Since I write about beauty for a living, I spend a lot of time researching skin care ingredients and how they affect the skin and body. I am also fascinated with ingredients that work from the inside out, like vitamins and foods that help create a strong body and a beautiful complexion. I’ve started incorporating coconut oil into my diet in place of butter, shortening, and vegetable oil because it does three things: 1. is easily processed by the liver into lots of energy; 2. protects the body from infections, heart disease, and illness; and 3. helps you lose weight. Not only that, it tastes terrific. So when Nutiva sent us their Coconut Oil (15 fl. oz $11.99), I was already happy – but not as happy as I became when I realized what a great ingredient it is for topical skin care.
Coconut oil is solid at lower temperatures, and liquefies at temps above 76 degrees farenheit. I find it’s best for skin care recipes when it is at that ‘almost about to melt’ stage. I’ve tried tons of recipes for face masks, body scrubs, face cleansers, and hair treatments, and these are my top five favorites. Be sure to use organic and raw ingredients when you can!
1. Coconut oil hand and body scrub
1 tablespoon coconut oil, 2 tablespoons honey, 1/4 cup sea salt, 1/4 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon lemon juice
Mix together and use this in the shower or just leave it next to the sink for a quick hand scrub. It leaves hands super soft and moisturized.
2. Moisturizing coconut oil facial mask
2 tablespoons coconut oil, 1 tablespoon honey, 1/2 mashed avocado
Mix together and apply immediately. Leave it on for 20 – 30 minutes then rinse off. This gives skin a great glow!
3. Coconut oil facial cleanser
1 tablespoon coconut oil, 2 drops tea tree oil, 2 drops lavender oil – add some lemon juice if your skin is oily or prone to blackheads
This mixture dissolves even the most tenacious makeup and leaves skin hydrated. Be sure to avoid the eye area – use straight coconut oil to remove eye makeup. It’s the best.
4. Coconut oil foot scrub
3 tablespoons coconut oil, 1 tablespoon brown sugar.
After scrubbing and rinsing off this scrub, apply straight coconut oil to feet then cover with socks – in the morning your feet will be amazingly soft.
5. Coconut oil hair mask
1 tablespoon coconut oil, 1 tablespoon honey – double the recipe for long hair. Heat the mixture up on the stove for a great hot oil treatment. Apply to dry hair from roots to ends, cover with a shower cap and let soak in for a half hour. Then, shampoo and condition like normal and you will be astounded at how soft and shiny your hair has become.
Coconut oil by itself makes a great eye cream, lip moisturizer, and makeup remover! I particularly like Nutiva Coconut Oil because it is:
- No cholesterol
- Made from fresh coconuts
Give homemade skin care treatments a try. It’s a lot of fun, and the results are fabulous. With the holidays coming up, homemade skin care treatments in cute little jars make great gifts (except for the one with avocado – that has to be used immediately). Believe me, coconut oil is going to become your best friend, both in recipes for food and in recipes for skin care. – Lisa
*sent for editorial consideration