Can You Use Coconut Oil for Acne or Oily Skin?

Can You Use Coconut Oil for Acne or Oily Skin?

What causes oily skin? | Coconut oil for oily skin | Acne causes | Acne vs pimples | How to use | Benefits

coconut oil for oily skin and pimples

Coconut oil is a superfood but can coconut oil remove acne? Or can coconut oil repair oily skin? Let’s find out. 

What causes oily skin?

Is your skin being extra shiny or kinda too greasy? Then you know you have oily skin. This is because the human body is covered with oil glands out of which at least 900 sebaceous glands per cm² are on the face. The sebaceous glands are under each pore of your skin and produce a natural oil called sebum. Sebum is important for skin moisturisation and hydration.

In some people S. glands secrets too much sebum resulting in clogging pores and oily skin. This can be due to genetic, environmental, or lifestyle factors.  

Is Coconut oil good for oily skin?

Even Coconut oil for oily skin sounds weird, right? But no, you must have heard about the oil pulling theory that oil attracts oil. Similarly, here also oil attracts the oil and then you can wash it off. Plus, when it's coconut oil that can easily be absorbed and rich in saturated fat. But it is not limited to this only. 

When you apply coconut oil to your naturally oily skin it gets oilier. However, with time, your skin becomes less oily naturally because the production of sebum will decrease to maintain the oil balance automatically.

Coconut oil for oily skin overnight

Putting it in two words ─ Bad Idea. If you have oily skin, using coconut overnight might cause pore-clogging which leads to blackheads, whiteheads, or pimples. 

An overnight treatment is used to maximize the time of usage so that coconut oil gets completely absorbed providing a high moisturizing effect which is beneficial for dry, chafed, or flaky skin. In the case of oily skin, this much time for moisturization is not required as it may end up adding on pore-clogging. 

What causes Acne?

Each pore is connected to the sebaceous gland through a canal called the hair follicle. When sebaceous glands produce too much sebum (oil) and mix with dead cells it ends up clogging the hair follicles.

Due to this clogging, bacteria known as Propionibacterium acnes start developing in the clogged pores. Which causes your white blood cells to attack it, which results in skin inflammation leading to skin acne.   

Other factors like hormone changes, genetic, diet, stress, and infections also contribute to the development of acne.

Difference between acne and pimples

The difference between acne and pimples is that acne is a disease and pimples are its symptoms.

Some common acne symptoms are blackheads, whiteheads, papules, pustules, nodules, and cysts. 

Is Coconut oil good for pimples?

Coconut oil for pimples is a great idea. The lauric acid present in coconut oil can kill the bacteria that cause pimples. Applying it to your skin can moisturize it and help with healing. 

Coconut oil for face acne not only heal the skin but also prevent it from scarring. Exfoliating and cleansing are easier with coconut oil because saturated fats soothe irritation and inflammation with a moisturizing effect. 

How to use coconut oil for acne?

Some of the common ways to use coconut oil for acne prevention are:

1. For Exfoliating

Exfoliating is the process of removing the top layer of dead skin cells. It helps in preventing acne by removing dead skin cells that clog pores. It also enhances the effect of acne treatment as coconut oil can get easily absorbed which helps them to penetrate deeper by removing the dead cells.

How to:

Exfoliating is easy by making a scrub at home.

  1. Mix 1 tablespoon of sugar with 1 tablespoon of coconut oil.
  2. Gently scrub it over your face. Avoid your eye area. 
  3. Scrub for at least 10-15 minutes daily, maximum one time per day.


Do not exfoliate with harsh scrub or brushes, it may end up causing more inflammation and irritation on your skin. 

2. For Spot Treatment

Spot treatment is the process in which acne-fighting ingredients are directly delivered to the spot of the offending blemish. It can help to clear or dissolve the blockage at every pore that created the blemish first.

This only works on minor surface-level papules and pustules and not on deeper severe level nodules and cysts.

Coconut oil has the antifungal property of lauric acid to fight bacteria and can penetrate deeper by clearing clogged pores helping in clearing dead skin cells. It reduces redness and puffiness of blemishes which even concealers can’t cover-up.

How to:

  1. Melt 2 tablespoons of coconut oil
  2. Add 2-3 drops of tea green oil as it can be harsh and drying on sensitive skin but when paired with nourishing and anti-fungal coconut oil. Perfectly dries out pimple for a quick fix
  3. Mix it well.
  4. Take a cotton bud (Q-tip) dip it into the mixture and apply it directly to the blemish. Similarly, do it in all the affected areas.
  5. Wash it off with water first and after that use your face wash to clear excess oil.
  6. Use your regular moisturiser.


Do not use this for overnight treatment.

3. For Face Mask

Face masks are important to hydrate your skin, remove excess oil, relax inflammation, providing enough time for healing, and improve pore appearance.

A coconut mask helps prevent acne-related issues. Since, it has antimicrobial, anti-fungal, and anti-inflammatory properties which all aid in acne.

How to:

  1. Mix 2 tablespoons of coconut oil with 1 tablespoon of baking soda to form a paste.
  2. Apply directly on the face focusing on the areas where acne is more common.
  3. Be careful that you do not allow this mixture to enter your mouth or eyes.
  4. Leave it to dry for 10-15 minutes.
  5. Wash it off with cold water and pat dry.


Baking soda acts as a toner. It also contains exfoliating properties to protect against acne. It helps in maintaining skin pH level which reduces skin irritation.

Benefits of coconut oil for acne 

1. Coconut oil kills bacteria

Bacteria called Propionibacterium acne cause acne-related problems. Coconut oil has anti-fungal and antimicrobial properties which kill bacteria causing acne.

2. Coconut oil for acne scars

Does coconut oil remove scars? Definitely, yes! Coconut oil for scar is even used traditionally as it has fatty lipids with healing properties. Coconut oil mask and scrub helps in not only removing acne but its scars also.

3. Coconut oil for sun protection

Sun protection for acne-prone skin is very important. Coconut oil has an SPF of 4-5 which is enough for a few hours of sun exposure. So, this natural sunscreen not only protects against UV rays but also clears suntan.

4. Coconut oil for skin moisturiser

Skin needs adequate moisture to fight infection and heal properly. Coconut oil is rich in saturated fat which provides enough moisture to the skin and It repairs dry and flaky skin. Hence, making skin healthy.

5. Coconut oil reduces Sebum production

In the case of oily skin, the sebum is excessively produced resulting in clogging of pores. Sebum is produced mainly to maintain skin moisture and coconut oil has a high moisturizing property which automatically reduces sebum production to maintain the oil balance. 

Is it good to use coconut oil for pimples overnight?

Coconut oil is too heavy to use on pimples as an overnight treatment. As coconut oil is comedogenic, which means it can clog pores that may add to more acne breakout in some people.

So, using coconut oil overnight for pimple treatment is not recommended as in some people it causes blackheads, whiteheads, or pimples to form on the face if left overnight.

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