January 6, 2014

Using Coconut Oil for Acne – An In-Depth Exploration of the Topic

We've already covered how coconut oil can be effective for treating your hair as well as skin problems, though until now we haven’t truly discussed how it can be used as a medicine. As it happens, research conducted not too long ago suggests that using coconut oil for acne is a safe and effective practice with mountains of potential still in front of it.

Acne is a very widespread problem around the world, and though the symptoms do die out for most people after adolescence, there are still countless people who aren’t as lucky and have to deal with the condition itself, or at the very least the ravages it left on their bodies.

Using Coconut Oil for Acne – An In-Depth Exploration of the Topic

Just to make things clear, before proceeding, using coconut oil for your acne problems isn’t exactly going to cure you instantly, nor is it likely to eliminate the root cause of your troubles. What it will do, however, is tenaciously fight the symptoms of the condition, allowing you be, feel and look like you don’t have acne, giving you the opportunity to truly fight the cause at the base of it and take all the time you need in doing so.

The Cause of Acne

Before looking into how coconut oil can be used as an effective treatment, it is important to understand what causes acne in the first place. Though the exact reason tends to vary a bit from case to case, in a majority of them the condition is birthed due to an infection in your sebum glands which have for role to secrete oils which protect and preserve your skin.

An obstruction in sebum secretion results in inflammation, pain, redness… basically acne. Teenagers are at an extra risk to suffer due to hormonal changes during puberty, many of which tend to mess around with their sebum secretion.

How Coconut Oil Works Against Acne

So how exactly is a liquid coming from a coconut going to help you treat acne exactly? Well, the coconut oil has a number of different ingredients to it, each one having a beneficial individual effect on the condition.

  • First off, there are the fatty acids. I have already discussed how they can keep your hair and skin moisturized, and as it happens, they also have antimicrobial properties. More specifically, there are the Capric and Lauric acids, some of the most powerful antimicrobial agents found in nature (they are even found in breast milk and prevent infants from getting infections).

    As you can guess, these properties help to clear your skin of any unwanted external agents and bacteria that have clogged it up. When these acids are used on the skin, they are converted to Monocaprin and Monolaurin, contributing to the replacement of the basic protective layer on your skin (generally torn away by vigorous washing). As a matter of fact, eating the oil will have a similar effect, though applying it topically is a bit more effective.
  • Second of all, we have vitamins A, E and K, all of which are found in generous quantities in all coconuts, and as you can guess, coconut oil. Vitamin A helps to regulate your skin shedding bring it to normal levels, making sure your cells don’t fall too often.

    This will ensure that no unprepared skin cells are exposed to hazardous agents. To get the most out of the vitamin A though, it is recommended you eat the oil for applying it topically will deprive it of the internal process which makes it effective.

    When it comes to vitamin E, its role consists of helping the sebum glands to function properly, clearing any blockages that may be harming them. In other words, this is an ingredients which can help you treat the actual cause of acne, affecting the main root of the problem rather than just its symptoms.

    While we’re on topic, it is recommended that you consume lots and lots of vitamin E, whether through food or supplements, to shorten your battle against acne.

    To finish things off with the vitamins, the vitamin K, rather close to potassium in its composition (something the coconut oil is full of as well) has for main purpose the protection and maintenance of your body’s integrity. This means it is dotted with rather powerful antimicrobial properties, reducing the likelihood of suffering from any infections.
  • Finally, the last type of ingredient heavily present in coconuts is the anti-inflammatory. This is the reason why the coconut oil feels so soothing when applied to your skin; it contains agents that, when absorbed, start acting immediately and reduce the amount of inflammation in your body. If you apply it topically, the relief will be local and mostly external, but if you consume it, the anti-inflammatories will be able to affect your whole body.

Making your Selection of Coconut Oil

Needless to say, if you are going to be using coconut oil for acne, then you should try and get the best one possible in terms of quality. How can you determine that? Well, there are unrefined and crude oils which you should steer away from; they are not completely “sanitary” and may actually contain ingredients that will further block your sebum glands and worsen the problem. What you want to go for is virgin organic coconut oil; it costs more, but has absolutely zero drawbacks whatsoever while being bursting at the seams with health benefits.

Keep in mind what was said at the beginning though; it will mostly help treat your symptoms, and it is unlikely that coconut oil for acne alone will help you permanently get rid of the condition. You have to attack the problem from multiple angles, and think of the oil as something to tide you over for however long you need, until you find a solution.

I recommend that you consume it and apply it topically as well to reap all the benefits it has for you. The results do vary from person to person and take a bit of time to manifest themselves, so you may have to arm yourself with a bit of patience.

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