the newest cure all. What's up with this MAGICAL oil?
Well, it's from coconuts. You can obtain it either refined or unrefined (both still are 'processed' but one retains more flavor or has more flavor added back in and may or may not use less heat in the processing.), it can come in a solid up to 74-76 degrees form or constant liquid state.
It's been screamed all over the inter web that this MAGICAL oil has cured people of everything from acne to severe ailments.
Basically, the chemical composition of coconut oil is pretty similar
to many oils in the same family. It's high in lauric acid, a medium chained fatty acid, which is a pretty decent source of energy for your body internally.
As you saw in the title, I do not use coconut oil on my face, ever. No exceptions. If I even see it labeled on a product, I won't even try it.
Why? Everyone else is, so I must be wrong.
It is HIGHLY comedogenic, sitting around 4-4.5 on a 5 point scale. 0 meaning it will not clog pores, 5 meaning you can bet your bottom dollar it will. That means it's not if but when it will clog your pores. Clogged pores means more than just breakouts and acne flare ups. Clogged skin can't breathe as well or expel toxins at the same rate, according to some.
There are quite a few that have no problems using coconut oil on their face or body. More power to them! Use it if it works for you. For me, not only does it CAUSE breakouts but it causes a very bad reaction when my skin is very dry (I am NOT allergic in any way!). I have suffered a broken lipid barrier more than once, conveniently around the time a friend suggested her coconut oil lotion as the cure for breakouts. I won't flat out say it was the thing that officially wrecked my skin (red burning skin, peeling skin and MORE BREAKOUTS) because there honestly were other factors. I can tell you, as soon as I stopped using it, it got better. My experience, take it or leave it. I'm just being honest on my own personal experience.
There are many people claim coconut oil can kill germs but I have yet to see what types of germs, viruses or bacteria and when it would become inert to the point of no longer being able to kill said germs and bacteria. Also, does it just effect the gram-negative or both positive and negative? Our natural flora (in our gut, for example) generally consists of gram-positive cultures, like most molds. The main component of coconut oil (lauric acid) has been reported to only attack gram-negative cultures.
My test will consist of growing mold. Why? Mold is generally gram-positive. So, basically the same as the bacteria we produce. There are unhealthy gram-positives as well as healthy that help balance everything, balance is the ideal when it comes to everything I believe.
If no mold is seen in the test, we can assume that coconut oil does indeed disrupt the formation of some cultures, including but not limited to gram-positive and mold.
If mold does grow, we can:
1) take the test a step further and introduce another culture to see if the coconut oil only inhibits gram-negative cultures, this theory would mean that it only attacks gram-negative cultures.
2) Agree that coconut oil isn't fool proof in the control of cultures, considering most of the cultures of our skin are also mostly gram-positive.
So here I decided to do a little test of my own involving coconut oil and some other poplular germ killers to see what it could really do.
How do I use it then?
Again, as stated above, many studies have shown it to be very high in medium chain fatty acids. Which can be amazing to eat! While it is high in calories, it's all about moderation. Treat it the same as you would any oil.
I love it on toast, when I'm cooking anything on the stove top (coconut oil has shown to have a VERY HIGH smoking point!), as cubes for oil pulling and even a bit in my tea! It's amazing for sugar cookies and as a vegan butter replacement. Blended with a liquid sweetener (which you can omit) and flavored oil in the right amounts makes an AMAZING straight from the fridge spreadable vegan butter! I have also made an amazing vegan ranch dressing with coconut oil and avocado.
Of course, many people may have an allergy to coconuts. Before you ingest or apply ANYTHING new, you should always do an allergy test, sometimes spanning over a few days to weeks. Watch for subtle changes in your own body rhythm. Always ask your doctor as well. I'm not your doctor or your dermatologist, so they can answer many questions pertaining to your personal skin and body.
There are people who say it has a low, but viable sun protection factor as well. The amounts stated online are very low so either mix it with zinc oxide (non-nano is what I prefer), use with a more powerful sun protectant or use under clothing as a physical block from the sun. This after you have checked it on to be sure you don't have a reaction or breakout.. You can test it however you like but I would not personally go outside with coconut oil alone on my skin, even on a cloudy day. It's just not enough sun protection. Again, please consult your professionals in your life pertaining to your personal body. They know you better than I do!
As you can see, when exposed to water and sealed in a dark place, most of these grew something. The coconut oil mold thrived.
While this does not mean that coconut oil will grow mold on your face, it does imply that the theory that coconut oil loves to attack gram- cultures over gram+ or nothing at all. Further tests would be required.
Two weeks is a long time, long enough that one would say it became inert. Fair point, but I do say that the proof is in the Petri dish, if you will.
The ones with the least amount of growth were the hand sanitizer I make and the popular essential oil blend of cinnamon, rosemary, eucalyptus, lemon and rosemary. Gentian Violet grew a very interesting white mold. Coconut oil grew a very distinct green.
What does this tell us? Well, interpret how you will with all the knowledge you have!
For sure? With knowing this, we shouldn't use the reasoning that coconut oil kills everything too strictly. Always use a clean utensil to get coconut oil out of a container and avoid contaminating your coconut oil, especially if left out at room temperature.
This oil has many uses, no hate on coconut oil at all. It's just the more
we understand something, the better we can use it to the full potential and help others do the same.
Due to the high amount of saturated fat, please consult your doctor before ingesting coconut oil. Especially for those with heart or artery issues.
enjoy your coconut oil however you like and please feel free to tell me your favorite coconut oil recipes or if coconut oil works for you in the comments!
Update: there are actually debates online about the safety of our natural flora balance when ingesting coconut oil. So I repeat, do your research, ask your personal doctor with the information you find. Just because a blog or website tells you to try something, does not mean you should.
I am not your doctor or your professional. My blog is for entertainment and thought provoking purposes, not to be used as medical or any other type of advice. I am also only a scientist by hobby, my tests are proof of the great tests of nature. No test is 100%, if you are a fan of the quantum theory. Any test can be fallible. Please feel free to test your own and see how you do!
The Smart Girl in Pants
The Smart Girl in Pants