Acne breakouts are basically an infection in your pores, the same way a wound can become infected when bacteria are introduced. Coconut Oil contains lauric acid, which has natural antibacterial properties.
According to dermatologist Dendy Engelman, MD, of Manhattan Dermatology And Cosmetic Surgery, “This fatty acid has been shown in a study to have anti-microbial, anti-fungal, and anti-inflammatory properties.”.
She advises to tread really carefully when trying this method since coconut is considered a 4 on the comedogenicity scale (this measures how pore-clogging an ingredient is, rated 0-5 with 5 being the most pore-clogging). “Now, it doesn’t mean you should swear off coconut oil,” Dr. Engelman says. “I love coconut oil as a makeup remover or as part of your cleansing routine.”
Coconut Oil isn’t for every skin type — especially when talking about the skin on your face, the most likely to experience a breakout. Though, those with very dry or very oily skin might benefit from coconut the most. If you have oily, acne-prone skin and tend to use aggressively astringent products to combat it, those can have the adverse effect of stripping your skin of its natural oils, prompting it to compensate by producing more oil, which can acne even more. It’s a vicious cycle that may just need a little oil to break.
Coconut Oil can mingle and bind with all that excess sebum and lipid-soluble (meaning able to be dislodged and lifted with oil) surface dirt, drawing out impurities from your pores as it nourishes your skin with vitamin E, omega-3 fatty acids, and lauric acid. The key is to then find a way to whisk off the oil, with your own sebum and impurities in tow.
The best way to work it is by massaging a tiny bit in between your hands to liquefy it, if it’s in its solid balm state (generally during the cooler months of the year) and massage onto your face, focusing on the areas of makeup you want to break up and dissolve (later, waterproof mascara!). Follow with a gentle cleanser that’ll help remove any oil without over-stripping your skin.