Recipes for Using Coconut Oil for Beauty Treatments
The Amazing Coconut
Coconuts are truly amazing. Coconuts are classified as a fibrous one-seeded drupe. A Drupe is technically a fruit with 3 layers. The coconut (in it's natural state) has 3 layers, the outer covering, the hard shell and the white interior which surrounds the seed. Another interesting fact - botanists are not really sure where the coconut originated (at the moment Polynesia seems to be the most likely birthplace of the coconut.) But however interesting coconut facts may be, one of the most fascinating is that the oil from the coconut is truly nature's beauty remedy (other natural oils are also great for beauty, such as olive oil.) Coconut oil contains lauric acid, which is known for being anti-viral and anti-bacterial. Coconut oil is also known for fighting free-radicals, which are thought to age our skin prematurely. It can help protect against liver spots, wrinkles and even help with skin-damaging problems such as psoriasis and eczema. It actually increases collagen production which will create more supple, stronger and more youthful looking skin.
Coconut oil can also be used on the hair. The fatty acids in the oil penetrate the hair shaft to help restore elasticity and repair damage and reduce protein loss.
The oil from the coconut is also a great treatment for acne. Although at first this may sound strange, the anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties (Capric Acid and Lauric Acid) of the oil actually help reduce the inflammation of acne and aid in the cleaning and healing of facial pores.
What KIND of Coconut Oil??
Although it would seem that using an all natural substance such as coconut oil would be stress free, you do have to put a little thought into which kind to buy. For any beauty regime you want to buy Virgin Olive Oil - refined with no hydrogenated fats. Coconut oil is solid at cold temperatures, semi-solid at room temperature and a fine oil when warmed. This makes it especially versatile for use on skin, in hair or on nails.
Recipes for Face
Depending on your goals, there are a number of ways to use coconut oil on your face.
As an Acne treatment : Mix approximately 1 tablespoon of warmed coconut oil with a teaspoon of baking soda. Rub VERY GENTLY over entire face. Do not let it sit but wash with warm water. There may be some slight stinging however you will notice visible improvement with this treatment overnight. Coconut oil is high in Vitamin-E. This keeps your skin healthy, glowing and helps facilitate the correct functioning of sebum glands which clears blockage, thereby treating the direct cause of Acne. The baking soda adds a layer of exfoliation and anti-bacterial power. Be careful to stay away from the eye area when using this treatment. Repeat once every other day. If you have very sensitive skin, use this treatment only once per week.
As a Deep Moisturizer: Warm approximately 1 tablespoon of coconut oil in microwave. (Some people frown on warming the oil in the microwave, however I feel that simplicity wins out when it comes to things like this. If it's too complicated, you will more than likely give up trying to do this on a consistent basis.) Using circular motions, rub onto dry skin. Place a hot, moist towel over the skin and let sit for a few minutes. Rinse off face but don't wash off the oil. It will soak deep into the skin within an hour or so. If you tend to have very dry skin, mix a few drops of rose or jasmine essential oils into the coconut oil before using. If you have oily skin, peppermint and orange essential oils will help remove excess oil from the skin.
As a Mask: Mix 2 teaspoons of coconut oil, 1/2 mashed ripe avocado and 1 teaspoon oat bran. You may substitute a teaspoon of honey for the oat bran (or just add it in as well!) Mix into a paste and apply to skin. Leave on for approximately 20 minutes. Rinse with warm water.
Recipes For Hair
Coconut oil will give you amazing moisturized hair. Use it as a deep conditioner or on dry hair to curb fly-aways and frizzies.
A Deep Conditioner: Warm 1 to 3 tablespoons of coconut oil (more or less depending on the length of your hair.) Add a few drops of essential oils to the oil, lavender for a soothing effect or citrus based for energy. There is no need to wet your hair with water, simply begin rubbing in the coconut oil until hair is fully saturated. Rub into the scalp to promote healthy skin and hair growth. Wrap your hair in plastic wrap as tightly as you can and let it sit like that for about an hour. Some people prefer to leave it on all night. Rinse and shampoo and condition as usual.
On dry hair: Rub a small amount of room temperature oil on to palms and gently apply to split ends and fly-aways, Don't go over-board as you may end up with greasy looking ends.
Nail Growth and Fungus
This isn't so much of a recipe as it is just good sound advice. Coconut oil has what is referred to as medium chain fatty acids. That's just fancy talk for anti-fungal properties. If you suffer from nail fungus (or athletes foot) rub coconut oil on the affected area twice a day. It is also recommended that you ingest a teaspoon of coconut oil per day to help stop the re-growth of the fungus. Rubbing coconut oil on your nail beds will also result in stronger, healthier nails.
Cost Effective Beauty Regime
Coconut oil, pound for pound, is the most cost-effective beauty treatment available. Although it can be a little difficult to find the right oil in a local store, virgin coconut oil is easily found online. For $30.00 you can purchase enough coconut oil to last 6 months...and that's with using it on your hands, feet, face and hair! If you're feeling adventurous, experiment with different essential oils and other natural ingredients, varying the mixture amount with the coconut oil. Coconut oil is often used in more complicated emulsions, and can be used to create creams and lip balms as well. So go ahead and go a little nuts for coconuts!!
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