The Truth About Coconut Oil in Skincare
As a team, we felt it was important to share some insight about coconut oil, because we see it all the time in the eco-beauty space. Coconut oil has its uses, but it’s not as black and white as simply being a “miracle ingredient.” We asked our Product Development lead, Madi Taggart, to weigh in with her thoughts.
Dispelling the “Miracle Ingredient” Myth
Why You Should Think Twice About Using Coconut Oil on Your Face
It makes sense that the green beauty community hopped on the coconut oil bandwagon — after all, coconut oil is known for its hydration properties. But it’s on the cellular level that things get complicated. Coconut oil is high on the comedogenic scale, meaning that it tends to cause breakouts by blocking pores. Instead of integrating and being absorbed by your skin, coconut oil sits on top, acting like a barrier and failing to penetrate pores. The comedogenic scale rates substances from 1 to 5 (least to most pore-blocking), and coconut oil rings in at a 4. Olive oil, by comparison, is rated a 2 — a lower rating on the scale signifies that the product will not clog the pores of an average person, while a 4 indicates the opposite… it’s going to cause a lot of breakouts. Now imagine the effects of pore-blocking substances on acne-prone skin. Coconut oil acts as an occlusive moisturizer, trapping moisture (and bacteria) beneath the skin and further aggravating existing blemishes.
Can I Use Coconut Oil on My Body Instead?
How You Should Use Coconut Oil
Just because coconut oil isn’t a great fit for your facial skincare regimen, that doesn’t mean Mother Nature hasn’t given this ingredient other miracle uses. Here are a few of our favorite ways to bring coconut oil into our self-care routine:
Deep Conditioning for Hair
Coconut oil is high in lauric acid, which is known for its antibacterial properties and skin-feeding antioxidants, which counteract skin damage and free radicals. Lauric acid’s molecular structure increases its ability to penetrate hair shafts, making it an excellent choice for preventing protein loss in your tresses.
Since it’s so high in saturated fat, coconut oil traps water within the skin and improves the skin barrier. Try replacing your shaving cream with a thin layer of coconut oil to hydrate and moisturize while you stay silky smooth.
Other Plant Oils as Problem-Solvers
Coconut oil might not be the best choice for a facial skincare regimen, but there are a wealth of other oil products that offer hydrating benefits that you can add to your arsenal. Here are a few of our favorites:
- Face Oil — If you’re looking for moisturizing benefits, start here. You’ll definitely want a primer that’s low on the comedogenic scale, and our Facial Oil works wonders for your makeup prep. For dry skin or a dewier makeup look, use 1-2 pumps; for a satin to matte finish, massage into damp skin after you shower or cleanse.
- Cleansing Oil — Besides being a gentle, nourishing cleanser for your face, our Cleansing Oil can also be used while shaving. Shaving with oil promotes a closer, smoother shave, and the healing and antibacterial properties of the plant-based oils we use help to reduce irritation, promote healthy hair follicles and moisturize skin.
- Antioxidant Balm — This balm acts as a protective barrier without irritating skin underneath; you can use this anywhere on your body that needs a little extra moisture. Our balm melts into your skin on contact and absorbs quickly, leaving skin nourished and velvety soft with the subtle scent of bergamot, neroli and rose.
- Face Polish — Mineral Sea Salt gently exfoliates the skin while our cleansing oil blend pulls impurities to the surface without any harsh stripping. What you get is the harmony of natural ingredients at their best.
- Tea Tree Oil — If you’re prone to blemishes or skin irritation, it’s worth investing in this ancient oil. Tea tree oil is widely available and has been used as traditional medicine by the Aborigines for hundreds of years. Its natural anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties fight acne at the source.