If you’ve been anywhere on the internet, you will have seen that coconut oil is the new miracle cure. From acne to dry skin to athlete’s foot to hair care, coconut oil is the best thing for all your healthcare needs. I resisted its siren call for a long time, thinking that it would smell like a holiday and probably not do much. But once I jumped on the bandwagon, I jumped with both feet. Thanks to my sensitive and dry skin, I figured this could be a natural, cheap and wonderful solution. Spoiler alert: it’s not.
At first, I adored the coconut oil. It made my hair look luxurious and soft, it helped me scrape off my scalp psoriasis and it even left my skin feeling soft and smooth. I am a veteran moisturizer, so I typically know how to cover myself like those poor birds following the Exxon-Valdez oil spill. And that’s what I did with the coconut oil, using it daily to keep my skin moisturized from head to toe. It absorbed quickly, so I didn’t feel greasy afterward, and I thought I’d found the answer to life.
Then I started to notice that my skin wasn’t as moist as it had been. Despite putting the coconut oil on consistently, my arms and legs just weren’t as soft and smooth as they had been. Next, I saw some new small psoriasis spots popping up. I figured it was because we’re going into winter here and the air is drying out, but it still just didn’t make sense – instead of keeping me moist and maintaining the status quo for my psoriasis, things seemed to be getting worse.
It finally hit the breaking point last night. I’d felt dry in the evening, so I slathered on some coconut oil on my legs. I had a bit of a psoriasis outbreak on my leg, so I put plenty of extra oil there. Back on the couch with Harley, watching TV and relaxing, and I was suddenly SO itchy on my leg. For those who don’t have psoriasis or eczema, I think it’s hard to explain, but it’s like this deep itch that makes you wish you could claw your flesh off. It almost feels like the itch goes down to your bone and radiates through your whole body.
I tried not to scratch, or at least to scratch around the psoriasis sections, but I actually ended up bleeding. To put this in perspective, my psoriasis hasn’t been this bad since I was a teenager, before I knew how to take care of it properly.
So, obviously, I’m rather displeased and disappointed. I also thought I’d share my experience. Sure, coconut oil might be great for you – it absorbs quickly, is cheap and works really well for a time. But, if you have dry skin like I do, or if you suffer from psoriasis or eczema, you might want to think twice before jumping on the bandwagon. I think it’s because we need something that doesn’t absorb so quickly, that can penetrate deeper into the skin. But what do I know, I’m just an armchair dermatologist.
So, if you’re struggling with dry skin, perhaps due to hormones and breastfeeding, coconut oil might be great for your scalp, or for your skin in general, but don’t be surprised if you also end up drier than you started.