Lauric Acid: Potential Skin-Saver?
With so many striving to find gentler and more effective treatments for acne, it’s amazing that lauric acid has stayed under wraps for so long. Lauric acid is a saturated fatty acid, and the main acid in coconut oil and palm kernel oil. It’s also found in cow’s milk, goat’s milk and human milk. It’s known for its ability to boost the metabolism and strengthen the immune system, but its antimicrobial effects are what make it seem promising for use as an acne treatment.
Dr. Huang, the researcher currently working on the P. acnes vaccine, believes that lauric acid would be especially useful in the fight against acne due to the fact that it’s endogenous, meaning that it already occurs in the human body. Because of this, lauric acid would be handled and tolerated by our bodies extremely well, allowing it to offer optimized benefits as an adult acne treatment.
When tested in the lab and in mouse ears, lauric acid yielded good results against P. acnes, the bacteria responsible for acne. However, because P. acnes isn’t the only factor when it comes to acne, this may or may not mean that lauric acid will be used in future acne treatment products. I, for one, hope to see lauric acid used because it is natural, inexpensive, non-toxic and has a long shelf life, all of which contribute to a gentle, user-friendly and affordable product.
Right now, coconut oil features the highest levels of lauric acid at 47.5%. Does this mean that coconut oil can be used as an acne treatment? Coconut oil is used by many as a moisturizer. It reduces dryness and flaking without causing any adverse effects. It also delays wrinkles and sagging skin, and helps treat eczema, contact dermatitis, psoriasis and other skin infections. Along with these benefits, the idea that coconut oil’s lauric acid content would provide antimicrobial benefits leaves us believing that it wouldn’t hurt to try it as a natural acne treatment!