Coconut oil is an awesome body moisturizer and hair conditioner that is very absorbent and soothes and softens the skin. It has anti-inflammatory components, antibacterial properties, antioxidants, and fatty acid content. Coconut oil is thus very good for the body, but it can clog pores in acne-riddled skin. Also, some people may suffer from clogged pores while others may not. The reasons for it are discussed below.
Does coconut oil clog pores?
Coconut oil is a fairly comedogenic product. A comedogenic item is one which carries a high risk of causing clogged pores in vulnerable individuals. These substances will not blog or block pores at all times, but they do come with a high risk percentage of causing blocked pores.
An individual’s vulnerability to developing clogged pores is dependent on the skin type. It may be noted that clogging of pores occur due to trapping of natural skin oil, dead skin cells, bacteria, and other debris, resulting in the formation of whiteheads or blackheads.
- Acne is a prevalent and common skin condition marked by skin redness and inflammation, blackheads, whiteheads, and pimples. An overactive hormonal system that causes excess skin oil production may, along with different debris, clog the pores in skin and cause acne.
It may be noted that large pores tend to get easily clogged as compared to smaller pores. People with large pores are more susceptible to getting blackheads; hence, use of coconut oil as a face moisturizer will cause clogging of the pores in such people, particularly if their skin has not been exfoliated before application of coconut oil containing moisturizer. People with oily skin are most likely to have large pores.
On the other hand, small pores are much too narrow and do not offer sufficient space for the secretion of the natural oil of the skin or for accumulation of debris, dead cells, etc. Thus, they do not have the pre-conditions that can facilitate clogging of pores. Small pores usually occur in people with dry skin. Coconut oil use thus will have better results in people with non-sensitive dry skin with small pores.
Coconut oil comes with a comedogenic rating between 2 and 4, wherein 4 is the highest comedogenic rating. Hence, use of coconut oil is more likely to result in clogged pores.It may be noted that coconut oil by itself does not result in clogged pores or acne development. It merely contributes towards clogging of pores and thus worsen acne and other underlying skin conditions.
The benefits of coconut oil
Coconut coil has many beneficial uses for the skin due to its nutritional content and its other properties. A few advantageous effects are listed below:
- Anti-fungal and antiseptic properties: Coconut oil is made up of medium chain fatty acids or MCFAs. These acids have antifungal and antibacterial properties. Coconut oil can thus be used to remove a variety of bacteria occurring on the skin as well as to treat many skin conditions. Coconut oil can be used with tea tree oil as an effective remedy for psoriasis.
- The compounds of extra virgin coconut oil help prevent the replication of acne bacteria. As per research, the fatty acids in coconut oil are nearly 15 time more potent in acne remedy than benzoyl peroxide.
- Emollient properties: The increased fat content in coconut oil also helps soften and smoothen the skin, thereby alleviating itchiness and dry skin.
- Antioxidant properties: Coconut oil has many antioxidant components that help fight free radicals, thereby helping heal redness, remove or reduce wrinkles, smoothen the skin, and make the skin younger, sprightlier, and healthier. It also helps prevent skin damage caused by aging.
- Other benefits: Ferulic acid content in coconut oil works more efficiently then even vitamin E; it helps repair the damage done by UV rays exposure, and reduce age spots, etc.
Coconut oil use – How to avoid clogged pores in oily/sensitive skin
Gentle extraction or exfoliation of the clogged pores by professionals can help manage the condition. Inflammation of the pores can result in development of pimples; hence care should be taken. People who are prone to acne should use oils with comedogenic ratings between 0 and 2.
The rich fats content in coconut oil means that even people with non-sensitive dry skin with small pores need to use the oil in moderation. Increased coconut oil use may not actually be beneficial for the skin; instead it may trigger the formation of some other skin disorder.
A few ways in which coconut oil can be used to benefit from all its skin-enriching properties are mentioned below:
- Exfoliate the skin and then use coconut oil as a leave-on moisturizer for the face. Exfoliation eliminates any clogged pores and thus oil usage will not result in aggravation or new clogging of the pores.
- Decrease the risk of cloggy pores by combining coconut oil with a carrier oil that is less comodegenic.
- It is best to use coconut oil as a cleanser instead of a moisturizer. For this apply the oil on the face and massage it for many minutes, later use warm water and a washcloth to remove the oil and clean the face.