Can you put coconut oil on your skin
Yes, you can use coconut oil on your body, but not necessarily all over!
Maybe you’ve stirred it into your coffee or used it in cooking. Most likely, coconut oil is something you keep in your kitchen cupboard. But can this oil obtained from tropical palm trees have a place in your skin care package?
As natural skin care alternatives come highly recommended, coconut oil has always been a top priority for its all-natural, smooth texture and dreamy scent – but is this vegetable oil really worth the hype? In short: Yes, coconut oil can be good for your skin. But that doesn’t mean you have to use it all over your body.
Dermatologist Dr. Jane Wu explains what you need to know about coconut oil before incorporating it into your daily skin care routine.
What is coconut oil?
Before we discuss the dos and don’ts of this natural oil, we need to review some information about what coconut oil is. Coconut oil is a vegetable oil extracted from raw coconuts. It’s very saturated, and if you’ve used it for cooking, you may have noticed that it turns from a solid white substance to a clear liquid at room temperature.
Benefits of coconut oil for skin
The main reason many people prefer coconut oil is its moisturizing power. But what makes coconut oil so appealing? About 65% of coconut oil’s composition is medium-chain fatty acids, which is partly why coconut oil is good for your skin. Based on what dermatologists and research studies have found, some medium-chain fatty acids such as lauric acid and linoleic acid have great effects in coconut oil.
This means that they can do things like:
Soothes dry skin
Dr. Wu notes that coconut oil can help reduce transdermal water loss (TWL), which is when water passively evaporates from your skin (too much can lead to dry skin). ). TWL can be caused by conditions such as eczema, rosacea or dermatitis.
Linoleic acid is an omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acid that is also commonly found in products such as canola oil or vegetable oils. According to Dr. Wu, it acts as an emollient (meaning it soothes your skin). So, if you’re prone to dry skin, coconut oil might become your new best friend. By repairing your skin’s barrier, it can help reduce lost skin moisture.
Treatment of minor wounds
Coconut oil may even be worth including in your medicine cabinet. Lauric acid, found in many vegetable oils, makes up 49% of coconut oil and has antimicrobial properties. So, while it can’t treat severe wounds on the surface of your skin, it can help soothe minor skin lesions like scrapes or razor burns.
Can you use coconut oil on your face too?
Coconut oil acts as a moisturizer for your body, especially if you have dry skin. But that may not be the case for your face. Dr. Wu notes that coconut oil is not recommended for use on your face because it is highly comedogenic (in other words, it clogs pores). So, while it can help with hydration, it doesn’t do much to prevent acne—in fact, it may even cause it.
Side effects of using coconut oil on the skin
Hydrating, yes. But that means it can do its job a little too well, clogging pores and causing acne — especially if your skin is more on the oily side. “If you’re prone to acne, you should also avoid putting coconut oil on your shoulders, chest, or back,” adds Dr. Wu.
Not only that, but it can also increase blackheads and whiteheads, which are the dreaded warning signs of inflammatory acne.
In some cases, there is also a risk of milia, a condition caused by blocked pores that lead to tiny white or yellow bumps on the surface of your skin. This complication is likely to occur in parts of the body where the skin is thinner, such as under the eyes. Therefore, it is better not to overdo it in these areas or avoid them completely. If you are not sure what type of skin you have, talk to a dermatologist.
How to use coconut oil
Here are a few ways you can incorporate coconut oil into your skin care routine:
· Body moisturizer
This is the first solution for maximum use of coconut oil. After showering or bathing, apply coconut oil to your body to help hydrate the skin (as mentioned above). Apply the oil from your neck down, focusing on drier areas such as elbows, knees, hands and feet. You can also carry some coconut oil with you throughout the day and use it as needed.
· Makeup remover
While you should still be careful about applying coconut oil to your face, Dr. Wu says you can use a little coconut oil as a makeup remover. Use a cotton pad or cotton pad to dab some coconut oil on your skin and remove your first layer of makeup. Just make sure you wash thoroughly afterwards with a mild cleanser or makeup remover to get it all off. She recommends double-cleansing your skin with a water-based cleanser afterward to reduce the risk of clogged pores and milia.
· Lip balm
Are your lips constantly dry and irritated? Coconut oil can also be a natural chapstick – its hydrating properties can do wonders for keeping your lips moisturized throughout the day. Plus, it’s technically edible, so don’t worry if you end up licking your lips!
What kind of coconut oil is best?
One of the best things about coconut oil is that it is natural. To get the most out of it, you should use pure, unrefined, pressed coconut oil. This is because cold pressed coconut oil does not use heat in the preparation process and retains most of its nutrients.
But although it is natural, coconut oil is not for everyone. However, if you’re looking to boost your skin’s hydration without any additives or chemicals, it’s worth a try. To start, apply a small amount to your body and avoid using it on your face or acne-prone areas. Use it periodically and check your skin and your skin’s reaction to it. Over time, coconut oil may become a new addition to your skin routine!
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