I’ve just spent all morning researching virgin coconut oil and I’ve now formed the opinion that coconut oil is an amazing oil that I wish I’d discovered a long time ago! Virgin coconut oil is fantastic for your skin and for treating acne, taken orally or applied directly to your skin.
For the last couple of days I’ve been using organic virgin coconut oil instead of olive oil in my oil cleansing method (OCM) and the results have been great. I decided to try the different oil because I felt as though the olive oil was clogging my pores a little, even though my acne has cleared up while I’ve been using it. I don’t know exactly what a clogged pore looks like but I’ve noticed that my skin is a little bumpier, and has significantly more blackheads then it used to. I blame this partially on the Maca experiment I’ve just done, but I have a feeling the olive oil may be too thick for my skin type.
The OCM is great for acne prone skin because the oils penetrate deep into the pores making the clogged sebum slippery so the plugs can slide out while you’re massaging your skin. I think the bumpiness on my face may in fact be the plugs making their way out, but perhaps the olive oil is too thick and they’re having trouble getting all the way out and are getting stuck!
When using the coconut oil, I found it to be a lot thinner and lighter in color than olive oil. The mix I made up of coconut and castor oil was almost completely clear in color. I think this is because it’s summer in Australian and it’s quite hot. Apparently the oil turns cloudy under 24°C. When I poured the oil into the palm of my hand, it was also a lot runnier than what I’m used to with the olive oil.
The coconut oil also has a very sweet smell. The first time I used it, I almost felt like a giant coconut cookie! I really like the smell though, probably more than the olive oil smell.
I found that after a couple of days of using the coconut oil, it started to draw some of the toxins out. I’ve had a pimple on my chin for a few days that was sitting underneath the surface, it felt sore but you couldn’t see anything. The coconut oil must have drawn the toxins out because a day after using the oil the pimple came to the surface and formed a little head, then the next day it was completely gone. I’ve also developed a few very small pimples on my cheeks that you can hardly see and don’t hurt. I think again it’s the impurities coming out. This aligns with a lot of the information that I’ve read today in forums. It seems that when you first start using the coconut oil, you can experience a small whitehead breakout as it brings all the toxins out. This breakout should clear up within a few days leaving you with smooth skin.
Why coconut oil
Olive oil is well known for its anti-inflammatory properties which is why it’s so great in skin care and why it’s the recommended oil to use in the OCM. But coconut oil is pretty awesome too.
Coconut oil contains large amounts of lauric acid which is well know for being very anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral. These antiseptic essential fatty acids found in the oil help prevent bacterial infections (which is what acne is) when taken orally or applied directly to the skin. I have read countless testimonials on the Internet from people who claim that applying coconut oil directly to their skin cured their acne or helped clear their skin. I don’t think applying any essential oils directly to acne prone skin and leaving it on overnight is a very good idea, but using coconut oil in the OCM is probably a great substitute for olive oil.
Coconut oil is also a well known cooling oil, which is great for hot, inflamed skin (which is what a lot of acne prone skin is). Your skin may not feel hot, but in Chinese and Indian medicine, acne prone skin has the property of too much ‘heat’ or ‘warmth’. So using an oil that cools our skin down is a good thing.
Coconut oil supposedly also mimics your skins natural oils and should not clog your pores.
Oh, and using coconut oil on your skin also helps protect you from sun exposure, I guess that’s just one little added bonus :)
When not to use coconut oil
One oil will never work for everyone. Keep in mind that you can have allergies or intolerances to anything, even natural products. I for example have an intolerance to tee tree oil, it actually breaks me out! In the beginning the coconut oil may make your skin a little worse as it helps draw out toxins and impurities. It is very common to experience a little outbreak of whiteheads after using the coconut oil for the first time. This should clear up within a few days. If it doesn’t clear up, then you may have an allergy or intolerance to the oil and you should consider discontinuing its use.
So, I’m going to keep using the coconut oil to see if it is better than the olive oil for me. I’ll have to give it a couple of weeks at least to properly give it a test. If you’re considering using coconut oil in your OCM, make sure you buy virgin olive oil that is cold compressed, and preferably organic. This is just to make sure as many of the good vitamins and minerals as possible are kept in the oil. I use the brand nui which I picked up from a health food store (see the picture above).