Yikes! So my last post was on December 10th… And I had every intention of sharing my “Great Christmas Treat Baking Extravaganza!” with you, but I didn’t. To make a long story short, I scoured Pinterest for recipes for delicious and freezable treats that I could prepare ahead of time and then hand out during the holidays to our family and friends. The baking extravaganza was a moderate success and I added a few recipes to my repertoire, and also scrapped a few along the way. I promise to write a post about it when the holidays roll around again.
So other than being busy with the usual holiday craziness (shopping, wrapping, baking, eating, visiting), we have been dealing with a particularly harsh winter, even for our climate (snow, ice, cold, shoveling, freezing). We also started planning a trip to ITALY in the spring of 2015 and shopped for AND purchased a new car! We got a Subaru (if you were wondering) because of the 6 months of winter we must endure every year we made sure it came with heated seats and an auto start.
Now onto the Coconut Oil. Seems to be the new trend for 2014, everywhere I look I see “50 uses for coconut oil” and they sell huge tubs of it at Costco (so you know it’s legit). From the title of this post you’re probably thinking that I’m going to be cooking/baking with coconut oil, maybe I even threw some into my guacamole recipe. But I’m actually using it on my face!
And this is how I replaced ALL OF THIS:
Like most teenagers, around the age of 13 or 14 I developed some acne. Nothing too serious, some pimples here and there. Of course, as a young woman this bothered me but I knew that once I got older my skin would get better (just like life in general), knowing this did not stop me from trying every acne clearing product known to man. Sadly once I got older, my acne did not get better, and I was still on the hunt for the magic solution that would give me clear and blemish free skin.
I’m a bit old school when it comes to skin treatments and believed that using harsh soaps and chemicals were the only way to clean my skin. I’ve tried Clearasil, Neutrogena, spent big bucks on Proactive (which I now know I am allergic too), bought 75$ face masks from Sephora and other expensive spas and even tried prescription treatments that were suggested by my family physician. Nothing seemed to work. I’ve gotten better over the years at applying make-up to cover my blemishes, I know this may sound vain, but I normally do not leave the house with out some sort of make-up. When I do venture out bare faced most people comment on how I look sick or tired and I feel like they are staring at the numerous red spots and bumps on my face.
So on one of my many Pinterest marathons (what else is there to do when it’s -30 Celsius outside…) I started doing some research on coconut oil and to my surprise I discovered that lots of people are using it as a skin treatment. They use it as make-up remover, moisturizer, and as the main ingredient for numerous masks, balms and scrubs. When I first discovered this information I couldn’t wrap my head around the idea that you could use oil to wash your face. In my “experience” oil only made things worse, oily skin = blemishes. But I continued reading and found out that coconut oil is naturally antibacterial, anti-fungal and is great for moisturizing your skin! At this point I thought why not?! Why not try something completely different, so the next day I stopped by the grocery store on the way home from work and bought my first jar of coconut oil (found in the natural food section). It was 8$, which is way cheaper than any other product I have purchased in the last 15 years.
As per all the posts I read, I started off with the most simple cleansing method. I do admit that the very first time I tried the coconut oil I “pre-cleansed” my face with my normal make-up and eye-make up remover, had a shower and THEN used the coconut oil. I couldn’t help it, but now I know better! So here are the very basic steps that I have been following:
In the morning before I apply my make-up:
1) Warm up coconut oil in your hands (it will have a solid consistency but will almost instantly liquify with the warmth of your hands).
2) Gently rub the coconut oil all over your face, making sure not to miss any spots.
3) Use a clean cotton swab or pad soaked in warm/hot water (can use face cloth as well) and wipe off the oil starting from your forehead down to your chin.
And that’s it! You can pat your face dry or use another cotton swab to clean up the excess water. In my case my skin is pretty normal (not too dry or oily), so the coconut oil acts as a great moisturizer and base before applying my make-up.
In the evening before bed:
1) Start by warming up the coconut oil in your hands.
2) Rub it all over your face, doing your eyes last (yes it safe to use around your eyes and will even remove waterproof make-up and liquid liner).
4) Use a clean cotton swab soaked in warm/hot water to wipe off the oil, again doing your eyes last.
Like in the morning you can use something to dry off your face, and you’re ready for bed!
The first few times I used this process I was surprised at how easily the coconut oil melted away my make-up and left my skin feeling clean and soft. I was expecting an oily feeling and shiny skin, but this only lasts a few minutes. I don’t want to jump the gun on this one and call it a miracle cure, but since I started this regime two weeks ago, I have seen more improvement in my skin than I have with any other product. I have been experiencing a “purging process”, this is when your skin is getting rid of all the dirt and grime that has been locked away for some time. So yes, I have been getting more pimples and blemishes than normal but they are small and have been healing very quickly, I normally will get a few large (and painful) pimples that can take weeks to go away. I’ve even noticed the texture of my skin has improved (smaller pores around my nose and chin) and the red marks that were left behind by previous blemishes are slowly fading away. When I apply my make-up I seem to need/use less and my skin tone appears more even and my dark under eye circles have improved.
So there you have it! I think I’m ready to throw away all my skin care products and make some extra room on my bathroom counter. The next step will be to switch my make-up to a more all natural line (I hear Arbonne is great) and hopefully not have to buy as much because I won’t be using as much! Here are a few links that I found very helpful, and also contain lots of other uses for coconut oil. All of these can also be found on my Pinterest on the “beauty” board.
And now for the GUACAMOLE!
This is a recipe that I got from my best-friend, its very simple and delicious and people will ask you time and time again to make it for the next pot luck.
– 3 avocados peeled, pitted and mashed
– 1 lime juiced
– 1 tsp of salt
– 1/2 cup of diced onion (white or red)
– 2 roma tomatoes diced
– 1 tsp of minced garlic (add more to taste)
– pinch of cayenne pepper
Start by mashing the avocado, mix in the rest of the ingredients with the avocado and let sit in refrigerator for at least 1 hour before serving. And that’s it! This makes about 4 generous servings, and the bowl is guaranteed to be clean by the time the party is over and it’s time to go home. A trick to keep the guacamole from browning is to put a few of the avocado pits in the bowl, make them obvious so people don’t try to eat them… And see, no coconut oil, it’s only going on my face… for now!