Coconut Oil in Skin Care; The Good and the Bad

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Is it ok to use coconut oil in skin care routines? Coconut oil is definitely having its time in the spotlight these days—whether for its lauded nutritional qualities or wellness benefits, you can’t miss its virtues being sung from the top of many rooftops. More in this post.

Coconut oil is produced by extracting the oil from the meat of mature coconuts. It has a high saturated fat content and is a darling of the ‘natural world’ whose advocates suggest we embrace it as part of our diet. However, many organizations including the World Health Organization, the United States Food and Drug Administration, American Heart Association and Dietitians of Canada advise that its consumption should be limited or avoided.

The concern is that it increases both the amount of high-density lipoprotein (HDL, or good)) cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL, or bad) cholesterol, which may increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. We’ll leave the nutritionists to battle it out about the oil’s benefits and risks when it comes to your health, but when it comes to coconut oil in skin care, there are advantages.

Coconut Oil In Skin Care: Bad?

When it comes to skin care, many a blogger, model, and online commenter, suggest that coconut oil is an amazing do-it-all ingredient for your skin, capable of moisturizing it, cleansing it, clearing it up and delivering radiant goodness. It’s made up of medium chain fatty acids and contains vitamin E, proteins, lauric, capric and caprylic acids, which deliver anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties and can offer skin benefits. Its high saturated fat content makes coconut oil very hydrating so dry skin types benefit quite well and it’s also been shown to soothe mild cases of eczema.

Coconut oil is great for some skin types and some uses, but it’s not a cure all and it’s not for everyone. It is highly rated on the comedogenic scale, sitting at 4 on a scale of 0 – 5. This means that coconut oil can clog pores, which is problematic if you have oily or acneic skin. The comedogenic effect varies amongst individuals and it is possible for some individuals to tolerate it without any issues.

Others may go for months before experiencing a breakout while it’s also possible to react almost immediately. If you want to give coconut oil a try, go slow and be prepared to drop it out of your routine if your skin doesn’t like it.

Is Coconut Oil Good in Skincare Products?

It’s probably best to skip coconut oil in skincare products for the face, but when it comes to body care, it’s not a bad idea at all. When applied to the body and scalp, coconut oil can be hydrating. Slather it on rough and dry feet at night and then don a pair of socks to wake up with softer, smoother tootsies by morning.

You can find coconut oil in lots of body polishes and scrubs, where it’s often combined with other skin softening ingredients—it can help to elevate your bath-time routine!

Are you a fan of coconut oil when it comes to skin care?

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