2

votes

coconut oil for age spots?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created May 05, 2011 at 1:03 AM

Dr. K mentioned applying coconut oil topically for age spots...anyone ever have any results doing this?

F38ece2204c6ab63fef7887e9f4e30d2

(100)

on May 08, 2011
at 06:34 PM

I don't know about coconut oil for age spots, but I have been using emu oil on my face for over five years and I think it really helps, but it would take time. I think the ones I have are much lighter.

Eecc48184707bc26bce631485b5b7e34

(4764)

on May 08, 2011
at 01:01 AM

Because photoaging (sundamate) is a very real, cumulative issue, I tend to recommend the most highly UVA protective s/s available for face, neck and chest. Neutrogena sensitive skin is a physical block and not terribly expensive, though my facial skin doesn't love it - it's very whitening and drying for me. My 12 yo likes it though - she mixes a drop of my foundation with it (in her palm) to tint it to an appropriate skin shade. The euro s/s with both tinosorbs offer better protection across the UVA spectrum than does even zinc given the same SPF so that's what I use.

Cab7e4ef73c5d7d7a77e1c3d7f5773a1

(7304)

on May 08, 2011
at 12:51 AM

I'd be interested in knowing your thoughts on sunscreen when not trying to improve skin/reduce pigmentation (I'm 15). I spend 6 or so hours outside during the summer playing tennis, and I was going to try to tan this year so I would eventually not need any sunscreen at all. I'm quite pale though. Should I be using sunscreen religiously? The physical sunscreens are very expensive.

Eecc48184707bc26bce631485b5b7e34

(4764)

on May 07, 2011
at 08:07 PM

I had no luck. See below.

Eecc48184707bc26bce631485b5b7e34

(4764)

on May 07, 2011
at 08:06 PM

We meticulously avoid oxybenzone as it is a known endocrine disruptor. US sunscreens containing avobenzone *with* octocrylene and *no* oxtiNOxate are stable but unfortunately they all contain oxybenzone. (there is one exception but it's hard to find)

Eecc48184707bc26bce631485b5b7e34

(4764)

on May 07, 2011
at 08:05 PM

Sara, I let my kids get sun to the point just *before* a burn would occur, then apply sunscreen at appropriate use rates. Of course, at the beginning of summer, this means short exposures prior to application but later in the summer they can be at the beach at 34-40º N without sunburn or sunscreen. Because photoaging is a very real issue, I do have them use stable sunscreen on their faces at all times. I prefer euro s/s with both tinosorbs (avene, bioderma etc) but the 12 yo very much likes Neutrogena sens skin or baby. We meticulously avoid

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25482)

on May 05, 2011
at 03:19 PM

Coconut oil helps all skin problems......use it liberally

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25482)

on May 05, 2011
at 03:18 PM

http://www.aolnews.com/2010/05/24/study-many-sunscreens-may-be-accelerating-cancer/ The FDA study was presented at the dermatological meeting in 2010 and caused quite a stir. Many deems dismissed it and others are now rethinking their position. My opinion is if your cellular environment is disturbed then anything that causes further disturbance can push oncogenesis button. My belief is that the sunscreen drops vit d skin production and down regulates the immune system. Vit d activates T cells. That is why we clinically see higher melanoma rates in sunscreen users.

3c997ffae3db9464325b96979346d9e9

(1290)

on May 05, 2011
at 02:22 PM

...yes that was the question Glither, I wish he had answered it instead of the response he gave.

Medium avatar

(3029)

on May 05, 2011
at 12:38 PM

What about for garden variety liver spots, Dr. K? I used coconut oil on my face (where I have melasma). It made me break out a little, so I stopped. I have liver spots on my forearms. Any chance it could help? I'd reaaaallly like to see all my pigmentation issue gone.

1fc9c11cf23b2f62ac78979de933ad83

(2435)

on May 05, 2011
at 01:33 AM

I have a question for you, Dr. K. Do you know a good source of evidence/proof that sunscreen is more damaging than the occasional sunburn? Or am I wrong on this? My mother harangues me about not putting it on my toddler when we go out, though she tans well and burns only a couple times a year.

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4 Answers

2
Eecc48184707bc26bce631485b5b7e34

on May 07, 2011
at 07:59 PM

For a couple of years, I did try topical coconut oil in hopes of lightening solar lentigo (solar lentigines, sun spots, hyperpigmentation). No luck at all but my mediterranean heritage means I am particularly prone to hyperpigmentation. To get rid of what I had and to keep it at bay has required:

1)high ppd european sunscreen with both tinosorbs (bioderma anti-age 30 or avene creme 50+ with a drop of bioderma tinted 50+) applied at proper use rates even in the winter and even when my exposure is incidental. Remember UVA penetrates glass very well. I live in Atlanta which iirc is approx 33 or 34 degrees N.

2)hat/visor with 5" brim

3)rx retinoids (tazorac in my case) applied daily - or to tolerance. depending on the season, climate and humidity my range is full daily dose (pea size applied every night) to short contact therapy every other day (ie applying retinoid then rinsing off after 30-120 seconds)

4)ascorbic acid serum daily - cosmetic skin solutions CE ferulic (more hydrating) or pure skin formulations Vitamin C serum (less hydrating) are good options for purchase though I now make my own: http://www.cafepress.com/biochem.30393410

I wish I had close up pictures of me at 35 so we could compare the difference to my current skintone at 41. At this point, tone is much more even, solar lentigo and the 'fine lines' kind of photodamage were dramatically reduced. Erythema (redness), which is often simply a result of sundamage, was eliminated. Yes, there are ways in which my facial aging has marched forward but in many ways it's also better than it was six years ago. Currently available photographic evidence:D

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.1565555534882.2080440.1115202741&l=90729d6b7a

Cab7e4ef73c5d7d7a77e1c3d7f5773a1

(7304)

on May 08, 2011
at 12:51 AM

I'd be interested in knowing your thoughts on sunscreen when not trying to improve skin/reduce pigmentation (I'm 15). I spend 6 or so hours outside during the summer playing tennis, and I was going to try to tan this year so I would eventually not need any sunscreen at all. I'm quite pale though. Should I be using sunscreen religiously? The physical sunscreens are very expensive.

Eecc48184707bc26bce631485b5b7e34

(4764)

on May 08, 2011
at 01:01 AM

Because photoaging (sundamate) is a very real, cumulative issue, I tend to recommend the most highly UVA protective s/s available for face, neck and chest. Neutrogena sensitive skin is a physical block and not terribly expensive, though my facial skin doesn't love it - it's very whitening and drying for me. My 12 yo likes it though - she mixes a drop of my foundation with it (in her palm) to tint it to an appropriate skin shade. The euro s/s with both tinosorbs offer better protection across the UVA spectrum than does even zinc given the same SPF so that's what I use.

1
98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

on May 07, 2011
at 10:47 PM

Nope. All it did was rip my face to shreds with cystic acne. I use it on my body, on my hair and of course I eat it but this stuff goes nowhere near my face ever again.

I agree with Katherine that the tried and true way is an effective sunscreen, a Rx retinoid and an well-formulated vitamin C serum.

0
60199d3a580a4e17969059609e48e678

on May 05, 2011
at 06:12 AM

i am pregnant and have used coconut oil for those pesky skin discolorations you get during pregnancy. coconut oil seems to be a miracle skin healer (at least for me). I even used it as a moisturizer for my sunburn I got this past week and it worked wonders.

0
Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25482)

on May 05, 2011
at 01:28 AM

Yes......for many patients. Works nice for actinic keratosis.

Medium avatar

(3029)

on May 05, 2011
at 12:38 PM

What about for garden variety liver spots, Dr. K? I used coconut oil on my face (where I have melasma). It made me break out a little, so I stopped. I have liver spots on my forearms. Any chance it could help? I'd reaaaallly like to see all my pigmentation issue gone.

1fc9c11cf23b2f62ac78979de933ad83

(2435)

on May 05, 2011
at 01:33 AM

I have a question for you, Dr. K. Do you know a good source of evidence/proof that sunscreen is more damaging than the occasional sunburn? Or am I wrong on this? My mother harangues me about not putting it on my toddler when we go out, though she tans well and burns only a couple times a year.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25482)

on May 05, 2011
at 03:19 PM

Coconut oil helps all skin problems......use it liberally

3c997ffae3db9464325b96979346d9e9

(1290)

on May 05, 2011
at 02:22 PM

...yes that was the question Glither, I wish he had answered it instead of the response he gave.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25482)

on May 05, 2011
at 03:18 PM

http://www.aolnews.com/2010/05/24/study-many-sunscreens-may-be-accelerating-cancer/ The FDA study was presented at the dermatological meeting in 2010 and caused quite a stir. Many deems dismissed it and others are now rethinking their position. My opinion is if your cellular environment is disturbed then anything that causes further disturbance can push oncogenesis button. My belief is that the sunscreen drops vit d skin production and down regulates the immune system. Vit d activates T cells. That is why we clinically see higher melanoma rates in sunscreen users.

Eecc48184707bc26bce631485b5b7e34

(4764)

on May 07, 2011
at 08:05 PM

Sara, I let my kids get sun to the point just *before* a burn would occur, then apply sunscreen at appropriate use rates. Of course, at the beginning of summer, this means short exposures prior to application but later in the summer they can be at the beach at 34-40º N without sunburn or sunscreen. Because photoaging is a very real issue, I do have them use stable sunscreen on their faces at all times. I prefer euro s/s with both tinosorbs (avene, bioderma etc) but the 12 yo very much likes Neutrogena sens skin or baby. We meticulously avoid

Eecc48184707bc26bce631485b5b7e34

(4764)

on May 07, 2011
at 08:06 PM

We meticulously avoid oxybenzone as it is a known endocrine disruptor. US sunscreens containing avobenzone *with* octocrylene and *no* oxtiNOxate are stable but unfortunately they all contain oxybenzone. (there is one exception but it's hard to find)

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