Coconut oil has long stuck around in a multitude of beauty products—from skincare to haircare to makeup to body wash. On top using it on its own as a cleanser, moisturizer, a hair mask, and even gargling it in our mouths to get rid of some nasty plaque—coconut oil feels indispensable to the quintessential beauty routine.
The question to ask is, could it be doing us more harm than good?
In light of some controversial knowledge of its internal uses, this little conundrum might call for speedier answers than ever before. Thankfully, Dr. Douglas Grose, President of the Cosmetic Physicians College of Australasia (CPCA), has had the following insights to offer in response:
1. The Problem With Oil
Coconut oil is a vegetable oil that is comedogenic—to translate, it blocks pores on your skin and thus gives rise to acne and blackheads. Dr. Grose thus recommends that people prone to such conditions avoid coconut oil, and offers glycerine (and its by-products) and Jojoba oil as alternatives for oil-lovers that take great pains with facial care.
2. Consider Your ‘Type’
Anyone who has naturally oily skin, on top of acne, rosacea, and seborrhoea problems should take care to avoid coconut oil amidst their routines, so advises Dr. Grose. Contrarily, people with very dry skin or conditions such as eczema and xerosis may opt to keep it, having the potential to benefit immensely from coconut oil. This, however, also applies to an array of other common oils specially designed to moisturize the skin.
3. Body Matters
While facial skin differs significantly from skin on the rest of the boy (particularly in hair follicle density and oil gland concentration), Dr. Grose posits a risk to breaking out even by applying coconut oil to parts of the body other than the face. With that being said, the body deserves just as much discretion.
4. Dry Woes
If you’re suffering from eczema or recurrently dry and itchy skin, Dr. Grose advises enlisting the insight of a medical expert in the business of dealing with such complications. It may prove problematic to simply deem coconut oil a cure-all panacea, and an expert opinion will promise a more effective solution in the long run. “Dry itchy skin is a medical problem and should be managed by doctors, not by using home remedies,” he dourly reminds.