• 02/09/2021

How to Use Coconut Oil — Busting the Skincare Myth

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Clean beauty has been all the rage recently, which is all well and good — think natural ingredients, kindness for the planet and banishing unnecessary fragrant ingredients from your makeup bag. Staying natural and taking a less-is-more approach to skincare and beauty can have so many benefits. However, it can be helpful to double check before you slather just anything across your mug, because natural doesn’t always mean better. Think about it — poison ivy is “natural” too. Which is why it may break your heart just a little to learn that putting pure coconut oil on your face isn’t as good for you as you may have thought.

While there are plenty of benefits of coconut oil when used in the right context, and there are also plenty of beneficial oils you can use on your face, it might be high time to leave the jar back in the kitchen, not in your skincare routine.

So, Can I Use It on My Face?

In short, probably not. Coconut oil is a comedogenic oil, which means that — among other properties — it stays solid at room temperature, allowing it to clog pores and trap bacteria, as well as debris and dead skin cells on your face. Essentially, it can suffocate the skin and cause breakouts and other skin issues. Most professionals don’t recommend using it as a moisturizer or face oil, especially if you have sensitive, acne prone skin.

If you really don’t feel bothered by it and your skin isn’t sensitive, you might be able to get away with using coconut oil as a makeup remover, only if you follow it up with a cleanser after you take your makeup off. If your skin is sensitive or acne prone, though, you may want to skip it altogether.

What if My Skin is Dry?

If you have excessively dry skin and want to use a natural oil or moisturizer, you’re in luck, because there are plenty available at your disposal that won’t clog your pores. Even if your skin feels dehydrated, that won’t change coconut oil’s comedogenic properties. Instead, you can try one of these safer, more moisturizing oils on your face:

  • Jojoba oil
  • Evening primrose oil
  • Argan oil
  • Sweet almond oil
  • Shea butter
  • Safflower oil

Not only will these oils help you avoid breakouts, but they’ll break down more fully and moisturize your skin even better.

How About the Body?

Here’s where the party can get started again. Even though coconut oil isn’t the best for your face, the skin on your body is much less sensitive. Go ahead and lather up those elbows, knees, hands and legs. One of the benefits of coconut oil for skin that isn’t on the face is its hydrating quality. Some people even swear by using it after a shave to prevent discomfort or razor burn. Just make sure you wash your hands before you switch to your facial routine.

But I Can Use It on My Hair, Right?

This one is a resounding yes. Coconut oil can strengthen and hydrate your hair and leave it shiny, silky and soft. While some people like to use it as a leave-in treatment after washing, others prefer to use it as a hair mask while in the shower or bath. It smells lovely, and can make your hair shine with its natural beauty. 

And Other Uses!

Yes, there is more if you can believe it. Starting with the obvious, you can use coconut oil in foods and recipes all throughout your kitchen, as it tends to be a healthy cooking oil and recipe substitute. You can also use coconut oil to whiten your teeth by oil pulling, use it to moisturize your lips when they’re chapped or even shine wood furniture. There are so many clever uses for coconut oil — as long as it stays a safe distance from the face. 

Using Coconut Oil the Right Way

In conclusion, coconut oil is a comedogenic oil, which means that it isn’t all it’s cracked up to be as a moisturizer or facial product. While those with durable skin can probably get away with using it as a makeup remover from time to time, you may just want to save your jar for one of coconut oil’s many other uses. There’s no chance for pore clogging and facial bacteria when you use the stuff on your elbows and knees, as a hair care solution or in the kitchen. With so many gorgeous oils you can use on your skin, it might be time to kiss it goodbye — in the facial department anyway. What’s your favorite way to use coconut oil?

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