Is Coconut Oil Safe To Use On Your Skin?

Last year saw a lot of debate regarding coconut oil when Havard professor Karin Michels claimed that it was "pure poison," challenging the superfood status bestowed on it by food bloggers and the media.

But nutrition aside, you may have questions about whether coconut oil can be applied on your skin. After all, the oil is natural, hydrating, and antimicrobial — the perfect mix of qualities, right?

Not so fast. While you may have come across anecdotes about coconut oil clearing acne, experts advise caution as we do not have strong evidence to back up this supposed benefit yet. In fact, there is a good reason why people with oily skin should avoid using it on their face.

While coconut oil is hydrating, this takes place by trapping moisture under the skin, which means the pores are clogged. Excess oil is one of the main contributors to acne, so this simply worsens your problem.

"If you use coconut oil — or any oil for that matter — on acne-prone skin, you are up a creek without a paddle. No one with acne should be putting oil on their skin," Neal Schultz, founder of Beauty Rx, told Refinery 29. Instead, try oil-free moisturizers and lotions when you have oily or combination skin, especially if the weather is on the hotter side.

Alright, but how about using it as a natural makeup remover? It may work for some individuals as long as it is thoroughly rinsed off. But experts say there are better alternatives you can look into. 

"I would just use it around the eyes as there are no oil glands and switch to better oils to remove makeup on the face — like Argan oil and Safflower oil," Nicolas Travis, founder of skincare brand Allies of Skin, told Cosmopolitan.

Nevertheless, if you would like to include coconut oil in your regime, consider using it to moisturize your nails and your body, making sure it stays away from your facial pores.

Dry skin, of course, could definitely benefit from the properties of this oil which traps moisture and can penetrate the skin thanks to the presence of certain fatty acids. With that being said, is it a good idea to use it as a home remedy for a nasty sunburn?

The answer largely depends on the timing. Initially, simply stick to using a cold, damp towel on the affected area for 10 to 15 minutes every day. According to Women's Health Mag, coconut oil can be used once the burn has calmed down, usually after two days or so. Just make sure to not apply too much of it as it could hinder the ability of the body to release heat, the website added.