What CAN’T we use coconut oil for?
I’m amazed at what nature is providing for us. Coconut oil is the star somewhere on any health and skin care blogs.
The claims about the effectiveness of coconut oil is nothing short of amazing.
But as popular as coconut oil is, it’s far from perfect. Upon searching “coconut oil” on our favorite hang out (Google), you’ll find mixed reviews. Some people regard coconut oil as a miracle worker for their face.
Others curse this oil for giving them awful breakouts. So we are led to ask: does coconut oil clog pores on face?
So I did some research on coconut oil and pore-clogging. Is there a link?
Here’s the short answer: coconut oil can clog pores on your face since it’s highly comedogenic.
When an ingredient is comedogenic is it means it’s clogging your pores.
So that’s it then? Should you kick coconut oil far away and never use it again?
Not so fast… Before shunning coconut oil, let’s take a deeper dive into this matter.
In this post, we’ll together find out how coconut oil clogs your pores. If you feel like that’s helpful information, then let’s get started.
We’ll discuss if coconut oil comedogenic for everyone, regardless of skin type.
Plus, we’ll go over some coconut oil alternatives you can look into that may be better for your skin.
Coconut Oil and Pore-Clogging:
How can coconut oil clog pores on face? This is a question we have to ask before we decide to discard prematurely.
Like a lot of thicker oils, coconut oil has a tight-knit chemical structure. This kind of structure means the coconut oil’s molecules are tightly packed together.
But what does that mean for your skin?
Thicker oils like coconut oil makes it harder for the skin to properly absorb. Because of this, coconut oil forms as a film on top of skin. If you’ve ever used it, you know exactly what I mean. Slippery and slick.
Now, the pores on your face tend to be bigger. So coconut oil will especially cause trouble there. As coconut oil coats your pores, it also mixes with bacteria and dead skin cells.
These dead skin cells tends to fester in your pores, making your face produce excess oil. And you know what can come after overproduction of oil and dead skin cells? A-c-n-e—acne!
That may explain all the testimonials cursing coconut oil. The pores on their skin looks and feels congested after massaging in some coconut oil.
Does Coconut Oil Clog All Skin Types?
Using coconut oil on you face receives a lot of hate in the skin care world. And not without reason.
But instead of just jumping on the hate band wagon and stopping the use of coconut oil in our skin care, let's be smart and dig a little deeper.
It would be unfair to show coconut oil's bad side without showing its good side.
From knowing both sides, we confidently decide if coconut oil is a definite no-no for use in skin care.
I compiled this list showcasing the most notable benefits we can get from coconut oil:
1. Coconut oil is anti-inflammatory
A clogged pore can only turn into acne after C. acnes attacks.
C. acnes or Cutibacterium acnes is the bacteria responsible for all our suffering. It invades the clogged pore, multiplies, and turns the pore into a pimple.
Here’s where the anti inflammatory coconut oil hero comes in handy.
About 50% of coconut oil’s composition is an MFA called lauric acid. Experts say medium-chain fatty acids (MFAs) like lauric acid are capable of killing harmful bacteria.
So the lauric acid found coconut oil is the bacteria-killing badass that can kick acne’s hypothetical butt.
One study even found lauric acid to be more effective than benzoyl peroxide in killing C. acnes.
Not a bad start for coconut oil, or more closely inspected, lauric acid.
2. Coconut oil can moisturize even Sahara-level dry skin
Remember how coconut oil forms like a film on top of skin? Well, that’s not necessarily a bad thing for those with Sahara-level dry skin. In fact, dry skin types sing praises of coconut oil, its fatty acids, and its moisturizing powers.
Several studies found coconut oil more effective in moisturizing compared to mineral oil. They can both help moisturize skin by locking in moisture. But coconut oil comes out on top. Now, combine that moisturizing power with bacteria-killing. What you have is a moisturizer fit even for eczema patients.
3. Coconut oil can help in healing wounds
Skin that’s dry and covered with acne wounds will have trouble recovering. So the level of moisturizing coconut oil does is a big help for healing skin!
Not only that.
Coconut oil can kill bacteria, moisturize, and repair the skin's barrier. For example, coconut oil can help in increasing collagen production on your face. Collagen is not just for keeping your skin youthful and plump. It’s also important for wound healing.
So is coconut oil a no go for all skin types?
Considering coconut oil and its benefits we’ve gone over, I think it’s pretty clear.
Coconut oil shouldn’t be completely shunned by all skin types.
- Oily and acne-prone: Yes, please stay clear of coconut oil! Do not apply coconut oil anywhere near your face. It will most likely clog your pores.
- Normal to combination skin: If you experience clogged pores easily, coconut oil may not be for you.
- Dry skin and/or mature skin: If your pores aren’t prone to clogging, well, my lovely, you may just find a savior in coconut oil. Especially if you also suffer from acne, consider coconut oil! This thick oil will help you moisturize while battling acne-causing bacteria.
- Sensitive skin: even though sensitive skin isn't a skin type, I think it's worthwhile mentioning that coconut oil is a good choice for a sensitive skin routine thanks to its soothing properties.
Coconut Oil Alternatives
After getting a glimpse of what coconut oil can do, it’s such a shame to let it go!
I’ve been lucky. Coconut oil never broke me out, even when I had oily skin. Granted, I always used a high-quality virgin coconut oil. But even though I had oily skin, I was lucky to experience the positive effects of coconut oil without getting clogged pores.
But coconut oil may be completely different for you. Even virgin coconut oil.
Maybe coconut oil gave you the worst breakout ever. Or maybe you haven’t even tried it, but all the info above is telling you coconut oil won’t work.
Good news is that, there are coconut oil alternatives for us with acne-prone skin.
Coconut oil may have broken your heart, but there are a bunch of oils you can turn to.
Here are some non comedogenic alternatives to coconut oil for people with acne-prone skin:
1. Apricot Kernel Oil
- contains vitamins A and E
- moisturizes with high amounts of fatty acids
- helps reduce redness
- soothes irritated skin and dry patches
2. Borage Seed Oil
- provides moisture in skin
- improves the skin’s barrier system
- highest gamma-linoleic acid (GLA) content among oils
3. Jojoba Oil (a.k.a Jojoba Wax)
- relieves dryness, flaking, itching, and related symptoms
- reduces the redness caused by dry skin
- suitable for most (if not all) skin types
4. Sunflower Oil
- soothes itchy and inflamed eczema skin
- can improve skin hydration
- helps preserve the integrity of the skin’s natural barrier
5. Tamanu Oil
- fights harmful bacteria
- helps skin using skin-regenerating compounds
- reduces swelling and skin irritation
- powerful wrinkle fighter
It can be tricky to keep our pores clog-free.
Especially with thicker oils like coconut oil.
With how versatile and beneficial coconut oil is though, it would be a shame to throw it away. That’s why, if you get clogged pores on the face when you use coconut oil, try using it for your hair instead. It’s arguably one of the best hair oils out there due to its fatty acids.
You can also use coconut oil for shaving, and as a makeup remover. If you use it as a makeup remover, just make sure you use a cleanser so you don't clog your pores from the fatty acids residue.
For your face, try the safe, non comedogenic oils I've listed above as alternatives.
What oil made your face break out the most? And what is your fav non comedogenic oil choice?
Help a sister out by sharing your knowledge in the comment section below 🙂
Stay tuned and take skin care!
Coconut oil is comedogenic, so it will likely cause clogging in most people. However, if you suffer from dry skin, coconut oil may help moisturize your skin without causing problems.
non comedogenic oils you can use as alternative for coconut oil:
- Apricot kernel oil
- Borage seed oil
- Jojoba oil
- Sunflower oil
- Tamanu oil
Using coconut oil as a moisturizer can work for people with dry and sensitive skin. However, you have to see how your skin reacts because coconut oil is comedogenic and is prone to cause clogs, especially in people with acne-prone skin.