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Coconut oil for skin? It’s undeniably great in a pina colada, and its shells can make a unique undergarment - but does it belong in your skincare? For many who laud it as the ultimate hydrator and tropical treat, the answer is undeniably yes. But there are also those who find the ingredient comedogenic and congesting to the skin.
So what’s the truth? Here’s what we know about coconut oil for skin.
Yes, but it’s not for everyone.
Dry skin types, in particular, can benefit from the hydrating and emollient properties of coconut products.
However, coconut is considered to be a comedogenic oil, meaning that it is known to clog pores and cause the onset of acne, particularly for those with oily or acne-prone skin.
Why? It’s a very thick oil with large molecules, so it’s hard for the skin to absorb it. Instead, it sits on top of the skin, clogging pores and allowing bacteria and dead skin cells to thrive underneath. This can really mask any of the benefits and leave you with a broken out, irritated mess - particularly on your face.
So if you have oily, combination, or breakout-prone skin, you should skip pure coconut oil as one of your primary skin oils and opt for a lighter oil like jojoba or squalane instead (or, at the very least, patch test to see if your skin responds poorly). Alternatively, use a moisturizer that has a lower concentration of the oil - that way, you'll see the benefits and be less likely to encounter the comedogenic drawbacks.
When it comes to coconut in skin care products, there are other options as well, including:
Coconut water: A staple ingredient in many face mists and wipes, coconut water can hydrate and balance red, dry skin. It’s rich in essential proteins, amino acids, and cytokinin, a plant hormone that helps to reduce redness and irritation.
Coconut milk: Derived from the white meat of the coconut fruit, coconut milk has high levels of vitamin C, copper, and lauric acid. Vitamin C is an MVP antioxidant, while copper is an important cofactor for the production of healthy collagen, and lauric acid has antimicrobial properties.
Overall, there are various coconut oil uses for skin:
Coconut oil's emollient properties can be helpful in repairing the skin's barrier function. This promotes healthy moisture and hydration, as well as combats the proliferation of certain types of bacteria, fungi, and viruses. Applying coconut oil on face areas regularly is a great way to achieve long-term acne relief. You can find coconut oil and all of its amazing properties in our No Plans Clay Mask.
You might also use coconut oil for body areas that get dry frequently - like the elbows, knees, and heels. Again, coconut oil's moisturizing nature works like a charm here to soften skin and leave it feeling both supple and nourished. Eight Saints' have a broad collection of body care products with coconut oil, including our Spicy Rum Punch Bar Soap, Hometown Honey Bar Soap, and Rainbow Is My Favorite Color Bar Soap. Mixed with other natural ingredients and lovely fragrances, these scrubs will have your skin singing in no time. Use them as a regular part of your care routine!
What's the first thing you think of when you hear the words 'organic coconut oil for skin'? Probably classic areas like the face and body. But lips can reap the benefits too! When mixed with other natural ingredients like beeswax and essential oils, coconut oil can create a soothing and moisturizing lip treatment that works wonders. Case in point: our wildly popular Lip Trick Lip Treatment!
While you can use coconut oil on the face areas in any case, some products - such as our All In Eye Cream - are specifically formulated to address eye-specific concerns. Added antioxidants work to revitalize the notoriously delicate skin around your eyes, reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles with regular use. It's also effective in getting rid of under-eye bags and dark circles.
People use coconut oil for dry skin hydration all the time. And that's because it works! The natural fatty acids in coconut oil provide tissues with long-lasting hydration while also preventing water loss. But that's not all there is to coconut oil benefits for skin - it's also awesome for reducing inflammation, redness, itching, and irritation. Check out our Coco Cocoa Creme Body Butter to experience the difference for yourself.
While we're talking about coconut oil skin benefits, we should definitely bring up the topic of dryness. This is something it combats to an extreme by delivering the essential nutrients and fatty acids skin needs to thrive. The benefits of coconut oil for skin care are most pronounced when products are applied daily. So why not give our Welcome To The Scrub Coconut Body Scrub a try?
The benefits of coconut oil on skin extend to cases of irritation. Containing anti-inflammatory properties, it's known to alleviate itching, redness, and scaliness associated with mild-to-moderate xerosis. Individuals with conditions like eczema, psoriasis, and dermatitis often use coconut oil for skin care regularly. If you're looking to start using it yourself, Eight Saints' Daydreamer Natural Face Moisturizer is the perfect way to incorporate coconut oil into your daily routine.
We've gone over the benefits of coconut oil for skin care - but what about using coconut oil for skin protection? Coconut oil is an anti-inflammatory capable of guarding the skin against UV rays. Think of it as a natural skin barriersunscreen with low SPF. Although it's not directly created for sun protection, Eight Saints' Cloud Whip Face Cream can serve as an added layer of mitigation come summertime.
The benefits of coconut oil for your skin are numerous, but this one is particularly great. Pesky fine lines and wrinkles stand no chance against the enriching and hydrating properties of this oil. Integrate it into your daily skincare regimen and expect to see a reduction in these issues, paired with enhanced elasticity and a more youthful appearance. Our Island Time Spray Lotion is an easy way to get started.
Using coconut oil for skin care supports elasticity and firmness. By maintaining natural collagen production, this of many benefits of using coconut oil on skin contributes to a wrinkle-free complexion. The antioxidants in coconut oil can reduce premature aging and help skin look more youthful over time.
No benefits of coconut oil for the skin are as valuable to eczema and psoriasis sufferers as inflammation reduction. Individuals with these conditions use organic coconut oil for skin care due to its ability to reduce symptoms such as redness, swelling and scaling. It also helps relieve itching!
When it comes to coconut oil, uses for skin go beyond just moisturizing. Soothing sunburns and bug bites can be achieved with a light application of coconut oil. Organic coconut oil for skin care use is even better, as the antioxidants it contains can help speed up recovery and prevent further damage.
When using coconut oil for body care, you may also be indirectly contributing to wound resolution. One study found that while virgin coconut oil benefits skin with its antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties, it also increases collagen turnover, improves antioxidant activity, and helps in wound healing.
Like other essential oils, there are multiple types of coconut oil that can be used for skin treatment. Read below for a breakdown of each.
Refined Coconut Oil
Refined coconut oil for skin care products is treated with heat and other processes to get a longer shelf life, removing some of the beneficial components in the process. Coconut oil is usually refined to create a neutral scent and taste.
Fractionated Coconut Oil
Fractionated coconut oil is about the farthest thing you can get from unrefined coconut oil for skin care. The “fractionation” process removes most of its healthy fatty acids, leaving it with a long shelf life and only medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs). While there's still some benefits leftover, the majority are lost at this point.
Virgin Coconut Oil
This is considered the healthiest form of coconut oil, as it isn't exposed to any chemicals or heat. Virgin coconut oil for skin contains natural antioxidants, minerals, plus tons of other good stuff. It's an especially potent moisturizer, and also helps to reduce inflammation. Consider it a go-to if you want the full natural benefits of coconut oil for your skin.
It's worth mentioning that the benefits of coconut oil for skin are dependent upon the type of oil used. Unrefined coconut oil is "virgin" and has not been exposed to any chemicals during processing, making it the healthier choice for skin care applications. Refined coconut oils are bleached and deodorized, making them less healthy for your skin. Generally speaking, unrefined coconut oil is a better choice for skin care purposes.
Learning how to use coconut oil as a moisturizer is super easy. Start by ensuring that your skin is clean and dry. Also be sure to assess the oil’s consistency; if your coconut oil has solidified, it can be easily softened up in warm water. Afterward, all you'll need to do is apply a small amount and gently massage it into the skin. Allow for the coconut oil to absorb and then decide whether you'd like to leave it on or rinse off.
Enjoying the benefits of coconut oil on skin everyday is as simple as listening to your skin and adjusting the amount used according to its own needs.
Yes, but the benefits of coconut oil on face areas are paired with potential caveats. Always use it sparingly. It works best when used as a spot treatment for areas that have been affected by wrinkles or dry skin.
The use of coconut and coconut derivatives is nothing new. The fruit itself has been a staple food and wellness ingredient in tropical and subtropical countries like Papua New Guinea and the Polynesian Islands for centuries, and studies have linked its consumption to a decreased risk of certain diseases in such areas
In Sri Lanka, for example, coconut had been the primary source of dietary fat for thousands of years. In 1978, the per capita consumption of coconut was equivalent to 120 nuts/year. At that time, the country had one of the lowest heart disease rates in the world.
In recent years, its popularity has spread to western countries. It reached the height of its popularity in 2015 when coconut oil was lauded as a miracle ingredient that could improve immunity, boost metabolism, smooth skin, and even help fight tooth decay (remember when oil pulling was all the rage?).
Unfortunately, it began to lose its luster when the American Heart Association said that the fruit had too much saturated fat to be consumed, and many skincare experts began to claim that it was actually pore-clogging and damaging to the skin.
There's no denying the benefits of coconut oil for skin care. It is an effective moisturizer, hydrator, and reduces inflammation. Using coconut oil on the face areas is particularly beneficial because it not only hydrates, but also helps to prevent water loss. Coconut oil is also great for reducing redness, itching, and irritation associated with dry skin.
EightSaints is here to provide you with natural and organic solutions for your skin care needs. Shop today!