One all-purpose kitchen item that I love to use in my beauty routine is....
❤ coconut oil ❤
It is really the best, multi-functional item I can think of. I use it for everything from eye-cream, makeup remover, moisturizer to toothpaste. At the end of this post I have included a few of my favorite coconut oil beauty "recipes".
Coconut oil typically comes in a jar & is the consistency of thick butter when cool. It melts at about 70° F & when completely melted it is a clear lightweight oil. In solid form, it rubs into the skin easily because body heat & friction are enough to melt it immediately. Occasionally, there may be small granules that are more resistant to melting, but will eventually melt as you continue rubbing the oil between your palms. A large tub of coconut oil usually costs me about $20 & lasts 4-6 months; it is widely available at most grocery stores. You can purchase it either in the cooking isle or the beauty isle; I get mine at Sprouts Farmers Market, but I have seen it at Whole Foods & Trader Joes as well.
This is the brand I use. (It's also good for cooking).
Coconut Oil As Skincare:
Many clients express to me the concern about applying oil to their faces, particularly if they have oily skin already. Having struggled with acne & oily skin for many years of my adult life I understand the fear of adding oil to an already oily face. I was very reluctant to try it in the beginning myself, but I'm soooo glad I did. Now that I am more aware of how our skin works & how all the chemical-filled beauty products negatively impact our skin, I understand how coconut oil makes a perfect skincare product. When you add oil to your skin, it balances & moisturizes the skin causing it to stop producing it's own oil. Coconut oil doesn't cause blemishes because the molecular structure is similar enough to our own oil that the coconut oil is able to penetrate the skin without clogging the pores. Unlike other moisturizers which contain chemicals, coconut oil is able to penetrate the skin, rather than sitting on the top layer leaving a greasy film.
Uses & Beauty Applications:
- Deep Pore Cleanser: Take a quarter-sized scoop of oil & work it between your palms until it melts. Apply the melted oil to your skin & gently rub in circular motions, focusing on areas where your pores seem clogged. Then, with a washcloth steeped in hot water, gently wipe the oil away. The hot washcloth works to steam open your pores while the oil bonds with dirt & debris in your skin, unclogging your pores. Repeat 2 to 3 times. Rise with cool water & finish with your favorite moisturizer (or a small amount of coconut oil- see the next bulleted point).
- Moisturizer (facial/body): Coconut oil makes an excellent moisturizer. A very small amount is needed for your face & it smells heavenly. To use, take a dime-sized scoop of coconut oil, working it between your palms until melted. Massage the oil into your skin in circular motions. Wait 5 to 10 minutes before applying makeup in order to allow the oil to penetrate & moisturize the deeper layers of your skin. I use coconut to moisturize daily, both in the morning & evenings. I tend to use a larger amount at night. Use a larger amount for your arms & legs. It leaves a beautiful non-greasy glow to the skin.
- Eye-cream: Coconut oil mixed with a few drops of vitamin E oil makes an easy & effective eye-cream. Apply a small amount nightly, after cleansing to help prevent wrinkles. This eye-cream also moisturizes your eyelashes, keeping them supple & preventing breakage.
- Toothpaste: This is one of my favorite coconut oil uses. Mix 2 TBS coconut oil with 1/4 C baking soda to form a thick paste. You can use the mixture just like this to brush your teeth, but the flavor is difficult to get used to. To make it taste better, you might add stevia, peppermint or cinnamon essential oils. This homemade toothpaste is very effective & will leave your teeth feeling incredibly smooth. Even without the addition of flavored essential oils, it will leave your mouth completely odor free & fresh & the results last much longer than typical store-bought toothpaste (no more morning breath!!)
- Makeup remover: This application is similar to the pore cleansing method. Use a quarter-sized amount of coconut oil, mixed with a bit of vitamin E oil, spread between hands & then over your face. Wipe away with a warm washcloth & watch even the toughest makeup come right off. Repeat if necessary.
- Shaving lotion: Shaving with coconut oil is great because it simultaneously moisturizes your skin while keeping the blade sharp. The only drawback is that it will clog your razor & cause your tub to get slippery (if you use too much). To prevent this, rinse your razor with very hot water every few strokes. Also, to prevent a slippery bathtub, avoid using too much coconut oil, a thin layer is sufficient. If your tub does get slippery, simply wipe the excess oil away with a mild household cleaning product & a rag.
- Hair balm/ Anti-frizz serum: Before blow-drying my hair, I usually soften a dime-size amount of coconut oil between my palms & then gently rub it into my hair, starting about halfway down & focusing on the ends. As I blow-dry I work the oil through my hair with a comb. It doesn't leave the hair oily, but does smooth away frazzled ends. This also works on dry hair, just start with a very small amount of coconut oil & focus only on dry/damaged areas of your hair.
Do you use coconut oil in your beauty routine? If so, are there any applications that I have forgotten? If so, drop me a line & let me know :) I'd love to know what you all think about coconut oil & how you're using it.