Coconut Oil for Acne Scars

Can Coconut Oil Help to Lessen Acne Scars?

If only I had known about all things coconut oil, when I was an awkward, acne- infused teenager!  The answer to the question is YES.  It doesn’t appear to be a fast worker (but then again, what ingredient in alternative health ever is??), but studies have shown that coconut oil can help reduce acne and lessen the scars that it leaves. It can be used on any other scars too.  

Who can forget that tough time in life, when our faces were covered with blackheads, whiteheads, and redness!  Acne can be a bit of a buzz kill, especially if you are a whole couple of seasons older now, and you still get bouts of it!

Acne affects your skin where there are hair follicles and sweat glands.  So that’s pretty much everywhere.  Acne conglobata is a severe form – where the inflammation doesn’t break through the skin and a sore cyst develops.  It is very painful as you may imagine!  The most common form of acne is acne vulgaris.  This shows up as red, inflamed, pus-filled spots that break through the skin.  When you have a bad breakout, it infiltrates the skin deeply, damaging the skin and the tissue beneath it.  Many people pick and squeeze and pop the pimples, causing more inflammation, and ultimately scarring.  The more inflammation there was on the skin, the more likely scarring will occur.  Scars can appear as small bumps on the skin, where an excess of collagen was formed to heal a scar.  

There are a few things that can actually make the scarring worse:

  • Exposing the affected skin to too much direct sunlight can decrease the chance of the scars fading.
  • Picking at the skin and excessive squeezing of the pimples can make the scarring more pronounced. The bacteria under our nails get introduced into the pimple making the inflammation harder to control and the collagen becomes more damaged.

Why use Coconut Oil for Scars?

Coconut oil has amazing antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. These features help reduce the amount of bacteria found on the skin and thereby reduce inflammation.  

Coconut oil is very rich in lauric acid. This substance is antimicrobial and protects against the bacteria that is primarily responsible for acne.

According to the Journal of investigative dermatology, a study was done in 2009 that found that lauric acid in coconut oil, had the potential to be more effective than antibiotics in the treatment of acne vulgaris. (1)

How to Apply Coconut Oil to Scars

Coconut oil for acne scars

Coconut oil is very effective at moisturizing the skin, and it is recommended that it become part of a continued regimen to help reduce the effects of scarring.   

Coconut oil doesn’t work for everyone, but there does appear to be plenty of people who claim that it certainly is very effective in its treatment against acne and the scarring left in its wake.  You can try coconut oil on its own, or in combination with other ingredients.

For example:

  • Plain Coconut oil for scars:  take a little bit of the coconut oil onto your fingertips and using circular motions on clean skin, massage the oil in.  You could either leave it on your skin for 5-10 mins and then rinse off, or you can safely leave the oil on your skin overnight.
  • Coconut oil and rose water:  combine a half a tablespoon of coconut oil with approximately a dessert spoon of rose water.  Massage this diluted coconut oil into the skin and leave for about 5 minutes.  Rinse with warm water and pat dry.
  • Coconut oil and aloe Vera:  Aloe Vera is a wonderful healing substance.  It is incredibly soothing on hot and inflamed skin.  It calms down irritated pimples, kills bacteria and helps with healing scarring.  You could combine equal quantities of coconut oil and Aloe Vera and apply this slightly sticky mixture to your skin.  Allow it to soak in for a few minutes and then rinse off with warm water.
  • Coconut oil and turmeric: This sunshine yellow spice is known for its healing properties and its action against inflammation.  Add a half a teaspoon or even a full one to about a tablespoon of coconut oil.  Mix to form an amber-ish mask and apply to the scarred area.  After a few minutes, rinse with warm water and pat dry.  

Using coconut oil daily on the damaged skin is unfortunately not a quick fix solution to scarred skin.  But regardless of which method you take to help heal acne scars, coconut oil can only but add to the healing process.  It is also probably more advantageous to use a good quality, cold pressed, organic coconut oil.

Will you be using coconut oil for acne scars? Leave your thoughts below...

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References and Resources

1. Shilhavy, Brian.

2. Home Remedies for Life. Coconut oil for acne scars.

3. Holford, Patrick. Patrick Holford.

4. Dr. Axe.  How to get rid of scars

5. Hills, Jenny. Healthy and Natural world.

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Hey, quite a thorough Article. I came to this page searching for acne scar treatments. I just wanted to tell people that you don't have to be afraid …

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