Coconuts didn’t grow native to where my ancestors lived, or to where I lived now. So maybe coconut oil wasn’t the best option for me. It seemed to do really well for people who’s ancestry was from around the equator, but just not for any one that had European ancestry. I did more research and found that coconut oil has a larger molecular structure, and people that live around the equator have darker skin, and their thicker skin can handle and absorb coconut oil. That’s why my skin couldn’t handle it! I also looked at what grew naturally to Europeans, and I’ve found that many people of European descent do really well with sweet almond, olive, and apricot. My skin does really well with Jojoba oil that grows in the U.S. which is where I live.
The writer of the piece acknowledges that this theory has come out of her own head and she does offers no evidence for it.
- What an interesting idea that foods local to you work best for addressing skin/health problems. It should be intuitive, but alas! I had to hear it from an expert. Thank you.
- So what oils/products would I use being of multiple races?
- My ancestors are German on one parents side and English, Irish and Scottish on the other and i am currently living in New Zealand.
coconut oil? It is considered comedogenic and acnegenic, which means it can cause the formation of comedones (blackheads) in a relatively short period of time and cause the formation of pimples in a short period of time. It has nothing to do with your ethnicity, but might have something to do with your skin type as people with dry or resistant skin types might find they have fewer problems using straight coconut oil than those with oily or acne prone skin types. It's probably not a great choice for most, if not all, skin types straight on the skin. If we compare the fatty acids found in coconut oil with those found in just about every liquid oil, you'll see that lauric acid and myristic acid are smaller than those found in liquid oils, like oleic and linoleic acids. As we saw in this post on oils penetrating our skin, if coconut oil does penetrate our skin, it'll only go down a few layers, which is more than enough for moisturizing.
Would using local oils mean you have fewer breakouts and pimples? I could try this idea by using something like cloudberry oil - biologically I'm a Viking - or using raspberry seed oil, blueberry seed oil, blackberry seed oil, or meadowfoam seed oil because those grow near my house, and I could keep notes on whether I'd break out or not. But this would tell me nothing. It could be that I didn't break out because I have resistant skin, because these oils don't have something my skin hates or have something my skin loves, or because the weather changed, amongst a million other things. If I don't break out, does this mean that her theory is sound? Of course not. I'm only one person, and we would need a group of people in various locations from various ethnic backgrounds with various skin types to even begin to think about caling this a valid theory.
I can't say either way if her theory is sound. We are starting to learn more about eating local or seasonal foods and health, and there might be a shred of truth in there, but there's no way to know without the help of good ol' scientific methods.
So when someone asks me why I'm so obsessed with things like studies and references, I give you this. There is no evidence whatsoever for this theory - she admits she invented it while reading a book - but it's out there on the 'net with a big stamp of "this might be valid" on it. People are reading this and thinking that they should be using oils local to them to avoid acne, then getting worried when they try something local and it fails. What did they do wrong? Nothing. Because what she is saying is backed up by nothing except her own whimsy and wonderings, and that's not helpful when I'm trying to create products that will work well for my skin and hair.
As a final note, don't get me wrong - if you get an oil that claims to be non-comedogenic and non-acnegenic and mild and all of that and it causes you to break out, all the scientific studies in the world saying it's good for your skin doesn't matter. Trust your common sense and stop using something that is hurting you...but know that the reason it didn't work for you isn't because you're an Ethiopian living in Sweden who used the wrong region's oil. Know that it's because your skin didn't like it!