All-Natural Beauty: Coconut Oil and Baking Soda

Coconut oil is the hottest new thing in the kitchen.

And though there is always something new and trendy and supposedly “healthy,” (sorry Pirate Booty and Jello…) coconut oil looks like a clear winner over canola and vegetable oils. (which were once touted as healthy. sigh.)

Coconut oil is such a great fat that I throw a dollop of it into my smoothies sometimes.

Even though it does have saturated fat, coconut oil metabolizes more efficiently than other oils and is more easily converted to energy. And heaven knows we could use energy. Especially since I can no longer take naps twice a day with the children.

This is sad.

So yeah, it’s a great oil to eat, but what I’m really digging about coconut oil is the addition to my beauty routine.

Which is admittedly small, but still. Stay with me here.

coconut

For about $6 you can get a jar of this glorious stuff at your local grocery store or drive an hour to Trader Joe’s. Which we opt for as we can also get the Hansen’s Diet Ginger Ale and be tempted by those Salted Caramel Butterscotch Bombs. Definitely a healthy trend, right?

Anyway, I’ve noticed that coconut oil is often in hair products. So I pondered the great benefits of directly applying it to my hair.

Especially since the last time I went to get my haircut, Chresta, my very own stylist, who I only go see every six-eight months, said I had “difficult hair” and to knock off the at-home haircuts.  I was sufficiently ashamed. But cut more layers last night.

This admission is to validate every single hair product I have ever bought.

I have thick but fine, curly AND unruly hair that is turning white and course and dryer by the minute! Oh how I dread the humid summers that descend uponNew Hampshire as I will likely scare you all of June, July, and August.

So maybe…coconut oil was the answer! And as far as hair products – It’s Cheap!

And also because I have a small hair product problem but don’t ask Gregor about it because he’ll totally exaggerate.

So I brought the coconut oil home and pondered slathering it on while cooking asparagus, but this was not practical nor beautiful. Also, it’s a solid at room temperature and rather hard to dig out with my fingernails.

So the jar of coconut oil went to sit in the shower. Where there are way too many hair products for six people and a dog (who has his very own shampoo, too) who all have their own hair issues.

But how was this going to work? Was I supposed to keep a spoon in the shower, too? Oh, the details one must contend with in life.

Well, what happens is the coconut oil warms up with hot water and steam. So when you open the jar, it’s really easy to get some of that oil.

coconutoilThis is where I paused. Wouldn’t this be great for skin? And after-shave for course leg hair?

Side question: Have you too been banned from using your husband’s razor?

We are finally to the Coconut Oil Beauty part.

1. Legs. After shaving (using it before will really clog up the razor!), I use about a teaspoon worth of coconut oil and rub it all over my legs. It’s so great because coconut oil is so moisturizing that the next time you shave, it will be as smooth as buttuh’.

2. Body. Arms, dry hands and feet, neck – everywhere!

3. Face. Oil on the face? What’s really cool is that coconut oil is an anti-microbial, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal. So while I don’t put oil on my chin or nose, I do use it on my cheeks and around my eye area.

4. Hair. Oh yes, coconut oil is fantastic. I rub a small amount all over my hands and then apply it to the ends of my hair. I used to do this with olive and baby oil, but it always looked and felt greasy. Coconut oil? Shine! Moisture! I also read that it helps retain moisture, regrowth, control dandruff, and help prevents against lice. Who knew?

5. Oil Pulling. This is so weird. I haven’t tried it, but if I wanted to be like Gwyneth Paltrow I would. Put 2 Tablespoons in your mouth and let it melt, swishing it around your mouth for TWENTY MINUTES. The experts say it pulls out toxins, whitens teeth, and is good for oral health. I think I’d gag. Have you tried it?

Now, let’s talk about another one of my favorite beauty products around…Baking Soda.

I discovered it as a teenager and we’ve been together ever since.

Baking Soda Beauty

ING-baking-soda_sql

1. Acne. In every bathroom, I have a box of this stuff. When I have a breakout (is this going to happen until I’m 100???) I get the tip of my finger wet, dip it in the box for a little baking soda, then gently wash the “affected area.” This stuff is a miracle. It dries out acne so well. My kids sometimes make a baking soda paste, but I just rub and rinse. It’s a no-fail clear-skin winner.

2. Teeth. It’s nasty, but I definitely brush with it for whiter teeth.

3. No-Poo Shampoo. Have you heard of this? Well. I started washing my hair with only baking soda and guess what? It totally works! I did it for a whole month (and I sweat a lot while I run!) without really knowing what I was doing, but it works best if you put 1 Tablespoon of Baking Soda and 1 Cup of Water into a squeezy bottle thingy and shake. Then you use this mixture for 3-4 washings. Then…to finish off, put 2 Tablespoons of Vinegar (Apple Cider is fine) with 1 Cup of Water into a squeezy bottle and shake.

Am I off my rocker? Read This if you are curious. She explains it in great detail. I get lazy and just use shampoo sometimes, but I think it’s really cool that you don’t have to spend a lot of money to keep your face, hair, and body clean and moisturized naturally!

4. Pit Paste. You may recall that I have slight deodorant phobia. Chemicals and lymph nodes and all that. I have a small tupperware bowl in the shower that has baking soda and after I rub my nose and chin with it, I make a little paste and wala – pit paste! Here’s a cool DIY recipe that combines both baking soda AND coconut oil. Maybe, when I have a minute I’ll actually try the combo.

The End.

Are you excited?

Usually I post a weekend recipe, but now that you’ve applied all of the above treatments, you are completely edible!

Have a wonderful Memorial Day! We’re going to run two 5ks, including the Black Fly Blitz of course. And just in case you really do want to eat something more than coconut oil and baking soda…

Try my favorite summer-time dip of all time!

Or perhaps you want to grill some Scallops with Green Velvet Cilantro Sauce

Pasta? How about Allison’s Italian Goddess Red Pepper Sauce?

A weekend must: Slimmed-Down Hot-Mama Artichoke Dip. Oh yes.

Super-Grain Waffles for Memorial Day Brunch? With strawberries and blueberries. Love ’em.

I’m trying this this weekend – So cool and the healthiest cake in town!

Have a great Memorial weekend, friends!

 

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8 thoughts on “All-Natural Beauty: Coconut Oil and Baking Soda

  1. Haunani

    I LOVE coconut oil! I have a jar in my kitchen and another one in my bathroom. I use that stuff religiously on my face in the morning before make up and at night before bed. I’ve never been a big fan of moisturizer before, but I LOVE this stuff. In the year+ that I’ve been using it, my skin has never looked better. Really. Thanks for the added testimony. I’ll start trying it on my hair, too. Brilliant. 🙂

    Reply
  2. Tina Muir

    Interesting! Wow! This is not just a superfood, but it is trying to be the supereverything of the world….will it mold into a superman someday? 😛 I have heard of the pulling, and I think I would gag too….makes me want to even thinking about it. Thanks for the info about hair and skin though, will give it a try! Maybe it will make me streamline? 😛

    Reply
  3. Cassandra

    Yes! Coconut oil is magical indeed. I once covered my entire head of hair in the stuff, and left it on for a while (I’m sure I looked lovely). And my hair is thick so I think I used half the bottle. It smelled so good! So that night I took a bath and not one, but two, showers , and my hair was STILL really heavy and wet/ greasy looking. I was cursing Pinterest at this point. The next day, after another bath and another two showers, I had just about the best hair day of my life!

    Reply
  4. Sarah

    I use baking soda instead of laundry detergent. I buy the huge bags from Costco and just dump some in, it works really well and it’s crazy cheap!

    Reply

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