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On one hand, some medical experts believe that coconut oil can treat acne because it contains lauric acid, a medium-chain fatty acid that has strong antimicrobial properties.
They also argue that coconut oil has anti-inflammatory properties, so it can soothe the skin and stop the inflammation associated with acne. It can also reduce acne scarring.
Studies also show that lauric acid can kill bacteria that cause acne.
However, other medical experts disagree with the use of coconut oil as a treatment for acne because they believe it could worsen the condition. They also warn that coconut oil may not benefit all skin types and might cause allergic reactions in some people.
Experts also point out that studies on coconut oil have mainly focused on lauric acid. They argue that coconut oil research should focus on its other components because they might have unknown side effects.
Thus, more research is needed to confirm whether coconut oil is effective for acne treatment.
Opinion in favor of using coconut oil to treat acne:
Experts who support the use of coconut oil for acne claim that regular application of coconut oil on the skin can treat acne. This is because coconut oil contains high amounts of lauric acid, a medium-chain fatty acid (MCFA) that has powerful antimicrobial effects. Lauric acid can also help kill the bacteria that cause acne.
Some studies indicate that the lauric acid in coconut oil has antimicrobial properties that can help treat acne. The study titled, “The antimicrobial activity of liposomal lauric acids against Propionibacterium acnes” compared how different types of fatty acids (lauric acid, palmitic acid, and oleic acid) responded to bacteria that causes acne.
The results of the study showed that lauric acid had the strongest effect against the acne-causing bacteria Propionibacterium acnes.
Furthermore, healthcare experts point out that coconut oil has anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce inflammation because it contains antioxidants. These antioxidants help fight acne by stabilizing the free radicals in the body and neutralizing the reactive atoms that increase inflammation.
Many medical experts oppose the use of coconut oil for acne treatment. They maintain that coconut oil is highly comedogenic so it may clog the skin’s pores. This can lead to more breakouts that may make the acne even worse.
Plus, healthcare experts argue that coconut oil isn’t suitable for all skin types. They do not recommend coconut oil to people who have oily skin because it might make their skin greasier, clog their pores, and increase acne breakouts.
Other experts are wary of using coconut oil to treat acne because the existing research does not fully support the theory that coconut oil is beneficial for acne. Experts point out that the studies on the therapeutic benefits of using coconut oil as a potential treatment for acne only examine pure lauric acid, which makes up only 50% of the fatty acids in coconut oil while ignoring other components that might cause harm.
Dr. Shari Marchbein M.D., a New York City-based dermatologist, agrees with this claim. She argues that these studies do not accurately represent whether or not coconut oil is beneficial for acne because the studies do not look at the other fatty acids in coconut oil, which may cause negative side effects if used for acne treatment.
Furthermore, some individuals have tried using coconut oil to treat acne and posted videos about their results online. However, they reported that coconut oil caused their skin to break out even more.
Coconut oil may not work for some individuals for several reasons. First, coconut oil may not benefit all skin types, especially people who have oily skin. Second, if people apply large amounts of coconut oil to their face, they might clog their pores. Third, some people may have coconut-related allergies, so coconut oil might irritate their skin.