Coconut Oil for Skin Whitening, Does It Work?

coconut oil and skin whitening skin

Plant oils have been around for centuries. Their integration into food, cosmetics, and therapeutic compounds is not something just newly emerging. However, after widespread usage of chemical drugs, these beneficial oils were left behind for decades.  Fortunately, in recent years, they have come back to the scene and are now in various industries’ products, from medicines to skincare products. One of these fantastic plant oils is coconut oil. Along with other claimed benefits, some people believe coconut oil whitens the skin.  So, read on to investigate these claims.

What Is Coconut Oil?

In short, coconut oil is extracted by compressing the coconut kernel (the meat of the coconut fruit). Coconut oil fatty acids are mostly (80 to 90%) saturated. This gives it a firm texture at room temperature. A fatty acid called lauric acid (47%) makes up the most significant percentage of coconut oil. However, other coconut fatty acids are as follows:

  • Lauric acid (49%)
  • Myristic acid (18%)
  • Palmitic acid (8%)
  • Caprylic acid (8%)
  • Capric acid (7%)
  • Oleic acid (6%)
  • Linoleic acid (2%)
  • Stearic acid (2%)

Types of Coconut Oil:

Coconut oil can be extracted from both fresh meat and copra (dried coconut). Although both techniques yield coconut oil, the first type is virgin or extra virgin coconut oil (unlike olive oil, these two terms are exchangeable for coconut oil). The second type is known as refined coconut oil.

Virgin/Extra Virgin Coconut Oil:

To produce virgin/extra virgin coconut oil, fresh coconut meat gets dried using a small amount of heat and pressed to separate the oil from the meat. 

If the coconut does not dry out, the product of the compress is milk and oil. Coconut milk is separated by methods such as fermentation, enzymatic processes and centrifugation to obtain pure oil.


If the machine used to press coconut meat uses heat or steam, the resulting extra virgin coconut oil is called Expeller-pressed.


This type of extra virgin oil is extracted without high heat. This means that the devices used operate below 120 degrees Fahrenheit. This coconut oil seems to be the best type that has preserved its nutritional and biological composition.

Refined coconut oil:

This oil is extracted from dried coconut and undergoes a series of whitening processes as well as techniques to kill the bacteria. Refined coconut oil is nutritious and beneficial compounds are less than the first type.

Hydrogenated coconut oil:

If using industrial processes, unsaturated fatty acids become saturated, the resulting oil will be wholly solidified to extend shelf life. This oil is called hydrogenated coconut oil.

However, when applying on the skin, extra virgin/virgin cold pressed coconut oil shows the best properties. This type of oil retains all the nutrients and has the greatest benefits for the skin.

Benefits of Coconut Oil for Skin


Coconut oil is an excellent moisturiser, relieving dry skin by reducing levels of transepidermal water loss (TEWL). Another mechanism involved is an increase in skin surface lipids.

Coconut oil seems to have a significant effect on treating eczema, a skin condition with itching and inflammation. Some studies show coconut oil has a more effective therapeutic effect than mineral oils, the oils that are commonly used to treat eczema.

On the other hand, by keeping the skin moist, coconut oil preserves and promotes the health of your skin and keeps bacteria and other pathogens away. Placing a small amount of coconut oil on the skin makes you experience super soft skin – with no oily residue.


Although not yet proven, coconut oil seems to have an exfoliating effect, especially in combination with other elements. Many exfoliating products have fused coconut oil into their ingredients. Exfoliators slough away dead skin cells and help you get rid of the dullness of your skin. That’s why some people claim that coconut oil whitens the skin. In this case, coconut oil can open the closure of pores. However, the evidence is still insufficient to prove it.


Many studies have demonstrated that placing coconut oil on wounds efficiently accelerates healing. Coconut oil increases collagen and other proteins that aid in wound healing. In addition, due to its antibacterial properties, it prevents bacterial infections, one of the principal risk factors that can complicate the healing process. Furthermore, Coconut oil increases antioxidants at the wound site and promotes the production of fibroblasts, which both accelerate wound healing.


Many compounds of coconut oil have shown antibacterial and antifungal effects. Among them, lauric acid, the predominant medium-chain fatty acid that makes up about half of the coconut oil, has been the most studied. This wonderful fatty acid can kill bacteria and other pathogenic microorganisms. Beyond tissue-supportive and tissue-protective properties, phytonutrients and polyphenols, which are among other effective compounds of coconut oil, can interact with bacterial cell wall components and membranes to destroy toxic bacteria. Studies have demonstrated the role of lauric acid and its metabolite monolaurin in killing Staphylococcus aureus, which plays a role in streptococcal infections and Candida Albicans, a common cause of yeast infections in humans.


Coconut oil reduces the production of inflammatory compounds. Furthermore, it suppresses inflammatory markers to decrease their harmful effects on the skin. Both digested and topical coconut oil show the same impact. The anti-inflammatory effect of coconut oil reduces the damage caused by exposure to UV rays.


Acne is the most common skin issue globally, affecting most people at least once in a lifetime. Inflammation, bacteria, fungi, clogged pores all can lead to acne forming. As you can see in the above sections, coconut oil effectively removes most acne risk factors. It kills acne-causing bacteria and fungi, neutralizes the inflammatory substances they produce and may help prevent pores from closing. So it is not surprising that studies confirm coconut oil can help treat acne.

These effects may indirectly whiten the skin. Non-inflamed, smooth and healthy skin absolutely looks whiter and more radiant.


Demodex mites are microscopic skin parasites that have a link with multiple skins and hair concerns. They can worsen rosacea, acne, eczema, hair loss, thinning hair, and alopecia. Itching, seborrheic dermatitis, blepharitis, and androgenic alopecia are among other issues. They can even change your white skin into dull skin that lacks radiance and appears flat or lacklustre.

As you can see, these microscopic mites can be the cause of a complete collection of dermatological problems. To be more precise, eliminating Demodex mites may alleviate a wide range of skin and hair issues.

Typically, individuals who simultaneously experience multiple skin problems or whose immune systems are weak are more prone to Demodex infection.

Demodex mites live under the follicles and sebaceous glands. They can spread from one person to another upon direct skin contact. In addition, they can last up to several hours outside the human body. Combs, towels, hats, pillows and other accessories that come in contact with skin and hair can hold them for hours. The greasier they are, the longer Demodex lasts and has more chance to spread to a new host. That’s one of the reasons you should not share your personal items with others or use their items.

Under favourable circumstances, Demodex mites start to multiply after transferring to a new carrier and cause symptoms such as acne, itching, dermatitis, etc.

They feed mostly on fat and celebrate on oily skin, cosmetics, and other greasy toiletries.


Although Demodex mites enjoy oil, coconut oil is an exception. Not only does this oil not feed the Demodex, but it is also harmful to them. Studies show that lauric acid, which makes up about half of the coconut oil, has antiparasitic properties. Although Demodex mites are resistant to a wide range of antiparasitic agents, a significant reduction in Demodex mites has been observed after topical application of coconut oil in patients suffering from blepharitis. This good news shows we can use this type of natural oil in a wide range of issues caused by Demodex mites.

On the other hand, the body of Demodex mites is full of toxic fungi and microbes, which acts as a source of inflammation and can worsen Demodex mite issues. Coconut oil stops these microorganisms and neutralizes the inflammatory substances secreted by the mites. This natural oil is a wonderful compound to fight mites and their effects.

This is precisely why Ungex has included it among its anti-Demodex natural and herbal ingredients.


It has been ten years since we have started helping people around the world suffering from Demodex-related issues to alleviate their symptoms. Demodex infection is more common than it sounds, although people usually underestimate it.

Ungex is an Australian skincare company that helps thousands of people worldwide reclaim their white, radiant and flawless skin in the right way. Our primary mission is to fight Demodex mites. We have put together numerous natural and herbal ingredients to combat Demodex. Essential oils such as tea tree oil, eucalyptus oil, and coconut oil are some of these compounds.

If you have a weak immune system or are suffering from rosacea, dermatitis, itching, resistant acne and so on, it’s time to estimate your mite’s density. Using our 5-Minute Online Demodex Mite Diagnostic Test, you will discover your mite population and begin treating them if there is too much. Ungex accompanies you through this journey.


10 Evidence-Based Health Benefits of Coconut Oil

Is Coconut Oil Good for Your Skin?

Coconut Oil for Skin: The Complete Guide

Role of demodex infestation in blepharitis and coconut oil as a treatment option

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