Coconut oil may help to relieve rosacea symptoms, but clinical research into this potential treatment is lacking. Some people may choose to use coconut oil alongside another treatment for rosacea.

Symptoms of rosacea, such as red pimples and red dilated blood vessels, can occur on a person’s nose, cheeks, and forehead, among other parts of the body.

Coconut oil is a natural product derived from the flesh of coconuts and has possible dermatological benefits. It contains fatty acids that can help moisturize the skin, as well as having potential antibacterial and antifungal properties.

Some research, such as this 2018 article, suggests the power of coconut oil as a topical anti-inflammatory substance, which may mean it has the potential to help manage some skin disorders.

However, there is limited evidence to prove that coconut oil is a natural remedy specifically for rosacea.

This article explores coconut oil as a potential treatment for rosacea, including how to use it, the potential risks, and other treatment options available.

Coconut oil in solid and liquid form that a person may use on rosacea. -2Share on Pinterest
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Currently, no clinical trials confirm that coconut oil treats rosacea or its visible symptoms.

However, a 2017 article highlights the anti-inflammatory and skin barrier-repairing properties of coconut oil. These researchers suggest coconut oil may have some effective topical uses for skin conditions such as atopic dermatitis.

Some people may find that coconut oil has a positive effect on rosacea symptoms, but others may find it has no effect or even worsens the symptoms.

Skin barrier repair

According to the trust DermNet, rosacea can occur due to a damaged skin barrier, which may allow bacteria growth and inflammation to occur.

A 2017 article suggests that topical applications of coconut oil could improve skin barrier functions.

It also suggests that some components of coconut oil show antimicrobial properties, which means the potential to kill bacteria or prevent it from growing.


A 2018 article highlights that coconut oil contains antioxidants, though the level may vary depending on how the oil is extracted and processed.

Oxidative stress is the exposure of skin to certain particles, or free radicals, that can damage the skin. A 2019 study suggests that oxidative stress may play a role in the inflammation present in rosacea.

The antioxidants in coconut oil may help some people to manage oxidative stress in the skin affected by rosacea. However, there is currently no clinical evidence to support this.

Is it safe to use coconut oil for rosacea on the face?

Coconut oil is typically safe to use on the face unless a person has an allergy. A 2021 article highlights rashes and itchiness as symptoms of coconut allergy.

These symptoms may be similar to the symptoms of rosacea, so a person may wish to test coconut oil on a clear patch of skin before applying it to their rosacea.

If a person notices their rosacea symptoms worsening while using topical coconut oil, they should stop immediately.

Coconut oil is comedogenic, meaning it easily clogs the pores on the skin. This may increase the frequency of breakouts and blackheads for some people.

If a person already experiences acne breakouts, they may wish to avoid applying coconut oil to their face.

A person should also avoid using coconut oil for rosacea anywhere on their body if they have an allergy to coconut oil.

Even if a person decides to try using coconut oil to treat rosacea, they should not stop using any medication that their doctor has prescribed. It is also important to discuss using coconut oil with a doctor before trying it.

According to a 2018 review, virgin coconut oil may be richer in nutrients than refined coconut oil.

As coconut oil is solid at room temperature, a person will need to warm it up before application. Rubbing a small amount of solid oil in the hands until it is warm and liquefied can make it easier to apply.

If a person’s doctor has approved coconut oil as part of their treatment, they may apply it directly to the areas most likely to flare up with rosacea, including around the eyes. However, a person should take care not to get coconut oil in the eyes.

While doctors have no cure for rosacea, there are many different treatment options available to help manage the condition. Doctors will typically recommend a treatment tailored to a person’s symptoms.

Treatment options can include:

  • Topical medications: These may include creams, ointments, or gels.
  • Lasers or light therapies: This process may remove thickened skin or reduce and shrink the swollen blood vessels that cause redness.
  • Antibiotics: A doctor may prescribe antibiotics to treat severe rashes if other treatments do not work.
  • Surgery: Surgery may involve a scalpel or abrasion instrument to remove thickened skin.
  • Trigger management: Lifestyle changes to manage and avoid flare-up triggers may help a person’s rosacea symptoms to recede.

Doctors may also recommend a combination of the above treatment options.

Coconut oil may reduce symptoms of rosacea for some people. However, there is insufficient scientific research to substantiate these claims.

Coconut oil has some potentially beneficial qualities, such as anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. Yet, more research is necessary to support its use in treating rosacea.

Before trying coconut oil on rosacea symptoms, a person should talk with their doctor. In the meantime, other remedies and medications exist to help manage the condition.