Is Coconut Oil Good for Your Skin or Just a Pain in Your Pores?


How many times has it been jammed down your throat that coconut oil is absolutely, positively the most amazing miracle oil to ingest and slather all over your body? More times than you’d care to count, I’m sure. But is it really true? Is coconut oil good for your skin or just a crock of coconut sh… You know where I’m going with this.

It works wonders, they told me. It’s great to use as a facial moisturizer, they said. So now here I am with a face I almost don’t recognize. Who does this skin belong to? Certainly not me. I did everything they said. I followed steps and regimens. But alas, this is my skin… My comedone sprinkled and inflamed skin. It’s pretty upsetting when you’ve gone most of your life having primarily flawless skin. Then it finally dawned on me one day. Nothing else in my beauty regimen had changed except… My moisturizer. I caught myself staring in the mirror, bewildered and perplexed, asking myself: “Is coconut oil good for your skin or have you just made a grave mistake?!”

Upon my frantic internet research, desperate for an answer, I came to terms with the unfortunate fact that not nearly enough websites or blogs acknowledge the negative characteristics or side effects of coconut oil. Instead, too many online sources dedicate their entire existences to worshipping and praising this oil. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m actually a huge fan of the stuff. I use it for cooking and baking, as a replacement for butter on my toast, and as a moisturizer for my hair. I’m not completely bashing it, but I felt largely disappointed that basically only two or three blogs were actively trying to bring to light that coconut oil ain’t all that and a bag o’chips (maybe I should’ve just wiped chips all over my face instead?).

After what I thought was turning out to be a fruitless attempt to find an explanation for my dilemma, I finally stumbled upon a blog for all things coco-related. A post I saw about coconut oil clogging pores sang to me like an angel from above. What I learned completely blew my mind. It turns out coconut oil is not as universal as it’s been made to seem.

After being fed so many pieces of general and misleading information, I read on to find out that using coconut oil on your face is actually person-specific. Meaning, not all of us will have the same reactions. Some of us will see positive results and others (myself included) will have a much less desirable experience to report. It apparently all comes down to what type of skin you have. So if you’re asking, “Is coconut oil good for your skin?,” I recommend thoroughly examining your skin and doing a little detective work online.

Small dish of coconut oil

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Coconut oil is considered a comedogenic. I KNOW. I was just as surprised as you to read something not so nice about this popular oil. A comedogenic substance is one that can possess the ability to clog pores. This is where it’s beneficial to know if you have larger or smaller pores. Larger pores are undeniably more susceptible to clogging. Wait a minute, smaller pores. You’re not in the clear yet, either. Small pores can still get clogged, and when they do, it can be much worse.

The rumors aren’t always true. Yes, coconut oil has antibacterial and antifungal properties. No, it is not always the perfect solution for acne prone skin. Coconut oil can actually have a negative tendency to be unconducive to acneic skin. If dirt and oil are getting all up in your pores’ business, coconut oil might decide to join the party and become trapped with everything else, further exacerbating the situation instead of fighting to clear it up. Now cue the painful breakouts and bumpy textured skin.

If your skin is naturally pretty oily or you aren’t a stranger to blackheads that generally means you have larger pores so it may be unwise to go slapping the CO on your face. It’s also been said that overuse of coconut oil on the face is not very successful due to its high fat content which can instead lead to the transpiration of future skin issues. If you’re going to use it, use it in moderation. I also read some suggestions stating that mixing a bit of coco oil in a cleanser is a much better idea than just using it solo. So if you’re hell-bent on continuing to use this stuff, you shouldn’t use it alone!

My final tips to you, fellow readers, coconut oil enthusiasts and critics alike, are to fully research the effects of coconut oil being used topically, study your own skin thoroughly, and don’t believe everything you read or hear. Don’t let the coco get you all cuckoo! Good luck!

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Top image: Just another wretch