Coconut Oil: Should You Use It on Your Skin?

Perhaps you have used coconut oil in your baking, or even blended it with coffee . Coconut oil may be a common ingredient in your pantry. Is it possible that this oil made from coconut palm trees could also be in your skin care refrigerator?

For a long time, coconut oil has been an excellent choice as a natural option for skin care. The oil has natural properties, a smooth texture, and a wonderful scent. But is the price worth it? Coconut oil is good for the skin. Coconut oil is not something you need to massage all over.

Jane Wu MD, dermatologist, discusses the basics of coconut oil and what to do before you start using it in your daily skin care regimen.

Coconut Oil: What is it?

Before diving into the details of how to use this oil as a cooking oil, let's first review some basic chemistry about coconut oil. Coconut oil is an oil that comes from plants and is made from oil extracted from fresh coconuts. Coconut oil is highly saturated and, if it's been used for cooking, it will change from a white solid at room temperature into a clear liquid upon heating.

Coconut oil has many benefits for skin

You won't find a better natural body cream than coconut oil. Cocoa oil has a moisturizing property that is the reason people turn to it.

What makes coconut oil so appealing? Medium-chain fatty acid make up about 65% of the coconut oil. They are partially responsible for coconut oil being so beneficial to skin. Based on what dermatologists and research studies have found, certain medium-chain fatty acids like lauric acid and linoleic acid are the heavy hitters in coconut oil.

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For dry, itchy skin

Dr. Wu explains that coconut oil may help reduce transepidermal loss (TWL), or when too much water evaporates from the skin. Conditions like eczema and rosacea can trigger TWL.

Linoleic Acid is an unsaturated Omega-6 fatty acid. It's commonly found in vegetable oils and canola oil. Dr. Wu says it is an emollient which soothes the skin. Coconut oil could be your best friend if you have dry skin. It can reduce the moisture loss by repairing the skin's protective barrier.

Mild wounds can be treated

It may be worthwhile to add coconut oil to your medicine cabinets. The antimicrobial property of lauric acid (found in many vegetable oils) makes up 49%. Although it cannot treat deep skin wounds, it can soothe minor skin irritations like razor burns and scratches.

Is Coconut Oil Safe for Your Skin?

If you have dry skin, coconut oil can be used as a moisturizing agent for your body. For your skin, however, that might not be true.

Dr. Wu states that coconut oil can be very comedogenic, which means it can clog pores. It can moisturize, but not cure acne.

Coconut Oil Side Effects on Your Skin

It's hydrating, yes. It can hydrate, yes. But it could also clog pores and lead to acne breakouts. This is especially true if you have oily skin. Dr. Wu says that if you have acne-prone skin, it is best to avoid placing the cream on your chest, back, or shoulders.

This can lead to blackheads and/or whiteheads which are often a sign of inflammation.

There is a possibility of coconut oil causing Milia. This condition results from blocked pores and tiny yellow or white bumps on the skin's surface. It is most likely to occur in the areas where your skin is thin, such as beneath your eyes. It's better to avoid these areas altogether or not do it at all. Talk to a dermatologist if you aren't sure of your skin type.

Coconut Oil: How to Use It

These are just a few ways that coconut oil can be incorporated into your skin care regimen.

Body moisturizer

Coconut oil is best used in this way. Apply coconut oil to your skin after bathing. Apply the coconut oil starting at your neck and focusing on dry areas like your elbows and knees. A small amount of coconut oil is also good to have on hand for use throughout the day.

Makeup removal

Although coconut oil should not be applied to the skin, Dr. Wu suggests that you use some coconut oil for makeup removal. You can apply coconut oil with a cotton ball, or a pad. You are now done. Make sure you rinse everything with mild cleanser. She adds that double-cleansing with a water-based cleanser is a good idea to prevent clogged pores or milia.

Lip Balm

Do your lips feel dry or irritated all the time? Coconut oil is a great natural chapstick. The hydrating properties of coconut oil will help to moisturize your lips throughout the day. Coconut oil is technically edible so you don't have to worry about licking your lips. Remember, coconut oil can be used in a smaller amount.

Which Coconut Oil is Best?

Coconut oil has a natural flavor that is one of its best qualities. Pure, unrefined coconut oil is best to get the maximum benefit. Cold-pressed coconut oil does not require heat to prepare and retains all its nutrients.

Coconut oil, even though natural, is not for everyone. Coconut oil is a great option if you want to boost your skin's hydration. Start by applying a bit to your entire body, but avoid your sensitive skin areas and face. You can take it slowly and watch how your skin reacts. Coconut oil could become your go-to for all things coconut oil.