Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Coconut Oil: A Girl's Best Friend, Part 1

Briana and I have been using coconut oil over the past few months with great success!  We have added coconut oil to our daily routines, but in different ways.  So far, I've:

1. Used it as a day moisturizer
2. Used it as a night moisturizer
3. Used it to preserve my spray tans as an all over body moisturizer
4. Integrated it into a protein smoothie and other recipes
5. Used it as mosquito repellent

You can read about my protein smoothie and spray tan success here and here.  I really like using the coconut oil as a night time moisturizer.  It makes my face super soft and I'm saving a bunch of money by using this home remedy rather than buying expensive night cream.  However, I did not like it at as a day moisturizer up underneath my makeup.  I'm not sure if it's because, typically, I use a liquid sunscreen and mineral powder foundation on top of my moisturizer (which just may mean that the coconut oil doesn't mix well) orrrr if it's the fact that D.C. is a sweat box of sticky humidity and heat.  For those of y'all that don't know, coconut oil liquefies at about 77 degrees, which may explain why my face starts sliding around 10 AM.  Either way it was no bueno for me for this time of year.  I may try again when it cools off in November.  So, for now, I'm still spending money for a great moisturizer for daytime, but I haven't bought any night creams in 4 months.  If it still doesn't work out with my makeup, I'll be ok with it because I think it is important to diversify your moisturizers so that you can get different anti-aging goodness.  So, I will get coconut oil nutrients at night and Dr. Dennis Gross Age Erase Moisturizer with Mega 10 Plus for day.

I've also been using it as an all over moisturizer and my skin feels so much softer.  I put a good coat on pretty much every night and then I repeat on my legs in the morning.  I was having lots of dry skin problems after we moved last year, but this seems to be working to get rid of the issue.  My spray tan is also lasting longer and fading more evenly!

I can't report back on the health benefits of the coconut oil protein shake other than to say it is delicious and very filling.  I've also used it to cook chicken for an Indian dish and put it is some baked goods for church.  Yummy all around!

Finally, and probably most surprising, I'm using the coconut oil as the base for natural mosquito repellent.  I can't take the credit for this one.  A friend handed me her homemade mosquito repellent at her barbecue last summer after a big ol' nasty mosquito sucked practically all the blood out of the back of my leg .  Basically, you take a mix one tablespoon of coconut oil with 3-4 drops of lemongrass oil and 3-4 drops of peppermint oil and then you rub in the mixture on your exposed skin (mix up more using the same formula).  I used it twice last summer and had not a single mosquito bite.  I've used it this year with the same results.  It smells amazing, is all natural, makes your skin feel soft, aaaaand it works (shout out to AnnaMarie for introducing this remedy to me!)!  I bought the essential oils off of Amazon and the little bottles will last for quite some time.  NOW, I will say that this repellent has only been tested in the backyards and patios of the greater D.C. metropolitan area.  I'm not sure it would stand up to strenuous activity in the wilderness such as hiking, camping, trail running, rock climbing, or mountain biking.  Luckily, I don't do those things so I won't ever have to find out that I should have hosed myself down with DEET, 50 billion bites in the woods later.

Overall, I'd say that coconut oil will be in my healthy regimen rotation for some time to come.  No need to try purchase fancy pant coconut oil.  I've been really happy with the Trader Joe's brand and I just recently purchased the Whole Foods 365.  Both run between $6-$10 for 16 oz.  The most important part about buying coconut oil is to get organic, virgin, and cold pressed.  Since you may be eating this or slathering it on your skin, I prefer it to be as toxin-free and minimally processed as possible.

Trader Joe's Organic Virgin Coconut Oil
Image Source: Trader Joe's
Check back this afternoon for Briana's post on how she is using coconut oil in her life!  Be sure to share any useful tips for using coconut oil!

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