– Does It Re­ally Work?

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Vir­gin

co­conut oil is used by many peo­ple as a nat­u­ral and ef­fec­tive treat­ment for acne. Co­conut oil con­tains many an­tibac­te­rial and anti-in­flam­ma­tory prop­er­ties which help to get rid of spots, pim­ples, and zits. Be­cause it con­tains healthy fatty acids, co­conut oil also acts as a nat­u­ral skin mois­tur­izer, which helps to pro­tect your skin and re­duce the num­ber of acne break­outs.

How­ever, there are peo­ple who have tried us­ing co­conut oil for acne but they found that it didn’t help them. In fact, some say that it caused their skin to have even more break­outs.

So what is the truth about co­conut oil and acne? Can co­conut oil re­ally help you get healthy skin that is acne-free? The con­cern many peo­ple have is that co­conut oil is come­do­genic (pore-clog­ging) agent hence can worsen acne.

What is Acne?

Glands in the skin pro­duce oil called se­bum which is es­sen­tial to keep the skin moist and pro­tect it. Ac­cord­ing to Dr. Kath­leen Romito on We­bMD, changes in the body can cause the skin glands to pro­duce more se­bum which then gets blocked in the pores of the skin. Spots, pim­ples, and black­heads ap­pear when dead skin cells get trapped and be­come in­fected. The bac­te­ria in the pores can cause in­flam­ma­tion, swelling, red­ness, and pus.

A pim­ple oc­curs when the in­fec­tion is un­der the skin, and the re­sult is a painful bump on the skin that may or may not have a vis­i­ble pus-filled cen­ter. These are some­times called white­head, papules, or pus­tules de­pend­ing on the type of pim­ple.

Black­heads form when se­bum and dead skin cell block the pores. Con­trary to pop­u­lar be­lief, black­heads aren’t a buildup of dirt in the pores but the re­ac­tion of the air on the block­age in the pore.

Some­times, the acne bac­te­rial in­fec­tion can go deeper into the skin caus­ing cys­tic acne. Ac­cord­ing to Dr. Debra Jal­i­man on We­bMD, the symp­toms of cys­tic acne are large, sore bumps that are full of pus.

The Amer­i­can Academy of Der­ma­tol­ogy says that fac­tors like hor­mones, emo­tional stress, men­stru­a­tion, cer­tain med­i­ca­tions and foods like white bread, rice and pasta can all cause out­breaks of acne.3

Co­conut Oil for Acne – Is this the Real Deal?

Most peo­ple find that co­conut oil is an ef­fec­tive home rem­edy for acne and that us­ing co­conut oil as a fa­cial mois­tur­izer helps to pre­vent fur­ther acne break­outs. How­ever, co­conut oil may not work for ev­ery­one who has acne. This shouldn’t be sur­pris­ing be­cause even phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal drugs aren’t ef­fec­tive on ev­ery­one who has acne.

But the main rea­son is that co­conut oil is ranked 4 out of 5 in come­do­genic rat­ing, with 5 be­ing the high­est, mean­ing it is has fairly high come­do­genic ac­tiv­ity. So there are good chances for it to clog your pores.

While there is sci­en­tific ev­i­dence that co­conut oil is help­ful for acne, there is a mount­ing anec­do­tal ev­i­dence from many peo­ple who com­plained that co­conut oil clogged their pores and made the skin tex­ture rough. Some peo­ple com­plained that co­conut oil ag­gra­vated their acne and they had more break­outs.

On the other hand, there is also sci­en­tific and anec­do­tal ev­i­dence that co­conut oil has im­proved acne for many peo­ple.

The best way to find out if co­conut oil will help clear up your acne is to try a small amount on a small area of skin.

Very of­ten the acne-fight­ing prop­er­ties of co­conut oil can be en­hanced by adding es­sen­tial oils which have an­tibac­te­rial ac­tiv­i­ties or other nat­u­ral in­gre­di­ents that are good for acne, such as aloe vera, bak­ing soda and other oils which have been shown to get rid of acne.

Why Co­conut Oil is Good for Treat­ing Acne

For many peo­ple, it doesn’t seem log­i­cal to use an oily sub­stance like co­conut oil to get rid of acne. How­ever, co­conut oil con­tains many prop­er­ties which can help you get clear skin free from un­sightly spots and zits. Here are some rea­sons why co­conut oil is good for cur­ing acne.

Co­conut oil is an­timi­cro­bial

Co­conut oil con­tains a high amount of lau­ric acid, a fatty acid which stud­ies have shown to have an­timi­cro­bial prop­er­ties that can treat acne.

A re­cent study- re­ported that lau­ric acid is an ef­fec­tive top­i­cal treat­ment for acne vul­garis be­cause of its an­timi­cro­bial ac­tiv­ity. This means that co­conut oil can help to kill off bac­te­ria that cause spots and pim­ples to ap­pear.

An­tibac­te­rial

Co­conut oil is also ef­fec­tive against Pro­pi­oni­bac­terium ac­nes (P. ac­nes), a strain of bac­te­ria linked to in­flam­ma­tory acne.

The Jour­nal of Der­ma­to­log­i­cal Sci­ence re­ported on a study show­ing that lau­ric acid has strong an­tibac­te­rial ac­tiv­ity against P. ac­nes mak­ing it ef­fec­tive in pre­vent­ing the growth of acne-caus­ing bac­te­ria.

Anti-in­flam­ma­tory

As well as be­ing an­timi­cro­bial, co­conut oil is also anti-in­flam­ma­tory and can help re­duce the red­ness and swelling caused by acne spots and pim­ples.

Clin­i­cal tri­als on lau­ric acid found that it can help re­duce swelling and in­flam­ma­tion. One study pub­lished said that lau­ric acid is an “al­ter­na­tive treat­ment for an­tibi­otic ther­apy of acne vul­garis.”

Try­ing Co­conut Oil for Acne

So as you’ve seen, co­conut oil con­tains acne-fight­ing prop­er­ties which can help to re­duce the in­fec­tion, kill off bac­te­ria that cause acne, and re­duce the in­flam­ma­tion caused by clogged pores and acne spots.

An­other point is that many peo­ple who have oily, acne-prone skin, tend to use ag­gres­sively var­i­ous prod­ucts to fight acne. These prod­ucts of­ten have the op­po­site ef­fect of strip­ping your skin of its nat­u­ral oils. This leads the skin to com­pen­sate for the loss by pro­duc­ing more oil, which can ag­gra­vate acne even more, but a lit­tle bit of vir­gin co­conut oil can help to break this vi­cious cy­cle.

Al­though co­conut oil works very well for some, it’s not for ev­ery­one. While the lau­ric acid con­tent fights bac­te­ria, the to­tal oil may clog pores de­pend­ing on the user. The only way to know how co­conut oil would af­fect you is to try it.

The rec­om­men­da­tion is to start with re­ally small amount of vir­gin co­conut oil. It’s also a good idea to do a patch test to make sure you don’t de­velop an al­ler­gic re­ac­tion to co­conut oil.

The best way to use vir­gin co­conut oil to treat spots, pim­ples and acne is to mas­sage just a small amount into the af­fected skin ar­eas. Us­ing only a lit­tle co­conut oil help to pre­vent clog­ging the pores even more and al­lows the co­conut oil to treat acne break­outs.

You can mix co­conut oil with es­sen­tial oils to make a nat­u­ral treat­ment for acne.

Tea tree oil has been shown to have acne-fight­ing prop­er­ties and you can com­bine it with co­conut oil to make an ef­fec­tive home rem­edy for acne.

Laven­der oil is an­other es­sen­tial oil that you can use to fight acne and help you get clear skin.

To make a nat­u­ral top­i­cal rem­edy for acne, mix 1 tbsp. of vir­gin co­conut oil with 4 drops of tea tree oil and 4 drops of laven­der oil. Mix to­gether well and store in a small glass jar. Ap­ply a small amount of the co­conut oil mix­ture to the af­fected skin ar­eas 2 or 3 times a day un­til your acne has gone.

You can com­bine aloe vera with vir­gin co­conut oil to make a heal­ing lo­tion for acne.

Aloe vera is a well-known nat­u­ral in­gre­di­ent that can be used to soothe skin in­flam­ma­tion and burns.

An­other nat­u­ral way to re­duce the ap­pear­ance of acne is to com­bine bak­ing soda and co­conut oil to make a smooth paste.

Bak­ing soda also has an­tibac­te­rial prop­er­ties which can work won­ders on acne-prone skin. A study found that bak­ing soda (sodium bi­car­bon­ate) is ef­fec­tive in killing off var­i­ous strains of bac­te­ria. Also, the grainy tex­ture of bak­ing soda makes it a gen­tle ex­fo­li­ate for the skin to un­block pores to cure black­heads, pim­ples, and spots.

To help get rid of acne and un­clog pores, mix some bak­ing soda with some vir­gin co­conut oil to form a smooth paste. For more sen­si­tive skin, use at least a 2:1 ra­tio of co­conut oil to bak­ing soda (2 parts of co­conut oil for ev­ery part of bak­ing soda). If your skin is not sen­si­tive, you can use a 1:1 ra­tio (equal amounts of co­conut oil and bak­ing soda).

Ap­ply the bak­ing soda mix­ture to the af­fected skin area and gen­tly mas­sage into the skin to un­block clogged pores and re­duce the ap­pear­ance of acne. Leave for a few min­utes be­fore rins­ing off with warm wa­ter.

After cleans­ing your skin, ap­ply a small amount of co­conut oil to mois­tur­ize your skin to pro­tect it from fur­ther acne break­outs.

The best way to know if co­conut oil is an ef­fec­tive acne treat­ment for your break­outs is to try one of the above nat­u­ral home reme­dies. Many acne suf­fer­ers have found that us­ing co­conut oil is an ef­fec­tive method to treat acne and pre­vent spots and pim­ples reap­pear­ing.

You also need to re­mem­ber that vir­gin co­conut oil is not a magic so­lu­tion for acne, and that re­sults vary from per­son to per­son de­pend­ing upon their skin type, age, life­style, as well as other fac­tors.

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