Coconut oil for skin blemishes

Looking to buy the best Coconut Oil For Skin Blemishes? Check out this guide for the benefits of applying coconut oil on face overnight, how to use coconut oil on face and how to use coconut oil for acne. Acne has come to be regarded as a rite of passage that every teenager must go through before stepping into adulthood. However, some will have it worse than others. The condition may also continue post-adolescence.

Some people get their first pimple in their mid-twenties or even later, and this type of late-onset adult acne is usually harder to treat.

Everything considered, acne is one of the most prevalent dermatological concerns that affect millions of people all over the world, regardless of their age, skin type, ethnicity, and gender.

Coconut Oil For Skin Blemishes

While the pimples tend to go away after a while, they may leave behind unsightly scars. Once the scar forms, it may never go away.

You have to follow a stringent skin care regimen in conjunction with a dermatologist-prescribed medical therapy to improve the appearance of your skin.

However, your scars may not disappear completely despite your best efforts.

To save yourself the ordeal of treating a stubborn scar, you should take the necessary skin care measures to prevent its occurrence in the first place.

Prevention is better than cure. It is the cornerstone of almost all treatment modalities but is especially relevant for acne scars or blemishes.

What are the different kinds of blemishes?

types of blemishes

Is that a blackhead, papule, pustule, scar, or just discoloration?

There are several different types of blemishes.

Blackheads and whiteheads appear on the skin when excess oil, bacteria, and dead skin clog the skin pores.

If the congested pore closes up, the blemish appears as a white or flesh-colored bump on the skin and is termed a whitehead.

If the clogged pore stays open, its sebaceous contents are exposed to the air and oxidize to turn a darker color.

Thus, it is the oxidation of the contents of a clogged pore rather than the accumulation of dirt that leads to the formation of a blackhead.

Even though these tiny black spots on your face can make you look dirtier than you actually are, they are generally not caused by a lack of personal cleanliness.

Even those who follow the most rigorous skin care routine can get blackheads now and again. A blackhead is not dirt, so resist scrubbing as doing so only worsens it.

Papules usually appear as red, raised lesions on the surface of the skin when the excess oil, bacteria, and dead skin cells inside a clogged pore push deeper into the skin.

These bumps can be of different colors, shapes, or sizes and are usually accompanied by painful swelling (inflammation) around the affected area.

Pustules are similar to papules, only that they are filled with pus. Pus is a combination of bacteria, oil, and dead skin cells that have accumulated and caused an infection.

Resist the temptation to pick or pop pustules as it can cause further inflammation and can even scar your skin.

Nodules or cysts are hard, painful, and deep-seated blemishes that can severely damage the skin tissue and cause long-lasting scars even after they heal.

Nodules form when the walls of a hair follicle break down, allowing the bacteria and oil to spread deeper into the skin.

A membrane may form around the infected area, leading to the formation of a painful cyst.

Red or hyperpigmented marks on the skin may be left behind once the acne has cleared. The inflammation that has occurred causes an increase in pigment production.

Because there has not been any permanent damage to the collagen, these stains, unlike scars, are smooth.

Scars form when there is abnormal collagen production during the skin repair process. When you incur some kind of skin tissue damage, the skin cells produce collagen to form a protective film over the wound to keep it safe from further injury or trauma.

If there is excessive production of collagen during this skin healing process, it can take the form of an indented or raised scar at the affected site.

The best way to avoid developing scars is to treat your acne early and avoid picking or popping the acne.

How long do blemishes normally take to fade away?

The type of blemish determines how long it will take to fade. When treating papules, pustules, and comedones, it may take 4-6 weeks to see improvement.

Complete clearing may take 2-3 months. The red marks or discolored spots may take 3-6 months or longer to disappear. Scars may be permanent.

Do any foods help in clearing blemishes?

It is becoming clearer through studies that dairy products, particularly skim milk, and foods with a high glycemic index or glycemic load can aggravate acne.

Therefore, eating low-glycemic foods that contain complex carbohydrates is recommended to reduce the risk of acne. These foods include whole grains, legumes, fruits, and vegetables.

The research is less clear, though, in identifying foods that may help prevent or reduce acne.

According to some studies, foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids may help decrease inflammation and reduce some of the symptoms of acne.

Fatty fish (salmon, mackerel), pastured eggs, soy products, navy beans, spinach, kale, flaxseeds, walnuts, and almonds are good sources of omega-3 fatty acids.

Limited evidence suggests that foods rich in antioxidants, dietary fiber, zinc, and vitamins A and E may also help reduce acne by decreasing inflammation.

Can any nutrient deficiency cause blemishes?

The nutrient deficiencies that are most likely to contribute to acne are deficiencies in vitamins A, E, and D and zinc.

Vitamins A and E are both antioxidants required to keep you healthy.

A 2006 study showed that individuals with acne run low on vitamins A and E and that supplementation of these vitamins may help improve their skin condition. (1)

Another study published in 2014 found a similar correlation between low blood levels of zinc and severe acne. The study proposed that people with this condition should increase their daily intake of dietary zinc to 40 mg. (2)

Zinc is a dietary mineral that plays a vital role in skin development and in regulating your metabolism and hormone levels.

Can coconut oil help fade blemishes?

Coconut oil has amazing moisturizing and antibacterial properties. However, it may not be the best ingredient to treat acne.

Even though lauric acid, a component of coconut oil, possesses antibacterial properties, no evidence shows that coconut oil will improve comedones, papules, or cysts.

In fact, coconut oil is highly comedogenic, which means it causes comedones.

Therefore, be careful if you are using it as a moisturizer.

Can blemishes be removed permanently?

The dark or red marks from acne usually fade over time. Using sunscreen, retinoids, and vitamin C can aid in their disappearance.

Once a scar has formed, it may require cosmetic interventions to remove it completely. Cosmetic treatment options may include dermal fillers, lasers, punch excisions, or a combination of these.

Any important points to remember regarding blemishes?

Maintain a healthy diet, which includes fruits, vegetables, and foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Minimize your intake of high-glycemic foods to prevent acne blemishes.

Preventing blemish formation is always more convenient than treating it later.

For acne blemishes that have already formed, early-stage treatment will help prevent your mild acne from becoming cystic or nodular.

Cystic acne can damage your skin at a deeper level and is associated with a higher risk of permanent scarring, as opposed to mild acne.

If your acne blemishes fail to clear or progress to a severe form despite proper preliminary care, then see a dermatologist for prescription medications and other suitable skin care products.

No, You Should Not Use Coconut Oil On Your Face

First Published:
by Katie Martin

This past Christmas, my aunt gifted each of her sisters a jumbo jar of coconut oil because she loves it so much. She keeps a jar in the kitchen (it’s her favorite way to make light and airy stovetop popcorn) and a jar in the bathroom, where she slathers the coconut oil on her skin instead of regular lotion.

Despite my aunt’s enthusiasm, my mom—who has notoriously sensitive skin—was skeptical about using coconut oil, especially when I told her I used it to treat my dog’s seasonal eczema with mixed success. Still, she tried it one night instead of her favorite nighttime facial moisturizer. The next morning, my mother woke up with a rash of angry, red bumps all over the lower part of her face and neck.

My mom is far from the only one to suffer this same fate, which is why, to put it bluntly, I’m completely flummoxed by the fact that coconut oil continues to be touted as a great natural facial skincare solution.

We talked to dermatologists to find out why you shouldn’t use coconut oil on your face. Here’s what they had to say.

Coconut oil is comedogenic.

“Coconut oil has one of the highest comedogenic ratings, which means that it could be a big problem for sensitive or blemish-prone skin,” explains dermatologist Paul Dean, MD, creator of Skin Resource.MD. “This means coconut oil can’t penetrate the pores and actually can suffocate your skin and will clog your pores because it sits on top of the skin.”

What is a comedogenic rating? Essentially, beauty products are rated on a scale of 1 to 5 based on their pore-clogging potential, with 1 being the least likely to clog your pores, and 5 being reserved for the worst offenders.

The scale doesn’t mean that every single product that’s considered highly comedogenic will clog your pores and cause breakouts, though. A lot of factors—like pore size and how oily or dry your skin is—also affect how your face will react to comedogenic products.

But a higher rating does increase the likelihood that a comedogenic ingredient, like coconut oil (which scores a whopping 4 out of 5 on the scale!) will cause a negative reaction.

Coconut Oil for Your Face: Debunking the Myths

A quick Google search reveals that many people believe coconut oil is basically facial skincare magic. Even dermatologists (skincare experts, no less!) have hopped on the coconut-oil-for-your-face bandwagon.

So do these purported claims have any merit? Here’s what our experts have to say.


Myth: Coconut oil can get rid of acne.

Reality: “While coconut oil is soothing and contains lauric acid, it is never a good idea to put any oil on broken skin. It can clog the pores and irritate the skin and make the condition worse,” says Berenice Rothenberg, a certified clinical electrologist (CCE) and licensed cosmetologist practicing in New York.

According to dermatologists, few topical collagen skin supplements live up to the hype, and coconut oil is no exception.

Rothenberg is right; coconut oil does contain high levels of lauric acid, a saturated fatty acid with antimicrobial properties. And lauric acid has been shown to reduce inflammation from acne, hence the claims that the lauric acid in coconut oil will result in clearer skin.

It’s also true that coconut oil is a good antibacterial agent. In addition to being full of vitamin E, it also contains other proteins and caprylic acids that are known for their antifungal properties, says Dean. And since bacteria causes acne, coconut oil should be great for getting rid of bumps…right?

Sadly, Dean says coconut oil “will actually act as a barrier and can cause or worsen acne-prone skin.”

Alternative solutions for face acne: If you’ve turned to coconut oil for face acne, there are better ways to treat your acne. The best thing you can do to prevent acne according to Rothenberg? “Never go to sleep with your makeup on!”

We love a good double cleanse, but for that first oil cleanse, avoid the coconut oil. Instead, Dean recommends grapeseed oil or hemp seed oil to remove makeup at the end of the day because, despite being oils, both have a low comedogenic rating. Rather avoid oils altogether? Another alternative is micellar water, a French skincare product that can be used as an all-in-one cleanser and makeup remover. (It really is a skincare miracle!) You can even make your own micellar water at home if you use herbalist Rebekah Epling’s recipe.

After removing makeup with a makeup remover, you still need to cleanse your skin with a face wash that’s right for your skin type. For acne-prone skin, choose a face wash that contains benzoyl peroxide, an antibacterial agent that helps dry the skin to treat pimples. Or if you’re looking for an all-natural facial cleanser, try a face wash that contains witch hazel or lavender, both of which inhibit bacterial growth, according to Epling.


Myth: Coconut oil is a great facial moisturizer.

Reality: “Coconut oil is primarily made up of saturated fats. This is great for repairing your skin’s natural barrier and trapping in moisture. Because of these properties it soothes rashes, combats dry, flaky skin, and speeds up the healing process,” says Dean.

Sounds great, right? Well, from the neck down, coconut oil is a great moisturizer. But on your face? Not so much, says Dean.

In fact, the very properties that make coconut oil work so well on your ashy elbows and cracked heels are the same properties that make it less than ideal for your face. Though it’ll make quick work of those areas where your skin is thicker, it’s just too heavy for most skin types, leading to clogged pores.

Alternatives to using coconut oil for facial moisturizer: Ideally, facial moisturizers should keep your skin hydrated while remaining light enough that they don’t clog your pores.

Aloe Vera

Aloe vera gel is a great all-natural moisturizer for all skin types. Like coconut oil, it can help soothe skin irritation and help wounds heal faster, but unlike coconut oil, it won’t clog your pores. Just make sure you look for aloe vera gel products that actually contain aloe vera—many of the aloe products sold by big-box retailers have been found to contain little or no aloe vera!

And, says Rothenberg, don’t forget the power of drinking the daily recommended amount of water to keep your skin hydrated and healthy.


Myth: Coconut oil can turn back time and minimize face wrinkles.

Reality: Our bodies’ store of collagen, the protein that helps skin maintain elasticity, naturally depletes as we age. Because of its moisturizing properties, coconut oil is purported to be a great collagen-boosting supplement to improve skin elasticity and reduce wrinkles.

But according to dermatologists, few topical collagen skin supplements live up to the hype, and coconut oil is no exception. “All oils, when applied to the skin, give the appearance of smoothing out lines,” says Rothenberg. “But these oils do not penetrate the basic layer and cannot produce collagen.”

Alternatives to coconut oil for face wrinkles: While coconut oil won’t work to get rid of wrinkles, there are several things that do work to reverse early signs of aging—no expensive creams or serums required.

For one, it’s no secret that UV rays can cause serious damage to your skin, so stay out of the sun as much as possible. I know how hard that can be for some of you sun goddesses, so if you must get your tan on, always wear a sunscreen with at least 30 SPF (even if it’s overcast).

And, if you’re a smoker (even if it’s just the occasional cigarette), kicking the habit is key if you want to maintain a youthful glow. Plus, going smoke-free is just plain good for your overall health.

“Look for coconut oil as an added ingredient in various skincare products so you can reap the benefits and use a product that can be used on most skin types.”

—Paul Dean, MD

Finally, your daily cardio may be doing more than keeping your booty toned; according to recent studies, daily exercise may actually help reverse the signs of aging.

In addition to these lifestyle changes, getting more of certain antioxidants in your diet may help reduce the appearance of wrinkles. In particular, vitamin C may help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles on your face.

Woman Sleeping


Myth: Coconut oil is a good overnight emollient.

Reality: If you can’t even use coconut oil as a reliable daytime moisturizer because of its comedogenic properties, you sure as heck can’t leave coconut oil on your face overnight for eight hours. (Okay, who am I kidding? I get a full 10.)

Using coconut oil overnight is a great way to get clogged pores and wake up to a breakout. Good morning, sunshine, indeed.

Alternatives to coconut oil on your face overnight: Not all oils are bad for your face. Grapeseed oil and hemp seed oil aren’t just great makeup removers; they’re also wonderful as overnight emollients to soften skin as you sleep. “Jojoba oil has a low comedogenic rating as well,” says Epling, “It’s ideal as a carrier for other essential essences, like lavender or tea tree oil, to use overnight.”

Coconut oil can help other skin conditions.

I know I’ve been giving coconut oil a bad rap so far, but coconut oil actually is great for a variety of skin conditions (that aren’t on your face).

In particular, coconut oil was shown to alleviate physical symptoms of atopic dermatitis—a skin condition that causes an itchy red rash—in pediatric patients. Another study found that in addition to reducing the appearance of atopic dermatitis, coconut oil was effective at combating colonization of Staphylococcus aureus, which produces a certain toxin that causes the immune system to react by breaking out in dry, scaly patches.

Another study found that coconut oil was as effective as mineral oil in treating xerosis, a condition similar to atopic dermatitis that also causes dry, scaly skin.

Finally, a 2010 study of animal subjects also should that wounds treated with virgin coconut oil healed much faster than those that were not treated with coconut oil. So, if you have a scrape or cut and don’t have Neosporin handy, a dab of coconut oil (and a cute bandage) may help your wound heal faster.

The Bottom Line on Coconut Oil

So here’s the deal: For a very, very small number of people, coconut oil may help skin conditions. As Dean puts it, “Using coconut oil directly on your skin can be extremely beneficial, but not good for everyone.”

For instance, he says that for people with severely dry skin, coconut oil may help restore moisture content.

But for most of us, using coconut oil on our faces will likely result in more breakouts and clogged pores.

All is not lost, however. If you absolutely must have coconut oil as part of your facial skincare routine, Dean says to “look for coconut oil as an added ingredient in various skincare products so you can reap the benefits and use a product that can be used on most skin types.”

The bottom line on coconut oil? Skip using coconut oil on your face, and stick to using coconut oil as a delicious addition to stovetop popcorn instead

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