For those of you reading this right now, odds are you’ve at least heard of a few ways coconut oil can be incorporated into your beauty regimen. When the coconut oil trend hit blogs and magazines about a year and a half ago, I was more than eager to try it out. Hitched to my college budget, I was game for any product you could use on your skin, in your hair, and even regularly digest. What a deal. After a year of coconut oil disasters, I’m here to tell you coconut oil can go wrong, way wrong. If you are a coconut oil novice, read on for the benefits of this tropical oil, and a few suggestions for how to use this product so it actually works like the miracle it’s marketed as.
Coconut oil is beneficial both internally and externally. Internally, the coconut oil diminishes the appetite (fatty acids), increases energy, and improves cholesterol levels. There are plenty of ways to incorporate coconut oil into your diet. My favorite trick is to put a spoonful of it in my morning chai tea for a quick boost of energy. Externally, coconut oil kills bacteria, viruses and fungi (lauric acid), moisturizes skin, and can even act as a basic sunscreen – blocking about 20% of the sun’s UV rays. As a reminder, experts recommend buying organic, virgin coconut oil to use topically. Keep in mind, as you read the following suggestions, coconut oil becomes a liquid (and thus looks more like the oil consistency you are expecting) above 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Below that that temperature, the oil is solid, and you will have to scoop it out of the jar with your fingers or a spoon. That being said, a little goes a long way.
Starting with the skin, coconut oil can be used both in and out of the shower. In the shower, slather the stuff on in lieu of shaving cream. This will give you an extremely close shave, and better yet, you’ll be moisturizing as you go. Once out of the shower, pat your skin dry and apply coconut oil as a body moisturizer. Be sure and rub the oil in well. If it is not thoroughly emulsified, once you step into the blasting AC or the fall weather outdoors, it will feel as though a waxy (and cold!) layer is sitting directly on your skin without soaking in. While I am a proponent of coconut oil as body lotion – especially in the warmer months – coconut oil did not work as a facial moisturizer for me. I have dry, problem skin, and not only did the coconut oil never seem to fully soak in, but it often got into my eyes, and regularly clogged my pores. In general, I much prefer using jojoba oil as a facial moisturizer. Coconut oil does widely work as an eye makeup remover though. Simply apply a bit to your eye area, then remove it with a cotton ball. For a final skin suggestion, put a little coconut oil on your cuticles to soften them before your DIY manicure. Be sure to use alcohol to clean your nail beds before applying paint so the color adheres. Coconut oil can also be used in your hair – but sparingly. If your hair is washed and dry but a little frizzy, rub a bit of coconut oil in your hands until it liquefies then run your fingers through your hair. Start by applying the oil at your ends and work your way up. Avoid putting the oil anywhere near your scalp if you don’t plan on washing it after because, shocker, it will immediately look oily. To use coconut oil as a deep conditioner, rub it in your palms until it becomes a liquid and apply from the scalp down to the tips while your hair is dry. Then, you can wrap your hair in saran wrap and leave it for a few hours before washing it out. Because of the quickly-solidifying nature of coconut oil, I would suggest using olive oil in the colder months to try out this deep conditioning trick to make sure the oil is actually soaking in and moisturizing.
In closing, remember that coconut oil is a tropical staple for a reason. In colder temperatures, either indoor or outdoor, this oil will not behave in the moisturizing way you might be expecting. That being said, break the coconut oil out daily in the shower, and in the kitchen, as the weather turns cold for an instant tropical escape.
Places to find organic coconut oil in the Dallas - Ft.Worth Metroplex are listed below: