Friday, July 20, 2012

Green Sprog Tip #2: Coconut oil as moisturizer

I recently read about using coconut oil instead of moisturizer on Sustainable Baby Steps & immediately gave it a try. I have some organic virgin coconut oil in the cupboard & I've been looking for something to help solve the odd dry skin patch I always seem to have under one eye. Moisturizers never work--if they're eye gels, they seem to dry it out more, if they're thicker face creams, they seem to overload the skin & it's dry the next day anyway.

The test drive

The first time I used the coconut oil on my face it took a while to absorb. My face felt a bit greasy longer than it would with the Alba moisturizer I've been using lately. However, this wasn't an issue with my hands: they absorbed the coconut oil in minutes. The next time I used a bit less & it was fine. After a couple of weeks of using coconut oil on my face & body most days, my skin feels quite soft & that pesky dry patch is better, though not gone.

Most commercial moisturizers advertise themselves to be oil-free or non-oily, etc, blaming oil for skin breakouts. Seems like a bit of a red herring to me--maybe the breakouts/clogged pores are caused by all the petroleum products & other weird chemicals in the products, not natural oils? After slathering myself in coconut oil for a couple of weeks, I have had no issues with clogged pores or increased acne.

A little dab'll do ya

Something to keep in mind when using pure coconut oil as moisturizer is that you really don't need much. With most commercial moisturizer, the main ingredient is water & that's how it spreads over your skin easily. With coconut oil, you only need a tiny bit, but that's harder to spread around on dry skin, so it works best right after a shower.

Coconut Oil: what can't it do?!?

Did you know that coconut oil has antimicrobial properties? It kills nasties like listeria & this study found it took care of yeast (Candida Albicans) better than fluconazole. Coconut oil is being looked at as a possible solution to the growing threat of antibiotic-resistant microbes.

It won't break the bank

Possibly the best news about this magical stuff is the price: you can get virgin organic coconut oil for way less than even a bargain-basement facial moisturizer, let alone fancy organic moisturizer. Last time I bought Alba facial moisturizer I paid about $18 for 85mL! has 445mL tubs of coconut oil for $12.29--that's over five times cheaper & that's not even the cheapest price out there.

Two thumbs up

The verdict: I highly recommend you try coconut oil on your skin. Because everyone's skin is different, you might have different results than I did, but even if it doesn't work for you it's not a total loss--you can still use it to make deodorant (check out my 'recipe' for that here) or cook with it! If you do try it, or even if you're just thinking about it, please let me know in the comments below!

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