Coconut oil for acne was at the top of my list of posts to write about getting clear skin. While I don't agree with outright food worship, I have to admit that coconut oil deserves a lot of the attention it gets. When it comes to promoting clear, healthy skin, coconut oil is definitely just what the doctor (dermatologist?) should be ordering. You can use coconut oil for acne in two primary ways:
How to Use Coconut Oil for Acne
1. In Your Body
Coconut oil is brimming with medium chain fatty acids like lauric acid and caprylic acid which are metabolized into potent antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal agents in the body. These work to fight some of the underlying causes of acne such as candida overgrowth, autoimmunity and inflammation.
Recently I've been considering the times I've had exceptionally clear skin during the past few years, and one factor that keeps popping up is that whenever I had really clear skin I was also eating a lot of coconut oil at the time. I'm still not sure whether or not eating more coconut oil is a determining factor in my acne, but it's certainly worth experimenting with.
And so I've renewed my commitment to eat at least three tablespoons of coconut oil every day, the minimum amount recommended by Bruce Fife in The Coconut Oil Miracle, as well as Mary Enig and Sally Fallon in Eat Fat, Lose Fat.
2. On Your Body
I know what you're thinking: Coconut oil on your skin? Won't it make you break out?!? ...At one point in time I too was terrified of putting anything oily on my skin. Using coconut oil for acne sounded ludicrous.
I figured that acne is caused by oil so the best thing to do is kill it with dryness. Well, you know what's worse than acne? Acne and dry skin at the same time! (And let me tell you it's no picnic trying to apply makeup to dry, flaky skin.)
My exploration in the world of real food and natural living led me to realize that oil is not your skin's enemy. After reading what Kat James had to say in her book The Truth About Beauty, I was struck by the realization that I had been stripping my skin of everything it needed to protect and replenish itself. I was punishing my skin for having acne, and it was most definitely backfiring on me.
So I've tried to use gentler methods for cleansing, toning and moisturizing my face. Coconut oil is a regular part of my regimen. And believe me, my skin is oh so grateful.
Why is coconut oil good for your skin? The same antibacterial and antifungal properties in coconut oil that work wonders in your body can do the same on your skin as well. It is far more gentle than chemical antibacterial agents and yet surprisingly effective for many people. Because it consists primarily of short and medium chain fatty acids, coconut oil is also absorbed easily through the skin and provides moisture without leaving your skin feeling greasy.
Tip: If you are left feeling like an oil slick after applying coconut oil, consider scaling back on the amount you use. A very small amount goes a long way. I get much better results working a small amount into my skin rather than slathering it on too liberally.
There is always a jar of coconut oil in my bathroom now (I use it for oil pulling too). I don't personally use it on my face every single day, but whenever my skin feels the need, I reach for my jar of coconut oil without hesitation. It has yet to produce anything but positive benefits for my skin.
For a trustworthy source of high quality coconut oil, check out the marketplace!
Do you use coconut oil for acne? How has it benefited your body and your skin? Share your thoughts and tips below in the comments!
This post is part of Fight Back Friday and Real Food Wednesday.