Coconut oil has gained popularity since the last few years because of its multitude of health benefits from lowering LDL cholesterol and supporting heart health to improving brain function in Alzheimer’s patient, coconut oil has been linked to amazing health benefits. It also has some amazing benefits for the skin health, this article explains the skin benefits of coconut oil which are backed by science:
Coconut oil has antibacterial properties:
Coconut oil contains medium chain fatty acids; these are known for their antimicrobial and anti-bacterial properties. This is especially helpful for skin health because it can help kill microbes from attacking the skin and causing skin infections. The antibacterial properties of coconut oil are brought about by its Lauric acid content which makes up about 50% of its fatty acid content.
Applying coconut oil directly to the skin can help fight off skin infections. One study tested the effect of 25 different kinds of fatty acids on 30 different kinds of bacteria, it found that Lauric acid was the most effective in stopping the growth of bacteria.
Another study found that Lauric acid can kill off the bacteria that is responsible for inflammatory acne. Coconut acid also contains Capric acid, although to a lesser amount compared to Lauric acid, it still plays an important role in fighting off bacteria.
Coconut oil has anti-inflammatory properties:
Chronic inflammation is responsible for a number of skin conditions including eczema, contact dermatitis and psoriasis. Coconut oil has anti-inflammatory properties and can reduce inflammation.
In one study, researchers applied coconut oil on the inflamed ears of rats, they found that not only did it reduced inflammation but also helped relieve the pain. The antioxidants found in the coconut oil help in reducing inflammation. These help and fight off inflammation by neutralizing the free radicals in the body
One 2013 animal study fed rats three different kinds of oil including coconut oil, olive oil and sunflower oil, by the end of this 45 days long study, researchers found that the group that was fed coconut oil had the greatest improvement in its antioxidant status and prevented oxidative stress to the greatest extent.
Coconut oil can treat acne:
It is a common believe that coconut oil can block pores and can lead to acne but numerous studies and research shows that coconut oil actually helps in treating acne.
Acne is actually an inflammatory condition and much of the medications helped to treat acne actually work by reducing and targeting inflammation. The contents of coconut oil help treat acne because of its anti-inflammatory properties. The antibacterial properties of coconut oil also help reduce and treat acne.
Different studies have found that coconut oil is very effective in treating acne given its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties due to Lauric and Capric acid. For best results, coconut oil should be applied directly on the skin at the effected areas.
Coconut oil is an excellent moisturizer:
Coconut oil outside its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties has some great hydration benefits. One study compared the effects of applying coconut oil on skin with mineral oil, that has petroleum in it and is known for its hydrating and moisturizing properties. The two-week study found that coconut oil significantly improved hydration and was as effective as mineral oil in moisturising the skin.
Coconut oil also is helpful in treating Eczema, a condition that is categorized by scaly ,itchy skin. One study compared the effect of applying coconut oil with olive oil on skin in patients with eczema and found that coconut oil was very helpful in treating dryness along with treating eczema. This study was conducted on 52 adults.
Another study found that coconut oil lead to 62% reduction in the severity of eczema, making it more effective in treating eczema then mineral oil. Keeping skin hydrated helps in preserve its function acting as a barrier against bacteria and promote scar healing and overall maintain its integrity.
While coconut oil is wonderful for skin, some people might not benefit from it as much. People with sensitive or oily skin might not benefit from it in summer specially. It could block pores and cause black heads. As with many other things, trial and error is the best approach for people with sensitive and oily skin to determine if coconut oil is suitable for them or not.
Try applying coconut oil on a little patch of skin at first and see how it goes. Also for topical use, virgin coconut oil is the best, if applying coconut oil does not work for you, you can surely incorporate it in your diet and enjoy its benefits.
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