First things first — statistics show that acne affects an estimated 80% of people at some point in their lives. Sure, it is common among teens, but adults of all ages are also prone to the disease.
While there are many ways to treat the condition, medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) oil is fast becoming one of the most-sought-after remedies. The biggest question however remains, does the oil treat acne or it only aggravates the situation?
What follows is an in-depth overview of the oil regarding its ability (or lack of it) when it comes to treating acne.
Understanding What Causes Acne
Acne occurs when sebum (oil generated by the skin) and accumulated dead skin cells block up your pores. For starters, when your skin secretes too much sebum, it promotes growth and reproduction of Propionibacterium acnes, or P. acnes bacteria.
The bacteria remain trapped in your hair’s follicle, promoting your white blood cells to attack it. The ripple effect is skin inflammation and by extension, acne.
Some acne symptoms to look out for include pimples, blackheads, and whiteheads. The severity of the condition varies from one person to another. Risk factors include infection, stress, diet, genetic composition, and hormonal changes.
Note – coconut is the most common source of MCT oil. More specifically, about 50% of the fat in coconut oil comes from MCTs.
MCT Oil Properties Help Kill Acne Causing Bacteria
MCT oil has potent antimicrobial effects. In essence, this means that it can kill disease-causing elements. It is essential to mention at this point that nearly fifty percent of the fatty acids in coconut oil are medium-chain lauric acid.
Repeated studies suggest that lauric acid can prevent the reproduction of viruses, fungi, and bacteria in the body. On its own, the acid can kill P. acnes.
One study found out that lauric acid is more effective at killing bacteria in comparison to benzoyl peroxide – one of the most-sought-after acne remedies. It also established healing potential against the effects caused by the bacteria.
A separate study showed that lauric acid could prevent the growth of P. acnes when combined with retinoic acid.
What’s more? MCT oil contains reasonable levels of caproic, capric, and caprylic medium-chain fatty acids. While these are no match to lauric acid, they’re also effective when it comes to fighting the acne-causing bacteria.
Note – this therapeutic property work only when you apply the oil topically on the affected area.
MCT Oil Can Help Moisturize and Heal your Skin
Severe acne infection can lead to skin damage and scarring. Moisturizing not only keeps your skin healthy but also helps fight inflammation and promote healing.
Research suggests that applying MCT oil can ease the intensity of drying while ensuring the acne-causing bacteria doesn’t spread.
Studies show that using MCT coconut oil is more effective than mineral oil. And the beauty of it is that the oil can help prevent scarring.
In fact, one study using rats as specimen found out that wounded rodent experienced less inflammation when treated with MCT oil. They also generated more collagen, a primary skin component. The ripple effect was that their wounds healed relatively faster.
Eating MCT Oil May Help Fight Inflammation
Yes, the fatty acids contained in MCT oil may also help find acne-induced inflammation. Multiple tests conducted on animals suggest that making coconut oil part of your diet may help drive down the swelling and redness caused by inflammatory acne.
What if You Can’t Eat MCT Oil?
Indeed, most people have no problem eating MCT oil. Even then, some prefer applying it directly to the skin as a moisturizer or cleanser.
Sure, this can be beneficial to acne, but it is not advisable if you have oily skin. MCT oil, at its very core, is comedogenic. Do you know what this means? Well, it implies that it can clog your pores. In other words, it can aggravate your condition, especially if you have oily skin.
So, Can You Use MCT Oil to Treat Acne?
There’s every reason to believe that MCT oil is an excellent remedy for acne, given the information available in the public domain. Most importantly, there’s scientific evidence suggesting the oil indeed helps reduce the effects of acne.
The biggest question then becomes — is it advisable to use MCT oil for acne? The answer is an emphatic YES! In fact, here’s a closer a look at MCT Oil regarding helping you treat acne and some of the best blends on the market. Still, don’t forget to consult your doctor if you have oily skin.