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For me, the smell of coconut reminds me of my favorite tropical getaway, Hawaii. Sadly, I am not in Hawaii. I am however back in the kitchen experimenting with a new ingredient, normally found in the kitchen, that can also be used for beauty purposes just about anywhere on your face and body – coconut oil.
The use of coconut oil has been used by many cultures for centuries. I selected it for my latest Kitchen Cosmetician experiment because it is loaded with antioxidants and is the key ingredient in many organic and high end skincare products. So I experimented with coconut oil for more than two months and said “see you later” to all of my body lotions and beauty routines.
Getting your own fresh coconut oil can be a bit intimidating because it naturally comes as a big ol’ solid. But no worries. Dixie Lincoln-Nichols, owner of bath & body line Dixie Bits learned the beauty benefits of coconut oil as a young girl growing up in Trinidad and is sharing her secrets! Watch below as Dixie’s grandmother shows us how to extract the oil in your own kitchen:
Of course, it’s also possible to purchase coconut oil. You’ll find both unrefined and refined coconut oil in the organic aisles of most grocery stores (or Whole Foods, Trader Joes, etc) and you can also find it online (try searching drugstore.com for a number of choices).
During my coconut oil testing, I became fond of Spectrum Organics and used both their refined (neutral scent and flavor) and unrefined (smells like fresh cracked coconut) oils.
Tip: If it is not solid and does not resemble Crisco it is not 100% coconut oil.
There are two ways to utilize this special oil. You can let it sit in warm water and let it liquefy, which I found to be a bit messy (especially when using stored liquefied oil) and with the spillage a little wasteful. The second way is to just break off a bit of the oil and rub it directly on your skin. I prefer taking a bit out of the container and let the small amount melt into my skin a bit at a time.
Coconut oil is fast absorbing and has a quality that reminds me of aromatherapy because it seemed to be calming and stress relieving.
Here are some of the areas and ways that I used this great ingredient:
• Removes makeup, including eye makeup – with a small amount your makeup will melt off.
• Heals chapped lips – rub a bit of coconut oil on before bed and it will heal your lips. However, you will not wake up with your lips feeling “quenched.”
• Gentle moisturizer – I rubbed this on my face, neck and chest without any problems from my sensitive skin.
• Acne – when dabbed on my pimples, they seemed to heal a bit quicker.
• Heals chapped hands and wrecked cuticles – I only used a drop or two.
• Overnight foot treatment – works on dry, calloused, even cracked feet – just apply to feet and put on socks.
• All over body treatment – apply to entire body in the shower and gently rinse it off and pat dry.
•Heals blisters – I know this sounds like a myth but, I had blisters on both feet from new shoes and long conference. The blister treated with coconut oil healed four days before the other.
• Overnight moisture treatment – apply to entire body and go to sleep. This is my favorite way to use coconut oil. It should not stain your bedding, but lay down a towel and use an old sheet just in case.
• Conditioning treatment – apply to scalp and hair and let is soak in for a couple hours then shampoo out.
After two months of regular use and visible results, I now I am in love with coconut oil and am very thrilled to have this multi-tasking ingredient in my beauty arsenal.
And by the way, should you want to cook with it, Unrefined coconut oil is best for medium heat cooking where the oil’s full flavor is intended to be part of this dish. Refined coconut oil is for medium to high heat cooking such as sautéing, stir frying or even baking, but has more of a neutral scent and flavor.
Fellow Kitchen Cosmeticians – have you tried coconut oil in the kitchen or in your beauty routine?