Coconut oil and its benefits for the skin

By reputation, coconut oil is the holy grail of ingredients, a magical elixir claiming space both in the kitchen and in the bathroom shelf. From skincare products to diy natural recipes all the way to recipes for healthy desserts, the internet is full of info about this fragrant tropical oil.

But as with everything out there on the internet, it’s hard to weed out the hype from the real information. You can probably find two completely opposing articles with one search. So if you want to cut through the clutter and decide if coconut oil is right for your skin, we’re here to help. In this post we’ll look at its main benefits, any potential drawbacks and when and where it’s best to be used.

IN A NUTSHELL

 

INGREDIENT CATEGORY: Oil/Emmolient

MAIN BENEFITS: Moisturizes and smooths the skin thanks to its occlusive properties

WHO SHOULD USE IT: anyone whose skin is not prone to acne or congestion

HOW OFTEN CAN YOU USE IT: Massage on your body daily after shower to moisturize your skin

FIND IN: The Soft Blend

Benefits of coconut oil

 

  1. It’s a powerful moisturiser - As an oil, coconut is made up of medium-chain fatty acids which have the ability to trap moisture into the skin for longer which is a game-changer if you suffer from dry skin.

  2. It protects your skin - when applied on damp skin, coconut oil forms a protective barrier, helping shield the skin from toxins, dirt and environmental stressors we face daily

  3. Prevents premature ageing - coconut oil is loaded with antioxidants which are known to delay skin ageing. When absorbed into your skin and connective tissues, coconut oil helps to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles by strengthening connective tissue.

  4. Prevents skin cracking - thanks to its high vitamin E contents, coconut oil helps to prevent skin from cracking, making it great for those extra dry areas like the knees and elbows.

  5. It has antibacterial properties: The lauric acid present in coconut oil gives it antimicrobial properties to eliminate bacteria and reduce inflammation

 

Is it good for my skin type?

As good as coconut oil is, it isn’t as versatile as some other, lighter oils such as grapeseed. One key factor to consider is that coconut oil is comedogenic, meaning it can clog your pores and potentially cause breakouts. This is why it’s best used on the body, not on your face.

Sensitive skin - coconut oil is a good choice for sensitive skin thanks to its soothing properties.

Dry skin - Coconut oil is soothing and calming and great to reduce the annoying itchy dryness.

Oily or combination skin - if your skin tends to overproduce sebum, it’s best to steer clear from using coconut oil on your face as it can potentially clog your pores and cause breakouts. But keep in mind that if coconut oil is just an ingredient present in any of your skincare product, it’s not a reason to be alarmed. Check the label where the ingredients are listed in order of their concentration, so if coconut is not among the first three ingredients, you don’t have a reason to worry.

 

What is the best way to use coconut oil?

Despite its many benefits, coconut oil is best used in combination with other ingredients. Just like your body benefits from different nutrients, so does your skin. So you're really limiting yourself by using single-ingredient products.

Coconut Oil FAQ

Is coconut oil good for your skin?

Yes. Coconut oil is rich in antioxidants and medium-chained amino acids which can help protect, nourish and moisturize your skin.

 Is coconut good for your face?

Unless you have very dry skin, your best bet is to stay away from the jar of coconut oil.

 Is coconut oil a good moisturizer?

Yes, coconut oil is a great moisturizer thanks to its ability to retain moisture in the skin. Keep in mind that all oils are emollients, not humectants, so they are most effective when applied on damp skin. This allows them to seal that delicious moisture in. Alternatively, you can apply oil over lotion to keep its hydrating properties for hours on end.

What is the best oil to use instead of coconut?

If you have oily or congested skin, it’s best to reach out to lighter, non-comedogenic oils, such as grapeseed, abyssinian or borage.