Coconut oil has been used for centuries for various purposes – as a cooking medium, beauty aid and for its medicinal purposes. It is often used as an aid in treating acne. Acne outbreaks can occur all over the body although the maximum concentration is on the face. Clogged hair follicles combine with excess oil and dead skin cells to erupt on the surface as comedones, pimples, papules or cysts. There are various treatments for acne – allopathic, homeopathic, ayurvedic and herbal being used the most. Since acne is so prevalent, a lot of people would prefer to try simple remedies to costly treatments. Herbal treatments using coconut oil are effective.
Benefits of coconut oil for acne
It may seem contradictory when it is said excess oil produces acne and then tell people to use coconut oil as a remedy. Coconut oil possesses anti-bacterial properties and hence can act against the P.acnes bacteria that trigger inflammatory acne outbreaks.
Coconut oil contains two potent anti-microbial and anti-bacterial agents – Lauric Acid and Capric Acid. When coconut oil preparations are applied on acne outbreaks, good microbes present on the skin turn these acids into Monolaurin and Monocaprin restoring the protective acid layer on the surface of the skin. This cures the microbial infection and acne.
Consuming coconut oil internally also provides many benefits for acne. Coconut oil contains vitamin E that helps in maintaining the health of the skin. It ensures that sebaceous glands function properly and clears clogged pores. Coconut oil is meant to heal wounds and hence an external application can soothe inflammatory acne eruptions. By improving metabolism, coconut oil helps maintaining hormonal balance and therefore prevents acne.
How to use coconut oil for acne
It is important to use good quality coconut oil. Unrefined oil can be unhygienic. Virgin Coconut Oil is considered a good choice. Here are some coconut oil preparations for acne.
Topical paste: Mix equal parts turmeric and coconut oil to form a paste. Warm this in a microwave for a few seconds. A warm application can open pores. Do not cook the paste. Apply the paste on acne areas at bedtime and leave it on overnight. In the morning wash your face with lukewarm water. There will be an instant improvement in your eruptions. It will only clear after applying the same paste for a few days. Mild acne can improve with this paste.
- 1oz fractionated coconut oil
- 6 drops of lavender essential oil
- 5 drops of Tea Tree oil
- 1 drop of geranium essential oil
- First pour the carrier coconut oil in a clean amber bottle. Add the essential oils one by one. Close the bottle tight. Roll it around gently for a minute to allow the oils to mix. Apply small quantities on affected areas, taking care to avoid lips, nostrils, eyes and inside ears.
Organic coconut oil is used to make many lotions, body oils and moisturizers. It absorbs quickly into the skin and makes the skin glow. Organic coconut oil can also be consumed internally to nourish the skin. Since it has antibacterial properties, using organic coconut oil moisturizers twice a day can treat acne symptoms.
Precaution and Recommendation
Coconut oil must be used with caution. Sometimes, products that contain coconut oil, cocoa butter and cinnamon can actually cause acne outbreaks.
Coconut oil can heal acne outbreaks. It cannot cure acne. Results will vary depending on the skin type, gender, age, lifestyle, profession, hygiene practices and eating habits of a person. If used with caution, coconut oil is a safe and cost effective treatment for acne.