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Coconut Oil for Rosacea


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Coconut Oil image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

"There is anecdotal evidence to support the use of coconut oil as a home remedy to treat rosacea." [1]

There are a number of anecdotal reports at RF of using coconut oil as a moisturizer after cleansing with a raw honey mask. [2]

Virgin Coconut Oil (VCO) vs Refined Coconut Oil (RCO), aka, Refined, bleached, and deodorized (RBD) oil
"The two main types of coconut oil you will come across are virgin coconut oil (VCO) and refined coconut oil (RCO). To make VCO, oil is cold pressed from the meat of the coconut. VCO has both the flavor and smell of coconut, and is often creamier. RCO is a mass produced oil obtained from dried coconut and is usually chemically treated. If you open a jar of RCO it will have no coconut aroma or flavor." [3] This same source says there is no such thing as extra virgin coconut oil since there is only one cold pressed 'virgin' version processed so any product that states this on its label is actually a misleading advertisement.

Wikipedia explains there are two processes used to make coconut oil, the dry and the wet process. The wet process is more costly. Wikipedia also refers to the Virgin Coconut Oil (VCO) but calls the refined oil as Refined, bleached, and deodorized (RBD) oil. [4] RBD coconut oil can be processed further into partially or fully hydrogenated oil. Some RBD coconut oil can be fractionated into different fatty acids to isolate caprylic acid and capric acid (or to remove lauric acid). Caprylic acid and capric acid are medium-chain triglycerides, thus producing MCT Oil

The benefit of VCO  over RBD oil is further shown with its use in medicine and cosmetics. Be sure to use VCO if you are using it to treat rosacea or as a moisturizer. You may want to put a test amount on your inside wrist and wait several hours to see if you have an allergic reaction to coconut oil before putting it on your face. 

Coconut Oil as Medicine
"Coconut oil has been shown to be as effective and safe as mineral oil when applied as moisturizers for mild to moderate xerosis." This same paper reports that coconut oil helps atopic dermatitis, improves skin barrier function, promotes wound healing through faster epithelization, increased neovascularization, fibroblast proliferation, pepsin-soluble collagen synthesis, and turnover of collagen in wounds, increases the expression of specialized cornified envelope and protects the skin from UV radiation. Coconut oil contains monolaurin, a monoglyceride derived from lauric acid, that comprises nearly 50% of coconut’s fat content. Monolaurin displays antimicrobial activity as well as exhibits antiviral and antifungal activity. [5]

Another paper reports that virgin coconut oil has anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and antipyretic activities. [6] Coconut oil is among a list of plant oils that have antimicrobial, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-itch properties. [7]

Coconut Oil is listed as one of the Biologic Treatments for Rosacea

Virgin Coconut Oil (VCO) Treatments

Garden of Life Virgin Coconut Oil

Parachute Naturalz 100% Organic Virgin Coconut Oil

Premium Virgin Organic Coconut Oil

Proudly Pure Virgin Coconut Oil

End Notes

[1] Using Coconut Oil to Treat Rosacea, Healthline

[2] Anecdotal Reports on Using Raw Honey, see first subheading, Coconut Oil Not the Focus

[3] This is How Coconut Oil for Skin Saved Me Time, Cash, and Face, Liz Thompson, Organic Authority

[4] Coconut Oil, Wikipedia

[5] Int J Mol Sci. 2018 Jan; 19(1): 70.
Anti-Inflammatory and Skin Barrier Repair Effects of Topical Application of Some Plant Oils
Tzu-Kai Lin, Lily Zhong,2, Juan Luis Santiago

Agero A.L., Verallo-Rowell V.M. A randomized double-blind controlled trial comparing extra virgin coconut oil with mineral oil as a moisturizer for mild to moderate xerosis. Dermatitis. 2004;15:109–116. doi: 10.2310/6620.2004.040

]6] Journal Pharmaceutical Biology
Anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and antipyretic activities of virgin coconut oil
S. Intahphuak, P. Khonsung & A. Panthong

[7] Am J Clin Dermatol. 2018 Feb;19(1):103-117.  doi: 10.1007/s40257-017-0301-1.
Natural Oils for Skin-Barrier Repair: Ancient Compounds Now Backed by Modern Science
Alexandra R Vaughn, Ashley K Clark, Raja K Sivamani, Vivian Y Shi 

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