Coconut Oil: Why is it bad for our skin?
Everywhere you look, someone is trying to justify the use of coconut as the hip, new skincare routine. Whether is it in the form of an oil or balm, moisturizer or anti-aging substance, this new craze is NOT benefiting you. Sorry to break the news: Coconut oil and balms can ruin your skin!
Coconut oil can be especially harmful if you often suffer from acne. According to Cosmetic Chemist Jacine Greenwood, our skins really only requires three things for a balanced and maintained skin barrier: fatty acids, cholesterol, and ceramides. Vegetable oils, which include coconut oils, contains only fatty acids. The imbalance of the skin barrier causes a breakdown. This can cause the skin to become impaired: “Ointments used for a purpose. To deliver an active or pharmaceutical ingredient into the skin. They were not designed to be applied all over your face. Using oils and balms isn’t good for your skin at all and creates low-grade inflammation. This is one of the reasons those who use natural ingredients often seem to age overnight. Suddenly they hit their late forties because they have been using oils as their moisturizer their skin has had low-grade information for a long time. Inflammation ages you” (Greenwood).
This is not to prevent you from seeking natural remedies. Megan McIntyre from Refinery29 explains:
“I’ve been washing my face with nothing but raw honey for the past four months, and I use organic brands for the majority of my routine. But, when I tried cold-pressed, raw coconut oil both as a makeup remover and as a moisturizer, I wound up with one of the worst breakouts in the history of breakouts. Even after that, I gave it another shot on the off-chance that it was a fluke. Spoiler alert: It wasn’t” (McIntyre par. 4)
In an interview with Megan, Dr. Dennis Gross explains that, sure, coconut oil is known for being hydrating. However, “oil does not contain alcohols or silicones.” Bad news for those with acne! The root cause of acne is excess oil.
Okay, got it. Coconut oil is bad for your skin. What can you use all that oil you bought for now?
Unfortunately, coconut oil isn’t even good for cooking either. According to Walter C. Willett, M.D. “Coconut oil is about 90% saturated fat, which is a higher percentage than butter (about 64% saturated fat), beef fat (40%), or even lard (also 40%). Too much saturated fat in the diet is unhealthy because it raises “bad” LDL cholesterol levels, which increases the risk of heart disease.”
Not all saturated fats are necessarily bad for you; however, saturated fats are thought to contribute to plaque buildup in arteries, which can lead to serious heart disease over time. Talk about bad news!
You COULD use the coconut oil you bought for your hair, also long as you have a certain hair type. “Typically, those with fine to medium shiny hair will see good results from coconut oil and notice stronger, shinier hair with more volume. Those with coarse or dry hair may not struggle with low protein at all and coconut oil may lead to more brittle hair and hair loss” (Wells).
You may benefit more from other types of oil like marula oil or argan oil. In short, coconut oil is not all it’s hyped up to be. Though, it still smells AMAZING. Maybe make a nice candle? Just keep it off and out of your body.
Greenwood, Jacine. “Why Using Oils and Balms Are Actually Ruining Your Skin.” Educated Therapists, http://www.educatedtherapists.com/using-oils-balms-actually-ruining-skin/
McIntyre, Megan, and Ly Ngo. “I Hate Coconut Oil: Does That Make Me a Horrible Person?” Refinery29, www.refinery29.com/coconut-oil-moisturizer.
Wells, Katie. “Coconut Oil for Hair: When to Use & When You Shouldn’t.” Wellness Mama®, 16 Apr. 2018, wellnessmama.com/2162/coconut-oil-for-hair/.
Willett, Walter C. “Ask the Doctor: Coconut Oil and Health – Harvard Health.” Harvard Health Blog, www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/coconut-oil.