Utilized in gastronomy and perfumery, coconut oil is also a skin ally due to its molecular richness. It is packed with saturated fatty acids, such as thelauric acid whose concentration can range from 40 to 55%.
The benefits of coconut oil on the skin.
- Benefit #1: Coconut oil moisturizes dry skin and soothes eczema
- Benefit #2: Coconut oil soothes inflammations, particularly those caused by UV-B rays
- Benefit #3: Coconut oil protects the skin from oxidative stress
- Benefit #4: Coconut oil can be effective against acne
- In which Typology skincare products can one find coconut oil?
Benefit #1: Coconut oil moisturizes dry skin and soothes eczema.
Rich in fatty acids, coconut oil providesnourishmentandelasticityto the skin. It restores the hydrolipidic film, thus limiting insensible water loss and therefore skin dehydration. A 2013 study demonstrated that extra virgin coconut oil significantly reduces levels of transepidermal water loss (TEWL) and increases lipid levels on the skin surface.
Several studies have also proven its effectiveness in soothing and reducing atopic dermatitis, also known as eczema. To recall, eczema is caused by an abnormality in the skin barrier that no longer plays its defensive role, coupled with an exaggerated response from the immune system. In 2014, researchers, for instance, published a study showing that coconut oil can reduce the severity of eczema by 68%, making it significantly more effective than a mineral oil derived from petrochemicals.
Benefit #2: Coconut oil soothes inflammations, particularly those caused by UV-B rays.
According to a study conducted in 2019, virgin coconut oil inhibits the action of certain inflammatory markers such as the Tumor Necrosis Factor alpha (TNF alpha). It thus soothes skin inflammation, particularly redness that may appear following sun exposure. This vegetable oil also protects the skin by improving the skin barrier function. Indeed, it stimulates the synthesis of filaggrin, a protein whose role is to aggregate the intermediate filaments located in the epithelial cells of the skin.
Benefit #3: Coconut oil protects the skin from oxidative stress.
Thanks to the vitamin E and flavonoids it contains, this vegetable oil is an excellentantioxidanttreatment to protect the skin from free radicals. As a reminder, these arereactive oxygen speciesproduced naturally by the body. However, when cells are faced withstress, they produce them inexcessiveamounts. The sources of stress are numerous, the main ones being exposure to UVA, pollution, smoking, and a diet too rich in fats and/or sugars. Free radicals are particularly unstable molecules due to theirsingle electron. They tend to react with other molecules to form apair of electrons, and thus causedamage to the cells, DNA, and proteins of the body. This accelerates aging and wrinkles appear on the skin's surface. Coconut oil is therefore a valuable ally in preventing premature skin aging.
Benefit #4: Coconut oil can be effective against acne.
Regarding acne, coconut oil is an ingredient full of contradictions.
On one hand, its very high comedogenicity index (4/5) makes it incompatible with oily and/or acne-prone skin as it clogs already blocked pores, promoting the formation of pimples.
On the other hand, several studies have reported the effectiveness of lauric acid in combating the bacteria responsible for acne, P.Acnes. It's worth noting that coconut oil contains about 50% lauric acid, a medium-chain fatty acid.
In fact, studies conducted in vitro and on animals have shown that lauric acid is more effective than benzoyl peroxide in preventing the growth of bacteria responsible for acne. Additionally, just like lauric acid, capric acid, also found in coconut oil, has proven to have anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. A study conducted in 2014 on animals and in vitro demonstrated that lauric acid and capric acid were successful in reducing inflammation and preventing acne by limiting bacterial proliferation.
In which Typology skincare products can one find coconut oil?
Firstly, let's clarify that coconut oil is what's known as a comedogenic oil, meaning it can clog pores and potentially cause blemishes in individuals with oily skin. Therefore, our facial care products enriched with coconut oil are often recommended for those with dry skin.
Several formulas associated with different Typology ranges contain 100% natural coconut oil (I.N.C.I.: Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil). Here they are.
Thebody moisturizing creamwith 10 ingredients and theface moisturizing creamwith 9 ingredients provide hydration for all skin types, even the most sensitive ones. These are minimalist formulas with a light and non-greasy texture,suitable for dry, normal, and combination skin, even sensitive ones. Due to the presence of organic coconut oil, we do not recommend these creams for oily skin.
Thehydrating cleansing milkwith 0.5% Hyaluronic Acid and Chamomile Extract removes impurities without drying out the skin. It emulsifies upon contact with water into a fine foam, simply massage it onto the face and then rinse.
All our solid soaps for face and body contain coconut oil. Depending on the active ingredients present, they target various skin issues.
Boateng, L., et al. Coconut oil and palm oil's role in nutrition, health and national development: A review. (2016).
Varma, S. R., et al. In vitro and anti-inflammatory and skin protective properties of virgin coconut oil. (2018).
Mara Therese Padilla Evangelista & al., The effect of topical virgin coconut oil on SCORAD index, transepidermal water loss, and skin capacitance in mild to moderate pediatric atopic dermatitis: a randomized, double-blind, clinical trial, Int J Dermatol, (2014).
Wallace, T. C. Health effects of coconut oil — a narrative review of current evidence, (2019).
Darren Yang & al., The antimicrobial activity of liposomal lauric acids against Propionibacterium acnes, Biomaterials. (2009)
Teruaki Nakatsuji & al., Antimicrobial property of lauric acid against Propionibacterium acnes: its therapeutic potential for inflammatory acne vulgaris, J Invest Dermatol, (2009).
Wen-Cheng Huang & al., Anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties of capric acid against Propionibacterium acnes: a comparative study with lauric acid, J Dermatol Sci, (2014)