Coconut oil is extracted from the kernel of the matured coconut. It has been used as a cooking oil for a long time. This oil has some unique medicinal and cosmetic uses as well. It is an excellent moisturizer that can be used for softening and nourishing the skin and hair. It can be used as a home remedy for acne, which is one of the most common skin problems, especially among teenagers. Coconut oil has shown impressive results in treating acne.
What Causes Acne?
Our skin has numerous sebaceous glands, which are responsible for producing sebum or oil that lubricates the skin, and keeps it moist and soft. However, the tiny skin pores can get clogged, if an excessive amount of sebum or oil is secreted by the overactive sebaceous glands. An overproduction of sebum can be triggered by factors like hormonal imbalance, high level of stress, certain allergens, and a poor diet that contains a high amount of harmful fats. When the skin pores get clogged, the oil cannot leave the skin through the pores. Such clogged skin pores can trap dirt and bacteria present on the skin. This can eventually cause infections, inflammation, and redness, or the development of acne.
Coconut Oil and Acne
Acne is largely believed to be a problem of the oily skin. So, people usually try to stay away from all types of skin care products that are oily, in order to prevent the development of acne. Contrary to this belief, coconut oil can be used on acne-prone skin, mainly due to its antimicrobial properties and vitamin E content. This oil contains two important fatty acids, known as lauric acid and capric acid, both of which have antimicrobial properties. These two fatty acids are converted to monolaurin and monocaprin by some harmless bacteria present on the skin. Monolaurin and monocaprin help protect the skin from acne and infections by destroying the harmful bacteria and microbes.
The other important component of this oil is vitamin E, which is a well-known nutrient required for maintaining the health of skin and hair. This vital vitamin can regulate the secretion of sebum and unclog the skin pores, and thus, prevent the development of acne and pimples. Coconut oil is light and it can be easily absorbed by the skin. It can penetrate the deeper skin layers and nourish the skin. By unclogging the skin pores, it helps cleanse them from dirt and grim. This oil has a cooling effect, due to which it can soothe any kind of skin inflammation and skin rash.
How to Use Coconut Oil for Acne Treatment
First of all, clean your skin thoroughly with a gentle cleanser. Cleaning helps open up the skin pores, which allows coconut oil to penetrate the skin and nourish it. Generally, the organic or virgin coconut oil is considered more beneficial than the ordinary oil. After cleaning your face, apply a thin coat of coconut oil on the skin and gently massage it. Now, leave the oil on the skin for about 15 to 20 minutes so that it can be absorbed by your skin. Then wash your face again to remove the excess oil from the skin.
Besides giving you pimple-free skin, this oil can remove acne scars, and moisturize your skin to make it soft and supple. It can also be used for dry skin conditions and eczema. However, its overuse can make your skin too oily or greasy. Moreover, some individuals can be allergic to this oil. Therefore, before using it on the entire face, apply it on a small area of your skin. Do not use it on your face, if you notice any adverse reaction. Otherwise, it can worsen the problem of acne. However, a few whiteheads can develop after using coconut oil, which is quite normal. But if this condition does not resolve within a few days, it is better to discontinue the use of coconut oil and talk to a dermatologist.