Coconut Oil is every effective in the treatment of acne, and below, we’ll explain exactly why it is such a benefit for those suffering from this uncomfortable and stubborn condition.
Acne has been an infamous and widespread problem for many years, and although it is most common among teenagers, it can affect adults of all ages. Although the symptoms mostly disappear or decrease once puberty is passed and hormones become more normalized, acne can still be a very painful and awkward condition while it lasts, and can leave permanent marks on the face and body. Some lucky people are able to get rid of acne without having to spend much time, energy, or money in its treatment, while other unfortunate patients sometimes spend a fortune on treatment and still don’t get the results they had hoped for.
The solution we propose is to use coconut oil as a natural and effective treatment for your acne symptoms. That might strike you as unusual, considering most other specialists advise people suffering from acne to avoid oils and oily food, but keep reading. There are plenty of good reasons why coconut oil is a surprisingly effective treatment, and is worth trying before or after the common prescription medicine doesn’t deliver on all of its promises. Honestly, what do you have to lose?
What Causes Acne?
Do you know what causes acne? Acne is actually caused by an infection in the openings of sebum glands, which are the glands on the skin which secrete various oils to keep it moist and prevent it from drying up and cracking. These glands can become clogged by bacteria and the resultant obstruction in sebum secretion is followed by inflammation, redness, swelling and pain. Voila, acne!
The next common question is, why do teenagers suffer from this condition the most? The reason is, during the teenage years, due to certain hormonal changes, sebum production is greatly increased, which gives the skin a slightly oily look. The increase in sebum may lead to some pimples or minor acne, but nothing nearly as obvious or painful as full-blown acne. Unfortunately, at that point, teenagers often resort to indiscriminate use of soaps and lotions to remove the pimples, but they don’t stop the oily secretions. They do, however, rob the skin of its antimicrobial acid guard, which leaves the pores open and defenseless to infections. These pores become infected by bacteria and dirt blocks the sebum glands. These glands then begin to deposit their sebum beneath the surface of the skin, making it red, puffy, irritated, and painful.
The Role of Coconut Oil in Acne Treatment
So, what is role of coconut oil in Acne treatment?There are a number of nutritive agents in coconut oil that help combat this condition, and the major functions are explained below.
Fatty Acids: Coconut Oil is the source of two of the most powerful antimicrobial agents found in food. These two antimicrobial powerhouses are Capric Acid and Lauric Acid. They are the same acids that are found in breast milk which keep newborn babies protected from infections. When these are applied on the skin, some microbes (good ones) present on the skin convert these acids into Monocaprin and Monolaurin, respectively. This helps to replace the protective acid layer on the skin which is removed through constant washing and wiping by frustrated teenagers. Basically, without the microbial infection, acne cannot develop! Not only external application, but also internal consumption of coconut oil will give you a similar level of protection, but direct application is usually suggested.
Vitamin E: Furthermore, coconut oil is a rich source of Vitamin-E. This keeps your skin healthy and ensures proper functioning of the sebum glands and clears blockage. This means that it treats the actual root cause of acne, not just the behaviors that lead to its appearance, or the symptoms once they have occurred. Hormone regulating-substances, as vitamin-E is in some ways, can reduce some of those natural hormonal fluctuations that lead to the sebum gland becoming hyper-active.
Anti-Inflammatory: Coconut Oil is also soothing to the skin and highly penetrating, so when it is applied, it is absorbed quickly and immediately begins to reduce the inflammation from acne that is already present. Coconut oil also helps heal any sorts of open wounds on the skin from severe cases of acne. Above all, Coconut Oil improves the rate of metabolism. This also indirectly affects proper secretion and hormonal balance, thus curbing the chances of developing acne, and increasing the rate of healing and repair to skin cells damaged by this widespread condition.
Vitamin K: Coconut oil also supplies the body with potassium, an essential nutrient that helps in many bodily functions, one of which is acting as an antimicrobial guard in the skin cells and other areas. Therefore, it joins forces with vitamin-E and the fatty acids of coconut oil to reduce the likelihood of bacterial or microbial infections that lead to acne.
Vitamin A: The final benefit of coconut oil is its high vitamin-A content. This essential vitamin has long been used by people to increase the health and appearance of their skin. This is accomplished because of keratinocyte desquamation. This process is a fancy name for skin-shedding, and vitamin-A helps to regulate it so your skin cells don’t shed too often, leaving underdeveloped fresh cells to fend off toxic agents and microbes from the surrounding air. The regulation also doesn’t let the skin cells stay on too long, which can cause a build-up of excess sebum beneath the cell layers, which leads to acne symptoms. However, for vitamin-A to be effective, it needs to first be chemically transformed into retinoic acid, which is an internal conversion. Therefore, topical application of creams with vitamin-A is not beneficial, you must consume coconut oil, and then allow the vitamin-A to convert and provide you with these skin-shedding benefits.
As mentioned before, coconut oil can be either topically applied or consumed. Some experts recommend both internal and external use for maximum benefits, and only 2-5 tablespoons are needed each day to have an effect. It can be added to food, or even eaten straight, as it has a pleasant taste.
Choice of Coconut Oil
To use coconut oil for the treatment of acne, you should choose the highest quality available. Do not go for the unrefined, crude variety, since it may be unhygienic and may contain dust particles that will further clog the sebum glands. Always choose the refined variety instead. The best choice is typically Virgin Coconut Oil, which may be more expensive, but it has no negatives, and a whole lot of positives.
A Few Words of Warning: Coconut oil does have a wealth of positive effects on the symptoms, severity, and healing process of acne, but it is still classified as a light-microbial agent. This means that against firmly ingrained or serious cases of acne, it cannot be your only method of treatment. You should approach the problem from numerous angles, but if you have a serious or sever case of acne, you will most likely need more defensive and preventative methods than simply coconut oil.
The Last Word: Results may vary from person to person depending upon their skin type, age, profession, lifestyle, eating habits, hygiene, and sanitary behavior. It should also be remembered that coconut oil is not a cure for Acne, simply a treatment.
Sources of Information:
- Reports of Coconut Development Board of India,
- Reports of KERAFED.
- Text books of various courses of agriculture.
- Various other reports on internet.