Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Natural is Possible

Ever since I stumbled onto this little book over four years ago and flew into a fury of research, I've been changing out all of the products in my life for their natural counterparts.  It has shocked me along the way that most people (my pre-aware self included) never think about the things they put on their skin, hair or face.  

Why don't we ever wonder what's in it? We know full well that our skin (an organ) ingests whatever is put on it.  Heck, there are even many transdermal medications on the market these days to prove that point.  Whatever that product is made of may soften your skin, but it also absorbes directly into the bloodstream. And we wonder where things like Cancer, Alzheimers and infertility come from!  The big answer is harmful chemicals, and one of the more influential places they can be found is in your personal care products.

One of my greatest frustrations of living naturally has been hearing from others, that it's "just too hard" to switch.  "No one can consistently use natural everything." is another common one.  To both I say not so!  I've found living naturally to actually be easier than the conventional route.  

The main learning curve for most women is quality over quantity. We by no means need as much crap as we think (or have been told) that we do.  I mean, how many women do you know that have eight different hair products, at least three kinds of body wash and a variety of face cleansing options on hand at all times?  Having only one, natural version of each product cuts down on cost, amps the quality and benefits your health short and long term.  Heck, it even declutters your bathroom!

I'd like to make a series out of this, featuring one natural product a day.  For a long time, friends have asked me what I use, why, where I get it and how much it costs.  I think it's about time I just put that info out there!

This first post, I'll address the most important thing I use: Virgin Coconut Oil. 

This stuff is gold and can be used for so many purposes, but make sure to get organic, virgin and unrefined. I cook with it, cleanse my face and skin with it (built in moisturizer), I swish with it after I brush my teeth.  Woah, wait before you get weirded out!  Coconut oil has natural anti-microbial properties, so basically it's a bacteria eating machine that happens to moisturize like a dream and smell lovely.  Because of this, it's even been shown to fight and reverse tooth decay and cavity growth.  It also helps cuts, burns and bruises heal quickly.  The reason coconut oil is also so renowned for skin, is because it is very similar in makeup to the sebum in our skin!  Because of this, our skin responds warmly to it and feels like it's fully moisturized of it's own accord.

Virgin coconut oil is also:

  • great for heart health
  • a destroyer of free radicals
  • a wonder worker for skin ailments such as rash, acne, psoriasis, eczema, etc.

Why don't you know this?  Because the cosmetic and personal care industry would be severely financially injured if we all knew.  Ooops!

I used to have pretty serious skin issues and went from dermatologist to dermatologist with no solution.  I've cleansed my face with only virgin coconut oil for over a year now, and this is how my skin is doing:

Coconut oil is a natural wonder that has replaced the following products for me:

  • face wash
  • face moisturizer
  • body moisturizer
  • olive oil (for cooking)
  • mouth wash
  • antiseptic cream (for cuts or wounds)
  • aloe vera (for after sun care)
How To
Okay, so you hear me and want to know what this tangibly looks like.  When I cleanse my face with coconut oil, this is what I do:

  1. Separate - If you plan to cook and cleanse with your coconut oil, then it's best to separate some out for each use.  I keep my main jar in the kitchen for cooking, and keep a smaller jar in my bathroom for skin use.
  2. Apply - Apply the oil to the face and gently massage it into the skin (like you would with face wash, but sans water).  In the evening I apply it on top of my makeup as it makes for a great remover too!
  3. Let It Be - Let the oil soak in for a good couple of minutes, massaging on and off.
  4. Rinse - Splash your face with warm water and pat your face dry with a towel.  If you are washing eye makeup off, you'll need to gently towel a bit around your eyes after washing (you know, raccoon factor).
  5. Moisturize - Cleansing with coconut oil leaves a built in moisture after rinsing.  It's awesome, and the perfect amount for wearing under daytime mineral makeup (or going without any at all).  If you're washing your face before bed, feel free to add a dab more to any dryer or more problem prone areas.
Swishing with coconut oil after brushing your teeth is pretty straight forward and often called "oil pulling".  I use about a tablespoon and because its natural you can just swallow it after.  Actually, you should as it's wonderful for you!

Where To Get It
I buy my coconut oil at my local grocery!  It should be nestled on the shelf right next to the other cooking oils.  As aforementioned, for the most health benefits make sure the bottle clearly says organic, virgin, and unrefined.

I realize this is a huge topic, so feel free to leave questions/comments here!  I'm so looking forward to covering all of the natural products I use in the coming weeks.  It will be good to have all of that info in one place, so the next time I get, "but where do you get it?" or "why do you use that?", I can just point them here! :)

Happy Wednesday!


  1. I love coconut oil too! It's a great healthy replacement for butter in baking as well :)
    Question on oil pulling though.. I recently started trying oil pulling for the teeth whitening and antimicrobial benefits, and the method you describes is different from the ones I've researched.. I've read that oil pulling can be anywhere from 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon, and you are to swish it gently in your mouth for 20 minutes 1-2 times per day, and then spit it in the trash. There are two reasons to spit it in the trash: 1, you don't want the oil to build up and clog your drains, and 2, you don't want to swallow all the bacteria the oil just pulled from your mouth. Just curious about the specific benefits in the differences to your method, or if this method is maybe better?

    1. Hey! The oil pulling question is one I am familiar with because there are so many differing opinions out there. In truth I think it's getting way too caught up in the details, a good thing is a good thing. At the end of the day all I know is this: Coconut oil destroys bacteria, is great for teeth and gum health and the duration of time, or times a day it's used doesn't matter as much as the fact that it's being used. Regarding the swallowed bacteria, I don't truly think that the bacteria is in the coconut oil after swishing-- it's not a bacteria magnet after all, but a bacteria destroyer. The point of swishing with it is to coat the teeth and gums so the remaining oil can do it's work. Even if I do swallow bacteria though, I would think the digestive system is equipped to deal with the small amount that it would be. That's my two cents, but to each their own! :)

  2. Oh my goodness, this is so true, especially the quality over quantity. Everyone i know (for a while, myself included) has tons and tons of skin products. Makeup remover, cleanser, toner, moisturizer, primer etc. And then we wonder why our skin isn't good.
    I started researching natural acne cures last fall and began using raw, natural honey as a cleanser. It was a life saver and got rid of my teenage/cystic acne. However, the past few months i have run into some allergic reactions to it, so i might have to try coconut cleansing. My mom has it for cooking and i have a little to remove eye makeup and it sounds promising.
    Thanks for sharing!


    1. Hey Abigail, that's awesome that you found skin freedom (even if temporary) with honey-- another amazing natural wonder! I'm sorry about your allergies, though I think coconut oil will do the trick! I'd love to hear how it goes after you try it for a bit. :)


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