Is coconut oil comedogenic? There are mixed reviews here – so what’s true?
In case you haven’t noticed, coconut oil IS a hype. Or rather, two hypes. See, it’s condemned in the skincare industry but revered in the body moisturizer world. Most estheticians are taught that there’s rarely an occasion where coconut oil should be used on the skin and to steer clear of any products that contain even the slightest amount. Why is it then, that coconut oil contains Lauric Acid, an important fatty acid that boasts antibacterial and anti-acne properties (Understanding the Comedogenic Scale for Oils and Butters)?
Before we get into the thick of it, let’s discuss a few things.
First off, let’s talk about the definition of comedogenic. According to Merriam-Webster, comedogenic means: “tending to clog pores especially by the formation of blackheads.” Okay, so that’s simple enough, but how do we know which ingredients are more likely to clog pores and create blackheads and which won’t? Dermatologists James Fulton and Albert Kligman tested ingredients using the “rabbit-ear-method" in the 1970’s and is still currently how we determine how comedogenic an ingredient is – i.e., how likely they are to block pores and cause blackheads. This is probably something we should know when choosing products to use on our faces!
However, we also need some context.
These scales are based on how oils interact with the skin on their own, without anything else mixed with them; a.k.a “neat”. This is a particularly important area of concern in the research. An article from Glowcoach states that, “A single ingredient may act differently than a mix of ingredients.” I mean, realistically, how often do we slather our face with any oil right out of the jar? These comedogenic scales do not reflect how comedogenic an oil is when combined with any other ingredients. Not only this, but the concentration of a specific ingredient is a crucial factor in comedogenicity – some ingredients can be a 4 on the comedeogenic scale at 100% concentration but only a 1 when diluted to 5%.
So what does this mean? Is oily skincare okay? Or even…good?
If you were using coconut oil “neat” (as a moisturizer on its own), you would be very susceptible to clogged pores. However, when you are using the Organic Apoteke line of products, you will not see excess lipid and dead skin cell build up that causes clogged pores because each product is multi-functional. For instance, the Active Face Cleanse Gel (formulated with acne/blemish prone and oily skinned clients in mind) is made up of many pore purifying and skin exfoliating ingredients. When used correctly and consistently, there should not be any excess lipid build up or build up of dead skin cells. Instead, the skin will be (and feel) refreshed and clarified!
“When it comes to taking care of oily, acne-prone skin, some people resort to deep purifying cleansers that strip the skin of all essential moisture,” Aguilar tells TZR. “This is one instance where one would benefit from coconut oil — either a coconut oil cleanser or a dab of coconut oil over your moisturizer could help relieve the skin of the stripped, tight dry feeling.”
While the latter is recommended as more of a temporary solution rather than for daily use, Aguilar maintains that coconut oil can provide the essential moisture needed to treat acne and decrease inflammation,” (The Zoe Report, March 2021, Quote from Natalie Aguilar - Celebrity Esthetician and Nurse Dermatologist).
Oily skin skin care products proven to work:
The formulation of Organic Apoteke (OA) products includes a minimal amount of carefully harvested and extracted organic coconut oil mixed with botanical waters allowing your skin to reap the anti-inflammatory and skin protective benefits of coconut oil without clogging your pores.
You can tell simply by feeling the consistency of Organic Apoteke products that it would be difficult for them to be comedogenic. They are fluid state skincare. They work with your body; with your skin to restore health naturally.
Once the skin is cleansed, the pineapple and papaya extracts along with green clay and dead sea mud in the Detox Face Mask provides a more intensive cleanse by drawing out impurities deeper in the skin, however the light amount of coconut oil and neem leaf extract strategically combined with witch hazel water keeps the skin moisturized to promote skin barrier function and wound healing. The Active Face Hydrating Gel further promotes this healing while also inhibiting new blemish formation.