Monday, May 20, 2013

{Skincare} Coconut Oil

Hey there! So to kick off my natural skin care series I'm going to talk a little bit A LOT about coconut oil. If you've been reading this blog for a while now you know I'm a busy working girl so I'm game for anything that can be used in different ways and is good for me. Coconut is one of these multi use products for me!!!

So what is coconut oil? Coconut oil is an oil that is extracted from the white meat of a coconut. Predictably, it smells DIVINE! I used to hate coconut scented products because the scent was always very strong, artificial and pungent. This stuff is the real deal and smells amazing. Coconut oil will usually be solid at room temperature (and white) but will melt clear at around 75 degrees, a relatively low melting point.

I purchase my coconut oil from Trader Joe's. I think this large 16 oz bottle was around $6 or $7 dollars, so very very inexpensive when compared to all of the expensive body lotions and creams I've purchased over the years. I also like that it comes in a glass jar instead of a plastic one. The Trader Joe's coconut oil is VIRGIN, meaning that it is COLD PRESSED, so no chemicals or heat are used in the refining process, which is good. In addition, it is USDA certified organic!

The brand of coconut oil you get doesn't really matter. I would just look for the USDA organic certification and make sure that it is virgin or cold pressed. 

Here's what the actual oil looks like. It was about warm outside when I took this picture so it was starting to melt a little bit. I decant a few table spoons into a smaller container that I leave in my bathroom and leave the big jar in my kitchen because I also use it for cooking!

So how do I use coconut oil?

My favorite way has been as a moisturizer. I will take a little glob of it (for lack of better word), warm it in between my hands until it liquifies (just a few seconds) and then smooth it over my freshly shaved legs and anywhere else I want to moisturize. I let it absorb for a few minutes before getting dressed.

I also sometimes mix it with whatever lotion I'm currently using. Although I probably will not be repurchasing most of these lotions, I do what to finish up the ones that don't make me itch. I've spent a lot of money on them and I hate to waste anything.

I've also recently been loving this as a makeup remover! I used to think that you would have to pry that small blue bottle of Almay out of my cold dead fingers but honestly, I can really see myself doing without it as coconut oil works even better for me. It doesn't sting my eyes, doesn't cost a lot of money, removes even the most stubborn of waterproof mascaras, and conditions my lashes. What more can I ask for? And unlike the Almay makeup remover: no mineral oil :)

I also use it on my hair. During the day I sometimes smooth some onto the ends of my hair just to condition them a bit. If my hair is really acting up I will use this as a mask. You have to shampoo really well so that it doesn't feel greasy after, but my hair feels so so so soft after I do this.

Scrubs: Coconut oil works great when mixed with another carrier oil and salt or sugar to make an amazing scrub. On it's own I don't use it for scrubs because it will solidify at room temperature, but if you use less coconut oil and more of another oil (I'm currently loving apricot kernel oil or almond oil) then it stays liquid and smells great. I've been preferring the salt scrubs lately because summer is coming and I'm showing more skin and shaving more often. If you do use salt just remember to do the scrub before you shave and rinse all of the salt off well. Otherwise, it will sting you legs when you shave. 

There are tons and tons and tons of different skin care uses for coconut oil. I just wanted to share with you a few of my favorites. I will definitely have some more posts about coconut oil and show some demos as well as tutorials.

If you have any questions or requests, feel free to leave them in the comments!


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