Can I use Coconut Oil After a Chemical Peel?

June 7, 2015 / 8:16 am

This question comes up often in the search topics that lead people to my blog so I thought I would address it directly.

The short answer is no, coconut oil is one of the most comedogenic oils which means it is very likely to clog the pores on your face.

While healing from a chemical peel, the skin is very sensitive. It is important to use a gentle cleanser and high quality moisturizer to keep the skin hydrated without clogging the pores.

Using a comedogenic product to heal the skin after a chemical peel can clog the pores and cause an acne breakout which is often the cycle we are trying to end by doing the peel in the first place.

14 responses on “Can I use Coconut Oil After a Chemical Peel?

    1. Hannah

      When rating oils on a comedogenic scale of 1-5, coconut oil scores a 3 or 4 depending on the chart. If you like to use pure oil on your skin, I suggest grapeseed oil or jojoba oil which both rate a 1 on the scale.

  1. calre

    I’d have to agree with Sheldon. The tests you refer to were performed on rabbits whilst recent testing has been performed on humans. It will often depend on a persons skin type as to whether something will clog a persons pores. It simply means it has the potential to clog pores not that it will in all cases.

    “Despite years of being listed as comedogenic (in Rabbit Ear Assay ratings) — (virgin coconut oil) was shown to be non-comedogenic by DHSA (Draelos Human Skin Assays). This confirms what has been seen in clinics that regularly use Virgin Coconut Oil (VCO): It is a non-comedogenic mositurizer and antiseptic oil.”

    1. Hannah

      There are differing opinions regarding the comedogenic rating of coconut oil, I’ve been working with clients for over 20 years and when this trend was at its peak, I would spend plenty of time extracting coconut oil from clients pores. The scientific study that shows coconut oil to be beneficial for human skin is mainly for low birth weight babies that need its occlusive nature to help their impaired skin barrier function.

  2. Susan Bennett

    I’m very acne prone and only use 100% natural, chemical free products. Coconut oil is the absolute worst thing on my face (raw, organic) – I break out immediately. We use it for massage, for smoothies, for lots of other things but never on face. My husband has the same issue – breaks out with coconut oil on his face. I have to agree with the poster – my dermatologist who performs many chemical peels has said the same thing based on his client feedback on using coconut oil. He recommends raw avocado oil which not only does not cause breakouts, it reduces redness. I have no problems with it at all.

  3. Susanna

    Argan oilis a 0 at comedogenic scale. Also the rosehip seed oil. I suggest dilution of chamomile essential oil on one of those carrier oils mentioned, as gently use on face after a peeling as a moisturizer. But sunscreen needs to be used ALL THE TIME.

    1. hannahsowdinc Post author

      Argan oil or even jojoba oil can work fine for some skin types. I never suggest essential oils to be applied toplically to the skin because there is too high of a risk for adverse reaction, especially when the barrier is compromised after a chemical peel. And yes, a sunscreen with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide is very important!

  4. Carol

    I am about the use this type of peel and though I would use a mixture of vaseline, olive oil, and vitamin E oil. How would that be?

    1. hannahsowdinc Post author

      Always follow the post-procedure instructions given to you by your peel provider since all peels are different. I recommend SHEALD Recovery Balm from iS Clinical for the best healing, it has all the necessary ingredients and won’t clog pores.

    1. hannahsowdinc Post author

      Soybean oil has a comedogenic rating of 4 so I wouldn’t recommend it for use on the face. As far as a cream containing vitamin E and coconut oil to use on the body after a TCA peel, it might be ok for some people. It depends on the strength of the peel and the condition of the persons skin. Always follow the instructions given to you by the person that performed your chemical peel!

  5. Kristi

    Hi I accidentally used coconut oil after a chemical peel and broke out. What should I do.

    The peel came with retinol should I use that with cleanser ?

    1. hannahsowdinc Post author

      I generally recommend a professional facial with extractions to clear clogged pores from coconut oil but that might not be an option right now. Reach out to the company that sold you the peel and see what they suggest.

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