Coconut Oil for Acne by Dr. Sara Detox

Coconut Oil for Acne – Can It Really Help?

April 25, 2019

When it comes to acne, I’m no stranger. I struggled with acne in high school, university, and Naturopathic Medical school.

Acne affects people of all ages. Approximately 80% of people are affected by acne at some point in their lifetime.

It develops when sebum and dead skin cells block hair follicles.

Like me, most acne sufferers are willing to try anything.

I used Proactiv for a long time (along with antibiotics and other acne medications). While these treatments helped for a short while, the acne always came back (with a vengeance).

I knew I was masking a deeper underlying issue, so eventually I went to see a Naturopathic Doctor.

My ND put me on a cleanse, cleaned up my diet, and helped re-balance my gut flora with probiotics.

Cleaning up my diet was the hardest. I repeatedly heard from dermatologists that acne had nothing to do with food.

Boy were they wrong!

My acne had EVERYTHING to do with what I was eating.

A diet high in sugar and fast food can trigger gut inflammation, which can lead to skin inflammation.

I had inflammation because I was living off sugary treats, burgers, fries, and Diet Coke.

My diet was horrible.

Since I was a fitness instructor who was at the gym 7 days a week, I felt like I could eat whatever I wanted.

Boy was I wrong!

Now, let’s chat about coconut oil for acne. Because …

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been asked about using coconut oil for acne.

Raw, unrefined coconut oil can help (but it may not be right for your skin).

When it comes to acne, it’s important to identify the underlying root cause. The root of the problem can be gut inflammation, hormonal imbalance, Candida overgrowth, or a food intolerance.

Coconut oil is popular because it works to re-balance the oils in the skin. While it doesn’t work for everybody, many people swear by its ability to fight acne-causing bacteria.

Let’s figure out what makes coconut oil so unique.

Firstly, coconut oil carries anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. This is mainly due to Lauric acid – the medium chain fatty acid that is found in coconut oil.

Lauric acid is the most potent anti-microbial agent among the three medium chain fatty acids that make up coconut oil.

One study evaluated Lauric acid’s ability to kill Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes), which is the main bacteria responsible for causing inflammatory acne.1

What researchers found was very interesting.

When Lauric acid was released directly into the bacterial membranes of P. acnes, it demonstrated strong anti-microbial effects killing off the bacteria that was present.

Skin not only cleared within a short period of time, the coconut oil managed to prevent future breakouts.

While medicated creams and topical ointments work for some people, these can dry out the skin and cause more oil production.

Coconut oil is often used in place of acne creams and ointments because it doesn’t trick the body into thinking there isn’t enough oil being produced.

Rather than stripping the skin of moisture, a small amount of coconut oil is often used to re-balance the skin’s natural oils.

As an added bonus, coconut oil does not contain benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid. These can lead to fine lines and premature aging.

If you decide to try coconut oil on your skin, leave a comment down below and let me know your thoughts.

I love using it on my skin, and maybe you will too.


Dr.Sara Celik
Dr. Sara Celik is a board-certified Naturopathic Doctor and is the Spokesperson for Renew Life Canada. She is a leader in the health and wellness industry and is regularly featured as a sought-after expert on television programs and in health publications. Dr. Sara carries over 15 years experience and her private practice and work in the community is focused on digestive health, detoxification, and clinical nutrition.
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