Pore-Clogging Ingredient: Coconut Oil

Pore-Clogging Ingredient: Coconut Oil | AES Blog

If there was an award for fad of the year, coconut oil would definitely win.  Health experts and the wellness industry were all abuzz with the many benefits of coconut oil and they offered endless tips on how to utilize it for everything from your hair to cooking and of course, your skin.  I have even seen articles claiming that coconut oil cures acne!  Unfortunately, telling an acne sufferer to put coconut oil on their skin is like advising a diabetic to eat copious amounts of watermelon because fruit is healthy.  It just doesn’t work like that.  Acne sufferers, like diabetics, have a genetic condition that makes their bodies react differently to certain things, even if this thing is healthy.  Just like the sugar in a watermelon could mean bad news for a diabetic (even though watermelon is “healthy”), the small molecular structure of coconut oil and the fact that it is well, oil, usually means very bad news for an acne sufferer.  The fatty oil produced by our skin, sebum, is largely responsible for clogging pores and creating acne so it doesn’t take a scientist to figure out what adding another fatty oily substance like coconut oil would do to acneic skin.  Not to mention that the small molecular structure of coconut oil allows it to slip easily into our pores.  Acne sufferers come into my clinic with the worst breakouts they have ever had due to using products with coconut oil in them.  If you are suffering from acne, rid your skincare regimen of coconut oil and comedogenic ingredients and contact Acqua e Sapone to get in touch with a skincare professional who will develop a treatment program proven to clear acne.

Skincare Lesson: Blackheads

Open comedones, aka blackheads, are actually a form of noninflamed acne.  There are many types of acne but they all develop when dead skin cells, oil, and comedogenic ingredients form a plug called a comedo.  Blackheads are formed when the pore is open and the comedo is exposed to air.

Why do none of my blackhead products work?

If you have ever bought a skincare product claiming to reach deep down into pores and wash blackheads away, chances are you have been disappointed.  Whether it was a scrub, a strip, or a machine, there are a few reasons why most blackhead products don’t work:

  • Blackheads are not caused by impurities or dirty skin.  No amount of soap will wash blackheads away because their dark color is the result of a chemical reaction called oxidation, not poor hygiene.
  • Blackheads extend relatively deep below the skin’s surface.  There are very few products that can penetrate the surface of the skin and those that do cannot physically push an entire comedo out of the pore.
  • Blackheads are the result of a continual process.  Getting rid of existing blackheads is usually not effective because dead skin cells are constantly shedding and oil is always being produced in the follicle. Getting blackheads under control requires maintenance, not a quick fix.

Tips to get rid of blackheads:

  1. The fastest way to get rid of blackheads is to manually and properly extract them. Find a skin professional that specializes in acne who can perform effective extractions without damaging or infecting your skin.  
  2. Do NOT pick!  Please do not use scary makeshift tools to perform surgery in your bathroom mirror.  Unless of course, you want your blackheads to become red angry zits.  
  3. Use a product with salicylic acid in it like the Clarifying Toner.  Salicylic acid is a naturally occurring beta hydroxy acid with anti-fungal properties and one of the few ingredients that has the ability to penetrate the skin’s surface.  Because it is oil-soluble, it has the ability to penetrate the oil blocking up the pore and loosen up blackheads.