There are several benefits of coconut oil for beauty, especially for the face. Coconut oil is a highly saturated oil that is traditionally made by extracting oil from raw coconut or desiccated coconut kernels. Yes, this oil is an oil that can usually be used for cooking as an alternative to palm oil.
The medium-chain fatty acids in coconut oil have antimicrobial properties that can help protect against harmful microorganisms. This is very important for healthy skin, because many types of skin infections, including acne, cellulitis, folliculitis, and water fleas, are caused by bacteria or fungi.
Basically, the main function of coconut oil in beauty is hydration. “Coconut oil is a natural moisturizing agent,” says Rachel Nazarian, MD, a board-certified dermatologist with Schweiger Dermatology.
1. Face Moisturizer
The benefits of coconut oil for the face can be very good used as a moisturizer.
Coconut oil for normal to dry skin can be extremely hydrating, which suggests that the ingredient’s occlusive nature traps moisture beneath the skin’s surface to lock it all in.
2. Help Treat Acne
Acne is an inflammatory condition, and many of the medications used to treat it work by targeting and reducing inflammation. Since coconut oil and its components can help reduce inflammation in the body, it can also help in the treatment of acne.
In addition, the antibacterial properties of the medium-chain fatty acids in coconut oil can also help reduce acne. Numerous studies have shown that lauric acid, which accounts for nearly half of the fatty acids in coconut oil, has been shown to kill bacterial strains associated with acne.
Along with lauric acid, capric acid has been shown to have anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. For best results, coconut oil should be applied directly to the skin in the area where the pimple is present.
3. Moisturizing Dry Skin
In addition to its effects on acne and inflammation, the benefits of coconut oil for the face can also help keep it hydrated.
One study in patients with mild to moderate dry skin compared the effects of coconut oil with mineral oil, a type of oil made from petroleum that is often used to treat dry skin. A two-week study found that coconut oil significantly increased skin hydration and was just as effective as mineral oil.
It has also been shown to help treat eczema, a skin condition characterized by a scaly and itchy rash. Keeping your skin hydrated can help maintain its function as a barrier to prevent bacteria, promote scar healing and maintain overall skin integrity.
4. Heal Skin Wounds
Several studies have shown that the benefits of coconut oil for the face can also help wound healing. One animal study looked at how coconut oil applied to the skin affected wound healing in mice.
It was found that treating wounds with virgin coconut oil accelerated healing, improved antioxidant status, and increased levels of collagen, an important protein that aids wound healing. Apart from promoting wound healing, its antimicrobial properties can also prevent infection, one of the main risk factors that can complicate the healing process.
5. Reduce Inflammation or Redness
Chronic inflammation is a major component of many types of skin disorders, including psoriasis, contact dermatitis, and eczema. Interestingly, coconut oil has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties.
In one study, researchers applied virgin coconut oil to the ears of inflamed rats. Coconut oil has not only been found to have anti-inflammatory effects, but it also relieves pain. What’s more, coconut oil can reduce inflammation by increasing its antioxidant status.
Antioxidants work by stabilizing free radicals in the body, neutralizing reactive atoms that can contribute to inflammation. However, based on the research, coconut oil shows great potential in its ability to reduce inflammation when consumed or applied to the skin.