coconut oil

El aceite de coco

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Coconut oil, like many non-aromatic plant oils, has some fabulous benefits for dry skin. Recently, coconut oil has been advertised as a solution for everything from acne to replacing sunscreen (!!!).

Let's take a look at what this hydrating ingredient can (and can't) do to your skin.

What Exactly is Coconut Oil? and What are its Benefits?

Coconut oil is a common cosmetic ingredient, found in hundreds of hair conditioning products and facial moisturizers. When used alone or when mixed into a skin care product, coconut oil is a great moisturizing ingredient for dry skin. In aesthetic terms, coconut oil is similar to mineral oil, although coconut oil is much more likely to deteriorate more easily from exposure to air and light due to its fatty acid content (Sources: www.naturaldatabase. com ) .

Coconut oil is a non-volatile oil from the nut of the plant. “Non-volatile” means it is not a fragrance/essential oil and has a low risk of irritating the skin. Coconut oil is a moderately rich source of fatty acids, also known as medium chain triglycerides.

We have heard rumors that coconut oil can work as a natural sunscreen (!!!) and is beneficial for treating acne. Let's take a closer look at these claims.

Does Coconut Oil Really Treat Acne?

All reports of using pure (meaning unrefined) coconut oil to cure acne are anecdotal, meaning we only have other people's experience, not solid research to go on.

However, there is a study showing that lauric acid , the main fatty acid in coconut oil, has antibacterial activity against the strain of acne bacteria, officially known as acne bacteria Propioni, or P. Acne, for short. Although one study is not everything to move forward and this research did not prove that lauric acid reduces or eliminates acne, it is still interesting.

It appears that when lauric acid from coconut oil is applied to the skin via liposomes (an ingredient delivery system), it fuses with the cell membrane of acne-causing bacteria, where it then releases its fatty acid. since the liposome dissolves, killing the bacteria that cause acne (Source: Biomateriales, 2009).

This is not the same as applying pure coconut oil to the skin, for example, the study does not address at any point the topical application of coconut oil (lauric acid only), or whether pure oil would produce results. similar in acne. We also have to consider that not everyone who has acne benefits from research-based topical antibacterial treatments. This is why there are so many acne treatment options.

To a certain extent, the idea of ​​using coconut oil for acne has “its tipping point” offering a possibility, since at its core, acne is an inflammatory disorder. Coconut oil contains medium chain triglycerides (fatty acids) which have an anti-inflammatory benefit.

On the other hand, despite the potential benefits of coconut oil, some fatty acids have the opposite effect, potentially worsening acne breakouts. Instead of using pure coconut oil, consider other products that contain anti-inflammatory ingredients much more appropriate for all skin types (as well as follow their application methods to obtain maximum benefits).

Is Coconut Oil a Natural Sunscreen?

Coconut oil has a growing reputation as a natural ingredient that can be used in place of regular sunscreen, but don't fall for it. Some health websites advise consumers to apply extra virgin (minimally processed) coconut oil instead of SPF, as it has been used by Pacific Islanders for “thousands of years.” years". This has been misinterpreted to indicate that the function of coconut oil is the same as that of a sunscreen.

We could go on and on about how ridiculous and dangerous this suggestion is (which is why folklore and anecdotal evidence cannot be true compared to scientific research that proves the facts), but we'll save you time with this brief summary. : There is no scientific evidence that coconut oil protects the skin against sun damage , none, zero, nothing at all. You may choose to follow the lead of some well-intentioned natural websites, but we assure you that your skin will be in danger.

If you want to use coconut oil, extra virgin, cold pressed or not, for the improvement of dry skin or to add a sexy glow to your legs, go for it. But if your skin is exposed to UV light, you'll need to apply a well-formulated sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher on top to ensure you're actually protecting your skin. 


Coconut oil, like many non-aromatic plant oils, is a wonderful ingredient for adding hydration to dry skin.

Although it lacks the sophisticated repair and antioxidant functions to heal damaged skin (or function as an “anti-aging” ingredient), it is an ideal option for the cold winter months, applying a few drops of said oil to your usual moisturizer.

Tips for use: Try warming a small amount in the palm of your hands and then mix it with your SPF-free moisturizer or serum (or simply apply it directly to the skin when necessary, under your day or night moisturizer).