Acne has been an infamous and widespread problem for many years, and although it is most common among teenagers, it can also affect adults of all ages. Even though 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 the body.
The solution we propose is to use coconut oil as a natural and effective treatment for your acne symptoms. This might strike you as unusual, considering most skin 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?
Table of Contents
What Causes Acne?
Acne is caused by an infection in the openings of sebum glands that are microscopic exocrine glands in the skin. These glands secrete various oils to keep the skin moist and prevent it from drying up and cracking. Sebum glands can become clogged by bacteria and the resultant obstruction in sebum secretion is followed by inflammation, redness, swelling, and pain. Voila, acne!
Why do Teenagers suffer from Acne 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 the indiscriminate use of soaps and lotions to remove the pimples, which do not 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.
Coconut Oil for Acne Treatment
There are a number of nutritive agents in coconut oil that help combat this condition, and the major functions are explained below.
Rich in 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 found in breast milk that protect newborn babies from infections. When these are applied to 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 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 a direct application is usually recommended.
Rich Source of Vitamin E
Furthermore, coconut oil is a rich source of vitamin E that keeps your skin healthy and ensures proper functioning of the sebum glands and clears blockage. This means that coconut oil treats the actual root cause of acne, not just the behaviors that lead to its appearance or the symptoms once they have occurred. Vitamin E, a hormone regulating-substance, can reduce some of those natural hormonal fluctuations that lead to the sebum gland becoming hyperactive.
Coconut oil is soothing to the skin and highly penetrating, so when it is applied, it is absorbed quickly and begins to immediately reduce the inflammation from acne that is already present. It also helps heal 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 of the 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 for Acne
You should choose the highest quality of coconut oil available for the treatment of acne. The best choice for this is virgin coconut oil, which may be more expensive but has no negatives, and a whole lot of positives. 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.
Word of Caution
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 severe case of acne, you will most likely need more defensive and preventative methods than simply using coconut oil.
The Last Word
Results may vary from person to person depending upon their skin type, age, lifestyle, eating habits, and personal hygiene. It should also be remembered that coconut oil is not a cure for acne, simply a treatment.