- Fashion and Beauty
Dr. Bronner's Magic All-in-One Coconut Oil, the thrifty woman's beauty secret
The eco-girl's friend
Coconut oil is an eco-girl's, or in this case, an eco-granny's, socially responsible, dream beauty treatment, and at a fraction of the cost of cosmetic-counter creams and lotions.
Once upon a time, to keep my aging skin hydrated and supple, I spent a lot of money every month on an entire arsenal of moisturizers, all tubed and bottled in plastic. No more!
Everything I need I found in my pantry in one small glass jar. The good news: Coconut oil is the main ingredient in a whole lot of those expensive beauty potions.
Virgin, cold-press, organic is best because it's nothing but pure coconut oil. You wouldn't want to put pesticides on your skin would you?
Coconut oil moisturizes eight ways
A few years ago, almost by accident, I discovered how versatile the stuff in that 14-ounce jar in my pantry really is.
Not only is it a healthier alternative to butter in baked goods and in the frying pan, it is a fabulous beauty aid.
Here are eight ways I use it. Can you think of more?
- Gentle eye and throat cream
- All-over body moisturizer
- Cracked heels/chapped hands therapy
- Safer lip balm
- Easy hair conditioner and oil treatment
- Light day-time facial moisturizer
- Leave-on overnight facial
- Non-toxic cuticle cream
Coconut oil is the first green solution I've found that moisturizes deeply without leaving any sticky residue, and did I mention it comes in a glass jar? No plastic bottles going into the waste stream.
This is the little jar in which I keep a small amount of coconut oil in my bathroom cabinet. I fill it only half full, and it lasts about six months.
Saves beaucoup dollars
Coconut oil does everything my $40+ facial moisturizer, $12 body lotion, $20 eye cream, $15 hair conditioner, heel cream, cuticle oil (don't remember how much those cost) did and more.
Plus, I need only the tiniest amounts. A small jar like this lasts months. And coconut oil doesn't turn rancid, so it's as good three months down the road as it is the day I fill the jar.
At first I used it only on my feet and elbows, which always need extra help.
Next, I tried it on my face. I'm in my sixties, and my skin hasn't felt this silky to the touch since I was a young woman.
Later, ever so carefully, I tried it as an eye cream. It works beautifully there too, without dripping into my eyes when hot flashes overtake me.
Now I use it wherever I once used a moisturizer or conditioner having to do with skin, hair and nails.
I even used it when my granddaughter brought lice home from summer camp! Yup. Those little buggers leapt off her hair and onto mine. We both have mounds of thick hair, so they had no trouble co-mingling when we hugged.
Just to be sure, after a couple of days treating myself with coconut oil, I went in to a professional for a check. They found just two nits on me. Very likely if I had continued the treatment a few more days at home, I'd have had none at all.
What does Science say about using coconut oil on our skin?
Applying coconut oil to our skin and scalp may just help keep us healthier. According to Dr. Mercola, "Coconut Oil is Nature's Perfect Moisturizer." (If you follow the link, scroll down to find that heading in the article.)
The good doctor says that, because of its anti-oxidant properties, coconut oil is both anti-microbial and anti-viral. And that, he says, makes it one of the most useful substances we can keep on hand.
In fact, he lists just a few of more than 122 ways we can use coconut oil: "deodorant, toothpaste, hand and body cream, lip balm—even bug repellent."
But you don't have to take his word for it. Dr. Mercola also footnotes his article with links to his sources.
Hair conditioner extraordinaire
A couple of hair cuts ago, my hairdresser must have fallen asleep at the shears because I ended up with a mess that hasn't grown out yet.
I finally changed hairdressers. My new one says it will take awhile to clean this up, since there's really no point trying to cut it all off.
Thank goodness for my monthly, or thereabouts, oil treatments. They don't solve the problem, but they do help.
Every four-to-six weeks, I take about a quarter teaspoon coconut oil, warm it up in my palms, and work it into my hair, ends to scalp. If I have time, I leave it on 15-30 minutes before showering. If not, I shower anyway. It's all good.
That's not much oil, is it? My hair is extraordinarily thick. So if you have thinner, shorter hair, you're going to need a lot less.
Now if only it would turn my hair white. It's time! I've got the wrinkles to prove it.
Smells like cookies
Dr. Bronner's Magic All-in-One Coconut Oil has a delicious, all-natural coconut scent that is nothing short of aroma-therapy.
When I open the jar, I always pause a moment and take in a long, slow whiff. To me, it smells like cookies. Perhaps that's because I make a can't-keep-the-hands-out-of-the-cookie-jar coconut snickerdoodle we gobble like candy.
Not to worry if you wear perfume. The scent dissipates entirely in a short time, so it doesn't interfere with your favorite essential oil or perfume.
Fair Trade matters---Or not?
How much does it matter to you how workers are treated and what happens in their community?
Fair Trade and Organic
Why do I choose Dr. Bronner's over other brands on the market? Because they are the leaders in partnering with Fair Trade-certified growers and processors.
From the farmers who grow and harvest the nuts on organic plantations, to the workers who process the oil, everyone is paid fairly. Plus, every part of the nut is used, if not in the oil, in other products that bring income into the communities that grow the palms and harvest the fruit.
More importantly, Dr. Bronner's assures that some of the profits go back to the community in the form of education and health care, to help provide not only for the communities' needs today, but well into the future.
How about you? Do you make purchasing decisions based in part on how they affect the workers who produced the products? Take this quick poll. Only three answers. Pick the one that best describes your response at this time. Then, if you have the time, share your thoughts in the comments section at the bottom of the page.
What do you think of coconut oil as a thrifty and effective beauty moisturizer and hair conditioner? Have you used it yourself? Might you give it a try? Or do you think this idea is all washed up?