If you've been looking for a new DIY way to clear your skin, chances are high the thought has crossed your mind to try using the all-powerful and magical coconut oil. To find out if this is a good idea, I reached out to a dermatologist and asked, "Can you use coconut oil on pimples?" Given how great coconut oil is for hair and skin, I'm warning you now that the answer might not be what you expect!
Tackling my question swiftly and thoroughly, Dr. David E. Bank at the Center For Dermatology in NY provided the details on whether or not you should put coconut oil on pimples. He tells me, "Although coconut oil has been one of the most recent beauty oil crazes, it can clog pores for acne-prone skin. Using coconut oil on oily skin can actually cause the skin to breakout more due over zealous sebaceous glands, which are often one of the main causes of clogged pores and acne breakouts." So basically, no, coconut oil is not the wisest choice for pimples.
But just because coconut oil isn't great for pimples doesn't mean you should totally cut it out of your skincare routine! Dr. Bank says, "Coconut oil is extremely hydrating, [and] it has anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties, as well as antioxidants like polyphenols [that] make it great for moisturizing the skin." Phew, coconut oil redeemed!
As for treating pimples, below are Dr. Bank's treatment tips:
1. Wash With Salicylic Acid Cleanser
Oil-Free Acne Wash, $8.49, Neutrogena
"Depending on how much you want to spend, people with acne prone skin should wash their face twice daily with a gentle to mild face cleanser [with] salicylic acid in it ... [This] will help dry out some of the pimples on your face," suggests Dr. Bank.
2. Spot-Treat With Benzoyl Peroxide Gel
Vanishing Acne Treatment Cream, $7.63, Clearasil
After washing your face, he recommends, "Follow up with a product like Clearasil 10 percent benzoyl peroxide at night, [as] this will help dry out any major pimples and help stimulate new cell growth."
3. Spot-Treat With Tea Tree Oil
Tea Tree Oil, $6.35, Tea Tree Therapy
For a more natural alternative, Dr. Bank suggests, "Another more natural way to help clear acne breakouts is by using a little bit of tea tree oil diluted with water on the affected areas. Tea tree oil has anti-microbial properties that help combat any bacteria in clogged pores while also moisturizing the skin."
4. Always Apply Sunscreen
Oil-Free Moisturizer SPF 15, $9.14, Neutrogena
Finish things off with "an oil-free moisturizer like Neutrogena Moisture Oil-Free moisturizer with SPF 15," he advises.
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