The Regimen

Coconut Oil: Your Favorite DIY Ingredient Is Hiding A Dark Secret

 Coconut Oil: Your Favorite DIY Ingredient Is Hiding A Dark Secret


Take a tour through Pinterest and you’ll find an endless variety of DIY skin care recommendations—from masks to moisturizers—proclaiming coconut oil the miracle ingredient du jour. (You’ll also find people advocating the use of magic markers in place of eyeliner and hairspray as a facial spray to fix makeup. Moral: consider your sources.)


We hate to burst everyone’s bubble, but before you get all cuckoo for coconut, you should know, your husky hero is hiding a dark secret. Coconut oil a serious pore-clogger. On the comedogenicty scale of one to five, five being code red, coconut oil is a four.


We know, coconut oil has some good points. It’s hydrating. It’s anti-microbial. And it smells like the best beach vacation you’ve ever had. But if your skin is prone to breakouts, this is probably the worst thing you can put on your face.


Coconut Oil: Your Favorite DIY Ingredient Is Hiding A Dark Secret

“Even if you don’t have acne,” says acne and skin specialist Lynn Kellicut, “if you use coconut oil, there’s a good possibility you are going to get what we call a cosmetic acne, a lot of little bumps all over the skin.”


Coconut oil is an emollient, meaning it seals moisture in your skin. It can also seal dirt, debris and your own sebum into pores creating the perfect recipe for acne, redness, and blackheads. The best alternatives, especially for acne-prone skin, are oils high in lineolic acid, which is an omega-6 essential fatty acid that nourishes skin with vitamins E and C, and is rich in polyphenol antioxidants. They also tend to be far less comedogenic.


Our favorites in that category are rosehip oil and grape seed oil. Rosehip oil has the highest lineolic content at 73% and ranks very low on the scale of comedogenicity at one. Grapeseed oil is second highest in lineolic content at 69% and ranks a low two on comedogenicity.


For moisturizing without clogging, try our Allantoin Calming & Sedating Lotion. It’s a light, non-greasy blend of antioxidant, lineolic-rich grape seed oil, anti-inflammatory allantoin (from comfrey leaves) and oat protein, healing whole leaf aloe and anti-bacterial zinc peptides.


For clarifying, try our new gentle Skin Nourishing Toner loaded with refining and renewing ingredients including rosehip oil, mandelic acid, niacinamide, green tea extract and richly phenolic white grape pomace extract.


Save the coconut oil for cooking. It’s loaded with health benefits when consumed, and is even thought to help spur weight loss.

Subscribe to get our latest newsletter on email