How Effective is Coconut Oil for Dry Skin?
There has been a lot of hype about using coconut oil for dry skin, and it doesn’t look like this fad is going anywhere. In fact, it’s not just dry skin. Die-hard fans of coconut oil swear the product can be used to treat acne, soothe inflammation, and provide a host of other health benefits.
While it’s certainly true coconut oil has moisturizing properties, the big picture is far more complicated. Here’s everything you need to know about using coconut oil for dry skin.
Popular Claims About Using Coconut Oil for Dry Skin
Many people who hear the claims about coconut oil want those claims to be true. And who can blame them? How great would it be if you could discover the solution to all your skin woes in a single, all-natural ingredient?
And at first glance, the science behind these claims seems reasonable. Coconut oil is easily absorbed and contains emollients that help fill cracks in your dry skin. It also contains eight different fatty acids that may support your skin barrier. Using coconut oil could help trap moisture against your skin.
So there’s no question that this popular plant oil provides certain moisturizing benefits to the skin. And it’s based on this information that many people point to coconut oil as an easy solution for dry skin.
But is it really as miraculous as people say it is? How do you use it? And are there any risks?
Can You Use Coconut Oil for Dry Skin on Your Face?
While coconut oil can be an effective makeup remover, it’s not a great facial moisturizer.
You see, coconut oil is greasy and highly comedogenic. That means there is an incredibly high risk of clogged pores and acne if you apply coconut oil to your face. If you do use coconut oil to remove makeup, make sure you also use a gentle cleanser afterward to prevent oil from settling in your pores.
If you do choose to experiment with coconut oil for dry skin, stick to the body only. It’s also a good idea to choose one small area first to see how your skin reacts before slathering your entire body in oil. (More on that later.)
Can Coconut Oil Treat Eczema and Psoriasis?
The first thing to know is that there currently is no cure for eczema and psoriasis. However, Delfina Skin Dry Skin Oil has proven to provide effective relief for thousands of people who suffer from these conditions.
So it’s not really a matter of whether or not coconut oil can cure these conditions, but whether it can successfully ease the symptoms.
There are eczema and psoriasis sufferers who report finding relief from itch and dryness by using coconut oil as a topical treatment. In addition to its moisturizing benefits, the oil has anti-inflammatory properties thanks to the lauric acid it contains. This is a fatty acid with a proven track record for reducing inflammation.
However, coconut oil has not proven to be a universally effective treatment. In fact some individuals experience an allergic reaction to coconut oil. As a result, the product intended to alleviate symptoms actually causes flare-ups. This is why we encourage you to test coconut oil on a small section of skin before applying it to your entire body.
The Risks of Treating Dry Skin with Coconut Oil
Other than the risk of an allergic reaction, are there any major downsides to using coconut oil for dry skin?
We’ll put it this way. Coconut oil is generally harmless. You are unlikely to cause permanent damage to your skin by applying it topically.
But that doesn’t mean it’s your best option for treating dry skin.
For one thing, not all coconut oil is created equal. Only extra virgin coconut oil contains all the fatty acids essential for reaping the moisturizing benefits of this product. Many people make the mistake of grabbing the cheapest option on the shelf and wind up with refined coconut oil—a far less effective option.
Many people also make a surprising discovery as they use coconut oil for dry skin over a long period of time. While the lauric acid contained in the oil allows for deep penetration and softer skin, it may throw off your skin’s physiology.
When you apply oil so dense in fatty acids, your skin gets the message that you’re already getting all the moisture you need. In response, your skin slows its own production of sebum. To put it another way, your skin pulls back on its standard self-moisturizing process. Because of this reaction, coconut oil can actually dry out your skin with the regular application over time.
Don’t Forget About Skin Nutrition
Finally, it’s important to note that when you use coconut oil for dry skin, you get a lot of fats without nutrition. For the vitamins and minerals that keep skin healthy, you have to look elsewhere.
Rosehip oil is naturally loaded with vitamin A, a nutrient that supports immune function. Sea buckthorn is another powerful ingredient for skincare, as it contains the carotenoids to protect the skin from UV rays and promote a bright, toned complexion.
So, what’s the verdict? What does all this information mean when it comes to using coconut oil for dry skin?
In short, coconut oil can serve as an effective moisturizer, but it’s not for everybody, and it’s not a long-term solution. This so-called miracle oil can pull off some impressive feats as a single-ingredient solution. But it can’t beat natural products specifically formulated for human skin.
Like coconut oil, it penetrates to the deeper layers of your skin. But it won’t ever dry you out, and it contains nutrient-rich ingredients, such as rosehip and sea buckthorn.
Whatever solution you choose, remember that your skin is with you forever. Don’t let fad treatments distract you from the nutritional needs of your epidermis. The effort you put into nourishing your skin now pays off for a lifetime.