Weight Loss
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Can oil on the skin make you gain weight?


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My husband and I are having some disagreement. He is something of a nutritional guru, with a strong emphasis on organic, plant-based diet. I almost always agree with him, and we eat very healthy. He is naturally a tall, very lean person (145-150 lbs at 6 feet tall) and I am naturally more inclined to put on a little extra fat. Currently, I have gained 15 lbs in the last 3-4 years after menopause, and am trying like crazy to take it off.

The question today is due to my skin being quite dry because we live in the Southwestern desert. I have switched from using lotions to rubbing coconut oil on my skin after a shower...I love my skin! But my husband thinks that this will act as if I were including extra fat in my diet, and slow or stop weight loss, or even cause weight gain.

What's the real "skinny" on putting fat on my skin? Anyone know anything about this?

Edited Sep 15 2012 19:20 by coach_k
Reason: Locked -- asked/answered.
39 Replies (last)
#21  
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I corrected that. It should be uncalloused.

Original Post by wonday:

You are incorrect. Many substances and essential oils as well as fatty acids are readily absorbed by the skin. Don't just rant check the facts.

This is the type of thing I worried about during my ED.  Rubbing oils on your skin does NOT make you gain weight.  I highly doubt that a significant enough quantity actually enters your blood stream to make contribute any calories.  Geeze. 

Having oily skin may be an indication that you have too high levels of fat in your diet though. Maybe he got it all backwards? Cool

your fine, keep putting it on your skin (or in you hair too). 

I came across your question because I had the same question.... I am a massage therapist and started using organic coconut oil as a massage oil about 5 months ago. Since then, I have gained 10 lbs and I have done nothing different. Am going to switch back to something else and see if I can lose this 10 lbs.

Original Post by belovingkindness:

I came across your question because I had the same question.... I am a massage therapist and started using organic coconut oil as a massage oil about 5 months ago. Since then, I have gained 10 lbs and I have done nothing different. Am going to switch back to something else and see if I can lose this 10 lbs.

I'm not sure where you went to school, but they should have taught you that the skin is not permeable to oils that way.

I'm also an RMT, and have never experienced or attributed weight gain to any of the various oils I've used.

You can not gain weight from massage lotion.  It's physically impossible.

#27  
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These studies suggest that you can. The fat is absorbed through the skin. Here is the study. These are the results done on full term babies. (Also preterm, but I didn't add that. You can read the article from the link. It is going to be SO HARD for me to give up spreading oils on my legs and arms a few times a day. I love the feel of it too! Here are some highlights:

One traditional practice in India and South Asia requires mothers to massage oils, including those made from coconut, onto their newborn baby's skin. It is believed that oils can prevent infections and hypothermia. In 2005, the journal "Indian Pediatrics" conducted a controlled trial of babies in three groups. The babies were massaged with either coconut oil, mineral oil or with a placebo four times daily. The results of the study found that babies who were massaged with coconut oil gained significantly more weight compared to those who were massaged with mineral oil or a placebo.


Table II shows the growth characteristics of full term babies in the three groups. Weight in the coconut oil group was significantly higher as compared to the placebo group both at 14 days as well as at 31 days. Weight at 31 days was significantly higher in the coconut oil group as compared to the mineral oil group. Weight gain velocity over first 31 days was higher in the coconut oil group as compared to the mineral oil and placebo groups. Also, length gain velocity was higher in the coconut oil group as compared to the placebo group.


The findings of this study suggest that coconut oil application improves the weight gain velocity in preterm and fullterm neonates over and above the benefits of tactile kinesthetic stimulation due to massage alone (placebo group). Preterm neonates also showed a higher weight gain velocity after application of coconut oil as compared to mineral oil application. This suggests a role for transcutaneous absorption of vegetable oil through the thin skin of the preterm neonate. The skin of a preterm baby allows significant absorption of fat, as it is thinner and more vascular(15,16).This may also result in greater caloric intake and hence a better weight gain(17).


Agarwal, et al.(6) observed that full term infants at 6 weeks massaged with sesame oil showed a significant increase in length, midarm and midleg circumferences compared to infants receiving herbal oil, mustard oil, or mineral oil for massage daily for 4 weeks.

 

Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/article/94903-effec ts-putting-coconut-oil-skin/#ixzz1r5tyob5N

#28  
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When I looked into the HCG diet a year or so ago, I saw that this was one of the ideas of the diet. I never bought it. If that was the case all of those skinny sunbathing hotties that oil up their skin for better tans would be whales! Lol
Original Post by water716:

These studies suggest that you can. The fat is absorbed through the skin. Here is the study. These are the results done on full term babies. (Also preterm, but I didn't add that. You can read the article from the link. It is going to be SO HARD for me to give up spreading oils on my legs and arms a few times a day. I love the feel of it too! Here are some highlights:

One traditional practice in India and South Asia requires mothers to massage oils, including those made from coconut, onto their newborn baby's skin. It is believed that oils can prevent infections and hypothermia. In 2005, the journal "Indian Pediatrics" conducted a controlled trial of babies in three groups. The babies were massaged with either coconut oil, mineral oil or with a placebo four times daily. The results of the study found that babies who were massaged with coconut oil gained significantly more weight compared to those who were massaged with mineral oil or a placebo.


Table II shows the growth characteristics of full term babies in the three groups. Weight in the coconut oil group was significantly higher as compared to the placebo group both at 14 days as well as at 31 days. Weight at 31 days was significantly higher in the coconut oil group as compared to the mineral oil group. Weight gain velocity over first 31 days was higher in the coconut oil group as compared to the mineral oil and placebo groups. Also, length gain velocity was higher in the coconut oil group as compared to the placebo group.


The findings of this study suggest that coconut oil application improves the weight gain velocity in preterm and fullterm neonates over and above the benefits of tactile kinesthetic stimulation due to massage alone (placebo group). Preterm neonates also showed a higher weight gain velocity after application of coconut oil as compared to mineral oil application. This suggests a role for transcutaneous absorption of vegetable oil through the thin skin of the preterm neonate. The skin of a preterm baby allows significant absorption of fat, as it is thinner and more vascular(15,16).This may also result in greater caloric intake and hence a better weight gain(17).


Agarwal, et al.(6) observed that full term infants at 6 weeks massaged with sesame oil showed a significant increase in length, midarm and midleg circumferences compared to infants receiving herbal oil, mustard oil, or mineral oil for massage daily for 4 weeks.

 

Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/article/94903-effec ts-putting-coconut-oil-skin/#ixzz1r5tyob5N

So this might actually work for a pre-term baby but for us it's a no go.

Original Post by trh:

Original Post by water716:

These studies suggest that you can. The fat is absorbed through the skin. Here is the study. These are the results done on full term babies. (Also preterm, but I didn't add that. You can read the article from the link. It is going to be SO HARD for me to give up spreading oils on my legs and arms a few times a day. I love the feel of it too! Here are some highlights:

One traditional practice in India and South Asia requires mothers to massage oils, including those made from coconut, onto their newborn baby's skin. It is believed that oils can prevent infections and hypothermia. In 2005, the journal "Indian Pediatrics" conducted a controlled trial of babies in three groups. The babies were massaged with either coconut oil, mineral oil or with a placebo four times daily. The results of the study found that babies who were massaged with coconut oil gained significantly more weight compared to those who were massaged with mineral oil or a placebo.


Table II shows the growth characteristics of full term babies in the three groups. Weight in the coconut oil group was significantly higher as compared to the placebo group both at 14 days as well as at 31 days. Weight at 31 days was significantly higher in the coconut oil group as compared to the mineral oil group. Weight gain velocity over first 31 days was higher in the coconut oil group as compared to the mineral oil and placebo groups. Also, length gain velocity was higher in the coconut oil group as compared to the placebo group.


The findings of this study suggest that coconut oil application improves the weight gain velocity in preterm and fullterm neonates over and above the benefits of tactile kinesthetic stimulation due to massage alone (placebo group). Preterm neonates also showed a higher weight gain velocity after application of coconut oil as compared to mineral oil application. This suggests a role for transcutaneous absorption of vegetable oil through the thin skin of the preterm neonate. The skin of a preterm baby allows significant absorption of fat, as it is thinner and more vascular(15,16).This may also result in greater caloric intake and hence a better weight gain(17).


Agarwal, et al.(6) observed that full term infants at 6 weeks massaged with sesame oil showed a significant increase in length, midarm and midleg circumferences compared to infants receiving herbal oil, mustard oil, or mineral oil for massage daily for 4 weeks.

 

Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/article/94903-effec ts-putting-coconut-oil-skin/#ixzz1r5tyob5N

So this might actually work for a pre-term baby but for us it's a no go.

As an RMT (and the same vbeattie that replied what, a year ago?) this is fallacious. The reason pre-term babies gain weight when being rubbed with oil is because of the parasympathetic nervous reaction to massage and human contact, not due to the oils.  It causes them to be happier babies who are inclined to eat more.  I did a study on this for my graduation paper.

 

Hilarious that my first day back to the forums this had been dug up again.

Original Post by virginiabea:

Original Post by trh:


The findings of this study suggest that coconut oil application improves the weight gain velocity in preterm and fullterm neonates over and above the benefits of tactile kinesthetic stimulation due to massage alone (placebo group). Preterm neonates also showed a higher weight gain velocity after application of coconut oil as compared to mineral oil application. This suggests a role for transcutaneous absorption of vegetable oil through the thin skin of the preterm neonate. The skin of a preterm baby allows significant absorption of fat, as it is thinner and more vascular(15,16).This may also result in greater caloric intake and hence a better weight gain(17).

So this might actually work for a pre-term baby but for us it's a no go.

As an RMT (and the same vbeattie that replied what, a year ago?) this is fallacious. The reason pre-term babies gain weight when being rubbed with oil is because of the parasympathetic nervous reaction to massage and human contact, not due to the oils.  It causes them to be happier babies who are inclined to eat more.  I did a study on this for my graduation paper.

 

Hilarious that my first day back to the forums this had been dug up again.

I said "might". ;-)  Welcome back!

Original Post by trh:

I said "might". ;-)  Welcome back!

Thanks!  And in fairness, my response was directed more to the long post, and not yours ;-)

You obviously did not read the studies that were posted. They controlled for touch being responsible for the effect by using  different oils, and even a placebo in one of the studies. The babies who were massaged with the sesame oil and coconut oils gained more weight and grew more than those rubbed with the other oils, and the RESEARCHERS THEMSELVES speculated that it was due to calories being absorbed!

And just how, exactly, do you know that for adults we don't absorb the fat through the skin when you are in agreement that it gets absorbed in infants? We also have areas of thin uncalloused skin like the breasts, the belly, the inner thighs, the throat, the upper inner arms- you know, the same places that they have you put medications in order to be absorbed into the bloodstream. Since it's apparent that it can be absorbed in babies and contribute to caloric count, you can't just dismiss out of hand the possibility that it can be absorbed in adults as well.

Wow.

Let's just say for one minute that yes, oil can be absorbed through the skin. As an adult with an active metabolism, you would have to do this so much to make it a factor in weight gain!

I use olive oil on my body after a shower just about every day. I have been consistently losing weight since last September.

Until a study is done that tests the effect of oil rubbing on adults who have otherwise identical diets, there's no way to know. But I'd be willing to bet money that it is not the main factor in your weight gain.

Hi,

I am currently trying to work out if you can absorb calories through your skin,
and was wondering if you still think the oil was the cause of your increase in
weight. Have you been able to lose the weight or was it due to the oil?


love using oil on my skin and find it very moisturising but, I was wondering if
I should start not using products that could be absorbed by the skin and used
as calories while I try to lose weight.



You people are seriously off your rockers.

 

Why don't you go rub your head on books and see if you learn better that way, too? Maybe the information will "rub" off into your brain.

Original Post by armandounc:

You people are seriously off your rockers.

 

Why don't you go rub your head on books and see if you learn better that way, too? Maybe the information will "rub" off into your brain.

LOL

Perfection. I could not possibly have said it better.

But be careful, information might have calories.

Well if you have 5 lbs of cream on your skin you'll obviously gain 5 pounds!

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