Coconut Oil for Wrinkled Skin: A Natural Solution?

In this article, we will take a close look at the role of coconut oil in reducing the appearance of wrinkles. We will understand the science behind skin aging, the formation of wrinkles, and how the antioxidant properties of coconut oil can help maintain skin elasticity and youthfulness.
Frederika Malichová

Frederika Malichová

Neuroscientist at the University Of Cambridge.

Coconut Oil and Wrinkles

Coconut oil is known for its moisturizing properties, which can help reduce the appearance of wrinkles. Its antioxidant components also fight against free radicals, slowing down the aging process. Regular application of coconut oil can enhance skin elasticity, further preventing wrinkle formation. It's a natural and effective solution for maintaining youthful skin.

Why Do We Have Wrinkled Skin?

As we age, or as we interact with older people, we may have noticed our or their skin being wrinkled.

Wrinkled skin is a natural phenomenon observed as part of the aging process.

What happens is that our skin loses elasticity, because the production of collagen slows down over time [1]. The reduction in collagen then leads to a thinner and drier skin which appears more “wrinkly” than younger skin [1].

Apart from aging, we can also observe wrinkles on our bodies due to the mechanical compression of the skin. Such process can be seen for instance during sleep. However, wrinkles created by mechanical compression differ from aging wrinkles in aetiology (their origin), location, and even anatomical patterns [2].

Another factor that contributes to the formation of wrinkles is the multiplayer structure of the skin. As the skin is composed of several layers that are mechanically distinct, the interaction between these layers may lead to the formation of wrinkles. An example of this may be the existence of microrelief on the skin surface which can suppress the formation of large wrinkles [3].

In addition to this, certain behaviors can accelerate the wrinkling of the skin. For instance, such behaviors include smoking or exposure to ultraviolet light (UV) [4].

Further, certain conditions can also lead to an acceleration of skin wrinkling. Chronic sympathetic bias, which is a condition that emerges during aging and has associations with stress, smoking, and other factors, has also been proposed to contribute to the mechanism of wrinkling [5].

Is Coconut Oil Beneficial For Our Health?

Coconut oil, a derivative of the kernel of mature coconuts, has been used in traditional diets and Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years [6].

It is a rich source of medium-chain fatty acids, which can be easily absorbed and metabolized by the liver [7]. These acids have been shown to have antimicrobial activity and help to modulate immunity [6].

Coconut oil has been praised for many potential health benefits, including support of brain health, memory enhancement, heart health as well as immunity improvement and weight loss [8].


It has been administered both orally and topical (through the skin). Interestingly, the topical application of coconut oil was found to be protective against atopic dermatitis and dental caries [9].

Furthermore, it has been used as a natural remedy protecting against hair damage due to protein loss during grooming processes or ultraviolet exposure [9].

While all these benefits are great to know, we can’t forget that coconut oil is high in saturated fats.

Therefore, consumption of coconut oil increases low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, which can increase adverse cardiovascular health [8]. This does not mean that coconut oil consumption is dangerous, however, one should be conscious of it and not exceed the USDA’s daily dose recommendation [8].

Can Coconut Oil Help Reduce Wrinkled Skin?

Coconut has been studied for its potential effects on skin health including its effects on skin wrinkling. Let’s look at the scientific evidence behind that together,

Coconut oil has been found to have potential collagen-building benefits. As already mentioned, the wrinkling of the skin in normal aging organisms occurs due to the reduction of collagen production. A study conducted using rats found that coconut oil led to faster wound healing, which was attributed to increased collagen components from the coconut oil [10].

Therefore this may be translated into human skin such that the collagen-building effect of the coconut oil may have the potential to slow down the process. Therefore the effects on the skin is that it may make the skin firmer and wrinkle-free [10].

In addition, coconut oil is a natural emollient, which means that it can fill in the gaps in your skin and make the skin feel smoother. It helps with rationing moisture which might result in your face looking fuller and potentially reduce the appearance of wrinkles [11].

In a study investigating the effects of topical application on prematurely born infants, the coconut oil helped the infants to maintain a better skin condition throughout the intervention period [12].

Although coconut oil may have some potential benefits for skin health, it is not a magical cure for wrinkles. While it appears to have some benefits in reducing wrinkles, there are many other remedies or over-the-counter products that focus directly on targeting wrinkle reduction.

In terms of usage, for wrinkle treatment, you should use coconut oil as you would a serum, applying it to a cleansed face up to two times per day.

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Frederika Malichová

Frederika Malichová

Frederika is a postgraduate researcher at the University of Cambridge, where she investigates new biomarkers for Frontotemporal Dementia and other tauopathies. Her research has been published at prestigious conferences such as the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference 2023. She obtained her BSc in Biomedical Sciences from UCL, where she worked closely with the UK Dementia Research Institute.