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Archive for coconut-oil

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Winter skin woe wonders: oils and butters that soothe and heal

 

In case you’ve missed the flurry of headlines — and are possibly nestled under a rock somewhere in the Southwest — winter is here, replete with our first big winter storm, Juno. *and yes, she’s a doozy. What does that mean exactly? Well, it means you’re either out there battling the blizzard’s whipping winds or you’re a virtual shut-in battling the dry environment compliments of your indoor heating — both things add up to this: damaged, moisture deprived skin that itches, burns and cracks. What to do, what to do? Here’s a look at several moisturizing and naturally derived oils and butter that will help you weather the… uh… storm sans the accompanying dry, chapped winter skin.

You’ve heard (*and we’ve written) ad-nauseaum about the wonders of coconut oil, but in case you haven’t heard us: coconut oil is magic. Extracted from the kernels of the seed of the coconut palm, coconut oil is the real deal. It moisturizes deeply, absorbs easily into the skin and helps to strengthen underlying tissue and remove excess dead cells on the skin’s surface, removing all the rough, flaky outer layer and making way for the soft, new cells. Unrefined coconut oil is rich in antioxidants, is anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal, can help protect against sunburn, and slathered on after a shower will make you feel softer than any babies bottom — guaranteed.

Another seed derived wonder is shea butter. Cultivated from the fruit of a tree native to Africa, shea butter is composed of fatty acids similar to those produced in our skin’s own sebaceous glands and is rich in Vitamins A and E, both of which soothe, hydrate and balance chapped, dry skin.

Jojoba oil is an odorless, colorless, not-exactly-an-oil moisturizer which makes up about 50% of the weight of the seed of the jojoba plant. It’s rather waxy in texture and is composed of something similar to the our own sebum — which makes it a great all around healer, trapping in essential H20 and also acting as a fungicide.

Delicious, nutritious and moisturizing, olive oil is a pantry to cosmetics case powerhouse that’s been used since ancient times to moisturize skin and soothe irritation. Extracted from the fruit of the olive tree, olive oil is easily absorbed into the skin and also contains antioxidants that can help slow the signs of aging. Slather some on directly out of the shower and don’t be shy about massaging it into your hair and scalp — then slather some on bread or pasta and enjoy!

 

 

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Coconut oil’s powerful hydrating punch

Today’s must-have is more “reminder” and less “run out and purchase” — it’s coconut oil, and it’s a many, many, many splendored thing. How do we heart thee, coconut oil? Let us count the ways.

It seems coconuts are as useful as they are trendy, particularly when it comes to beauty. In fact, some say you can replace a number of your high-end beauty products with it, counting deep conditioner, moisturizer, makeup remover, bath oil and sunburn soother as bottles being replaced by the sweet-smelling and inexpensive tropical oil. Here are some of our favorite coconut oil beauty fixes for the au natural set and beyond:

1. Makeup removal: Smear a bit over your eyes and cheeks and then gently remove the remnants of the nights war paint.

2. Sunburn soother: While there’s not really any empirical evidence that coconut oil actually helps sooth a sunburn, it will add a layer of moisture to dry, undamaged skin and the tropical smell will make you feel better about your less than enthusiastic sunscreen application.

3. Moisturizer: Chlorine and saltwater paired with summer’s hot heat is a recipe for dry skin. A healthy helping of coconut oil, smoothed on after a shower (and even worn to bed) is a great way to keep your skin hydrated and happy.

4. Bath Oil: And speaking of moisture, try adding a handful of the good stuff to a warm bath. A scoop will melt into the hot water and douse summer dry skin with a much needed power punch of hydration.

5. Deep conditioner: Dry scalp and heat damaged styling can both be addressed by a weekly coating of coconut oil. Use it as a once-weekly hair mask, or massage it into a tight itchy scalp. There really is no wrong way to use coconut oil, so what are you waiting for?

 

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Food Fight: Crazy for Coconut Oil

From the kitchen straight to your bathroom cosmetics cabinet, we’re spending Earth Day celebrating the merits of something you’ve likely got squirreled away in the pantry already: coconut oil. A fashion mag and beauty blog favorite, the benefits of coconut oil aren’t exactly a secret, but did you know that coconut oil makes a great ec0-friendly replacement for a number of pricey beauty products like face scrub, shaving cream, moisturizer and teeth whitener? Go green while saving some green ($$$-cha-ching!)

The health benefits of ingesting coconut oil are seemingly endless, it has antibacterial properties, it gives you energy without a sugar crash, and it’s a healthy replacement for butter and olive oil (which has a low smoke point and becomes toxic when burnt), but did you know that it’s also great for your hair and scalp? Heat up a few tablespoons of coconut oil, comb into your hair and leave on for an hour—or cover with a shower cap and sleep on it—follow up with a morning shampoo and you’ll notice a significant reduction in frizz and a happily moisturized scalp. The same goes for your skin. Scooping out and slathering on some coconut oil after a hot shower and you’ll eradicate dry skin in a snap.

Coconut oil can also make a great replacement for your body or face scrub. Simply add some sugar or salt with a tablespoon or so of coconut oil and gently exfoliate away that dreaded top layer of dead skin cells. While you’re at it, smoothing some oil on your legs before shaving can prevent ingrown hairs and razor burn, not to mention some seriously hydrated get-away sticks.

If you’ve been guilty of over plucking your eyebrows, there are rumors that coconut oil can help eyebrow regrowth. Simply smooth a little over your brows before bed—nourished skin encourages hair growth. It also makes a great eye make-up remover that has the added benefit of moisturizing your delicate eye area.

Mix six tablespoons of coconut oil with six tablespoons baking soda and add 15-20 drops of your favorite essential oil. Used instead of toothpaste, this concoction can single-handedly stop most of the common causes of tooth decay and is rumored to whiten teeth.

Convinced yet? We are!

 

 

 

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Tuesday’s Tips: Harmless Hair Hacks

With the endless array of products, tools and technique available, when it comes to having the hair of your dreams, the world is essentially your oyster. Until it’s not. Harsh heat styling, product overload, and tugging and pulling is a direct recipe for damaging your hair, so in the spirit of DIY, we’ve found several harmless hair hacks to help reduce the stress on your strands and still get the style your looking for.

1. Let’s start with a favorite at-home way to revive less-than-lustrous locks: coconut oil. Coconut oil is not only a great stand-in for cooking oil, but slathered on your hair can be a miraculously moisturizing hair mask. Simply slather it on in lieu of your regular conditioner, wrap your hair in a warm towel and let it do it’s magic.

2. Looking to create volume and still avoid the pitfalls of damaging heated curling irons, rollers, and blowdryers? Simply mist your hair with water, roll sections into velcro rollers, and allow to dry completely before releasing.

3. Beachy waves are a go-to look for summer, but sheer amount of product sometimes used to create the look can border on the extreme. A quick way to add texture is to create a few random braids to dry hair, then give use a blow-dryer on them for a few minutes. Upon releasing the braids, you’ll have your beachy texture, without product residue or an excessive amount of heat styling.

4. If static is making a mockery of your perfectly placed coif, try running a dryer sheet over your hair to combat flyways.

5. Your over-the-eye fringe is just as important as the hair on your head, and can be just as unruly too. If you’re low on eyebrow gel, give your eyebrows some lip service by applying a small amount of lip balm then brushing the hairs into place.

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