In fact, the skin benefits of coconut oil have been supported by many studies, but we still have to be careful in some cases when applying it to our skin. You can find more information below.
Does coconut oil have any benefits for the skin?
The benefits of coconut oil to the skin are recognized by many, and that is why it is a type of oil touted for its health-promoting properties. From reduced LDL cholesterol levels in Alzheimer’s patients to improving brain function, coconut oil is associated with numerous health benefits. In fact, many studies have found that it may also have benefits for skin health. This article looks at the evidence examining whether coconut oil is good for the skin.
Related article: Is it healthy to apply olive oil to the face and skin?
What is coconut oil?
Coconut oil is a highly saturated fat traditionally made by extracting oil from raw coconut or dried coconut kernels. It is solid at room temperature, but can soften or even melt when heated. Coconut oil is rich in medium-chain fatty acids, a form of saturated fat. In fact, these medium chain fatty acids make up about 65% of its total composition.
Fatty acids found in coconut oil include:
- Lauric acid: 49 %
- Myristic acid: 18%
- Caprylic acid: 8%
- Palmitic acid: 8%
- Capricorns:% 7
- Oleic acid: 6%
- Linoleic acid: %2
- Stearic acid: 2%
Although coconut oil is about 90% saturated fat, it also contains small amounts of mono and polyunsaturated fats. One tablespoon contains about 12 grams of saturated fat and 1 gram of unsaturated fat.
SUMMARY: Although this amazing oil is used in cooking, it can also be applied to the skin or hair. It is rich in saturated fat and medium chain fatty acids, especially lauric acid.
What are the benefits of coconut oil for the skin?
The benefits of coconut oil for the skin are listed below:
1- Kills harmful microorganisms
The benefits of coconut for the skin kill harmful microorganisms. The medium-chain fatty acids in coconut oil have antimicrobial properties that will help protect against harmful microorganisms. This is especially important for skin health, as many skin infections, including acne, cellulitis, folliculitis, and athlete’s foot, are caused by bacteria or fungi.
Applying coconut oil directly to the skin inhibits the growth of these microorganisms and is just one of these benefits. This feature is due to the lauric acid content, which makes up about 50% of the fatty acids in coconut oil and can fight harmful microorganisms.
One study tested the antibacterial properties of 30 types of fatty acids against 20 different bacterial strains. Lauric acid has been found to be most effective at inhibiting bacterial growth. Another study showed that lauric acid can kill Propionibacterium acnes , a type of bacteria that leads to the development of inflammatory acne .
Also, capric acid is another medium-chain fatty acid found in coconut oil, albeit to a lesser extent. Like lauric acid, capric acid has been shown to have potent antimicrobial properties.
In one study , both lauric and capric acid were shown to effectively kill strains of bacteria. Another study demonstrated anti-fungal effects by showing that capric acid can inhibit the growth of certain types of fungi.
Summary: The fatty acids found in coconut oil have antimicrobial properties that effectively kill bacteria and fungi.
2- Reduces inflammation
Chronic inflammation is a key component of many different skin disorders, including psoriasis, contact dermatitis, and eczema. Interestingly, a review of coconut oil’s benefits for the skin showed it to have anti-inflammatory properties.
In one study , researchers applied coconut oil to the inflamed ears of rats. This study found that coconut oil not only had an anti-inflammatory effect, but also relieved pain. What’s more, coconut oil can relieve inflammation by improving its antioxidant status.
Antioxidants work by stabilizing free radicals in the body, neutralizing reactive atoms that can contribute to inflammation.
In a 2013 animal study , different types of oils were tried on rats, such as coconut oil, olive oil, and sunflower oil. At the end of the 45-day study, coconut oil improved antioxidant status and greatly prevented oxidative stress.
It’s important to keep in mind that most current research is limited to animal and test-tube studies, so it’s hard to know how these results will apply to humans. However, based on these studies, coconut oil shows great potential for its ability to reduce inflammation when consumed or applied to the skin.
Summary: Animal studies have shown that coconut oil may alleviate inflammation by improving antioxidant status and reducing oxidative stress.
3- Helps in the treatment of acne (pimples)
The benefits of coconut oil for the skin are also good for acne. While some may think that coconut oil unclogs pores, significant research shows that it can actually help treat acne, which is among its benefits for the skin.
Acne is an inflammatory condition, and many of the medications used to treat it work by targeting and reducing inflammation. Coconut oil and its components can also help treat acne, as they can help reduce inflammation in the body. Also, the antibacterial properties of medium-chain fatty acids in coconut oil can help reduce acne.
Many studies examining the skin benefits of coconut oil have shown that lauric acid, which makes up about half of the fatty acids in coconut oil, kills the acne-related strain of bacteria. In fact, test-tube and animal studies have shown that lauric acid is more effective at preventing the growth of acne-causing bacteria than benzoyl peroxide. Along with lauric acid, capric acid has also been shown to have anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.
A 2014 animal and test-tube study to investigate the skin benefits of coconut oil showed that both lauric and capric acid were successful in reducing inflammation and preventing acne by killing bacteria. For best results, coconut oil should be applied directly to the skin in areas with acne.
SUMMARY: The anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties of coconut oil and its ingredients may help treat acne.
4- It is good for skin dryness
The benefits of coconut oil to the skin are also incredibly effective in skin dryness . In addition to its effects on acne and inflammation, applying coconut oil to your skin can also help keep it hydrated.
A study in people with mild to moderately dry skin compared the effects of a mineral oil and coconut oil to treat dry skin. This two-week study found that coconut oil significantly improved skin moisture and was just as effective as mineral oil. It has also been shown to help treat eczema, a skin condition characterized by scaly, itchy rashes.
In a study comparing the effects of olive oil and coconut oil in 52 adults with eczema, it was found that applying coconut oil helped reduce dryness as well as helping treat eczema.
Another study examining the benefits of coconut oil for the skin found similar results, showing that coconut oil led to a 68% reduction in eczema severity and was significantly more effective than mineral oil in treating eczema.
Coconut oil can be helpful in keeping your skin hydrated, removing bacteria, promoting the healing of scars and maintaining overall skin integrity.
SUMMARY: Coconut oil can be an effective moisturizer and may also help treat dry skin and eczema.
5- Contributes to the healing of wounds
The benefits of coconut oil to the skin also accelerate the healing of wounds. Many studies have shown that coconut oil can help heal wounds.
An animal study looked at how coconut oil applied to the skin affected wound healing in rats. It showed that treating wounds with coconut oil accelerated healing, improved antioxidant status, and increased levels of collagen, an important protein that aids wound healing.
Another animal study examining the benefits of coconut oil for the skin showed that in combination with an antibiotic applied to the skin, coconut oil was effective at healing burn wounds.
In addition to its contribution to wound healing, its antimicrobial properties can also prevent infection, which is one of the main risk factors that can complicate the healing process.
Summary: Animal studies have shown that coconut oil may help speed wound healing.
Who should not use coconut oil?
While research shows that coconut oil can have skin benefits, applying it may not be ideal for everyone. For example, those with oily skin may want to avoid doing this as it can clog pores and cause blackheads.
As with most things, trial and error may be the best approach to determine if coconut oil works for you. Also, if you have sensitive skin, you can use a small amount or try applying it to just a small part of the skin to make sure it doesn’t cause irritation or clogged pores.
However, eating and cooking with coconut oil is usually not a problem for most people. However, if you have oily or very sensitive skin, you may want to consider adding coconut oil to your diet to reap its benefits.
As a result
Research on the benefits and effects of coconut oil on the skin is mostly limited to animal or test-tube studies. However, coconut oil may offer some potential benefits for the skin, such as reducing inflammation, moisturizing the skin and helping to heal wounds.
The medium-chain fatty acids found in coconut oil also have antimicrobial properties that can help treat acne and acne and protect the skin from harmful bacteria. If you have oily or very sensitive skin, be sure to start slowly to assess your tolerance and consult a dermatologist if you have any concerns.