This past Christmas, my aunt gifted each of her sisters a jumbo jar of coconut oil because she loves it so much. Despite my aunt’s enthusiasm, my mom—who has notoriously sensitive skin—was skeptical about using coconut oil. She tried it one night instead of her favorite nighttime facial moisturizer. The next morning, my mother woke up with a rash of angry, red bumps all over the lower part of her face and neck.
My mom is far from the only one to suffer this same fate, which is why, to put it bluntly, I’m completely flummoxed by the fact that coconut oil continues to be touted as a great natural facial skincare solution.
We talked to dermatologists to find out why you shouldn’t use coconut oil on your face. Here’s what they had to say.
Coconut oil is comedogenic.
“Coconut oil has one of the highest comedogenic ratings, which means that it could be a big problem for sensitive or blemish-prone skin,” explains dermatologist Paul Dean, MD. “This means coconut oil can’t penetrate the pores and actually can suffocate your skin and will clog your pores because it sits on top of the skin.”
What is a comedogenic rating? Essentially, beauty products are rated on a scale of 1 to 5 based on their pore-clogging potential, with 1 being the least likely to clog your pores, and 5 being reserved for the worst offenders.
The scale doesn’t mean that every single product that’s considered highly comedogenic will clog your pores and cause breakouts, though. A lot of factors—like pore size and how oily or dry your skin is—also affect how your face will react to comedogenic products.
But a higher rating does increase the likelihood that a comedogenic ingredient, like coconut oil (which scores a whopping 4 out of 5 on the scale!) will cause a negative reaction.
Coconut Oil for Your Face: Debunking the Myths
A quick Google search reveals that many people believe coconut oil is basically facial skincare magic. Even dermatologists (skincare experts, no less!) have hopped on the coconut-oil-for-your-face bandwagon.
So do these purported claims have any merit? Here’s what our experts have to say.
COCONUT OIL AS FACIAL MOISTURIZER
Myth: Coconut oil is a great facial moisturizer.
Reality: While coconut oil is soothing and contains lauric acid, it is never a good idea to put any oil on skin, especially in Seychelles. It can clog the pores and irritate the skin and make the condition worse
Alternatives to using coconut oil for facial moisturizer: Ideally, toner, serum, eye cream and cream should keep your skin hydrated while remaining light enough that they don’t clog your pores.
Algae is a great all-natural moisturizer for all skin types. Like coconut oil, it can help soothe skin irritation and help wounds heal faster, but unlike coconut oil, it won’t clog your pores.
Seychelles has an EEZ of 1.37 km2 of ocean and 115 islands, and 435 species of algae have been documented so far. Algae is one of the most dense crops on earth, algae contains minerals such as magnesium, manganese, calcium, copper, iodine, iron, potassium, phosphorus & zinc as well as vitamins like A, B, C, D & E. The benefits of ingesting both categories include a boost in immunity, improved circulation, detoxification of vital organs and a regulation of natural hormones.
COCONUT OIL FOR FACE WRINKLES
Myth: Coconut oil can turn back time and minimize face wrinkles.
Reality: Oils do not penetrate the basic layer and cannot produce collagen.
Alternatives to coconut oil for face wrinkles: While coconut oil won’t work to get rid of wrinkles. The rich nature of algae means that it can provide all of the immeasurable benefits.
Benefit 1. Moisture: Algae is packed with humectants that draw in moisture at a greater rate than any other natural ingredients, as well as containing vitamin E (famously hydrating).
Benefit 2. Antioxidants: Vitamin B & C combat pigmentation, stimulates collage and brightens lacklustre skin. They are both powerful anti-aging ingredients.
Benefit 3. Minerals: Omega, Zinc & Magnesium all contribute to a more healthy epidermal barrier, protecting from environmental aggressors and soothing any current inflammation.
Benefit 4. Proteins: Amino acids are the building blocks of cells, which maintain and fill cells membranes, simultaneously creating a plump, youthful face while preventing any accelerated aging.