For most Canadians it has been a rough week with temperatures dipping well below zero over the last few days, and continuing on for the rest of the week. You may be noticing that the wind and cold have had a negative affect on your skin and your over all mood and even health. Don’t despair, just reach for a jar of creamy coconu oil or lotion to moisturize and protect your skin, and perhaps transport you if only temporarily to a warmer tropical place.
Coconut moisturizes dry skin, fights signs of aging and provides protection from weather
Coconut is a tropical fruit that contains a layer of white meat that is often eaten fresh from the coconut, but can also be purchased and found in most grocery stores as well as health food markets as coconut oil. Often coconut is bought in a jar with the white pulp of the oil remaining solid at room temperature. Coconut is high in saturated fat-roughly 90% of the coconut consists of saturated fats. Coconut is also high in Vitmain E, K and iron. These fats, vitamins and minerals help to soften, soothe, smooth and protect your skin when applied topically. Due to the high amounts of vitamins and good fats found in the coconut oil it is also considered an antioxidant which helps to fight off free radicals and fights the signs of aging. So once again coconut can help your skin by making the fine lines on the skin appear less noticable and reduce the affect of sagging skin. Due to the moisturizing and replenishing qualities of coconut you can find it as an ingredient in moisturizers, soaps and creams. However, the oil is also great used directly on the skin on it’s own as a moisturizer.
Lauric acid, a unique fat found in coconut helps to wipe out infections and raise the immune system
Not only does coconut soften and protect the skin from the harsh elements, evidence has shown that one particular fat found in coconut oil can also help to fight to off infections, of all types. Roughly 50% of the fat found in coconut oil is Lauric Acid which when broken down by the body becomes anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal. This means it is effective in fighting and treating such skin care elements as: athletes foot, diaper rash, bruises and cold sores. As well,it fights off many other viruses and infections such as hepititus, herpes and the common cold.
Other healing benefits of Coconut oil
More and more research and evidence has come up lately of the healing health benefits of coconut oil. For awhile coconut oil had a bad rap as a food additive or for food production, as it is high is Saturated fats and was thought to contribute to heart disease and weight gain. Still, these fats are good fats with healing health benefits. Because of the high antioxidant and fat content of coconut oil it is know thought to be one of the best oils to use in cooking as the fats remain stable even in high temperatures without becoming oxidized or turning into transfats, the bigger fat danger. New research is showing that cooking with coconut oil can actually aid in digestion and help one loose weight and improve heart function. This is quite the opposite to what was originally being proclaimed about Coconut oil in the late 1950’s by the American government.
Perhaps it is the sweet nutty aroma, or the creamy feel of the oil, but some evidence also states that coconut oil may also help to reduce stress. So perhaps coconut oil will not just relieve your skin of the winter blues, but it might also relieve your own winter blues whisking your mind and body off to a more tropical place, at least temporarily.
Coconut oil is not only good for softening, moisturizing and regenerating the skin, it is also used to restore dry damaged hair. Simply massage the coconut oil into the hair, then wash and rinse off. The coconut oil helps to replace lost proteins from the hair.
Simple Coconut skin care recipes:
Tropical Coconut body scrub:
In a small bowl combine rougly 1/2 cup of organic coconut oil with 1/2 cup organic sugar. Cream and stir the two ingrediants together until they are evenly blended. Use this in the shower as a scrub for the whole body and to help remove dry skin. Coconut oil has a natural sweet, nutty aroma, so you can use it simly with the sugar or add a few drops of tropical scented essential oil to enhance the tropical feel of the scrub. Try several drops of mandarin, jasmin or ylang ylang to increase the cleansing and soothing scent of the coconut oil.
Rich Coconut Massage
Massage therapist have used coconut oil for years to relax and soften the skin and muscles. However, since coconut oil is often a little thick and pulpy, consider mixing it with equal parts to another base massage oil such as almond oil, jojoba or grapeseed oil. Once again, you can use the coconut oil as is with the subtle sweet and nutty scent or enhance the oil with a few drops of the essential oils mentioned above.
Another althernative to the thick pulpy natural coconut oil with coconut oil is Fractionated Coconut oil. It has no pulp but is clear and refined. You are less likely to find this type of coconut oil in the grocery store, although it might be available at some pharmacies or health food stores but at a higher price than the more natural pulpy version. It would also likely be sold in a bottle and would be available at both massage and aromatherapy boutiques. The advantage of this oil is that it is as equally moisturizing on the skin as the regular pulpy white version, but is much lighter and smoother to spread on the skin and unlike most other oils, it leaves no greasy residue. For these reasons it is a favourite of massage therapists.
Moisturizing and antifungal foot lotion
2 tblsp. of coconut oil
2tblsp. of olive oil
1 tblsp. of rose water
3 drops each of lavender and tea tree essential oil.
Heat the two oils together in a pan until warm. Add in the rose water and remove from heat. Stir until cooled. Add the drops of essential oil. Continue to stir until cold. Bottle and store. Use after foot baths or on the feet after a regular bath