Coconut Oil for Acne

Coconut Oil is very 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.

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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Unrefined coconut oil is considered "virgin" oil. Refined coconut oil is usually used for high temperature cooking. I've always thought that unrefined coconut oil is better for raw ingestion and for applying to skin. Is this not the case?


Do you use refined or unrefined?


Refined or unrefined???????


Refined. It says it in the article.


Crystal's comment (2 behind this one) made me wonder if they got it wrong in the article. Just wanted to confirm which is best.


Aw, yeah, that does cause confusion. I started using Spectrum's refined Organic Coconut Oil to moisturize my skin and noticed that my acne was clearing up (Which is why I'm here). So I believe the article is correct in saying to use refined.


I actually stumbled upon using coconut oil on accident. I made some face wipes from a Pinterest recipe that had coconut oil in it. Then I decided to just use straight organic coconut oil. My acne cleared up so I searched Google to see if anyone else used coconut oil for acne and this article came up!

But, COCONUT OIL is the only thing that WORKS for me!


But how to use it ??!!!


Hello Amelia, Great to know that coconut oil was helpful


Ummm always choose the refined variety?? I think you have that mixed up!! More like choose UNREFINED.


It sounds like you should use unrefined because it will be more pure, but you should use refined.


Hi I am 22years old and I have suffered from acne since the age of 12. However I did become a beauty therapist through college and know pretty much everything about the skin accept mine. I've tried all sorts of products and lotions and nothing works I've also notice over the years my face has become very dry this is due to me having sensitive skin, yes sensitive skin and acne! I would constantly wash my face with warm/hot water at least three times a day as I thought this will help the bacteria etc from my acne, how wrong was I. I've been doing some research on oils and also oil cleansing and because my face is so sensitive and dry I thought why not its carnt do me any harm. So the oils I choose for my face were olive oil castor oil coconut oil and also trilogy rose hip oil. So I began to use olive oil and castor oil together and then I would use the rose hip oil after my oil cleanse with the two oils I picked. Within a few weeks my face has never looked as good as it did since the age of 12 I was so pleased with the results however I have started to use the coconut oil and the results are good so far. i defently recommend oils for the face but please take in to consideration the results might not be the same for everyone who tries it as it just depends on your skin. Also here's a helpful tip for people who start to use new products lotions or creams. You have to use that product for 30days to be able to make a judgement on wether that product works. Most people will try a product for at least two weeks and then decide to move on to something els. This is how your face gets confused and doesn't know where it is so it produces more breakouts etc. there is a saying it will get worse before it gets better. I hope some of my information helps others 😀 x


I have been using coconut oil as a face wash/moisturiser at night for just over a month now and I love love love it. I am 35 years old and still get acne. Been on the pill for it and using Clinique products for a long time.

Coconut oil was the best discovery ever!

Not only has it helped keeping most of my acne away but also for the few I still get from time to time, it actually clears them up much sooner.

Bonus, it removes makeup beautifully and leaves my skin glowing and glfeeling amazing.

Hipe it helps for as many people out there as it does me. Will never use anything else... ever.


I'm a real person... I've had scars from teenager years n my occasional hormonal breakouts. I use pure coconut oil for a week now n my scars have vanished tremendously n I get very few breakouts now. I wash my face morning n night. At night I apply coconut oil n go to bed. I've tried so many products n most of them burn my sensitive skin. I love the results with coconut oil n don't plan on changing anytime soon.


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.


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.


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.


I have recently found out about African black soap by Shea moisture at Target, this has helped my VERY acne prone skin (now hormonal pregnancy skin) tremendously! I wash with the bar soap and then apply a small amount of coconut oil as the moisturizer (it's very concentrated) DAY AND NIGHT, DAILY! I started seeing results within 3 days. I am a very firm believer in coconut oil and now the African black soap. I wear makeup all day every day and by 2pm I've got an oily mess all over my face... But the coconut oil really controls the normal face oil of us with very oily skin. Seriously I could scream from mountain tops about this power pack combo. I'll NEVER buy anything else.


Hi Mary Ann, I currently started using xout a few weeks ago and as it has without a doubt cleared up my acne, it leaves my face feeling rather dry and cracked. It has 8.5% benzoyl peroxide which could be effective but end up being harsh at the same time in some cases. My mom has been telling me for awhile now to use coconut oil, and I thought no way bc of the fact it is an oil. I thought it would worsen my skin. I was so wrong! The saying never judge a book by its cover, really applies to this. I use the xout in the am then CC oil, not too much so I'm still able to rub it in and use some makeup. Then in the evening, I use it as a makeup remover with tissues. Use the xout and then again as a moisturizer, this time more than in the am. Immediately I feel it so thing my face!


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


The full title on the jar (or whatever you get) will read organic virgin coconut oil and under that it will say UNREFINED


But how to use it ??!!


I use it at night like a moisturizer. It has been great for my skin. I don't have acne, but it has helped fight wrinkles.


I use organic


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.


Hi...i had a severe cystic acne breakout in sept face was red and i was in alot of pain...i saw online tht coconut helps in clearing 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 🙂





Can you please tell me how do you apply it?


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.


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.


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


I don't think so. The opposite, actually. It's helped clear up some of my blackheads. I think the oil goes into the pores, and since blackheads are hardened oil, it mixes with them and then clear out.


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!!


How long did it take you for it to work


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's apparently not common anymore!

39 nice! ! You know all these people on here are pretty darn real if you ask me..


crisleem..Just came across this and wanted to attest that it has also helped me - I'm 25 and have suffered with break-outs, inflamed angry skin since 15. It worsened considerably when I was about 21 and even with all the harsh creams, pills, topical antibiotics it didn't clear. But now it is. Coconut oil is the best thing I've ever put on my face.

ps. your daughter's health teacher doesn't sound like a moron to me. McDonalds is bad for pretty much all of life. White bread's not the best either.


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.


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 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.


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


I do not believe this is true, but we can try I guess .


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?


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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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!

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