The truth about coconut oil and acne:
Some believe that coconut oil is a miracle cure for acne. While coconut oil does have some acne-fighting qualities that will help your skin, the truth is that there are better options easily available. We’ve taken a closer look at the relationship between coconut oil and acne to understand how it works and if it’s an effective acne treatment.
Coconut oil has two acne fighting properties:
- Coconut oil contains two natural anti-microbials: Capric acid and Lauric acid. Anti-microbials fight acne by killing the bacterial infections that occur within your pores. Benzoyl Peroxide (the active ingredient in Proactiv, Acne Free, and most Neutrogena cleasers) is another example of an anti-microbial used to treat acne.
- Coconut oil is also rich in vitamin A, a nutrient essential for healthy skin. Vitamin A helps your skin by efficiently regulating your skins shedding process called keratinocyte desquamation. Acne commonly arises when this process is not performed properly.
But… Coconut oil falls short
There are more effective substitutes for anti-microbials and vitamin A:
Anti-microbial: Most dermatologists believe benzoyl peroxide is the most effective anti-microbial cleanser to decrease your acne. Try this proven cleanser first, as it is also available at almost any drug store. If you find that BPO (benzoyl peroxide) irritates your face, there are many other OTC products that will be softer on your skin and more effective than coconut oil. If you find benzoyl peroxide is not improving your acne, you may need a prescription medication, which can only be obtained from a dermatologist.
Vitamin A: Your skin will not benefit from Vitamin A unless it has been turned into retinoic acid. This does not occur directly in the skin, so applying it topically is a relatively inefficient way to increase your vitamin A consumption. Instead, the best way to get your vitamin A is to consume foods high in A (like eggs, carrots, sweet potatoes, and spinach) or to take a supplement.
What it comes down to:
Everyone’s skin is different. If you have very mild acne and highly sensitive skin, coconut oil may be a good option for you as a light anti-microbial. Some people report coconut oil as being highly comodegenic (acne-causing) but the results seem to differ widely. For most, a proven cleanser like benzoyl peroxide is most likely your best bet.
If you have moderate to severe acne:
Coconut oil might deliver some minor benefits to your acne, but it cannot be the primary treatment for moderate to severe acne. It is important that you apply more effective medications, like topical retinoids.
Fortunately, topical retinoids are not hard to obtain. All you need is to do is consult with a dermatologist, who will write you a prescription for the medication.
About us: YoDerm is the only way to get a prescription medication safely and legally online. Each of our dermatologists are board-certified and will treat your acne within 24 hours. If you’re struggling to get clear, click here, and let us help you.
1. “How Does Vitamin A Help Your Skin?” LIVESTRONG.COM.
2. Thomson, Julie R. “Vitamin A: Skin Friend Or Foe?” The Huffington Post. 18 Aug. 2011.
3. “Coconut Oil.” Reviews. ACNE.ORG
4. “Organic Coconut Oil for Acne – Acne Skin Site.” Acne Skin Site.