My experience with applying coconut oil on my face

by Khushboo on June 20, 2016

Talk about one heck of a wordy title- HA!  If you’re even remotely interested in healthy living, chances are you’ve heard about the Holy Grail known as coconut oil.  Although once demonised for being high in saturated fat, millions of people have started to embrace it as a cure for anything.  From oil pulling to using it as a deodorant, natural conditioner, body moisturiser, skin product, make up remover, baking staple and so much more, coconut oil seems to be the answer to just about everything.

Coconut Oil Humor

A while ago I blogged about making the shift to a more natural skincare routine (you can read that post here).  Given I am quite weary about the foods I put in my body, it’s only natural (pun intended obvs 😉) that I’ve gotten more cautious about the products I put on my body.  After reading & hearing about other people’s success with applying coconut oil on their face, I decided to experiment myself for a month.  If you’re a long-time reader, you know that I am all for experimentation especially with my diet.  It should be noted that best results are often seen with organic & cold-pressed coconut oil, not the refined variety.  I usually cook with coconut oil so I was already stocked up and good to go. 

Conscious Foods Coconut Oil

My approach to this month-long experiment was simple: Instead of night cream I’d apply coconut oil on my face twice a week & leave it overnight.  As soon as I woke up the next morning, I washed my face with water & face wash.  Obviously I didn’t expect miracles but I hoped to see some kind of positive change in the state of my skin.  Especially as the climate in London had somewhat of a drying effect on my skin, I expected the coconut oil to help tackle that.  In this same month, I didn’t make any other changes to my skincare routine nor did I alter my diet or start/stop any medication.   

As much as I loved the idea of moisturizing my face with something so natural and pure, my skin begged to differ.  In those same 3 weeks, my skin went CRAZY. I experienced awful breakouts especially in the form of tiny flesh-coloured bumps across my jawline and chin along with highly inflamed & unpleasant red spots. After much research, it seems like those bumps were a result of the oil build-up underneath my pores. Some articles suggested that the breakouts were a sign that toxins & impurities were being released & eventually my skin would normalise and clear up totally.  As I’ve never faced an acne problem, I couldn’t risk further distress due to the state of my skin and so I stopped this experiment a week earlier than planned. About ten days after I stopped applying coconut oil to my face completely, fortunately my face started to calm down and clear up. 

Avocado, Toast, Lemon

Although my results with applying coconut oil on my face were pretty terrible, this experiment sure helped to kill my curiosity. If anything, it just reminded me that what works for one person may not work for me and vice versa.  Each made up of billions of cells, we are all so individual and need to respect those differences. Whether it’s with your skincare routine or diet, nothing is set in stone and I personally recommend experimentation until you find something that works for you.  And once you do, STICK TO IT!  As for now, I’m keeping my skincare routine as basic as possible to give my skin a chance to breathe and let it do its thang.  This involves:

  • Aloe vera gel as a moisturizer twice a day–> I can’t recommend this enough.  Within 2 days, I noticed a huge improvement in my skin clearing up.
  • Eating a diet that’s largely based on whole foods
  • Due to the hormones in dairy, I am also avoiding all dairy products for the next 2 weeks to see if helps further.  
  • Loading up on water daily (about 3-4 litres)
  • Sleeping 7-8 hours daily
  • Keeping stress levels to a minimum

Once the weather in Bombay cools down and my skin needs the extra moisturizing, I will re-introduce the following products which I know work for me:

As for coconut oil, I will continue to use it as my preferred oil of choice for both cooking & full body massages.  But it better stay the heck away from my face! 

Have you tried coconut oil on your face? If so I’d love to hear your results!

What are your go-to skin products?

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Palan June 20, 2016 at 2:24 pm

Check out Kiehl’s Cilantro & Orange Face Mask – was great at combating pollutants and my skin loved it. Pretty natural too, if you’re in the market to try something again that is(!)


Khushboo June 23, 2016 at 9:52 am

Ooh thanks for letting me know! I love Kiehl’s products but given my serious aversion to cilantro, I think I will have to pass on that mask!!


Shashi @ RunninSrilankan June 20, 2016 at 11:26 pm

While I have tried coconut oil in my hair, I haven’t tried in on my face – and am a bit nervous to do so – and now after reading about your experience, I am not sure. You are right, we are all so different – my skin seems to have issues with everything except Olay – go figure?! So I stopped experimenting and having my skin look like crocodile skin and just stick with Olay.
Thanks Khushboo for such a candid post.


Khushboo June 23, 2016 at 9:54 am

And thank you for your candid reply Shashi! Skin can be so temperamental and I hope you find something that works soon!!


Natty Kay June 21, 2016 at 5:30 am

Almond oil is lighter and wayy better for the face and I alternate this with Bio Oil. Unlike coconut oil, which didn’t work for me either, these two work amazingly!


Khushboo June 23, 2016 at 9:54 am

Hayyy Natty Kay <3! Thanks for your feedback- do you use both daily or just alternate?


Jen @ Chase the Red Grape June 21, 2016 at 8:17 am

I did try coconut oil on my face for almost 2 months. My opinion… It was ok. Like you, I think I liked the ‘idea’ of using something so natural rather than the outcome. I didn’t break out with spots but my skin tone wasn’t exactly something I liked and it didn’t make my skin very soft. I was hoping for so much more! Now I just do the best I can with regards products and try to stay as natural as possible.


Khushboo June 23, 2016 at 9:55 am

I think that’s the best we can do – find a balance that is good for both our insides and outsides!


Tara @ Sweat like a Pig June 21, 2016 at 7:23 pm

It’s so interesting to hear about others experiences with oils, that aren’t positive. I personally have seen the best results with jojoba oil and my skin can handle that almost daily. At the moment, I’m using argan oil twice a week. I have tried coconut oil before but, like you, I could only handle it once or twice a week without it causing breakouts.


Khushboo June 23, 2016 at 9:56 am

I remember reading your posts on jojoba oil! I’d say if it works for you, stick to it–> no need to experiment until necessary!


dixya @food, pleasure, and health June 21, 2016 at 10:52 pm

this is so interesting to hear..because i have the exact experience with coconut oil..let me begin by saying that my skin is very acne prone and i have tried a lot of products with no good results. for almost 6 months now, i have switched to coconut oil exclusively for my face and didnt change anything else and turns out, my acne has gotten better. also, i like knowing that im using something natural. i wont say i have seen 100% result but skin feels better in general.


Khushboo June 23, 2016 at 9:57 am

Oh I’m SO pleased for you Dixya! No matter how extreme, acne can really take a toll on our confidence so I am glad that you are seeing an improvement!


Meghan@CleanEatsFastFeets June 23, 2016 at 1:19 am

I’ve actually been using coconut oil on Ave’s skin after her evening bath. It seems to do well, although I haven’t put anything on her face.
I myself use an all natural face lotion I found here in Ohio. I use their body oil for my skin and both work fantastically. In fact, I started using them last Fall when I was pregnant, and I didn’t get any stretch marks. I’m not sure if that’s connected to the oil though. Either way, I’m happy and my skin loves it.


Khushboo June 23, 2016 at 9:57 am

If you ask me, it sounds like you need to stick with this lotion…sounds like it’s working wonders :)!


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