NATURAL BEAUTY: COCONUT OIL
If you've never delved into the wonderful world of coconut oil than I urge you to run to your nearest health store and grab a big tub. Nothing rains more supreme in my beauty regime, and diet for that matter, than the beloved coconut (it's water & the oil). Call me a coconut baby, because I will gladly claim the title. I use this oil for absolutely everything. It's economical, simple, healthy, metabolism boosting, vitamin & nutrient dense and an all over miracle oil. There are honestly too many benefits to name here (I read an article once where the title was 160 uses for Coconut Oil! Maybe that's a bit too intense), but all of this to show you and say it's a must have in your kitchen and bathroom cupboards. Here is how I'm using it and why it's absolutely brilliant. Hopefully these help you find a use for this oil in your life!
* When purchasing, and consuming make sure you use raw, cold-pressed and unrefined. You will have to pay a bit more, but it's totally worth it! Coconut oil should not be heated or pasteurized
1. Moisturize Your Skin: The very first thing on this list, before even delving into the “edible” benefits of coconut oil, has to be moisturizing. In lieu of your regular lotion, coconut oil delivers a refreshing, healing, burst of moisture that penetrates your skin and works to truly heal it (not just soak in and dry up!) It can feel oily at first, but that’s why it’s important to only use a little-it goes a long way. Give it a minute and it will dry beautifully. Use as you would regular lotion.
2.Put it in your Bath: I run a hot bath, throw in some epsom salts, drop some lavender oil in there and scoop out some coconut oil to let it melt into the water. This combination is pure bliss. It's relaxing, detoxifying, and moisturizing all in one. It saves you the hassle of getting out of the bath, dripping wet, and finding a place to sit (usually) naked on the toilet or side of the bath and slather it on. Once you step out, simple pat dry with a towel and you're good to go. I adore going to bed oily.
3. Weight Loss (if it's your goal) : Something that I educate clients on as most people think it will do the opposite. Coconut oil and weight loss-what’s really going on? Well, if you sit around eating coconut oil, you aren’t going to lose weight. However, if used to substitute other fats, it can help you drop the pounds by taking the place of those other calories. Unlike most saturated fats, it’s mainly comprised of medium chain fatty acids, versus long chain fatty acids. This difference in molecular structure means that it doesn’t get packed away as fat as easily and instead is sent straight to the liver to be metabolized, giving you a boost in energy. This energy in turn makes exercising easier, and the exercise in turn helps you lose weight. Another major factor that it plays is as an appetite suppressant. Craving something you shouldn’t be? Have a tablespoon or 2 of coconut oil, and that craving will be diminished very quickly!
4. Oil/Butter Replacement: When cooking or baking, I substitute it for butter or just about any oil. It lends moisture, freshness, and richness to baked goods, and a subtle complimentary flavor to savory dishes. How much you substitute will depend on the recipe you are making. For baking, most people will fall in the 1:1 ratio or 80% coconut oil 20% water when subbing for butter. For basic cakes, cookies, and brownies I find 1:1 to be sufficient.
5. Hair Mask: While I'm in the bath I will pull my hair up into a bun using a scrunchie (love them!) but before doing so I will run some coconut oil through my ends, and only my ends. Do not run it through your entire head as the top of your head already produces the most glorious, and natural oils that should be left alone. If you do this, you will have to wash a couple of times, and still might be left with helmet head! When in doubt, keep it to the bottom half of your hair shaft.
6. Make-Up Remover: Simply scoop some onto your fingertips (it will melt quickly as you use it) and rub it over make-up in a circular motion, rinsing with water afterwards to remove traces of makeup and patting your face dry. It works well with eye make-up, waterproof or not, as well. You can use a mild soap if you wish to remove all traces of the oil! I usually just use it for my eyes to take off my mascara, as your skin around your eyes is of the most delicate of nature and needs extra TLC. I rub some over my eyes and take it off with a cotton pad. That way when I wash my face I don't have to rub my eyes while washing, or use a harsh towel to rub off any black underneath my eyes.
7. Massage Oil: The benefits of massage are countless, and we could all use one now and again. Rather than using a heavy lotion, simply use coconut oil. You can add essential oils for scent if you like, but I find the smell of coconut oil alone to be heavenly. It also leaves your skin truly moisturized and soft. Bonus - massage your partner with coconut oil...
8. Nail and Cuticle Treatment: I rub a small amount on my hands about 2-3 times a day, which keeps my cuticles hang nail free and super soft. It also helps with nail growth and over health of your nail bed.
9. Shaving Cream: Whenever we run out of our Dr. Bronner's shaving cream I use the oil! Luckily, water rolls right off oil, which means you have solid protection that allows your razor to glide smoothly over your skin. It also leaves it soft, moisturized, and safe from painful bumps and burns. Apply as you would any other cream before shaving.
10. Cheekbone Highlighter: Apply a small amount of coconut oil the same as you would another cheekbone cream to give yourself a naturally beautiful glow! I switch between this and my RMS Living Luminizer.
11. Use in the Sun: Coconut oil in and of itself is not sufficient as sunscreen. On its own, it has an SPF (sun protection factor) of 4-6. This helps a little, but not enough to make it a substitute. That being said, try applying coconut oil in between re-applications of sunscreen. It will help hydrate your skin and prevent it from drying out. Should you get burned, it can also help prevent peeling and itching.
12. Constipation Relief: Something that must be addressed + talked about. Constipation can put a damper on your entire day. Take a tablespoon of coconut oil every morning on an empty stomach to keep your digestive track running smoothly. You can try 2 tablespoons to work out acute constipation as well.
Let me know what you use it for as I love discovering new ways to use this beautiful, brilliant and miraculous oil.