Both refined and unrefined coconut oils have their own benefits and specialties. But in the case of acne treatment, I would recommend using unrefined coconut oil. (Note: this unrefined coconut oil refers to the colorless virgin coconut oil, not the brownish unrefined crude coconut oil.)
Why Unrefined Coconut Oil for Acne?
Carrying a broad spectrum of antimicrobial properties, unrefined virgin coconut oil can help boost your liver function. What has liver got to do with acne?
Liver takes care of regulating sebum (skin oil). If your liver cannot properly regulate sebum, secretion of sebum will go out of control. Excessive sebum leads to rapid growth of acne bacteria since acne bacteria feed on sebum. Overgrowth of acne bacteria then causes more skin cells to die prematurely. Premature dead skin cells form soft plugs with sebum to clog up pores. Acne flares as a result.
So now, imagine your liver keeps getting attacked by free radicals, bacteria, viruses and other germs in your body, how well do you think it can help manage your sebum production? (Our liver is home to and surrounded by all kinds of germs and free radicals.)
As unrefined coconut oil contains about 90% saturated fats plus various sets of antimicrobials like lauric acid, caprylic acid, capric acid, palmitic acid and myristic acid etc, consuming the oil can help fight off the destructive germs and stop free-radical reactions that try to bring down your liver function.
On top of that, these fatty acids can help to stop the overgrowth of acne bacteria when you put the unrefined coconut oil on your skin.
When your liver becomes stronger, its function to regulate sebum will improve. When acne bacteria reduces, less dead skin cells will produce. Consequently, your acne will clear up.
Why Not Refined Coconut Oil for Acne?
Not using refined coconut oil for acne doesn’t render refined coconut oil useless against acne.
You’ll find a few types of refined coconut oil on the market. You just have to choose the right type of refined coconut oil for acne.
As a refined coconut oil, fractionated coconut oil comprises mainly caprylic and capric acids. Some of them may contain a small quantity of lauric acid. Nevertheless, this refined coconut oil can’t help much in treating acne because of its weak antimicrobial profile.
Yes, it does hold 100% saturated fats, which can effectively stop free-radical attack. But the 90% saturated fats in unrefined coconut oil is good enough for the purpose. The antimicrobial properties in coconut oil are more crucial when treating acne.
If you don’t like the unrefined virgin coconut oil for its odor, your next best option would be RBD coconut oil. This refined coconut oil composes essentially of similar antimicrobial properties that the unrefined coconut oil bears, excluding the coconut smell.
You can use that refined coconut oil for acne. It’s almost as good as unrefined coconut oil. Yes, it’s edible too so that you can ingest it as well as topically applying it to your acne zone.
How to Avoid More Breakouts with Coconut Oil
You might get into trouble like having more breakouts than usual after using unrefined coconut oil for acne. This mostly happens to those who only apply coconut oil to their skin. Their skin could have already buried loads of toxins underneath over time. Coconut oil, when applied to skin, may draw toxins up to the surface and lead to more breakouts.
How to prevent that from happening?
I always suggest to get a coconut oil that you can both consume and use on skin. Eating coconut oil can help stimulate bowel movement. When your bowels move regularly like twice every day, less toxic waste will stay in your gut. This means that your body will funnel less toxins to your skin for purging.
Less toxins stored in your skin will trigger less breakouts. That explains why you can treat some acne cases by simply relieving constipation.