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Coconut Oil for Acne

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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!

Coconut2The 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.

coconutoilforacneFatty 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.

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.

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  1. Jannyxox says:

    How coconut oil cleared my acne….
    I mix equal parts extra virgin coconut oil with baking soda to make a nice face scrub. I also do a double wash. The first one is to get off all dirt, makeup and bad oil off (I don’t want to rub it into my skin) I like to finish my first wash by wiping my face gently with a fresh/clean hot washcloth. Then my second wash I take more of the mixture and I take more time really washing. I rinse well with warm water then do a final rinse with very cold water to close up my pores. Then gently pat my face dry with a fresh/clean towel or paper towel. If I need to I spot treat with a dab of high quality tea tree oil.
    This routine is combined with a healthy lifestyle. No dairy, no processed sugars, lots of green juice, lots of veggies, yoga, running and never touching my face with anything dirty.

  2. Meredith says:

    I’m 27. I have horrible skin and used EVERYTHING but nothing helped. I should have known better but I used so many acne and black head treatments on my face that I actually gave myself a chemical burn and it was uglier than the acne and black heads. I was in pain. I gave coconut oil a shot and it only took 4 days to clear up the damages from the chemical burn AND my acne and black heads was actually going away with the redness and irritation. I LOVE coconut oil and I’m a firm believer that it is a cure all for my skin. I’ll never stop using it.

    • mamikatabum says:

      Can you please tell me how do you apply it?

    • Mian says:


    • lindz says:

      What kind of coconut oil do you use? The organic refined?

      • nupur says:

        Hi…i had a severe cystic acne breakout in sept 2014…my face was red and i was in alot of pain…i saw online tht coconut helps in clearing acne…so i got a bottle of kerala virgin coconut oil (since i live in india) and have been applying just a few drops with my mousturiser and night cream daily…the breakout has vanished and any new development (like before my period) gets healed overnight…the scars are fading too :-)

      • Nona says:

        You would like to use virgin or extra virgin, I would presume. Refined is less far from it’s natural purity which wouldn’t be very effective. Give virgin a try and if it doesn’t work, I’d suggest boosting it to extra virgin CC oil. Good luck, I’m also in the progress of clearing up horrid cystic acne.

        A disgruntled 17 year old.

      • Katelynn says:

        I use organic

    • Mary Ann says:

      How did you use it? Did you just it as moisturizer after cleaning face? I’m currently using cetafil and then epiduo. The epiduo drys my skill out to the point it burns for about an hour after use.

  3. hairi says:

    My daughter just entered her teens and on came the acne. She had tons on her forehead and hairline. We tried spot treatment, noxema, oxy, etc. and nothing worked fast or well. Figured we try the Citrus Clear products more before seeing a dermatologist. Glad we did because Citrus Clear did the trick! Saw big results overnight! Was 90% better day 2 and has remained under control (when used consistently). She has very sensitive skin and Citrus Clear products did not make her turn red, itch or dry out. It’s given her self esteem a much needed boost.

  4. Frederick says:

    I think for an acne treatment to be effective, it has to address three factors.

    1. The bacteria that causes acne
    2. Clearing the skin of impurities, and
    3. Quick healing of the skin

    Coconut oil kills the bacteria that causes acne called, Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes). It also melts away dirt deeply embedded on the skin that also causes acne. And it repairs the skin damage faster than any other oil known to man.

    Medium Chain Fatty Acids (MCFA), the predominant fatty acids found in coconut oil, can address all three factors above. Just my two cents.

  5. Doris Clear says:

    Is coconut oil comedogenic? I can find one old report that suggests it is, but it is only based on one single case.

  6. Andrew Cogliano says:

    I’m 15, and I have acne. I can readily say that coconut oil DOES work. It’s absolutely amazing, it softens your skin, reduces the redness, everything. As for those skittish about “putting oil on your skin”, it’s not as crazy as you think. If you remember back to freshman biology, oils and fatty acids are broken down in the skin, they don’t clog the pores like you might believe. The long lipid chains (fatty acids) are broken down by vitamins and distributed throughout the face. It’s really great, trust me!!

  7. crisleem says:

    haven’t heard of a real person who has used it and it helped. but I have heard of someone who had the reverse and it caused a terrible break out that lasted months! This is a dumb idea. Most of us adults who already went through puberty and pimples know that oil causes break outs. And there is no cure expect becoming an adult. You can control acne by reducing oils in the skin. Which is why moisturizers for teens are very different (OIL FREE) than those for adults since our bodies natural ability to produce oils has decreased! This crap is now being taught by my daughter’s health teacher who I think is a moron and have for years as my older daughter has him. This kind of non-sense comes from people like him who also say that eating at McDonald’s kills the rainforest and white bread will kill you. Here’s a better lesson…use common sense…it’s apparently not common anymore!

    • Essence Last says:

      Well you about to hear one real person.. I’ve used coconut oil on my face and it does wonders for my skin. Also…wait for it…I’m an adult and still get pimples. However everyone skin and skin type is differ and what works or doesn’t work for one person may get completely differ results for the next. I actually also..shall I dare say… do a OIL FACE CLEANSING! I’ve seen better results from that (natural products) then any products they display in the stores these days. Newsflash: Natural oils is NOT the cause of pimples. Do your research and I mean that in a nice way.

      • Erlinda says:

        I would agree. What works for one person may not work for another. I have heard many wonderful things about coconut oil. It won’t hurt to try it. If it makes your acne worse, then you obviously need to stop using it but can’t we say that about any acne medicines/cleansers? You don’t know if it’ll work until you try it. I have very sensitive skin and I have tried MANY cleansers and lotions that made my face worse. And it’s EXPENSIVE!!! You use it for a week or two, then have to throw it away and move on to something else. Try coconut oil but always choose the refined variety instead of going with a cheaper brand/kind. The best choice is typically Virgin Coconut Oil, which may be more expensive, but it has no negatives, and a whole lot of positives.

    • Ladyday says:

      I use coconut oil every single night on my face and it is the most effective moisturizer and acne clearer I have ever used in my life. I’ve tried all those oil free washes and they don’t do a whole lot. I would imagine there were numerous other factors at play for that person who suffered a breakout after using the oil. What kind of food was this person eating? How good is their hygiene? You shouldn’t jump to conclusions because of one person’s bad experience.
      By the way, white bread is indeed bad for you.

    • rachel says:

      I am a real person and it worked for me when nothing else did. Your comment is ignorant. I’m not saying you are not entitled to your opinion, but that is just what it is. Just because one person you know had a negative reaction to it, which I might add could have in fact been caused by something else they were doing, using, lifestyle, etc…) Does not mean that it is bullshit and does not work. Have a positive and as you say “logical” obutlook and realize there are things out there that might not work for one person but work for another. That’sall about, putting hel

      • ariomon says:

        well that guy probably fed her daughter on those MacDonald garbage and now he is expecting a miracle out of using coconut in some days. I am 37 and I wanna try this method hope it works. also I wanna do some research how it happens symmetrically on face! u see one pimple on left cheek one on right.

    • rachel says:

      Suggestions that might help someone. This article clearly states that there are dome things to consider, such as exploring other options in cases where acne is severe. No two people have the sane skin. It is hard to refute so many people who have had success with coconut oil when nothing else has worked.Comparing these people and the article’s author to the mcdonalds /rainforest analogy is hardly fai. It is just someone sharing a meaningful suggestion supported by facts about a natural food in hopes to help others. Do the words Bitter Betty or Negative e Nancy sound familiar?

    • Arobison says:

      You are wrong. Adults get acne as well, hence the name ‘adult acne.’
      It does work for acne, I’m 31 and never had an issue with acne as an adolescent then out of know where it begins as an adult. Guess, what after about a grand at the spas, dermotolista, and my regular physician, guess what worked? You guessed it, coconut oil. I do go a bit further , and mix it with baking soda, and it is glorious. I haven’t had a blemish in months. So research it a bit more, or try for yourself, unless you enjoy sounding this close minded. And white bread, is very bad for you, it’s loaded with sugar, which causes weight gain, diabetes, etc need I go further? The health teacher is correct about everything, perhaps you are getting only one side of the lesson? Have a blessed day.

      • monica says:

        You mix baking soda with the coconut oil? What measurement do you use and how often?

      • Street says:

        I agree that coconut oil does work on acne. I slathered coconut oil on my hair and it inadvertantly dripped onto my face. When I woke up the next morning, I found my skin to be the SMOOTHEST that it has been in weeks…and I have tried a lot of products. I had acne inflammation on my forehead and cheeks and it was red and painful. As I tried to recount what happened, I realized it was the coconut oil. My skin was really dry with fine lines on my forehead from squinting…I wear glasses…so I was absolutely amazed and astounded by how clear and smooth my skin was. I use a minimal amount to make my skin shiny, but not slippery when I apply it. I will continue to use the oil nightly as a moisturizer and to help with my acne prone skin.

  8. Wendy says:

    I love it, the results are amazing. I have had so many compliments on how beautiful my complexion is :) I put it on from head to toe, my skin looks healthy and gorgeous. I also have slowly increased eating 3 tbls full of it everyday. You can mix it in food or just eat it off the spoon. I apply this after my shower, it does make you feel a little greasy at first until your body absorbs it in. usually 25 minutes. Once absorbed your skin feels baby soft. Rub some in your palms and apply a little bit goes a long way. Also, it works great for sunburn. It heals you quickly, put on more then twice a day for sunburns, you will heal and not peal. I love it.

    • crisleem says:

      That I can believe. I bet its a great moisturizer. But not to cure hormonally induced acne in teens caused by excess body oils on the skin. As an adult…sounds great!

  9. JR Collins says:

    Why do people put this crap on the internet? I'm not saying the information presented is inaccurate, just that it's painful to read.

    • Teri Dubya says:

      so.. it is all just 'hype'? :-( I know that for me, i have tried but I just can't get past the "putting oil" on my face thing. I don't see how it will work.

      • Ladyday says:

        Try putting it on about 20 minutes before you go to bed, and in the morning your skin will be soft and not greasy at all. I use coconut oil on my face every day, naturally my skin is quite oily but the coconut oil actually improves my skin’s condition.

    • Wendy says:

      It really does work :)
      I use it daily and my skin looks gorgeous ~~~~

  10. Teri Dubya says:

    So do you use Virgin coconut oil or FRACTIONATED coconut oil? I heard that fractionated has 'drawing' ability. I am so confused..:-.

    • Anne Ehrenshaft says:

      makes no sense — ad shows lady lifting a weight — btw, I like coconut bits in cookies and candies 😉

    • Wendy says:

      I use Virgin coconut oil with amazing results.

    • rachel says:

      Amazing for oral health. My dentist was amazed at what it did for me after a few months of oil pulling. It is not a cure-all, but it helps extract extra bacteria and also whiten teeth. I did before and after pics and they look like a crest white strips add. Also amazing for mouth sores or irritation. The healing antiinflammatory power is amazing. Works for painful mouth problems as well.

  11. Lisa Corso Suter says:

    Another use for coconut oil.

  12. Memory Oils says:

    Hello! A new coconut oil brand called Memory Oil, sells for $10 a 14 oz. bottle! If anyone is interested in getting some, click this link, it'll bring you right to Memory Oils site! http://memoryoils.com/ Thank you.

  13. Tara N Jody Jarvis says:

    hi where can I buy the virgin refined coconut oil,,?

  14. I have acne scars on my cheeks and I really hope coconut oil will help….am almost giving up…but I gotta ask..is coconut oil healthy for people with an oily skin? I fall in that category.

    • Wendy says:

      It does make your skin oily for about 25 minutes until it is absorbed, wash face well first then apply a small amount in your hand rub them together then rub onto your face and neck. I love the results it is defiantly worth it. It will get rid of red mark scars and your skin looks healthy and beautiful. I have been using it for a few weeks, and amazing results. From head to toe, my skin looks amazing. I also eat 3 tbls a day, slowly introduce or you will have a headache. Your body will love it, once you incorporate it in to your diet daily.

      • Wendy says:

        For oily skin I also use pure minerals powder on my face, it reacts gorgeously over the coconut oil, and hides everything.

  15. Donette Duppen Felker says:

    Day 1 let's see how this works! Can't wait to see the result in the morning!

    • Chris Ducharme says:

      was interesting in coconut oil so i typed it in and this post came up, did it work for you? im thinking about trying it. Are you still using it?

      • Ladyday says:

        I use coconut oil before bed after I wash my face, and in the morning my skin is so soft. If I had pimples before bed, when I wake up they are seriously toned down. It’s not gonna cure acne but it sure helps. I also use it as daily deodorant, and as moisturizer after a shower. It is by far the most effective product I’ve ever used. It’s great for leave-in conditioner, or to smooth down hair frizzies quickly, great in smoothies or to cook with. I use it as a detangler for my daughter’s hair. And it makes the best massage oil.

  16. Kay Minimulu says:

    I am definitely going to use coconut oil to massage someone special. Thanks for the info.

  17. I have gotten my husband to start using it on his face because he suffers from bad acne. It's only been a few days so still waiting to see results.

  18. Lynn Busch says:

    I have adult acne and I've tried everything on the market. I've been using my normal cleanser and moisturizer until 5 days ago. I ran out of moisturizer so I started using coconut oil, and I'm not going to lie, I was freaking out! But I can't talk enough about how much better my skin looks! It's amazing. I bet 50 % of my acne is gone already. I'm going to tell the world about coconut oil!

    • how many minutes does the coconut oil stays in your skin before you wash it?

    • Do not wash it off! Your skin will soak it in. Coconut oil is so great for inside your body as well. And of course, be sure to eat the oil for even greater results. Put a glob of organic coconut oil into your oatmeal, soup, hot tea or any warm food. You will love the results.

    • Tara N Jody Jarvis says:

      where can i buy the coconut oil and what one,??

      • Amy Love says:

        Read a book on Palm kern oil and coconut oil . It is short , medium, and long chain fatty acids you need to understand . Blanket statements classifying all saturated fats as harmful is wrong. Margarine would be healthy by that standard and as we now know is the worst for you. A lot of lower saturated oils become a totally indigestible toxic substance for your blood vessels once exposed to high heat. Plant oils that are moderately saturated have the benefits of unsaturated while remaining stable under high heat. It is all animal fat that is the recluse issue with over processed unsaturated plant oils

    • Tona' Smith says:

      Kathleen Somers, how can eating that stuff be any good for you? It has a whopping 12 grams of saturated fat per serving… that is more than what your suppose to consume in one day.

    • Tona' Smith says:

      Meant to say more than half of what your suppose to consume in a day. Should aim for 20 grams of saturated fat or less per day.

  19. Renju Raju says:

    valuable information…..thankyou…..

  20. Nadine Cherry says:

    I'm giving it a try today.

  21. Coconut oil do your magic……………

  22. Loly Mireles-Meyer says:

    for all you acne proned….read this.

  23. thank you so much for your info.