.
My skin was once so dry that a little itch on my face was something I would hesitate to scratch as my skin could easily damage because of the dryness.
Besides the easy damage, my skin was losing the youthful glow and suppleness I always wanted to retain. Instead, my skin looked dull and old.
Now, coconut oil is such a heaven-send.
Apply it to any dry skin and the skin seems like it will literally "melt."
It doesn’t leave unwanted residue, and it does not just dry up. It seeps through the pores, therefore deeply hydrating and nourishing your dry skin.
2. It Can Be The Antibacterial / Antimicrobial Shield You Badly Need
As explained earlier, coconut oil is rich in lauric acid – a substance that is present in only two healthy liquids (the second is breast milk).
If your acne becomes infected and filled with pus, the presence of bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus and S. Epidermidis may have caused it.
The lauric acid may act as shield against this bacteria, meaning your pimple remains a simple pimple – in contrast to an infected one.
Aside from bacteria, your pimple may be susceptible to fungus such as yeast infections; coconut oil can also protect you from that.
3. It Can Help Fight Rhe Damage From Free Radicals
Free radical damage can be blamed for how old you skin is becoming; coconut oil rich in the necessary vitamins such as Vitamin A, can make sure you look your age or younger.
Aside from premature aging, coconut oil is also a good sunscreen.
Although it is an SPF4, coconut oil can make sure you are protected from the harsh effects of exposure to daily sunlight.
How About Its Disadvantages?
1. The Distinct "Coconutty" Scent
Aside from the lock-in moisture which we all like, the distinct scent of coconut oil will also linger for as long as a day or two.
Also, the scent of coconut oil combined with that of sweat is such a killer combo – literally.
I am personally not a big fan of the coconut scent. If you are like me, I think we should look into how to use coconut oil for acne treatment minus the scent.
Still, if I have to weigh in all the benefits I would have to sacrifice in order to not smell like coconuts; I would choose the benefits.
I'll just try to wash off the scent as much as possible and try my hardest not to sweat much.
2. Does Coconut Oil Cause Breakouts? - Yes, It Does!
Now before you panic, the breakout is not permanent and may not happen to all.
After applying coconut oil, breakouts may occur but this is actually a good sign.
It means that the coconut oil is doing its job of purifying your face. The toxins in your body are being flushed out in the form of zits.
If you have no patience, this sudden breakout may be disheartening to you and you will turn your back on coconut oil.
Just realize that these heavy breakouts will be the last you get, once your skin purges out all the dirt.
3. Coconut Oil is Not For Everyone
Before I dive into all the tips on how to use coconut oil for acne treatment, I want to make sure that you understand coconut oil is not for everyone.
That’s to say, you must find out if you can use it for your skin.
Coconut oil is not universally accepted as a treatment for everyone; it may not work for certain individuals with certain skin issues and may instead cause never-ending breakouts.
How to Use Coconut Oil For Acne Treatment
In order to use coconut oil for acne treatment, you can follow the 8-step process below:
- Step 1: determine if your skin is compatible with coconut oil
- Step 2: apply coconut oil on a different patch of skin
- Step 3: clean your face before applying coconut oil
- Step 4: only use a small amount of coconut oil
- Step 5: do a facial hot oil treatment
- Step 6: follow up the coconut oil with a gentle cleanser
- Step 7: repeat the process
- Step 8: ingest coconut oil
Now let's dive into these steps in turn so you can see how easy it is to use coconut oil for dealing with your acne problem.
1. Determine If Your Skin is Compatible With Coconut Oil
Know first whether you will be fine using coconut oil in your skin.
Although coconut oil is generally hypoallergenic, there is no harm in making an informed decision on whether or not you should be one with the people who uses natural skin products.
2. Apply Coconut Oil On A Different Patch Of Skin
You can test the effect of coconut oil yourself by applying it first to an inconspicuous spot.
You may opt to apply it on your hand or arm to see if you have any allergic reaction to it.
Choose chemical and processed-free coconut oils. I personally recommend virgin coconut oil (VCO), cold-pressed, or organic. This is to ensure that all you would get is the pure benefits of coconut oil.
3. Clean Your Face Before Applying Coconut Oil
Make sure you have washed your face first so that there will be no further clogging in your pores once you apply the coconut oil.
Remove your makeup as this hinders the absorption of coconut oil into your skin.
Coconut oil is also a great makeup remover, so if you want to try removing your makeup with the oil then reapplying it a second time for the acne treatment, you may do so.
In order for your skin to absorb the oil faster, you may help by “opening” your pores.
To do this, get a bowl of hot water and let the steam touch your face. You may even drape a towel over your head to make sure that the steam is directed to your face.
4. Only Use A Small Amount Of Coconut Oil
After opening your pores, you can now start applying coconut oil.
In a circular manner, massage a small amount of coconut oil onto your face - about a teaspoon will do. You may also add other essential oils that are known to fight acne.
You may add tea tree, lavender, or even juniper berry. As these oils are all organic you have nothing to fear.
Focus on the areas where your breakouts are the worst, but do not forget to give attention to the nooks and crannies of your face.
The sides of your nose, your chin, your philtrum and even your hairline sometimes have breakouts when you wouldn’t expect it.
Coconut oil tends to solidify in colder temperatures, so liquefy it a bit by repeatedly rolling it in your palm.
Yes, coconut oil does not have any residue, but keep in mind that it is still oil and you might end up clogging your pores even more if you put a gargantuan amount of oil on your face.
With the oil, try exfoliating your face to encourage the natural rejuvenation process of your skin.
5. Do A Facial Hot Oil Treatment
Remember how we sit under the hot oil machine or steamer every time we get essential oils applied to our hair?
Remember how they say that steaming will add hydration to your hair as it locks in moisture and that the oil applied is absorbed better because of the heat?
This technique works well with acne treatment too.
Naturally, you are not allowed to put your face in the steamer. You can do the steaming with a towel, however.
Soak the towel or cloth in hot water. The temperature should be something that you can manage. Wring it and leave it on your face for about a minute.
After that, you may use the towel to wipe or soak up the excess oil on your face.
If you still feel that your skin is excessively oily, wash your face with mild soap.
6. Follow Up The Coconut Oil With A Gentle Cleanser
Coconut oil is a cleanser itself but it won't hurt if you follow up every session with a manufactured cleanser.
Choose a mild one so as to not further strip your skin of the moisture it so badly needs in order to remain youthful.
7. Repeat The Process
Using coconut oil to treat your acne is not a one time thing - the visible changes are part of a gradual process.
If your skin is compatible with coconut oil, do the acne treatment daily. You may do it as part of your morning routine or you may choose to do it as a nightly regimen.
There is a possibility that you may experience breakouts during the process. Do not panic.
Continue what you are doing as this is a sign that toxins from your body are being purged.
Give it a week or two and after this period of breakouts, you will see visible results such as clearer and naturally moisturized skin.
8. Ingest Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is a common ingredient found in our kitchens - and we all know that it is edible.
If you are comfortable with the idea you may also try ingesting the oil for a detoxification from the inside out.
You may choose to add the oil to your diet or drink it as it is.
Whatever the method, start slow. 1 tablespoon spread throughout a day will do for your trial period.
Coconut oil is highly-detoxifying, so you may trigger some diarrhea-like symptoms in the first few days of ingesting the oil.
If your body adapts to it, you may increase the amount of you use. 3 tablespoons spread all throughout the day will do.
Just like when you apply it in your skin, detoxification will occur this time in the form of your bowels.
The severity of your breakouts will rely on how high the toxins are in your body. Just make sure to drink lots of water to hydrate yourself while going through a detoxification.
The Bottom Line
There it is – a complete guide on how to use coconut oil for acne treatment.
Keep in mind that acne is never the judge of how good-looking you are – you can have acne and still look phenomenal. But why not both; Look phenomenal without the acne?
The answer? Yes, you can.
I hope this guide answered some of the questions you have about coconut oil, what it is and its pros and cons in treating your acne.
With this guide, I hope you can decide for yourself on whether or not you will give coconut oil a try in your goal to bid your acne a much deserved good bye.