I've been hearing a lot about coconut oil lately, and it seems like the whole world is going coco-crazy. This creamy and delicious all-natural substance is way more than just a cooking oil. It can also be used as a make-up remover, face wash, toothpaste, and moisturizer. I decided to give it a shot, and let me tell you my mind is blown! I purchased my first tub of coconut oil last fall when I signed up for the Awaken Your Health cleanse. I've used it a little bit for cooking, but I recently discovered that this versatile paste can be used for lots of other things too - including cleaning and skincare. I picked up a few tips from friends and bloggers that have totally changed my daily habits. Keep reading for 3 easy ways to incorporate coconut oil into your life:
1. FACE WASH
My dear friend Mai Shimura is a make-up artist and hair stylist from Japan, and she is an expert on beauty and skincare. She recently introduced me to oil cleansing, using coconut oil to wash your face, and I absolutely love it! This amazing natural substance works as a makeup remover, face wash, and moisturizer all in one. It has a rich, creamy texture and smells delicious. At first I was skeptical about smearing oil all over my face. I tend to have oily skin, and have tried used mattifying, oil-free cleansers in the past. But actually these types of cleansers can dry out the skin, and cause it to produce more oil to compensate. Although it may seem counterintuitive, the coconut oil helps my skin stay balanced and not too oily. Plus, it’s really easy and cost-effective to use. Just follow these 3 easy steps:
- Take a dollop of coconut oil and massage it into your skin for 1-2 minutes.
- Place a hot washcloth on your face for another minute or so, allowing the steam to open your pores and soften the oil.
- Dab off the excess oil, making sure not to scrub too hard, and you’re all done! You can even leave a coating of coconut oil on your face as a moisturizer and lip balm.
2. COCONUT-LIME CAULIFLOWER RICE
Another friend of mine, Amanda Carney, recently posted this recipe for Coconut-Lime Cauliflower Rice on her blog, My Edible Sunshine. Amanda is a holistic health and nutrition coach with a passion for eating well. I check out her blog regularly for healthy eating tips, and I highly recommend participating in her "Awaken Your Health" cleanse to jump start your eating habits. This tasty and nutritious dish calls for coconut oil to pan fry the rice and give it a sweet, nutty flavor. One of the reasons I love this recipe so much is because you can’t even tell it has vegetables in it! The cauliflower is grated into the rice and absorbs the lime and coconut flavor so you don't even notice it's there. I hate vegetables, and I have to force myself to eat them even though I know they are good for me. So this recipe is perfect for my fellow veggie-phobes who need to sneak their nutrients in any way possible. Check out My Edible Sunshine for the full recipe and other great tips on healthy eating.
3. ZERO WASTE TOOTHPASTE
I recently read about Lauren Singer, the blogger behind Trash is for Tossers, and was totally inspired. She is committed to living a zero waste lifestyle, and can fit all the garbage she has produced in the last two years into a single mason jar. Several months ago I discovered her recipe for zero waste toothpaste, and I have been using it ever since. Although it takes some getting used to, this zero waste toothpaste is really inexpensive and easy to make. I keep it in a little glass jar, and use a tiny fondue fork to scoop it onto my toothbrush. It’s important that you spit the toothpaste into the garbage, not the sink, as too much oil can clog the drain. I was worried that would be too gross and annoying at first, but it’s really not bad at all. I’ll admit the salty taste is something I’m still adjusting to. I sometimes follow-up with a swig of Listerine to get that extra fresh feeling. But overall I’m really happy with my new all natural toothpaste. It feels good to know I’m saving money, and helping to keep wasteful plastic packaging out of the landfill. It’s a great first step for anyone who aspires to a zero waste lifestyle, but doesn’t know where to start.
These are just 3 easy ways to incorporate coconut oil into your life, but there are plenty of other ways to use this amazingly versatile substance. Experiment, have fun, and get cookin'!