Thanks to its amazingly versatility, coconut oil is used extensively in a broad spectrum of cultures. In India, it is an important part of the Ayurvedic medical practice. Practitioners use the oil to treat a wide range of health conditions – from heart disease to skin problems. Natives of Papua New Guinea have been using coconut oil for centuries as a skin and hair moisturizer. Samoan mothers use this oil to massage their children’s whole body to promote healthy skin.
Many cultures also favor coconut oil for culinary purposes. Compared to other oils, it’s super stable, doesn’t spoil easily and contains a whole host of nutritional properties. It is a rich source of fiber, as well as a number of natural vitamins and minerals. It’s made up of more than ninety percent naturall occurring saturated fats,(as opposed to artificially-made trans-fats that are harmful to our health).
However, its the alleged acne-fighting benefits of coconut oil that we’ll be covering. It’s no secret that the oil is a very popular ingredient in cosmetics; due in part to that fact that it can easily be absorbed into the skin without leaving any oily residue. Coconut oil is used to naturally treating a range of skin conditions, including dermatitis, psoriasis, and eczema thanks to the oil’s natural abundance of lauric and capric acid. These two acids are the cornerstone to it’s natural acne-busting reputation. Let’s look at them in a little more detail:
- Lauric acid – High levels of lauric acid are found predominantly in the fatty acid content of two substances – in breast milk (6.2%) and coconut oil (>50%). Scientific studies have shown that lauric acid has antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-fungal properties, which can help stop acne causing bacteria in its tracks. Regular application of coconut oil to your face can also prevent these infections from developing in the first place.
- Capric acid – This is a medium-chain fatty acid present in saturated fats, found in dairy milk in small amounts. Coconut oil, on the other hand, contains capric acid in high concentrations. Studies have shown capric acid to prevent the spread and replication of microbes, making it another effective tool in your antibacterial arsenal.
The great thing about coconut oil acne remedies is that along with fighting acne, they provide a broader range of benefits for your skin. With regular use, you can also expect your skin to be smoother and softer with more elasticity. The oil also mimics your skin’s naturally produced oil, which helps prevent your pores from being clogged by dirt, which can lead to blackheads. Coconut oil has a natural SPF value of >7, providing natural protection from the sun. Great news when you consider the toxicity of synthetic sunscreens.
One of the criticisms of acne treatments such as hydrogen peroxide is that it can dry and irritate skin, cause redness or a prolonged burning sensations. Coconut oil on the other hand can help naturally restore moisture to your skin, delaying the appearance of wrinkles and age spots.
The key to effective coconut oil acne treatment is applying it in moderation. Slathering it on your skin all day everyday won’t bring you favorable results. If you apply too much oil it won’t be absorbed into the skin and you will end up being an oily mess and getting the oil on your clothes and any other items you touch. One way to make the most of coconut oil is to use a small amount every two – three days.
Some users of coconut oil notice significant changes within 3 days. For others, it takes up to three weeks before they start seeing results. There are certain situations, however, in which coconut oil acne treatment is not recommended. If you have allergies, for example, be sure to check if your skin can tolerate the oil by applying a small amount to a hidden area of skin. Leave it 24 hours to see if any irritation occurs.