Hi. My name is Caleigh, and I’m addicted to beauty products. Walking into my home is like walking into a cosmetic hoarder’s heaven. (Or an OCD nightmare…sorry, honey!) I stock a whole dresser just full of makeup. There is an entire chest devoted to nail polish. You’ll find boxes full of scrubs, oils and bath paraphernalia all over the house, and now that I’m well into my 30th year, my anti-aging collection is slowly mounting. (It’s all about prevention, people!) That reminds me, if you haven’t checked out the MyChelle Age Defense Gift Baskets, you’re missing out. But, I digress
What I really wanted to tell you about is, I have found the most incredibly versatile all in one, multipurpose beauty product and it’s been hiding in my kitchen cupboard this whole time! (Meaning: more room in the monthly beauty budget. Score!) As I was making my morning smoothie and scooping the usual tablespoon of coconut oil into my blender, I remembered reading that Gwyneth Paltrow uses the same ingredient for oral hygiene, a process known as “oil pulling“. So of course, I decided to give it a whirl…literally, you have to whirl the oil around in your mouth for 20 minutes. As always, Gwyn’s advice is on POINT! Despite the lengthy, labor-intensive process, no whitening product has ever left my mouth feeling so refreshed. So, that got me to thinking, what else can I do with this magical ingredient? As it turns out, a lot! My friends, I have done the work; I tried it all and compiled a list of the best DIY coconut oil products!
THE TOOTH FAIRY
Since my first foray into the world of coconut cosmetics began with the mouth, I figured it would be a natural place to start. Let me elaborate on the “oil pulling” process. It actually originates from an old Ayurvedic practice. They claimed it helped cure ailments such as acne, migraines, asthma and more. Nowadays it is primarily used to help clean and whiten the teeth. As previously mentioned, just take a dollop of oil into your mouth and swoosh it around for 10-20 minutes. The longer it’s in there, the better. The oil removes the plaque and bacteria in the mouth, leaving it cleaner and your teeth whiter.
Turns out, in addition to the regular pulling procedure, you can actually make a coconut oil based toothpaste. Up the whitening factor by mixing equal parts oil with baking soda and make the paste tastier by adding either a small amount of peppermint essential oil or a few drops ofliquid stevia to sweeten the mix.
Among my extensive cosmetic collection is an impressive assortment of deodorants. Sweat has basically become my body’s natural state, since I live most of my life at the gym…and no one likes a stinky trainer. Guess what, there’s a recipe for a coconut oil based antiperspirant as well! Who knew? Mix two parts baking soda, two parts cornstarch with one part coconut oil. This concoction ensures you stay dry, odourless and hydrated! You can also specify the scent by adding a drop of aromatic essential oil. Lavender and patchouli are sweet smelling options whereas lemon and grapefruit both give a fresh fragrance.
SCRUB ‘A’ DUB
The coconut craze continues with a delicious DIY body scrub. You might be asking yourself, Caleigh, don’t you already have a whole crap load of body scrubs? My answer: none of your business! Just kidding. I sure do, but none of them are customizable. By making it yourself, you can modify every single detail to suit your tastes. First – do you want to use salt or sugar? Sea salt is a little rougher and amazing for exfoliating, but not recommended for sensitive skin. Sugar is yummy and soft – I prefer using brown sugar to get the purest ingredients, but white works too. You can also play around with the measurements –- if you want more cream and less scrub, go for one and a half parts salt or sugar to one part coconut oil. For a full on exfoliant scrub, go all the way, mixing two parts salt or sugar with one part oil. Finally, just like the other mixtures, tailor the fragrance to your taste as well. You can use essential oils or try experimenting with other ingredients straight from the kitchen, like minced mint leaves or lemon zest. Throw it in a mason jar and I call that an impressive Christmas gift!
If you’re not so into the DIY stuff and more into the grab and go uses, you’re in luck! Other than oil pulling, there are a few other cosmetic uses for the oil in its purest form. Firstly, it is incredible for removing eye makeup. Rub it on with your fingertips and then wipe it off with a damp cloth. It’s not only extremely gentle on the eyes and face, but the makeup literally falls off your skin effortlessly. All that, AND it has anti-aging properties to boot! Additionally, the oil itself is an effective shaving cream. Distribute generously and afterwards, you can wipe your legs clean with a damp cloth, or you can leave it on and let it soak in for some extra moisturizing! Can you say #CoconutOilWin?!