No doubt that coconut oil has many good effects on our skin. Many studies prove that coconut oil is one of the best natural skin care you can get, because :
- It can moisturize our skin deeper and longer than the average products.
- Contains acids that kill candida, which responsible for fungal infection on our skin.
- It has an ability to remove the dead skin cells while absorbing quickly into our skin.
- Contains vitamin E which needed to protect our skin cells from any damage.
But now some people have complaints that coconut oil has side effects that lead to clogging pores and a darker skin. Is that true?
Let’s start with the nature of coconut oil itself.
Coconut oil is categorized as a fairly comedogenic product, which has a high risk in clogging pores. Even if it is comedogenic, it does not mean that this oil is the main cause of the clogged pores. This clogged pores problem affected by another factor : the skin type.
Large pores or Oily skin
Clogged pores occur when the dead skin cells, bacteria and natural skin oil are blocked in. People with large pores have more risk to get clogged, if they use the coconut oil as their face moisturizer and even worse, if they did not exfoliate the skin first. The large pores are usually belong to oily skin.
In the opposite, skin with small pores has less risk of getting clogged pores. It is because they are not big enough to hold the debrises (such as skin cells, bacteria and natural skin oil) so that the amount of debrises have no , or at least only small place to enter the pores and being clogged in. This small pores usually belong to dry skin type.
Although it is comedogenic, people with all types of skin still can get benefits from coconut oil with less risk of getting clogged pores, if:
- Exfoliating the skin is a must before using coconut oil. It helps to reduce the risk
- If the use of coconut oil as face moisturizer seems clog the skin pores, you can simply change the treatment. Use the coconut oil only as your cleanser, leave it on for few minutes before you rinse and dry it.
The second issue is that coconut oil darkens our skin. For your information, applying oil itself cannot make the skin darken.
The darkening skin may occur as the result from a phenomenon called photosensitivity. This phenomenon happens when our skin becomes abnormally too sensitive to the ultraviolet (UV) rays and causes a high risk of getting sun burn and hyper pigmentation that lead to darkening skin. There are some essential oils that have a high risk of increasing photosensitivity such as : angelica, orange, tangerin, lime, grapefruit etcetera; coconut oil is not included with those high risk essential oils, but it may (although very rarely) cause the photosensitivity.
The other reason why the skin is getting darken is the UV rays itself, it occurs if you are spend time in the sun more than recently. You may do not notice because you only focus on the skin care you are using (and in this case is coconut oil), and ignore the other causes.
Your habit in using sunscreen also may be the cause. You may do not use the sunscreen when you see the sun has not really been out all day or the day is cloudy. But you have to know that you don’t have to stand under the sun with its ray is in the maximum heat to get a tan. UV rays are present even if the weather is cloudy, since the cloud only reduces 30% of UV, and the other 70% still affects your skin and darkens your skin.
- Use your sunscreen when you go out, even if the weather looks cloudy and the sun seems has not really been out.
So, coconut oil may (although very rare) lead to the clogged pores or (even more very rare) darken the skin, but it never be the main cause of clogging pores or darkening skin itself. Some factors are included and each factor has its solution.