Coconut oil can provide a fun and nutrient packed way to help you take care of your skin.
Before applying it to your skin, please note that absorption may vary depending on a number of factors, including skin texture and thickness. When you apply it, be sure not to apply too much in any single area. This may permit it to sit on the surface of your skin, where it may be more easily rubbed off onto something that it could ultimately stain.
As a rule, apply only as much as your body will easily absorb and remember that a little bit goes a long way. So, if your skin is too oily after applying coconut oil, use less next time and save a little money.
For decades, people have been using it for a long list of beauty related purposes, including (in alphabetical order):
- Aging skin (it naturally contains anti-oxidants, including Vitamin E)
- Body scrub (DIY recipe included below)
- Cuticle softener
- Eye cream
- Facial cleanser
- Foot health
- Lip balm (DIY recipe included below)
- Make-up removal
- Scalp massage
- Shaving cream replacement
- Skin hydration and moisturizer (elbows, hands, feet, eyes, face, neck)
In a body scrub, coconut oil can play the leading role or it may be used as part of the supporting cast.
To make one of the easiest Do-It-Yourself (DIY) body scrubs you will ever find, just combine equal parts coconut and sugar. Then mix these two ingredients together with a spoon, until well blended.
To increase the exfoliating and relaxing power of your body scrub, you can also try adding a few more ingredients. Either way, apply it liberally, take it into the shower or eat it for a little boost of energy.
- 1 tbsp ginger, coarsely chopped
- 1/2 cup coconut oil
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup kosher salt
- lavender essential oil (4-8 drops, as desired)
- Adjust the abrasive texture by increasing coconut oil or decreasing sugar and salt
- Heat ginger and half coconut oil over low heat
- Let heat for 5-10 minutes
- Remove from heat & strain
- While the oil is still warm, mix in other half of oil & let sit until room temperature
- Stir in granulated sugar and kosher salt
- Add lavender essential oil
- Bottle. Place your new body scrub in an airtight container and keep it in the refrigerator for longer life or leave at room temperature for easy application.
When using coconut oil as a facial cleanser, do not use any soap. Simply massage the oil into your face and then wipe it away with a moist, warm washcloth. If you are wearing heavy make-up and want a stronger, deep cleansing facial wash, try mixing half castor oil with half coconut oil.
Coconut oil also gets used in a lot of acne regimens as it has been scientifically shown to naturally possess anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral properties.
As a make-up remover, it will easily take off virtually any foundation, mascara, eye liner or lipstick.
- Begin with a cotton pad or ball
- Put coconut oil directly onto the cotton
- Rub the cotton and oil gently onto your skin, where ever there is make-up
- If your make-up happens to be thick, you may want to put the coconut oil directly onto your skin, using your fingers to rub it into the make-up you want off
Then, after you have your make-up has been removed, you can try one of these two recipes to put a little fun back onto your lips.
For a fast and easy DIY lip balm, combine coconut oil with dry Jello powder. Try combining equal parts of the oil and Jello. Remember that you can adjust the intensity of the color by adding more or less Jello. After combining, thoroughly mix these two ingredients with a spoon. If the coconut oil is too solid, just add a few seconds of microwave heat. Apply with your finger or a brush.
If you are feeling adventurous or like to spend time in your kitchen, you may want to try this more industrious lip balm option.
You will need: honey (great for flavor and for moisture), cocoa powder (cinnamon may substitute or other flavorful ingredient), coconut oil, shea butter, Vitamin E Oil (individual soft gels are fine and easy to add), beeswax (optional), a small container (for storage), a brush (for application to lips), a spoon and a mixing bowl.
- First, add a little honey to the mixing bowl, then “dust in a little cocoa powder,” followed by the coconut oil (to help lock in the moisture), shea butter and the vitamin E oil (one or two softgels).
- Second, use the bowl and the spoon to mix everything into a delicious looking paste. Feel free to customize the flavor. If the consistency is too loose, add a little more shea butter. You can also help it last even longer by adding beeswax.
- Third, make sure it is thoroughly mixed. Be sure to get all of the lumps out.
- Fourth, scoop the mixture into the small storage container.
- Fifth, place container into the refrigerator for several hours, to help ensure that it sets correctly allowing all of the ingredients to properly blend.
- This formula adds powerful support for harsh climates and cold winter months, as well as long, dry, hot summers.
This balm will last for a couple of weeks in an air-tight container when placed in the refrigerator.
But why do so many people use coconut oil for so many different things?
To answer this question, it will help to reference a study that was published in 2010, by the U.S. National Library of Medicine and National Institute of Health. It was titled “Effect of Topical Application of Virgin Coconut Oil (VCO) on Skin Components and Antioxidant Status…” This study was particularly interesting, because it concluded that “the beneficial effect of Virgin Coconut Oil can be attributed to the cumulative effect of various biologically active minor components present in it.”
You see, pure coconut oil naturally contains a nice list of powerful nutrients for your skin. These nutrients include: lauric acid, myristic acid, capric acid, caprylic acid, caproic acid, plus Vitamin E, choline (Vitamin B4) and Vitamin K.
It should also be noted that is NOT believed to be capable of clogging skin pores, in part due to its high lauric acid and capric acid content. One study, from 2009, even reported that lauric acid provides “stronger antimicrobial properties than that of benzoyl peroxide (BPO).”
Quite simply, coconut oil is not like other oils and therefore has a dramatically different effect on the body. And, once absorbed into the skin, it may provide a fairly long list of inexpensive, skin supporting benefits.
Disclaimer: The information in this article is not provided by a medical professional and is not intended as a substitute for medical advice. Please consult your physician before beginning any course of treatment.
Tawne Bachus – Dirty Organics
Copyright © 2014 by Tawne Bachus