Coconut Oil for Oily Skin

Coconut oil has a long history of being a skin-care treatment.

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One of the first questions women have concerning their oily skin is how to stop the oil. You can't. You can cleanse your skin as often as you like, but you can't do a thing to prevent oil production from working overtime. Coconut oil, cold-pressed from ripe coconut meat, has been used for many generations as a natural beauty product for dry skin. The question then is whether or not coconut oil works its magic on oil-prone complexions.

Oily Skin

Your body is covered from head to foot with hairs, the vast majority of them virtually invisible to the naked eye. Each hair grows from a tiny pit in your skin, or follicle. Inside each pit is a sebaceous gland that produces sebum -- an oily substance that keeps your skin lubricated. Regrettably, when your sebaceous glands start churning out excess oil, your complexion can develop large pores, a greasy sheen, pimples, papules and pustules.

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While coconut oil's use as a skin treatment is grounded in centuries of tradition, most of its street cred is as a skin moisturizer for dry skin conditions. A 2004 study conducted at the Makati Medical Center in the Philippines indicated that extra-virgin coconut oil is an effective skin moisturizer for xerosis, a rough, itchy and scaly skin disorder. Organic Facts says it's used for other specific dry skin problems, including psoriasis and eczema. Although coconut oil does possess both lubricating and astringent actions -- the ideal marriage for oil-prone complexions -- there is little, if any, evidence to verify its ability to safely and effectively treat oily skin.

Usage

If you want to try coconut oil for yourself, when selecting raw coconut oil, choose one labeled "extra virgin." That means that the product was bottled after the first pressing, and the oil contains more nutrients than oil from subsequent pressings. While you can cook with coconut oil, its properties become adulterated when heated. For maximum results, use raw, unheated coconut for consumption and topical use. Simply pour a few drops into the palm of your hand, and apply it to your fabulous face.

Considerations

Generally recognized as safe, on rare occasions, consuming coconut oil may cause stomach upset and bloating. It also may be too heavy for oily skin, creating more of an unwanted greasy look. Watch out for local skin irritation, too. Although allergic skin reactions usually subside within an hour or two, no one wants a case of hives on top of unsightly oily-sheen buildup.

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