Dry skin, scalp flakes, psoriasis, damaged hair… Coconut oil has nutrients that skin loves, and it can be used to help soothe all of these issues. Who’d have thought?
To use coconut oil for application, make sure you’re purchasing pure, organic coconut oil. Most health food shops such as Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s offer this type of oil.
To use as a hair treatment, follow these steps:
Warning: Coconut oil is solid unless heated. When heating the oil, make sure it isn’t too hot or you will burn yourself. Use caution and do not over-heat!
Melt it: Grab a teaspoon of the coconut oil. To turn it into oil for hair, you’ll need to heat it up until it melts. I usually do this by dropping my teaspoon into a bowl and popping it into the microwave for 30 seconds. Do not melt the entire jar!
Serum: For a serum, pour a dime size amount into your hair and distribute evenly for silky, coconut-smelling hair.
Hair mask: For a hair mask, saturate your hair (especially the ends) and leave the oil on for as long as possible. I usually leave it on for about three hours before bed, and then wash it out. Your hair will be extremely soft after drying! If you wash in the morning, feel free to don a shower cap and leave it in over night.
Have left-over oil? Here are ways to put it to use:
Save it: Put it in the refrigerator and it will solidify again, ready to be re-used.
Moisturizer: Use the oil for your skin, similar to how you would use a moisturizer.
Nails: Use the oil as a nail treatment, rubbing it into cuticles to soften. Works great during a manicure.
Scalp: Rub into finger tips and use as a scalp massage to help sooth dry scalp and dandruff. Let sit on the scalp for as long as possible, and it will soothe itchy areas and moisturize.
Soothing: Concentrate the oil by massaging into problem skin areas. Any itchy areas will be relieved and redness should decrease.
Face: Use as a facial moisturizing treatment by massaging into the skin. This not only helps with dry patches and does wonders for dry skin, but it will even soften eyebrows and lashes.
Have you ever used coconut oil for moisturizing treatments? Would you recommend it?
This post was inspired by my good friend Renee, who did a similar post! It’s fun to see what people use every day. My skin type is combination, but it’s also sensitive. So my t-zone gets oily, my cheeks are prone to dry patches, and using products that are too harsh can irritate my skin in general. My body is generally dry.
Here are some of the products I currently use in my skincare routine.
Cleansing: I wash my face day and night with Origins Checks and Balances face wash. I use Say Yes to Cucumbers facial wipes to remove make-up first, if needed.
Toning: None. I’m probably going to try a gentle toner from Origins next. My old one was too harsh.
Moisturizing: I moisturize in the day using Origins A Perfect World moisturizer with SPF 25. At night I use Alba Botanica Renewal Night Cream. For my eyes I use Avalon Organics Vitamin C Revitalizing Night Cream.
Exfoliation: I’ve been adding sugar to my cleanser as a scrub once a week. Simple and effective!
Mask: I use a yogurt mask once a week to hydrate and soothe my skin. I smooth plain, non-fat yogurt on my face and leave it on for about ten minutes. It feels amazing! I find other masks to be a bit too harsh.
Body: I use a shea sugar body scrub from Tree Hut once a week in the shower. My moisturizer varies greatly. (I have a lot.) Every few days I keep my skin glowing the healthier way by using Sun Laboratories Dark Sunsation. The best self-tanner I’ve ever used! Full review coming another time.
It’s not uncommon for me to change things up a lot. This is my current skincare routine, but it’ll likely change as I try new things. Right now I’m loving Origins because it’s sensitive enough for my skin, but hydrates well. So I may try more from them in the future. Thanks to those of you who recommended I try Origins when I asked for advice on Twitter. :)
Going completely natural
Yogurt has many benefits. It soothes, hydrates, and calms skin. Add a drop of honey or olive oil for even more hydration!
Some people prefer to go completely natural with their skincare. I haven’t gotten to this point yet! Maybe one day I will. However, if you’re interested here are some substitutions you can use.
Cleansing: Use any oatmeal. Wet the oatmeal in lukewarm water until it softens, then rub it on your face. It soothes irritated skin, gently exfoliates, and hydrates.
Toning: Use witch hazel. You can find it at any drugstore. About 99% of commercial toners I’ve seen use witch hazel as their main ingredient.
Moisturizing: You can use the yogurt mask method I mentioned above and it will leave your skin hydrated. A super thin layer of vaseline works just as well. Neither will clog your pores. I still recommend you find something for sun screen if you live in a sunny area.
Make-up Removal: Olive oil or jojoba oil does the trick! Put some on a cotton ball and swipe it around your face/eye area.
Exfoliation: Oatmeal will gently exfoliate, but if you need more I recommend my method of just adding sugar to a cleanser. I don’t recommend using salt or apricot scrubs — way too harsh for your skin. You can also try investing in an electrical cleanser brush.
Getting into a routine
I think it’s important to take away this piece of advice — everyone’s skin is unique and different! Just because these products work for me doesn’t mean they will work for you. Unfortunately, it takes time, money, and patience to find products that work with the chemistry of your skin to keep it in its best shape.
I’ve found over the years that less is more. I definitely don’t advocate this recent trend going around that more is best, and to layer skincare items. (See this Michelle Phan video for a brief introduction to the layering technique.) I’m not a professional, but it just doesn’t seem to make sense to me! The more products you use, the higher the chance that some of them won’t work well together, or your skin runs the chance of getting stressed and will only look worse. What do you think about the recent skincare layering trend?
This blog entry was posted in Beauty on Jun 27 2011.