Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Adventures in Coconut Oil

photo: SingChan

Well Internets, I've survived my first week of using coconut oil as a moisturizer and as a major component of my homemade deodorant. I've yet to send small children screaming at my pale flaky skin, nor have my co-workers been avoiding me any more than usual. I consider that a success. But let's dig a little deeper, shall we?

Oil Me Up, Baby
I have to give two giant thumbs up to using coconut oil as a body moisturizer. My skin feels softer and more smooth than ever. Plus, there's just something I enjoy using a moisturizer that is so non-toxic it's actually edible.

At first, I missed the creamy texture of lotion, but that was soon replaced with awe at the magic of coconut oil. Look, it's a solid! But wait, with a quick rub of my hands--presto, chango--I present you with, a liquid. Yes, I'm easily amused.

And, bonus, whatever was causing me to have a mad case of the itchies, has vanished since I started using coconut oil. I was concerned the oil might leave me feeling a little too slick, but that hasn't been an issue either. Application is simple, after drying off from the shower, I apply the oil one limb at a time. By the time I get dressed two minutes later any added oil has been absorbed. Easy, peasy.

Minty Fresh Pits
The homemade deodorant, on the other hand, has been slightly less successful. I used Crunchy Betty's recipe and smooshed it into an old deodorant container a' la this tutorial, which works great.

The good news is that I don't stink. The bad news? The new concoction stings a little. Using less baking soda might help with that. Or perhaps if I shaved my pits less than every day (sorry, not gonna happen). I'm still hoping the stinging will fade, but if not, I'll try reducing the baking soda in the next batch.

Another thing I'll be tweaking next time is the scent. Since I only had eucalyptus and spearmint essential oils on hand, that's what I used. Then for the next 24 hours I wondered why suddenly the entire world smelled like toothpaste. Finally, it clicked (genius!) and I sniffed my pits. Yup, they were minty fresh. I don't know about you, Internets, but I find it disconcerting to have armpits that smell like freshly brushed teeth. It's not bad per se, just disturbing. Like Pat from SNL. Or Lady Gaga.

Wussed Out
I did however wuss out on using coconut oil on my face. I've tried it twice, but since I've read opposing arguments on whether CO is comedogenic or not and I'm prone to breakouts, I've been loathe to push my luck.

I'm still waiting to see just how long the 16oz. jar of
Dr. Bronner's coconut oil I bought for $10 will last. Since CO has soooo many uses, I've been going through it more quickly than expected. I even went wild and crazy and actually cooked with it. It does pop up some might fine popcorn, let me tell you. I'll keep you posted on the cost-effectiveness situation.

What's your go-to natural beauty product?



  1. I'm a big fan of jojoba oil. I use it instead of soap for shaving, for hand lotion, lip balm, and even as a conditioner for my hair. I believe it's non-comedogenic so I don't worry about using it on my face.

    I also like coconut, but it's a bit "oilier" than jojoba, so I use it sparingly... although the smell is nice!

    The other moisturizer I LOVE is called NaPCA. NO... nothing to do with black athletes or the National Association of Pipe Coating Applicators... It's actually a salt that our skin produces naturally, but the amount goes down as we age. The way I understand it, it actually pulls water out of the air into your skin. It feels just like water, but it works amazing! I usually buy mine online, but you could probably find it at Whole Foods.

    Have fun with your coconut oil!

  2. I second the recommendation for jojoba oil. I use it on my face and it has actually improved my oily, acne prone skin. Mine is mixed with a couple drops of essential oil (lavender, rosewood, and lemon) for scent and additional skin benefits, but you can use it straight. I've tried other oils, and they tend to be a bit heavy for my face.

    Some natural deodorants use arrowroot powder instead of baking soda. I wonder if that would sting less?

  3. I too use coconut oil in place of lotion, and I do use it on my face. For me, I think it's helped clear me up rather than cause a problem. I guess I'm lucky! But then there have been several other changes I've made so it's hard to tell what's helped what. I just know I have fallen in love with coconut oil. I don't think there's anything it can't do! Although...I am having trouble convincing it to take out the trash. ;)


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