Why Not to use Coconut Oil for Acne

Coconut oil is the new wonder oil!  On the internet coconut oil can cure everything from diaper rash to balding!  Coconut oil for acne is not a perfect fit.  


Lauric Acid is the Reason You Do Not Want to Use Coconut Oil for Acne

Coconut oil is about 50% lauric acid. Even though studies find lauric acid kills acne causing bacteria 15 times better than benzoyl peroxide based on a 2009 study in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology.   Lauric Acid  is also a heavy comedogenic oil.  Applying large amounts of coconut oil to the skin for acne sufferers can slow cellular turn over and over balancing the sebum that the body is already producing.  This can cause congestion in the skin that leads to acne. 

For all coconut oils wonderful properties, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and ability to help stop the skin's water loss, it just is not a perfect cure for all acne sufferers.  While the topical use of coconut oil can disturb the delicate acid mantle of many acne sufferers eating it can be a bonus!

Eating Coconut Oil Can Be Helpful in Reducing Acne

Eating coconut oil can actually decrease acne.  Much of what causes acne is the inflammation of the gut itself.  Unrefined coconut oil is one of the "cleanest" oils on the market with low rancidity and contamination.   Diet is the most important aspect in cleaning up acne, especially if it is cystic.

Getting rid of sugar, white flour and processed foods, reduces inflammation of the whole body including the skin.  Next it is time to increase probiotics and fiber to keep the body flushing toxins. Dr. Axes does a wonderful job explaining the process.

Coconut oil for acne on some skin types may help while it may increase issues on others. It is always wise to test patch an area of skin before using a new product.  Unfortunately, coconut oil is not a miracle oil for everyone!  In my practice, I have found tea tree oil, black cumin seed oil, and argan oil to be effective acne fighting oils.

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Article Resources:


Antimicrobial property of lauric acid against Propionibacterium acnes: its therapeutic potential for inflammatory acne vulgaris.

Nakatsuji T1Kao MCFang JYZouboulis CCZhang LGallo RLHuang CM.

This is not intended to take the place of medical advice as I am not a doctor.  Please continue to research the solutions that are right for you.