Updated: Nov 6, 2020
I must admit, I pretty much bathed myself in coconut when the coconut oil craze happened. Now that I've obtained my esthetics license and took a deeper dive into the skin care world, I have found that although coconut oil is a healthier option for cooking, it is not so great for your skin. Let's discuss 3 reasons to say "no" to coconut oil!
Coconut Oil is highly comedogenic.The comedogenic scale ranks oils and butters on its likeliness to clog pores. The scale ranges from 0 won't clog pores at all to 5, high likelihood to clog pores. Coconut oil thru many sources lists coconut oil at a 4 or 4.5 on the comedogenic scale. Individuals with acne prone skin already struggle with clogged pores and inflamed skin. Adding coconut oil to a skin care routine can further clog pores and increase acne.
Coconut oil has a moderate to slow absorption rate and a large molecular structure. Since the molecular size of coconut oil is larger than the pores, it just sits on top of the skin instead of truly moisturizing it. With the added slow absorption rate, it only adds to the oiliness of the skin instead of moisturizing the top layers of the skin.
Coconut Oil is too alkaline for the skin which negatively impacst your skin barrier. The pH is a measure of acid-based strength that ranges on a scale from 0-14. Acidic substances range in pH from 0-6,7 is neutral, and 8-14 is considered alkaline. The skin has a pH level of 4.5-5.5. Products that are either too acidic or too alkaline have the potential to irritate the skin. In order to reduce irritation to the skin, you should find products that have the same pH scale as the skin. Coconut oil has a pH of 8 which can erode the acid mantle over a long period of time. The acid mantle acts a natural barrier bacteria, viruses, and other potential contaminants that could penetrate the skin.
What oils are better than coconut oil for the skin?
Jojoba oil is excellent for the skin mainly because of how similar it is to human sebum (oil that we naturally produce which helps to lubricate and waterproofs the skin). Jojoba oil has a pH of about 4.5-5 which is the same pH as theskin. It also has anti-inflammatory properties and can help with skin repair for acne and can smooth skin conditions such as dermatitis.
Avocado Oil contains many vitamins, minerals, and linoleic acid. These are great for moisturizing the skin without clogging it.
Apricot Kernal Oil is listed as a 1 on the comedogenic scale. It also has a fast absorption rate, a smaller molecular size so that it can penetrate the skin to help moisturize, soften, and soothe the skin.
These are just a few recommendations, but there are a host of other oils that are far better for the skin than coconut oil. There are also many other factors as to why coconut oil is not great for the skin, but these are my top 3. I hope this article proved to be insightful encourages you to take coconut oil out of your skin care routine.