I readily admit I can be a bit of an extremist, and tend to take things just above the goal. In reading Extra Virginity last week, I find myself reading about the ancient ways of olive oil use, from bathing by the Greeks to skin. They describe the sheer beauty of Odysseus lying on the beach in oil and naturally I get this mental image of this bronzed Greek god, basically laying on the beach (hence this amazing photo) covered in oil. A little later as I get ready for a shower I decide I want some of that, to be a goddess (Venus pic coming up soon), and I need to incorporate some oil. After I get out of the shower I find myself applying coconut oil to my skin and face. Next I apply a little olive oil to hair (although I’ve realized I put too much and at the wrong time so my hair was just oily). The littlest thing like this can set me then into a researching tizzy. I’d read about pooless movement before and I’d heard of olive oil and coconut oil for hair, but I made up my mind that I needed to know how and why and my own experimentation (my degree is in a branch of science, hence I do like testing and challenging things). What I found is olive oil and coconut oil are both great for the skin. But which oil to use? Tricky question, it’s like trying to decide which one to eat. The solution of course is an equal combination of the two. I used to suffer from acne and my skin will break out randomly, it’s never truly ‘smooth’. I found after my first application of the coconut oil that I liked the way my skin felt (plus it had my favorite smell, which is coconut), especially my lips and face that I instantly noticed seemed softer. Since then I have to take it to the next level, because that’s just how I do things. I also began using the oils interchangeably as part of a moisturizing cycle. Love how smooth and subtle my skin feels. Not to mention how clear it feels. Since I’ve cleaned my eating up even further the last couple of months I’ve noticed my face getting clearer, but this has taken it to a new level. But why, why have I added these oils to a skin care regiment (that I never had before)? Here is why, let’s begin with the lovely olive oil that we discussed the other day:
- It is a natural hypoallergenic way to moisturize skin
- Antioxidants like vitamins A and E found in it help to not only repair skin, but renew it after overexposure to the sun, pollution and environmental hazards like smoking
- Use it as a moisturizer (maybe add a little lemon juice). Make it to exfoliate by adding some salt and massage into areas of dry skin.
- It makes a wonderful makeup remover with a cotton swab. Continual use can soften and smooth the skin under the eyes and smooth the wrinkles.
- For hair it makes a great deep conditioner and dandruff control. After you shampoo massage it with a mixture of equal parts water. Leave in for 5 minutes and rinse.
- Studies on mice have shown that application after UV exposure has decreased the risk of the number of skin cancers
- You can also use it pre-shampoo to help retain moisture, as shampoo can be harsh on hair
It’s no surprise that I love coconut for anything cooking or health wise or like I’ve already mentioned smell (I have every scent ofVictoria’s Secret coconut lotion and there have been several). Here is why I love it on my skin and hair, though:
- The Lauric acid in it is antimicrobial, which is great since hair fall and loss are usually due to microbial action
- Capric acid is also antimicrobial
- Vitamin E keeps skin and scalp health and hair rejuvenated
- Moisture retaining capacity, it does not let moisture escape so that hair stays soft and prevents breakage
- Anti-dandruff due to the various fatty acids
- Styling, coconut oil melts when heated and condenses when cooled so it makes a nice gel/cream.
- Minimizes protein loss during washing to keep each strand strong
- The sebaceous glands in the body secrete sebum (keeps the skin from drying/cracking). Sebum contains medium-chain triglycerides just like coconut oil
- Strengthens the skins connective tissue, making it smooth and supple
- Use on the face reduces the occurrence of pimples and acne.
It should be important to note (as I’ve noted with my own experience) that skin and hair health is also benefited by nutrition. There are over 100,000 hair follicles, that each grow 20 individual hairs in a lifetime, true hair health then begins at the hair follicle. Here nutrients are brought through the connecting arteries and circulating blood. Also a diet varied in nutrients. I can attest from personal history, that when I was skinny from low-fat eating I was not healthy. I had thin, easily breakable nails, I lost more hair and my skin my dry. Now I have my very thick luscious hair, strong nails and smooth skin. To be like a Greek warrior or not, the choice is yours?