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3 Powerful Coconut Oil Remedies for Acne

by Christine GlasgowNovember 22, 2016

What if there was a naturally created, inexpensive oil that was excellent for cooking with, improved the condition and appearance of your nails, hair and skin, deliver a slew of essential vitamins and minerals and more? Sounds good, right? And in actual fact such an oil does actually exist; it’s coconut oil.

A Brief History of Man and Coconuts

Using coconut oil for dozens of different beneficial purposes is not a new idea, even if it may be a very trendy one right now. For centuries people from all over the world have been tapping the power of the tropical nut, both for culinary and health reasons.

Where did the name coconut come from? It was coined by the Europeans who first explored the Caribbean in the 1500s. They had never seen anything quite like nut before but some said, thanks to the holes in the bottom of the husk, that it resembled a monkey. So, the Spanish word for monkey – coco – was combined with nut and the name just kind of stuck.


Where Does Coconut Oil Come From?

As the coconut palm is a fairly hardy tree it does not need a whole lot of water to grow but it does need heat, which is why it thrives best in tropical climates. The tree is actually native to Southeast Asia, but explorers took it all over the world and so it has been transplanted to, and thrived in, America, both in South America and the warmer, more humid regions of North America, across the Caribbean and there are even corners of Europe where the coconut tree thrives.

So, we know where the trees are, but how do you get the oil? This can be achieved in one of two different ways.


Oil can be extracted via dry processing, which, after the coconut meat is extracted from the shell involves drying it in the sun. Once dry, the ‘copra’ left behind can be dissolved by various solvents to create an oil. Wet processing is trickier and a little more expensive. This method involves it involves boiling down raw coconut several times until an oil is left behind. While it is harder to do, and thus oil created this way is more expensive for consumers to buy, lots of people think that wet processed coconut oil is a more potent, purer oil and it is the one most natural health practitioners recommend people stick to.


Isn’t Coconut Oil for Acne a Strange Idea?

Having established that coconut oil is pretty cool stuff in many ways we now have to look at what it can do for those who suffer from acne. Most people know that coconut oil is a fantastic natural moisturizer but they are right in assuming that its thicker texture also means it is rather comedogenic, meaning that it can clog pores. In fact, on a standard scale of 1 to 5 in terms of comedogenic substances it scores a 4. And one of the biggest causes of acne is clogged pores. So how on Earth can using coconut oil for acne b an idea that people suffering from it should even consider, let alone use?

While yes, coconut oil should be used sparingly on the skin of acne sufferers, there are some good reasons why it can indeed be very helpful.

  • High Fatty Acid Content: One of the reasons coconut oil is touted as a healthy cooking oil is that it naturally contains a high concentration of ‘good’ fatty acids. Two of these acids – Capric Acid and Lauric Acid – are also powerful antimicrobial agents, meaning they can help ‘kill off’ acne causing bacteria very effectively.
  • Inflammation Fighting – The appearance of some acne pimples – especially cystic acne – is worsened by inflammation. Coconut oil helps reduce inflammation, diminishing the appearance of zits while also helping the skin to begin to heal.
  • Vitamin E and Scar Fighting – The misery of acne, for many people, does not end when pimples heal, as the scars that are often left behind can be just as disfiguring and distressing. Where coconut oil for acne really excels is helping to heal and diminish the appearance of these stubborn scars.


Using Coconut Oil to Get Rid of Acne

The real key to using coconut oil to get rid of acne – and those nasty scars it can leave behind – is to know how to do so properly. And that is what we are going to look at next.

Choosing the Right Coconut Oil

The quality of the coconut oil you choose to treat your acne is very important, Keep these things in mind as you shop:

  • You are shopping for oil, not butter. Cocoa butter is similar to its oil counterpart in many ways, but it is just too heavy for use on acne prone skin.
  • The color of the coconut oil matters. Ideally it should be transparent. If the oil is yellowish, it’s not pure and should be avoided.
  • The scent of coconut oil matters too. Pure coconut oil should not have a strong smell at all. If your coconut oil smells like a Pina colada then no, it’s not the 100% pure stuff you need.


1. Using a Coconut Oil Mask Treatment to Get Rid of Acne

A once weekly coconut oil mask treatment can not only help heal existing acne pimples but it can also help prevent future breakouts while improving both the look and feel of the skin in general, especially if your skin tends to be rather dry. Here’s how to get the most out of such a treatment:

  • Mix three tablespoons of coconut oil with one tablespoon of oatmeal (breakfast oats are fine) in a small bowl.
  • Mix until you are left with a lumpy paste.
  • Apply the mixture to the whole face and leave in place for 15-20 minutes.
  • Rinse off with lukewarm water.
  • Apply a mild astringent to your face to remove any remaining potentially pore clogging oil. You can use a drug store toner or, if you prefer to stay natural, diluted apple cider vinegar is a great choice.
  • After using the astringent wash face again, pat dry and then apply light, oil free moisturizer.


2. Using Coconut Oil to Treat Acne Scars

Acne scars are not easy to treat, especially as they are often rather pitted and quite deep. Many people do find however that a twice weekly coconut oil treatment can significantly reduce the appearance of acne scars over time.

  • Mix one tablespoon of coconut oil with a half tablespoon of rose water. Rose water can be purchased at any health food store and easily online.
  • Massage the mixture directly into the acne scars you are trying to treat.
  • Leave in place for ten minutes before rinsing away with lukewarm water, followed by a cold rinse to close pores.


3. Taking Coconut Oil Internally to Get Rid of Acne 

People who advocate using coconut oil to get rid of acne believe that for the best possible results you really do need to use the oil topically – on the skin – and take it internally as well, so it can work its ‘magic’ from the inside out.

Ideally you should consume 2 to 3 tablespoons daily. And the good news is that there are lots of different ways to do that.

  • Take it straight: Coconut oil does not taste too bad, so if you can stomach it take one tablespoon before breakfast, lunch and dinner.
  • Cook with it: Pure coconut oil is not sweet and it does make a great alternative to other cooking oils.
  • Use it as a salad dressing: If you are a fan of oil and vinegar salad dressings substitute your regular oil choice for coconut. Not only is this good for you but it will add a light, fresh taste to your greens that is rather delicious.
  • Add coconut oil to your coffee: Coconut oil mixes easily with hot beverages and won’t overpower the flavor of your favorite coffee – or even tea – but give it a rather nice, subtly nutty boost.
  • Add coconut oil to your yogurt or oatmeal: If you are fan of oatmeal or yogurt – or both adding coconut oil is easy and you’ll barely even notice it’s there.
  • Take a coconut oil supplement: If you don’t like coconut oil at all – and some people don’t – you can buy a coconut oil supplement from your local health food store. If you choose to do so though make sure that you will be taking pure coconut oil and the daily dosage is equal to the recommended 2 to 3 tablespoons.

So, there you have it. When used sparingly and sensibly, coconut oil really can be a powerful weapon in your battle against acne. It should not be your only acne fighter but when combined with other acne home remedies it can be very effective.

Have you ever tried coconut oil to fight your acne? If so did you get the results you were expecting? Let us know, we’d love to hear all about your experiences.


Christine Glasgow
Canadian girl addicted to beauty and fashion. I'm a Blogger, Entrepreneur and web influencer 👑 I mostly talk about anything related to skin care and beauty. I created this site to share science-based information on skin conditions, treatments and skin care.

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Acne Natural Remedies Guide