In my personal opinion, coconut oil is one of the most underrated products out there. Its uses are so versatile that it would almost be a sin to not have a large container of it somewhere in your home. What I've found is that it's typically used for cooking, but is also used in the cosmetic and medicine industry. You can literally use this stuff for anything and everything. I've been using coconut oil ever since I made the transition to start using as many natural products as I could a few years ago. Before getting into all the secrets, however, let's take a look at what it actually is.
What is it?
Coconut oil is actually one of the last "foods" that can be considered a superfood. Coming from matured coconuts, coconut oil is roughly 90% saturated fat.
- Strengthens and conditions hair
- Improves and/or heals a variety of skin diseases/conditions
- Increases metabolism
- Kills bacteria and many viruses
Because of coconut oil's versatility, there are many different ways you can use it to benefit your skin. For example, I have a skin condition called psoriasis. What I will say is that I have a very mild case of it, but it still causes an insecurity for me. I have also read that this same routine can work for a variety of other skin conditions as well.
People with psoriasis know the struggle of wanting to leave the house and not wanting to leave the house all at the same time. When it's hot outside, you debate on whether or not the long-sleeved shirt and capris are really going to make you have a heat stroke. Kidding, of course. One must always remember to be able to make light of an insecurity to ensure that it does not consume and eat you alive. Anyway, I had quite a few visits to my dermatologist who gave me an assortment of costly topical creams. This is the thing with medications you get from your doctors: they typically clear up a condition to only a certain degree. When I say to a certain degree, I mean to the point where it's still there but it's manageable/you feel you can leave your house somewhat confidently.
So to my dissatisfaction, I had done some research along with some trials, and I discovered a few things after roughly two months of consistently using coconut oil. What I first discovered is that it has anti-inflammatory properties which is what initially caught my attention. Coconut oil gives the skin a "breathing ground" so to speak, which allows the skin to produce its anti-inflammatory cell hormones, which is what reduces inflammation caused by psoriasis…amen. I took notice that not only did I see improvement in my skin condition when I applied it topically overnight, but also when I consumed it. I follow a pretty healthy lifestyle to begin with, but I knew that I could make some adjustments. I started replacing butter with coconut oil here and there. I can't say whether or not this had an added effect, but with the results I was getting from applying it topically, I wasn't complaining. There is something about coconut oil that just makes you feel healthier. I laughed a bit when I said that, but it's true!
How to use:
- Find yourself a quality jar of extra virgin coconut oil. (It can be pricey depending where you buy, but it is well worth it). Don't forget to shower first!!
- I take the desired amount (a little goes a long way, but you can apply liberally if you wish) and put it into a pot/pan and heat it up just a little bit. I use a little on my less severe spots and more liberally where my skin tends to be a bit more painful and tight.
- I then throw on a shirt I don't mind getting dirty and wait about an hour if I can, then wipe off any excess and go on about my day.
I typically apply this one or two times a day. I usually leave it on overnight and wrap the area so I don't get any on my sheets. In addition to that little tip, diet is everything. Be sure to do some research; you'd be surprised at what foods trigger a flare-up of your psoriasis.
Disclaimer: May cause acne due to the oils clogging the skin's pores. It is also known to cause allergic reactions for some people as well.
This makes me so happy that I can share this with you guys. I have spent so much money on different kinds of facial cleansers it physically, mentally, and emotionally pains me. What wouldn't be so sad about all of this is if the products I bought worked like they are advertised. I am sure you can all feel me there.
I binge-researched coconut oil one day and found a simple cleanser so I decided to try it. You can use this as an exfoliator or a cleanser, it just depends how much you use. For example, if I wanted to exfoliate I would use more baking soda and less coconut oil. Obviously for the cleanser I used more coconut oil and less baking soda. I read that you could just mix the two ingredients together and apply, but I like to add a little bit of extremely hot water to get a nice consistency. I then just apply to my face in small, circular motions and rinse with warm water. I feel doing this adds more of a "glow" to my face. Everything will work differently for each person, and this one happened to work very well for me. What I like about it is that it's cheap, effective, and economical. Try for yourself to see if this DIY cleanser/exfoliator works for you.
DIY bath soak
Who doesn't love a good bath once in awhile after a long day/week? I certainly do. Especially one that detoxes my body. Here lies another secret to coconut oil…add it to your bath. In addition to the oil add a bunch of Epsom salts and soak for 45 minutes to an hour. The Epsom salts have magnesium which has a ton of benefits, including, but not limited to, stimulating blood flow to your sore muscles and eliminating toxins. If you soak in a hot bath for almost an hour you will typically notice dry skin. That's where the coconut oil comes into play. It is a nice moisturizer to counteract the drying of the soaking in hot water. You can also use different types of salts, such as lavender or eucalyptus.
- One heaping scoop coconut oil
- 2-4 handfuls of Epsom salts
- Soak for 45 min-1 hour
Don't forget to light some candles and play some soft music for added relaxation.
There are MANY more secrets coconut oil has to offer, it's just a matter of doing your research. What I personally like about it is that it's natural and has a laundry list of health benefits. Let me know if you try any of these, I'd love to hear your results!