Coconut oil seems to be recommended for everything lately. People recommend you include it in your diet, put it on your hair and skin, even use it as toothpaste. While coconut oil is great in a lot of ways, it’s unrealistic to believe its great in every way. Today I’m going to be explaining why I don’t recommend coconut oil be used topically, especially for people with acne prone skin.
Pore Clogging Potential
Dermatologists have a rating scale for oils called its comedogenic rating. This rating scale goes from zero (won’t clog pores) to 5 (highly likely to clog pores). Coconut oil is rated a 4 on this scale. I personally experienced bad cystic acne after using coconut oil on my face for several months, you can watch my youtube video below for the full story. Regardless of this rating, there is still much debate if coconut oil really clogs pores or not. Everybody’s skin is different so it may not clog pores for some people. However, if you are prone to acne you probably don’t want to risk a potential break out when there are so many great alternatives.
Coconut Oil Alternatives
There are many oils that are safer to use on acne prone skin (oils with lower comedogenic ratings). Here is a list of some of commonly used oils with their ratings:
- Argan oil: 0
- Hemp seed oil: 0
- Castor oil: 1
- Evening primrose oil: 2
- Borage oil: 2
- Almond oil: 2
- Apricot Kernel oil: 2
- Jojoba oil: 2
You can check out a more complete list of oils and their ratings here.
Quality is Important
Regardless of what type of oil you choose, remember that quality is always important. Oils should be organic and as unrefined as possible (cold pressed, virgin). Refined oils won’t contain as many nutrients, and the fatty acids may be damaged, which negates the health benefits of the oil.
Natural moisturizers can also be used in place of coconut oil. My personal favorites are MRM MSM cream, a lighter, less oily moisturizer that helps heal acne scars, and Green Beaver Boreal Face Cream, a thicker moisturizer made with castor oil. You can also mix oils to create your own blend. For example, jojoba, argan, sesame, almond, hemp seed, and apricot kernel oil can be used as carrier oils with smaller amounts of more potent oils (such as neem, castor, evening primrose oil, seabuckthorn, or tamanu) mixed in, to create a specific blend. You can also add a couple drops of various essential oils to your mixture for some added benefits, check out this guide for more information on using essential oils on the skin.
If you are interested in listening to my personal story with coconut oil and some additional information, watch my youtube video here:
What is your favorite oil or oil blend to use on your face?