New Feature: Natural Beauty - 5 Ways to Use Coconut Oil

One of the new features I want to introduce to Effort & Ease are posts devoted to Natural Beauty. We all know that it's important to take care of our bodies both inside and out, but what a lot of people don't realize is that what we put on our bodies is just as important as what we put in our bodies. Our skin is absorbent, so the chemicals we pub into it via lotion, shampoo and makeup end up getting under our skin (literally and figuratively) and into our bloodstreams*. Additionally, aerosol hairsprays and air fresheners contain many toxic chemicals that many people breathe in closely on a daily basis.

Here's a Huffington Post article from a couple years ago highlighting the dangers of common beauty/skin products: Putting It on Your Skin Does Let It in: What's in Skin Care and How it Affects Your Health 

Fortunately, there are a ton of real, all natural options out there that allow us to participate in our favorite beauty routines while not overwhelming our bodies with toxins.

For the first official Natural Beauty post, I'm going to give you five different ways to use coconut oil. Coconut oil is all the rage right now, and for good reason. It has dozens of uses, but I'm going to highlight five of them that are most practical and useful for me from day to day.

  1. As a basic skin moisturizer: coconut oil has all the moisturizing properties you need with none of the "bad" stuff. It's perfect for all over the body. 
  2. Hair treatment: FAIR WARNING - it works, but it's tricky to get out of your hair. If your hair is frizzy, cracked, and dry, a coconut oil treatment will help but make sure you have the time to rinse and get it out. Use 1-2 teaspoons and rub the coconut oil into your ends, letting it sit for 1-2 hours. Then take a shower, shampoo really well and use conditioner - this will help get the coconut oil out. 
  3. Homemade deodorant: This is a great homemade coconut oil deodorant recipe. I am not a big sweater, so I have found it to work pretty well. I have read that for those who tend to get sweaty, coconut oil deodorant is not the way to go.
  4. Lip balm - coconut oil makes the perfect lip balm. Buy a 2 oz metal tin, melt down some coconut oil and add 1-2 drops of your favorite essential oil. Stir and let it cool. Add the lid once it's settled, and you're good to go!
  5. Wound care - in the winter months, my skin gets really dry and is very prone to small cuts. For small wounds, rubbing coconut oil into the cut is a great alternative to Neosporin. It's naturally antibacterial and really moisturizing so it helps speed the healing process!