Coconut oil has been an important part of many Indian households for ages. Be it cooking, skincare, or haircare, it is used in almost everything.
However, there is still some gray debatable area when it comes to coconut oil for skin. A lot of people wonder if it’s fine to leave coconut oil on your face overnight.
Today, learn about the top 5 benefits of applying coconut oil on the face and whether you can leave it overnight.
Should You Use Coconut Oil For The Face?
Using coconut oil for skin is not a new concept. It has been used for skincare purposes since ancient times. Coconut oil has lauric acid which is antimicrobial in nature. It fights against acne-causing bacteria and kills them. Coconut oil also has anti-inflammatory properties and is a potent moisturizing agent for your skin. With multiple benefits, it is safe to say that coconut oil can be used for your facial skin.
Benefits Of Applying Coconut Oil On Your Face
1. Skin Hydration
Coconut oil has 80% to 90% saturated fats. It helps to control cracks and water loss in the top layer of your skin by filling the cracks with essential fatty lipids. Using coconut on your skin will maintain the health of your skin’s protective barrier and lock the moisture. That way your skin will stay hydrated and supple.
2. Fights Acne-Causing Bacteria
When your hair follicles are clogged by sebum oil and dead skin cells, it can lead to acne caused by a bacteria called Propionibacterium acnes. Coconut oil can be useful as it has a high amount of lauric acid, which is antimicrobial.
The antimicrobial properties of coconut oil fight against the acne-causing bacteria.  In fact, one study on antimicrobial properties of lauric acid suggests that lauric acid is more potent in killing P. acne bacteria than benzoyl peroxide which is a popular acne treatment.
Did You Know?
A combination of lauric acid (coconut oil) & retinoic acid can stop the growth of acne-causing bacteria on your skin. 
3. Boosts Collagen Production
Coconut oil has a high amount of antioxidants, which is key to maintaining the firmness and elasticity of the skin. It also has Vitamin A and E that protect your skin from free radicals. Free radicals tend to break down the collagen layer of your skin and lead to skin ageing signs like wrinkles and fine lines. Since coconut oil contributes to maintaining your collagen production, it reduces the ageing signs from your skin. 
4. Reduces Skin Inflammation
Coconut oil is often used to heal inflamed skin conditions. It has anti-inflammatory properties that soothe the skin from within. It is a 100% natural and safe ingredient to use for skin inflammation conditions like eczema. According to a double-blind clinical trial, topical application of virgin coconut oil improved the skin condition of young eczema patients.
5. Removes Dark Patches
It may sound surprising but coconut oil has skin bleaching properties. Thus, it can be used to lighten the dark patches of your skin. It helps in cell turnover and accelerates the healing process of your skin. Naturally, if your skin has scars, dark spots or any marks, they start fading.
Add a few drops of lemon juice to coconut oil to enhance the effect of the oil. It will remove the dark patches faster.
How To Use Coconut Oil For Skin?
1. As A Makeup Remover
Coconut oil is a great choice when it comes to make-up removal. Not everyone would want to use a chemical solution to remove their daily makeup. Rather, a natural yet effective way to remove make-up is coconut oil. Just dab some coconut oil into a cotton ball and gently wipe the makeup away from your face. It will not only deeply cleanse your face but also moisturize it.
2. As A Lip Gloss
Harsh chemical-based lip glosses make your lips dry and chapped. You can ditch the chemicals and embrace a natural lip gloss. A tiny amount of coconut oil on your lips will work just like a shiny lip gloss. The best part of this lip gloss is it will keep your lips moisturized and healthy.
3. As A Natural Highlighter
Who needs an expensive highlighter when you can use coconut oil for it? A little dab of coconut oil on your cheekbones will change the game. This is a useful trick especially when you are not in a mood to put on makeup but a little boost on your look is still needed.
Side Effects Of Using Coconut Oil For Skin
While coconut oil is beneficial for the skin, it may not suit everyone, especially when applied overnight. It solely depends on your skin type and texture. It also varies from person to person depending on their current skin condition.
Prajkta Sapre, Product Development Executive at SkinKraft, says, “Oils, especially coconut oil should not be kept overnight. They might cause or worsen the acne. Oils should be applied for massaging and then washed off.”
Some acne-prone people find coconut oil extremely useful to treat acne and acne scars, while others may complain about coconut oil worsening their acne condition. Given the fact that coconut oil is comedogenic, it can clog your skin pores, thereby worsening the acne situation.
Also, experts suggest that if you are on long-term antibiotics, then you should avoid using coconut oil for your face. In severe cases, coconut oil can clog your skin pores and lead to fungal infection. One such fungal skin condition is Pityrosporum folliculitis.
People with highly sensitive skin should avoid using coconut oil on their face. If you still want to see if coconut oil works for your skin, then use a very little amount to do a patch test. Conduct the test on the back of your hand and wait for 24 hours to check for any major reaction. If your skin does not show any sign of discomfort, redness or itching, you are good to go.
Coconut oil is well associated with skin benefits like deep moisturization, reducing inflammation and acne treatment. But not everyone can be benefited by it. Coconut oil is comedogenic and it causes acne breakout among some people. Thus, it depends on your skin type and current condition.
1. Coconut Oil: The Nutrition Source
2. Coconut oil and palm oil's role in nutrition, health and national development: A review, September 2016
3. Bactericidal Effect of Lauric Acid-Loaded PCL-PEG-PCL Nano-Sized Micelles on Skin Commensal Propionibacterium acnes, August 2016
4. Solid Lipid Nanoparticles Loaded with Retinoic Acid and Lauric Acid as an Alternative for Topical Treatment of Acne Vulgaris, January 2015
5. Effect of topical application of virgin coconut oil on skin components and antioxidant status during dermal wound healing in young rats, June 2010
6. Malassezia (Pityrosporum) Folliculitis, March 2014
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