Keeping Your Pores Happy: Does Coconut Oil Clog Pores on Face?

By Valeria D.

May 5, 2020

acne, breakouts, coconut oil, comedogenic

What CAN’T we use coconut oil for?

I’m amazed at what nature is providing for us. Coconut oil is the star somewhere on any health and skin care blogs.

The claims about its effectiveness is nothing short of amazing.

But as popular as it is, it’s far from perfect. Upon searching “coconut oil” on our favorite hang out (Google), you’ll find mixed reviews. Some people regard coconut oil as a miracle worker for their face. 

Others curse this oil for giving them awful breakouts. So we are led to ask: does coconut oil clog pores on face?

I’m a personal lover of coconut oil. I love this oil so much, it has a special spot in my DIY beauty hacks list. However, I’m aware that what works for me may not work for you. 

So I did some research on coconut oil and pore-clogging. Is there a link?

Here’s the short answer: coconut oil can clog pores on your face since it’s highly comedogenic.

When an ingredient is comedogenic is it means it’s clogging your pores.

So that’s it then? Should you kick this oil far away from your face?

Not so fast… Before shunning coconut oil, let’s take a deeper dive into this matter.

In this post, we’ll together find out how coconut oil clogs your pores. If you feel like that’s helpful information, then let’s get started. 

We’ll discuss if it’s comedogenic for everyone regardless of skin type. We’ll go over some alternatives, and lastly you’ll receive a gift that’ll help you navigate the pore-clogging skin care world with more confidence.

Coconut Oil and Pore-clogging: What’s Up?

does coconut oil clog pores?

How can coconut oil clog pores on face? This is a question we have to ask before we decide to discard prematurely.

Like a lot of thicker oils, coconut oil has a tight-knit chemical structure. This kind of structure means the oil’s molecules are tightly packed together. 

But what does that mean for your skin?

Thicker oils like coconut oil makes it harder for the skin to properly absorb. Because of this, coconut oil forms as a film on top of skin. If you’ve ever used it, you know exactly what I mean. Slippery and slick.

Now, the pores on your face tend to be bigger. So this oil will especially cause trouble there. As the oil coats your pores, they also mix with bacteria and dead skin cells. 

These tends to fester in your pores, making your face produce excess oil. And you know what can come after overproduction of oil? A-c-n-e—acne!

That may explain all the testimonials cursing coconut oil. The pores on their skin looks and feels congested after massaging in some coconut oil. 

Will All Skin Types Get Clogged Pores from Coconut Oil?

does coconut oil clog pores

Using coconut oil on you face receives a lot of hate. Knowing how this oil can make pores congested and breakout… even I would consider stop using it.

We can stop there. But, we won’t.

It would be unfair to show coconut oil's bad side without showing its good side.

From knowing both sides, we confidently decide if coconut oil is a definite no-no for you.

I compiled this list showcasing the most notable benefits we can get from coconut oil:

1. Coconut oil is a bacteria-killing badass

A clogged pore can only turn into acne after C. acnes attacks. C. acnes or Cutibacterium acnesis the bacteria responsible for all our suffering. It invades the clogged pore, multiply, and turn the pore into a pimple.

Here’s where coconut oil comes in handy. 

About 50% of coconut oil’s composition is an MFA called lauric acid. Experts say medium-chain fatty acids (MFAs) are capable of killing harmful bacteria. So coconut oil is the bacteria-killing badass that can kick acne’s hypothetical butt.

One study even found lauric acid to be more effective than benzoyl peroxide in killing C. acnes. Yes, the benzoyl peroxide popular for acne treatment. How crazy is that!

What’s not to love about nature?

2. Coconut oil can moisturize even Sahara-level dry skin

Remember how coconut forms like a film on top of skin? Well, that’s not necessarily a bad thing for those with Sahara-level dry skin. In fact, dry skin types sing praises of coconut oil’s moisturizing powers.

Several studies found coconut oil more effective in moisturizing compared to mineral oil. They can both help moisturize skin by locking in moisture. But coconut oil comes out on top. Now, combine that moisturizing power with bacteria-killing. What you have is a moisturizer fit even for eczema patients! 

3. Coconut oil can help in healing wounds

Skin that’s dry and covered with acne wounds will have trouble recovering. So the level of moisturizing coconut oil does is a big help for healing skin! 

Not only that. 

Coconut oil can kill bacteria, moisturize, and repair the skin's barrier. For example, coconut oil can help in increasing collagen production on your face. Collagen is not just for keeping your skin youthful and plump. It’s also important for wound healing. 

So is coconut oil a no go for all skin types?

Considering coconut oil’s benefits we’ve gone over, I think it’s pretty clear. Coconut oil shouldn’t be completely shunned by all skin types. 

  • Oily and acne-prone: Yes, please stay clear of coconut oil! Do not apply coconut oil anywhere near your face. It will most likely clog your pores.
  • Normal to combination skin: If you experience clogged pores easily, coconut oil may not be for you.
  • Dry skin and/or mature skin: If your pores aren’t prone to clogging, well, my lovely, you may just find a savior in coconut oil. Especially if you also suffer from acne, consider coconut oil! This thick oil will help you moisturize while battling acne-causing bacteria.

Coconut Oil Alternatives without the Face Pore-Clogging Effect

Jojoba oil for crepey skin

After getting a glimpse of what coconut oil can do, it’s such a shame to let it go!

I’ve been lucky with this oil as it never broke me out. I experienced coconut oil’s effect on my face without any clogged pores. But what if coconut oil turned out completely different for you? 

Maybe this oil gave you the worst breakout ever. Maybe you haven’t tried it, but all the info above is telling you coconut oil won’t work. Is there no other way to get coconut oil’s benefits minus the face pore-clogging effect?

Fortunately, there is a way!

Coconut oil may have broken your heart, but there are a bunch of oils you can turn to. 

Here are alternatives to coconut oil

1. Apricot Kernel Oil

  • contains vitamins A and E
  • moisturizes with high amounts of fatty acids
  • helps reduce redness
  • soothes irritated skin and dry patches

2. Borage Seed Oil

  • provides moisture in skin 
  • improves the skin’s barrier system
  • highest gamma-linoleic acid (GLA) content among oils 

3. Jojoba Oil (a.k.a Jojoba Wax)

  • relieves dryness, flaking, itching, and related symptoms
  • reduces the redness caused by dry skin 
  • suitable for most (if not all) skin types

4. Sunflower Oil

  • soothes itchy and inflamed eczema skin
  • can improve skin hydration
  • helps preserve the integrity of the skin’s natural barrier

5. Tamanu Oil

  • fights harmful bacteria
  • helps skin using skin-regenerating compounds
  • reduces swelling and skin irritation
  • powerful wrinkle fighter 

The Secret Weapon to Avoiding Clogged Pores

Remember I mentioned I would help you navigate the pore-clogging skin care world with confidence?

Wouldn’t it be great if you had a way to know which ingredients are likely to clog your pores? 

There is a way we can avoid pore-clogging ingredients. With this, you won't need to patch-test or stuff like that. This is the secret weapon to keeping your pores clog-free! 

Okay, I won’t keep it a secret any longer. This weapon is a powerful sheet with pore-clogging ingredients. Some people say they’ve used it so much they’ve memorized all the ingredients. 

With this sheet, it will be easier for you to identify if a product will clog your pores or not.

Believe it or not, some companies label their products as “non-comedogenic.” Yes, even though the ingredients say otherwise. "Non-comedogenic" has become a marketing term to sell you more products. Of course, it’s a different case when you don’t get clogged pores easily. You can disregard those labels and this secret weapon.

For me though, when I found out about this, I was overwhelmed with worry. I knew then I couldn't easily trust every product all because of the non-comedogenic label. With this, the list was born!

With the comedogenic list sheet, I was less worried with the products I reached out for. I could look up the product online, check its ingredients, and consult the list. If any of the ingredients on the product comes up on the list, I’ll quickly erase it from my “to buy” list.

The convenience this list gave me prompted me to share it with you. I placed it in a neat looking file so you can easily download it. It won’t hurt to keep a copy handy. You can check the list as you shop online or even when you go to your nearest stores!

To Wrap It Up

It can be tricky to keep the pores on our face clog-free. Especially with thicker oils like coconut oil. With how versatile and beneficial this oil is though, it would be such a shame to throw it away. That’s why, if you got clogged pores on the face with coconut oil, try using it for your hair! It’s arguably one of the best hair oils out there. You can also use coconut oil for shaving. It’s that versatile.

I hope the comedogenic rating sheet I shared will help you out. It sure helped me narrow down ingredients best for my skin.

What oil made your face break out the most? Help a sister out by sharing your story in the comment section below 🙂

Stay tuned and take skin care!

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