So I feel like whenever a health or beauty trend appears all over social media, it inevitably will reach a point where all of a sudden self-proclaimed dermatologists, nutritionists and everything experts start popping up telling everyone it’s actually bad for them. Unfortunately, it appears as though our beloved coconut oil has reached that point, where I’ve been seeing tweets and Instagram posts and what not claiming all of the negative effects of coconut oil and how you ABSOLUTELY SHOULD NOT use it on your face. And it’s frustrating, because all of the claims I see are so incredibly false it’s not even funny.
Fear not friends. As a woman of science, I don’t get my information from social media posts made by strangers. I did the research, and I’m here to share it with you. Coconut oil is good for your skin.
Of course, everyone’s skin is different. But that is something that you must be weary of with every trendy beauty product: whether or not you may have some sort of allergy maybe, or even people with super oily skin would want to steer clear of putting any type of oil on their face. That doesn’t detract from the facts that support the hypothesis, which is that coconut oil contains many beneficial properties that help heal, moisturize, and even clean skin.
So the first painfully false claim I saw some twitter girl ranting about was that coconut oil “feeds the bacteria” on your face. First of all, what the hell does that even mean. Second of all, coconut oil has many antibacterial and antifungal properties, so….that statement is just simply incorrect.
According to an excerpt from the Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Medicine, written by Manisha DebMandal of the KPC Medical College and Hospital, Physiology and Biophysics department, and Shyamapada Mandal of Gurudas College Zoology Department, the kernel and water of the coconut fruit have “numerous medicinal properties” that include antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, and antiparasitic properties. ( https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1995764511600783 )
Coconut oil actually comes from something called copra. Copra is just another word for kernel, and we just read about all of the good stuff that’s in the coconut kernel.
Now the second argument about coconut oil was that it was a “sealant” meaning it’s not at all moisturizing and skin can’t absorb it. Oh my god I wanted to rip my beautiful split-end-free coconut oil treated hair out. Coconut oil is actually rich in something called lauric acid. According to Lisa Niven, beauty editor of Vogue UK, lauric acid not only contains the antibacterial properties we love but is also deeply hydrating. If a beauty editor isn’t good enough for you, studies have shown lauric acid can actually combat bacterias commonly found to cause acne : ( https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19665786 ) And yet again, another study supported the theory that coconut oil can very well hydrate the skin ( https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15724344 )
In a study performed on rats, coconut oil helped to ease inflammation of the little guys’ ears and relieve their pain (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20645831) . It is believed this happened due to the antioxidants found in coconut oil.
So there you are. I went and did the research, and I brought it here to ease your mind on all of the negative claims on coconut oil floating around the interweb. Don’t forget that products work differently on all different skin types, so just because someone else had a bad/good experience, that does not 100% guarantee the kind of experience you will have with it. You know your body better than anyone else, so make sure you gather sufficient research on a product before trying it for the first time. But the next time you see a tweet bashing our pride and joy coconut oil and don’t know who to believe, as Meredith Grey would say: Pick me. Choose me. LOVE ME (and coconut oil).