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Coconut Oil and Skin: Everything You Need to Know About It and Its Use on the Skin

From the replacement of butter in cooking to cleaning the mouth with oil, pulling and moisturizing the skin, there was a period when coconut oil was the hottest new trend. But its popularity began to plummet pretty rapidly, at least in the area of ​​beauty. Let me explain why coconut oil on the face may not be such a good idea.

The uses of coconut oil

In the last couple of years, coconut oil has been adored by DIY girls, who religiously added it to their homemade beauty masks and overall into the clean beauty movement, with its proponents using it to both remove makeup and moisturize their skin, and as protection from UVA and UVB rays. Here’s why you should not – to no small extent – follow their advice:

Coconut oil for face hydration

Coconut oil is extremely moisturizing while also having antimicrobial properties. However, it does not suit all skin types as it belongs to the list of comedogenic ingredients, i.e., those that tend to clog pores. So if you have oily or acne-prone skin, it is definitely a no go.

On the other hand, if you have dehydrated skin, coconut oil may be beneficial to you, as it can “lock-in” moisture, preventing transdermal water loss and strengthening the skin.

Coconut oil for sun protection

Coconut oil contains only a 4 to 5 SPF. The minimum SPF in sunscreen is  SPF 30. It is evident, then, that coconut oil offers no real protection against UVA and UVB, thus cannot be used – especially on an everyday basis.

Where can you use it then?

The best way to include coconut oil in your skincare routine is to use it as a cleanser. Like any oil, it can be used in the first step of double cleansing to “break down” makeup. This early on, it is not a big risk to the skin because it will be removed with a gel cleanser in the next step. It can also be beneficial for the body’s hydration if you do not suffer from acne on the back and chest. You can also use it to make a homemade mask for dry hair. Heat it lightly, apply it to the lengths and edges and leave the mask on for 20-30 minutes before bathing.

Coconut oil alternatives

If you want to replace coconut oil in your routine, I suggest you try jojoba and argan oils, which have anti-inflammatory properties and are ideal for both dry and oily skin. Alternatively, look for a good cleansing balm and a moisturizing face oil at the beauty counter.

Maria Printezi

Helsinki '24

I am a student of English Philology and Linguistics at the University of Helsinki.
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