Coconut Oil, how i love thee!

Went from this $67 Dior Cream to this $9.99 jar of Coconut Oil & my skin has never looked better!!

Healthnut “hippie/witch dr” tid-bit i wanted to share.  I have been slowly switching the products i use to be as natural as possible.  for my skin, i have a very oily T zone.  i have used everything from Oil of Olay to the most recent $67 bottle of Hydra Life by Dior.  with the promise to minimize pores and reduce oil i couldn’t pass it up.  it did work good. kept the oil at a medium to low state but didn’t do much for my pores.  the day i ran out i resorted to some coconut oil in my pantry to remove mascara and moisturize my eyes.  knowing i had oily skin i was very hesitant to apply to my face.  i went for it anyway due to being too lazy to make the 5 minute drive to Sephora, find parking, yadda yadda.  the next morning my skin looked and felt great! it did not at all add to my oily skin but kept it calm. i have since used it and have not broken out once or had oil problems. Turns out coconut oil is antimicrobial, antifungal, and antibacterial!  after a little bit of research i now use it on my kids skin, as a lotion, eye cream, makeup remover,cut/burn cream, and for a ton of other things.   

here are 2 great articles of the many wonderful uses & info for Coconut Oil :)

1.)http://familysponge.com/health/using-coconut-oil/

Why I love using Coconut Oil

There are many websites than can give you a list of uses for coconut oil, but I want this list to all be about my personal testimony. I religiously use all of these things and can personally say they work for me, and hopefully for you!

coconut granola

Baking: Coconut oil can be substituted 1-for-1 in most baking recipes that call for butter or oil (check out my Maple Granola Muffins and Coconut Granola for some delicious and healthy recipes).

Cooking: My friend Jo got me hooked on cooking eggs in coconut oil. They do taste a little bit like coconut, but that’s a good thing to me.

Body lotion: After the shower, I rub coconut oil all over my body— it feels and smells amazing. I also do this on the kids when their skin is dry (which isn’t too often since we rarely even use soap on them).

Facial moisturizer: I was very scared to put coconut oil on my face. Since moving to Florida I have had issues with acne. So bad, I resorted to Proactive. Well, two months ago I ran out of my face lotion and decided to give coconut oil a try. Sure enough, my face feels good and the acne has subdued. Turns out coconut oil is antimicrobial, antifungal, and antibacterial, which explains why my face hasn’t broken out from it!

**Update 9/10/12: I have been adding 2 drops of tea tree essential oil to the dab of coconut oil I put on my face and the results are awesome. My acne has really cleared and my face has evened out (less red areas). I also think it has to do with me drinking more green smoothies, which are a great way to help your skin glow.

Eye makeup remover: On the rare occasion I actually put on makeup, I do use a cotton ball and a little coconut oil to remove it. Works better than anything else, hands down.

Homemade deodorant: And it actually works!!! This stuff is so good— I highly recommend that you make your own. Here is the easy, peasy recipe.

Hair tamer: I have thick, curly and wild hair— coconut oil helps bring sanity to the situation. After the shower, I use mousse and then smooth some coconut oil on my unruly curls to calm it down.

Deep conditioner for hair: At least once a month, I slather this on the tips of my hair and (even my scalp) and let it soak in for a few hours. Then I brush it through and massage my scalp before I shower. I shampoo it twice through with Yes To, my favorite brand of shampoo and conditioner that is paraben free.

homemade toothpaste

Toothpaste: I started making my own toothpaste with coconut oil 3 months ago and really like it. The coconut oil gives it a creamy consistency, which is similar to store bought (yet way better for you!). The first few weeks my teeth were a little sensitive (which is an issue I have). SO I alternated days with Sensodyne and the homemade recipe. Yet now I only use homemade and my teeth are fine.

Furniture wood polish: I used it today to polish my wood coffee table and it looks beautiful! Just poured some onto a rag and rubbed it around.

Eczema: My son had mild eczema and we used a variety of creams. Coconut oil helped if we caught an outbreak early enough. (We eventually figured out what was causing his eczema— Target brand laundry detergent, and stopped using it. Eczema solved!)


Future uses for Coconut Oil:

Here are some other uses for coconut oil that I haven’t tried, but look forward to:

Lice treatment: My son starts preschool in the fall and I am getting ready for the dreaded lice attack. Sounds like Thrifty Mama has a great alternative to commercial lice products.

Insect repellant: Mix coconut oil with peppermint oil extract and rub it all over. I really hope this one works!

Nose bleeds: We are traveling to Southern California next month and I heard that a nose bleed is guaranteed since we have acclimated  to the Florida humidity. Time to rub some coconut oil in our noses and moisturize away!

Cuts and scrapes: Keep hearing people rave about the antimicrobial characteristics of coconut oil and am excited to try it on my kid’s ouchies.

What brand of coconut oil do you buy?

Nutiva is the brand I used at first on my face and liked it, but I needed more!  I kept hearing great things about Mountain Rose Herbs and decided to try them out. The website wasn’t the  easiest to maneuver around, but I managed (and even added some arrowroot and essential oils into my cart). And oh my— the quality of the coconut oil is insane! It’s creamy, light and just feels great— I can’t go back to Nutiva after using this.

I bought one gallon of refined (for cosmetic purposes) and one gallon of unrefined for cooking. Well, the refined is strange and caused my face to break out in a bad rash. So I switched back to the unrefined and my face is happy again. I definitely recommend Mountain Rose Herbs for all things natural and health-related— it’s a great company. But if you are not sure if you are gonna love coconut oil as much as I do, then totally give the less expensive Nutiva a try. That’s what got me hooked in the first place.

2.) http://seakfoundation.com/face-the-fat/

Face The Fat!

Posted on April 20, 2012 at 7:59 am.

Happy Foodie Friday!

Are you ready to Face the Fat? Check out Grace Soldato’s new article on healthy fatty foods and their natural beauty benefits!

Extra Virgin Coconut Oil

Not all fat is created equal! It has been scientifically proven that eating certain fats, in particular monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats (found in nuts/fish/avocado) are good for your when consumed in small amounts, and help you stay slim (all in time for a certain challenge on May 17th!)  One of these fats I am going to talk about is extra virgin coconut oil. Before I even begin, I just want you to note that gorgeous supermodel Miranda Kerr has endorsed extra virgin coconut oil and said, ‘I will not go a day without coconut oil. I personally take four tablespoons per day, either on my salads, in my cooking or in my cups of green tea.’ As if that didn’t already convince you (see picture below), I urge you to read on… 

What is it?

Extra virgin coconut oil is extracted from the coconut mea, and the unrefined coconut oil turns clear with a relatively low melting point of 75 degrees Fahrenheit.   When heated above 75 degrees it looks like a clear liquid. At room temperature it resembles a thicker almost butter like consistency, and when chilled it hardens like cold butter (usually not easy to use so keeping at room temp is best.) I personally prefer organic extra virgin coconut oil and there are a number of brands available at your local health food store or Whole Foods.

 Not all coconut oil is created equal

Quality is extremely important as well as reading the label! Coconut oil that has been partially hydrogenated contains trans fats, which increase bad cholesterol. Unprocessed coconut oil known as ‘extra virgin’ or ‘virgin’ coconut oil, on the other hand, contains lauric, capric and caprylic acids. These are medium chain fatty acids that are really good for your body! Also, caprylic acid is anti-fungal and is often used to treat digestive issues for those with sensitive stomachs. Another plus? The lauric acid in the fat in the coconut can actually help boost metabolism. It is metabolized so fast that the fat is more readily burned off for energy, rather than sticking to unwanted areas on the body (like traditional naughty fats.)

Extra Virgin Coconut Oil vs. Coconut Butter

As if life weren’t confusing enough, a new product hit the market called ‘coconut butter.’ It really is more like a cream and it contains the oil, plus the fiber from the whole coconut meat and gets soft with a milky white color (but never liquid) when melted and works very different in recipes that call for coconut oil. So when in doubt, just be sure to look for the words ‘extra virgin coconut oil.’

Cooking with Extra Virgin Coconut Oil

Extra virgin coconut oil can be used in a number of ways, such as adding a tablespoon to your smoothie, instead of olive/nut oils in salad dressings or even to sauté vegetables. My personal favorite is to use it in baking by replacing traditional butter or oil with this wonder ingredient. I also recently tried it with popcorn! Usually I am one to have dry, oil-free popcorn but the coconut oil brought out the sweetness and nutty flavors of the corn and when drizzled with a little raw almond butter (yes, minor indulgence) it was absolutely delicious!

Beauty benefits

Instead of consuming extra virgin coconut oil and you need some at home, do-it-yourself beauty solutions, coconut oil is great for under nourished skin and perfect either as a lotion before bed, or perhaps a body moisturizer in the shower. It also makes a great mask for your hair and I tend to leave it on for an hour and let it soak in. After showering it off, my hair is left looking just like Miranda’s in one of her Victoria’s Secret commercials! Okay…so not exactly…but it is worth a try!

To conclude…don’t be put off by the fat content of extra virgin coconut oil. I personally believe in eating natural fats for optimum health. They balance your hormones, metabolism and revitalize your skin, nervous system and brain. The fact it doubles as a beauty product is sheer genius! Also, natural high fat foods like extra virgin coconut oil are rock stars for the body and tend to stop you craving the naughty non-natural fatty things (ick potato chips!). Good news our body…and for our booty!

Recipes Using Extra Virgin Coconut Oil

Coconut-Blueberry Smoothie

 

1 tablespoon extra-virgin coconut oil

1 cup blueberries

½ banana

½ cup ice

1 cup water or almond milk (or nut milk of choice)

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Purée all the ingredients in a high speed blender for about 60 seconds.

coconut oil natural skin moisturizer dior benefits healthnut healthy skin holistic holistic beauty

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