By Krystal Lambert
Coconut Oil has been so hype for so long, it’s gotta stockpile of memes to back it up. So I may be preaching to the choir here, but I feel that my experience with it was so miraculous I can’t help but share it every chance I get. I have urged many of my friends to try it for skin problems and I am usually met with skepticism. There are some myths about skin problems and acne that we have all grown up with, and it makes the idea of putting oil on our faces ludicrous. (Shout out Luda, ily) I can only speak to my own experience because we all have unique skin types and issues, but the friends I have urged to try it have received only positive results as well. I have yet to meet anyone who claimed it broke them out, or caused them further skin problems.
My skin story is as follows: I have mostly dry skin, but most of my life I have had hormonal cystic acne on my chin and jawline, and occasional acne in my T-zone due to stress. Cystic hormonal acne feels like there is a trashfire going on beneath the surface of your skin and there is nothing you can do about it but pick at for days and hate yourself. It caused me so much frustration for so many years because it was painful, annoying, and difficult to cover even with makeup. I would absentmindedly pick at my face all day and then get stressed to the point of tears when I would catch myself doing it. I tried every over the counter remedy and even some subscriptions from my Doc, and everything seemed to exasperate the problem. That’s because most acne medicine/facewashes/concealers contain either salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide, both of which tend to dry out the skin and irritate it further. Acne is rarely caused by dirt or oil, and there are a number of factors at work within our bodies like stress, hormones, genetics etc. that contribute to skin issues. I know some acne-prone people who swear by Proactive but most of them say the minute they stop using it, their skin freaks out or gets even worse than it was before. I say use whatever works for you, but for me, Coconut Oil has been the answer.
I began nerding out over natural remedies for anything and everything around October 2011-ish. I had stopped using shampoo with sulfates and was washing my hair less often and I had seen such a dramatic difference in my hair that I decided to do something similar with my skin (Another article for another day). If my natural oils were good for my hair, maybe what my skin was missing was oil. Maybe I was stripping it with all these medications and anti-acne products. I started reading up on coconut oil and a friend of mine told me it had done wonders for her skin. So, I bought a jar immediately and used it on my skin as a sort of night cream. I remember this was in the winter when my skin is most irritated and I had gone nearly mad trying to calm my cystic acne that year. It went on so smooth and was soothing to my angry skin. The next morning when I woke up, I SHIT YOU NOT, my skin was completely clear. Obviously this wasn’t my first rodeo with disappointments in life so I was like “nah this isn’t real” and assumed it was a lucky coincidence. I continued to be skeptical until a week in, when I had put coconut oil on my face every night and my skin remained 100% clear. I started using it as daily moisturizer, primer, lotion, pretty much any use I could find for it.
The truly remarkable thing about this is that my acne has never returned. It’s been six years or so and my skin has been clear and mostly flawless since. I have stopped using coconut oil here and there just to experiment and IT STILL NEVER RETURNED. So, it somehow cured my chronic cystic acne forever? What the wha? In addition to clearing my skin, it is the only moisturizer that saves my skin in the winter. I am turning 31 years old in less than a month and my skin shows no signs of aging or wrinkles. I believe this is also due to putting that ish on my face every day for 6 years.
There is a long internet list for the uses of CO, as I’m sure you’ve all seen/heard about. I will tell of a few other areas I have found it to be extremely helpful in.
– Aftershave lotion. For legs, face, armpits, and yes, your naughty bits. Especially your naughty bits. It’s the only thing that keeps me from getting the rude red bumps, itching, or ingrown hairs after shaving my birthday cake.
-Lubricant. Coconut Oil is healthy for the inside of your body as well, as it is anti-viral, antibacterial, and antifungal. So it works great as lubricant and can actually help prevent UTI’s and yeast infections that can be caused by sex.
– Lip balm, hand cream, hair masks, pretty much any spot on your body that feels dry or irritated. I have put it on bug bites, burns, you name it.
I buy coconut oil from T.J. Maxx in the food section because they usually have the fancy organic brands in big glass jars for around $5 or $6. One jar will last me at least 6 months which is a huge bargain when you think about how much people typically spend on moisturizers, night creams, acne remedies, etc. every year.
As I said, everyone has a unique set of skin issues and this may not be the cure all for everyone. My advice is to give it a try, for at least a week, because what have you got to lose?