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Is coconut oil good for your skin?

Is Coconut Oil Good for Skin? Coconut Oil Benefits and Uses

Most of us probably have a jar of coconut oil sitting on our pantry shelves as we speak.

Coconut oil has gained popularity in the cooking and baking world because it’s a natural ingredient, and it is a healthy alternative to other not so healthy ingredients.

In the same way, many people have caught on to the trend of putting coconut oil on the skin as a natural moisturizer, cleanser, or body oil.

With the current trend towards ditching chemicals and seeking more natural products, it makes sense that the coconut oil craze has sparked interest in many people.

The market for global virgin coconut oil reached $2.7 billion in 2018 and projects to grow at a compound annual growth rate of at least 9%, reaching $4.7 billion by 2024.

Now you might be wondering, what are the actual benefits of coconut oil on skin?

Can I really use coconut oil for skin care?

There are many different takes on the actual benefits and uses of coconut oil for skin, especially in regards to coconut oil for acne treatment, dry skin, and scars.

It’s a product that’s gained so much attention, and there are lots of people on the web who are talking about it!

However, it’s important to realize that not ALL information comes from the most reliable and accurate sources.

That’s why we have compiled a complete guide to coconut oil for skin care that will answer your questions from a reliable esthetician standpoint.

We want to help you make the best decisions for your skin to save you the frustration of wasting time and money!

So leave it to us to help you understand everything you need to know about the coconut oil uses for skin.

What’s in this article:

  • Description of coconut oil and its composition
  • Benefits and uses of coconut oil on skin
  • Coconut oil products for skin care
  • Cautions of using coconut oil on skin

After reading, you’ll be confident about your knowledge of coconut oil for face and skin care, along with many other beauty uses for coconut oil.

Let’s jump in!

What is coconut oil? It can protect and treat the skin

What is coconut oil?

Because many people today tend to shift away from products that may contain harsh chemicals, coconut oil has become increasingly popular, both on its own and as a base ingredient for skin care products.

But let’s learn a little more about the natural qualities of coconut oil that have given people reasons to praise it very much.

Extracted from either raw coconuts or dried coconut kernels, coconut oil is a highly saturated oil that contains many nourishing fatty acids.

These fatty acids account for nearly 65% of the total composition of coconut oil.

Coconut oil has natural antibacterial and antifungal properties due to its high lauric acid content, according to Joshua Zeichner, MD, a dermatologist at Mount Sinai hospital in New York City.

Lauric acid is responsible for fighting harmful microorganisms, which gives coconut oil its microbial property.

According to a study that tested 30 different fatty acids for their ability to fight 20 strains of bacteria, lauric acid proved to be the most effective at blocking bacteria growth.

This means that coconut oil can protect the skin and help treat certain skin ailments caused by bacteria or fungi such as acne, folliculitis, and athlete’s foot.

Just by applying coconut oil to the skin, you’re preventing the growth of any harmful microorganisms, which is excellent for improving the skin barrier function!

But that’s not all; coconut oil has anti-inflammatory properties as well.

In addition to its natural antimicrobial benefits, coconut oil can help reduce inflammation of the skin and relieve pain by improving the antioxidant status.

Inflammation is commonly associated with diseases like eczema, psoriasis, and contact dermatitis.

Based on current studies, coconut oil shows excellent potential for its ability to reduce these types of inflammation, either through consumption or by applying it directly to the skin.

Another essential quality of coconut oil is the fact that it contains Vitamin E and Vitamin A, which can contribute to anti-aging properties and reduce damage caused by free radicals and the sun.

Not only that, but these vitamins play a crucial role in the natural moisturizing effect of coconut oil, leaving your skin smoother and softer.

Overall, many natural qualities of coconut oil contribute to its function and benefits.

But you may still be wondering, how exactly should I use coconut oil for skin care? What will happen if I apply coconut oil on my face?

Now that we have a better understanding of what coconut oil is let’s learn a bit more about some of the best ways to use it.

What are the benefits and uses of coconut oil?

There are so many ways to use coconut oil, and each has a unique benefit for the area that it’s working on.

We’ve already briefly mentioned how coconut oil can help treat certain skin diseases like eczema, acne, psoriasis, and dermatitis.

But there are even more benefits and uses that you might not have realized!

We’ll break it down into three main areas:

There are multiple uses for coconut oil on your face.

Face.

There are so many different ways that coconut oil can be used on the face.

It’s important to note that some techniques work better for certain skin types, so you might have to experiment a bit to find out which coconut oil trick will best suit your skin!

  • Use it as a first step cleanser. In case you’re a bit wary about slathering a large amount of coconut oil all over your face and seeing what happens, you could always ease into it by using a small amount to cleanse your face before rinsing it away with a gentle face wash after!
  • Use it as a makeup remover. Another simple way to dip your toes into the coconut oil world is to use a small amount of it as a makeup remover. It will act as a completely natural dissolvent oil for any makeup.
  • Lock in your moisturizer. If your skin is on the dryer side, you might find it less risky to use coconut oil all over your face after applying your moisturizer to lock it in for a hydration boost. According to Dr. Zeichner, coconut oil is more effective if used over a moisturizer to seal it rather than as a moisturizer. It may be helpful to understand more about how facial oils work before using coconut oil for moisturizing.
  • Make a DIY face mask. There’s no better way to unwind and relax than with a soothing face mask, right? Why not incorporate coconut oil and all of its amazing benefits into your next DIY face mask to see how much your skin loves it? Here’s a simple yet effective face mask that uses turmeric, lemon juice, raw manuka honey and melted virgin coconut oil that you can try!
  • Try it as an eye cream. Another easy trick to use coconut oil on your face is to dab a tiny amount of it under the eyes in place of an eye cream! This will help to hydrate and protect the delicate skin in this area. Just be sure to use a light touch with your ring finger and rub a small amount under the eyes before bed for a soothing finish to your skin care routine.
  • Make a DIY lip scrub or lip balm. Store-bought lip balms and lip scrubs typically contain coconut oil for the moisturizing benefits. You could also choose to make your own! There are tons of DIY lip scrub and lip balm recipes that incorporate coconut oil for a luscious solution, perfect for dry or chapped lips.

Use coconut oil on your body as a moisturizer and reduce the appearance of stretch marks during pregnancy.

Body.

  • Get rid of pregnancy stretch marks and scars. Because coconut oil contains Vitamin E and antioxidant properties, it plays a significant role in tightening the skin and reducing the appearance of https://parenting.firstcry.com/articles/coconut-oil-for-stretch-marks-during-pregnancy-benefits-and-usage/. It’s best to use heated virgin coconut oil on stretch marks or dark scars by rubbing it directly onto the affected areas at least twice a day. This will speed up the process of the skin repairing itself and lessen the visibility of stretch marks or scars. Since it’s a completely natural oil, there are absolutely no risks or complications in using it even during pregnancy! It can be beneficial to start applying it during pregnancy even before the stretch marks have formed.
  • Try using it in the bath and for shaving. Not only could you use coconut oil in the tub as a nourishing enhancement to your bathwater, but you could also try it out when shaving your legs! Shaving cream can be expensive because it contains a whole mess of ingredients that aren’t necessary to get a clean shave. A more comfortable alternative is to reach for a jar of coconut oil for a natural, smooth, and irritant-free shave!
  • Use it on dry hands and cuticles. All of us are probably desperate for a manicure at this point, but if that still seems unlikely to happen soon (thanks COVID), we can do our best to keep our hands and nails nourished at home! Using coconut oil is the perfect start to an at-home hand massage and manicure that will leave your skin and nails hydrated and replenished.

Hair.

  • Make a DIY hair mask. In addition to benefits for the face, skin, and body, coconut oil has amazing benefits for the hair as well, such as replenishing moisture and limiting protein loss. There are tons of possibilities for using coconut oil in your hair, and one of the easiest ways is to create a DIY hair mask. Typically, these masks can sit in the hair covered by a shower cap for about 30 minutes before shampooing them out to reveal silky smooth hair!
  • Use it to treat dandruff. According to Dr. Zeichner, coconut oil can be used as a natural remedy for treating dandruff since this is another skin condition driven by inflammation. You can simply heat the coconut oil until it liquifies, and then let it sit on your scalp for about 30 minutes before shampooing it out.
  • Use it to add shine and tame frizz. Whether you opt for straight oil or a serum that contains coconut oil, you definitely benefit from incorporating this into your hair care routine to fight frizz and also add shine. Try adding rubbing a small amount of oil between your fingers before running it through frizzy areas of the hair and dabbing it on the ends. Be careful not to use too much, as this could lead to the appearance of greasy hair./li>

Coconut Oil Products

Now that we have discussed a multitude of ways that coconut oil can be utilized for beauty purposes let’s talk about some great products containing coconut oil that are also worth trying.

Cleansers and soaps

Moisturizers and creams

Things to be cautious of when using coconut oil on skin

Given all that we’ve learned about coconut oil for skin care so far, there are a couple of things to be cautious of when first trying it out on your face or body.

We want to make sure that you’re confident about your coconut oil use and that you have nothing to worry about!

So let’s look over a few things that we should avoid or be wary of before scooping into that jar.

  • Don’t use it as a replacement for sunscreen. With the shift towards natural products rising across the board, especially sunscreen, which contains many unknown ingredients, some people have posed the idea of using coconut oil as a natural replacement. However, this is extremely unsafe and could cause more damage to your skin! Coconut oil does not absorb UV rays from the sun sufficiently or at the right wavelengths. There hasn’t been enough research or testing done to determine what level of SPF coconut oil contains. Therefore, it’s probably not the best idea to use as a sunscreen. However, you can incorporate it into your sun protection routine by applying it in tandem with your sunscreen to keep your skin hydrated and moisturized in the sun. As for SPF, stick to the ones you know and trust, or check out our healthy Daily Matte Physical Defense sunscreen!
  • Coconut oil may be too heavy for oily skin. Some people with oily and acne-prone skin who have tried to use coconut oil to fight acne found that it was too heavy for their skin and clogged their pores. Dr. Zeichner explains that coconut oil is comedogenic, meaning it is too thick to be sufficiently absorbed by the pores, and clogged pores could potentially turn into breakouts. However, the antimicrobial properties of coconut oil have helped people fight breakouts because the lauric acid works to combat acne-causing bacteria and lower inflammation. It just depends on your skin type. You’ll have to experiment with treating acne or other skin conditions with coconut oil to see how your skin reacts. But at least the worst thing that can happen is a couple of unintended breakouts, which there couldn’t be a better time to deal with than now while we’re stuck at home!
  • Don’t use it as a replacement for sunscreen. With the shift towards natural products rising across the board, especially sunscreen, which contains many unknown ingredients, some people have posed the idea of using coconut oil as a natural replacement. However, this is extremely unsafe and could cause more damage to your skin! Coconut oil does not absorb UV rays from the sun sufficiently or at the right wavelengths. There hasn’t been enough research or testing done to determine what level of SPF coconut oil contains. Therefore, it’s probably not the best idea to use as a sunscreen. However, you can incorporate it into your sun protection routine by applying it in tandem with your sunscreen to keep your skin hydrated and moisturized in the sun. As for SPF, stick to the ones you know and trust, or check out our healthy Daily Matte Physical Defense sunscreen!
  • Lack of evidence for wrinkle-fighting proof. There has been curiosity as to whether coconut oil treats wrinkles due to its anti-aging properties. As of now, the current research is limited but shows promise. According to the Mayo Clinic, most over-the-counter products that suggest “wrinkle treatment” may only show modest benefits . That’s because, technically, wrinkle-free products don’t have to be supported by research or evidence before being placed on shelves since the FDA does not classify them as “drugs.” With that in mind, the anti-aging properties of coconut oil could give similar results to OTC wrinkle products. There is just a lack of supporting research as of now.

Final thoughts 

After learning more about the benefits and uses of coconut oil, I hope you find yourself inspired to try it out in a way you might not have thought of before!

Making the swap to natural ingredients wherever we can always feels good and does good for our skin too.

There are so many ways that coconut oil can be implemented into your skin care routine whenever you feel like you want to switch it up and go for something a little more natural.

Just like trying anything new, you may have to tiptoe into using coconut oil on your face, body, or hair before diving all in.

But you can be sure that you won’t be causing your skin any harm.

You might just have to toy with certain techniques until you find what works best for your skin type.

But that can be a fun thing to do, especially now as we patiently wait for quarantine to be lifted!

Have you tried coconut oil for skin treatment? What was your experience like? Leave a comment below to share your thoughts with me!

Last updated by Alana Mitchell at .



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