Does Coconut Oil Really Dry Up the Skin?

Coconut oil is often used as a skin moisturizer, and also, as a smoother by most people. It has a significantly big list of benefits such as:

  • availability in several natural food stores
  • affordability
  • it is 100% natural and non-toxic
  • it is not environmentally problematic

And also, it has a host of health benefits which include; weight loss, immune system support, absorption and nutrition aid, and many others.

Effect of coconut oil on dry skins

Coconut oil does not always work out well for each and every skin type, a good example is the extremely dry skins and also, acne-prone skins. The use of copra oil in these types of skin often causes breakouts as well as increasing dryness.

This definitely does not mean that the oil is unhealthy, however, it has a unique chemistry that is the cause of this wide range of effects on people’s skins. Here is a brief look at this chemistry.

Coconuts do grow on coconut palm trees mainly found on sea and ocean shores. On harvesting, the coconuts are broken open, and the coconut copra is dried and later hydraulically pressed at 100 degrees F to extract the oil.

The resulting oil contains 117 calories:

  • 0 grams of protein
  • 0 grams of carbohydrates
  • And 13.6 grams of fat

It also provides very little vitamins or minerals hugely composed of saturated fats with all their Carbon to Hydrogen bond areas occupied by strong single bonds.

The skin is complex and varies with different people. Various cell turnover, different immune responses, different microbiological populations, and even, different pore sizes. Even, if this oil is the same stuff applied to different people and also works with most of them, your skin is composed in a unique manner.

It is important to note that while working with the human body, there is no one single solution that works perfectly for everyone in the healing aspect. Every situation has to be dealt with in a unique manner. Coconut oil is no exception to this manner when it comes to dealing with dry skins.

Oil absorption

Oil absorption can actually cause more problems than it solves for some people. The skin normally produces its own sebum to keep it moisturized. Applying oil to the skin does communicate with the skin and can, therefore, make your skin regulate the amount of sebum it produces.

When you apply more oil, it makes your skin produce less sebum since it is already oil-rich. The opposite of this effect occurs when you use astringents and, therefore repeatedly stripping your skin off oil, and then, causing overproduction of oil which later results in your skin drying up.

The right amount of oil for the right type of skin is absolutely vital, especially for the well-being of your face. On the other hand, the wrong balance between these two factors will probably throw things off for your skin.

Copra oil may be the cause of slow sebum production while also, disappearing virtually from the skin’s surface through absorption.

A layer of oils on the surface of your skin is absolutely necessary to protect it from environmental stressors, as well as trans-epidermal water loss (this refers to the evaporation of hydration from the inside of your skin, this hydration is said to be very valuable).

An oil that is too absorbent does not send the right, oil-rich signals to your skin, and then, by absorbing, there will be nothing left to protect your skin on the surface. This is not pleasant at all.

Some skins find it difficult to absorb the big oil molecules of coconut. The oil, therefore, remains on the surface of the skin and thus, acts as a barrier that prevents stuff inside the skin from going out and stuff outside the skin from finding its way in. This famous oil will possibly work well for people living in places that are hot and humid.

Some skins may also need different adjustment periods when it comes to the use of oil on their skin. The skin may first start to dry up, but later, it might just start to respond positively.

It is, however, advisable to use certain supplements during this adjustment period. These supplements may include; Shea butter, a little sunflower or safflower oil, or even alternating applications.

If you were using a lotion before you started using the oil, your skin might also start drying up. If this happens, you may consider applying it while your skin is still wet. For instance, apply it immediately after you get out of the shower. This helps in sealing the water.

Recent researches have shown that dries up some skins more often as compared to other seasons such as; summer, spring, and even fall where the oil is found to be more effective. Your skin needs water too. Therefore, it is advised that you use something else alongside the oil.

You can choose to use the oil during the night and something different in the morning, such as a light water-based serum or cream. You also need to drink lots of water for better skin.

A good example of the water-based serum mentioned above is Melvita. If this is not readily available, you can choose to use the following recipe for a homemade light water-based cream; rose water, glycerin, and aloe vera gel. If glycerin is not available, you can still use rose water and aloe vera gel. These ingredients will cost you very little money and will also last for several months as you only need a little.

Coconut oil may sometimes also cause sandpaper hands, in fact, it absorbs moisture from the atmosphere, and there is no enough moisture around you, it will definitely draw it from your own supply and, therefore, drying your skin out even more.

There is also a possibility that most people who experience excessive dryness when they apply this oil directly on their skin may be deficient in Omega 3 essential fatty acids. A mild deficiency of these Omega 3 acids coupled also with the dehydrating effects of liquid may also be the cause of these negative skin reactions.

Coconut oil may also dry up some parts of the skin such as hands but work out just fine on other parts such as legs and even the face. One of the reasons behind this might be because it does not get washed off on some of these parts of the body.

For those people with dry skins that react negatively to the oil of coconut, you may consider using other alternatives such as; avocado oil, pomegranate oil, or even possibly Tamanu. These oils are believed to be excellent for broken and damaged skin.

Studies have shown that pomegranate does repair the epidermis and is often highly recommended for a condition such as Eczema. Tamanu on the other side is believed to be; highly moisturizing, mild (generally not allergic), has antimicrobial properties, and also promotes the growth of new healthy cells.

Avocado oil is also moisturizing and also good for eczema conditions. You should also use it after a bath or shower. Having a charcoal filter and also using the cleansing method can be very beneficial for your dry skin.

As a moisturizer

Copra oil also works well for some people since it is a very light moisturizer that sinks in fast and, therefore appealing to quite a lot of people. However, it does not moisturize deeply enough hence, it is not ideal for most people with extremely dry skin.

That is, however, not a concern to most people but for individuals who have a tendency of getting clogged pores such as blackheads and several others, and coconut oil might exaggerate that problem.

Though oil often works wonders for people who have skin in the middle of the spectrum. It is not normally the case for people dealing with dry or oily issues.

Argan oil can prove to be a great alternative for dry areas of the skin. This product is incredibly effective, and these effects are long-lasting as well.


In a nutshell, it is obviously clear that the oil has immense benefits, not only to our skin but also, to our general body health. It can be used to:

  • relieve hangovers
  • as a moisturizer
  • to stimulate the growth of hair
  • as an acne remedy
  • to treat pigmentation and skin blemishes
  • to prevent and also conceal any signs of aging
  • as a body rehydrating agent
  • to strengthen bones
  • to facilitate digestion
  • to prevent cardiovascular issues and many other things

You can use coconut products for most of these things, but as discussed above, it is clear that when it comes to the skin, as much as coconut oil is beneficial to most people, it can also be disastrous to some. So, is absolutely important to understand how to use it on your skin.

If it does not help your skin (makes it even drier), it could even be wise to consider using other moisturizing products that work well for your particular skin.

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