Au Naturel Essence

All natural treats for body and soul


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The Benefits of Coconut Oil

Coconut Oil has become a staple in my daily routine, both for cooking and for my homemade skin care products.

Benefits of Coconut Oil

Coconut oil has a high percentage of lauric acid.  According to Organic Facts.net,

The human body converts lauric acid into monolaurin which is claimed to help in dealing with viruses and bacteria causing diseases such as herpes, influenza, cytomegalovirus, and even HIV. It helps in fighting harmful bacteria such as listeria monocytogenes and heliobacter pylori, and harmful protozoa such as giardia lamblia.

Coconut Oil has been touted as being helpful when dealing with diabetes, weight loss, bone and dental health, high blood pressure, and heart diseases.

Is it really a saturated fat?

Yes, coconut oil is a saturated fat!  And, contrary to what we’ve been told for years, it can be good for you.  The saturated fat in coconut oil is natural and is responsible, in part, for many of the health benefits listed above.

There are lots of blog posts on the benefits of coconut oil.  Here a few that I’ve managed to see in recent weeks.

BiosilBaums Natural FoodsPounds and Prints

Uses for Coconut Oil

I use coconut oil primarily when I’m cooking.  It’s great for pan-frying and roasting as it can take high heat levels, without turning rancid.  I also love the aroma of coconut in my kitchen as soon as I start heating the oil.  Depending on what I’m cooking, I can detect a sweet coconut flavour in my food when I cook with coconut oil.

I also use coconut oil in many of my homemade skin care products, including my liquid soap, soaps, and lotion.  This oil is nourishing and adds a lot of moisture to each of these products.  It’s also great to add to a moisturizing face mask.

Most recently, I started using coconut oil as a hair mask.  When I’m in a rush and don’t have time to prepare something more elaborate, coconut oil is a great stand-by product.  Even with my thick hair, I don’t have to use a lot of coconut oil to give my scalp some deep moisturization.

If nothing else, coconut oil makes a great moisturizer for your skin.  It can be used on its own to help hydrate your skin.    Coconut oil is safe enough to use on baby’s skin too.   If you do this, use it sparingly.  A little goes a long way!

 

Are you using coconut oil in your daily routine?  If yes, how do you use it?


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Make Your Own Face Mask

Over the summer months, I’ve been spending my Sundays treating myself to different face masks.  Some of them exfoliate and others moisturize.  I even  managed to concoct some that did both!

As much as possible, I tried to use ingredients that I had on hand in my kitchen or in my personal supply of skin care ingredients.

Clay masks

The first masks I ever made were ones that used clay.  Clays are great for helping to remove impurities from the skin, without irritating your skin.

Red and White Clay Mask

My first mask was a combination of red and white clays as well as crushed rose petals.  I mixed that with Manuka honey and some aloe vera gel.  The mask was pretty thin on my skin.  The rose petals helped to exfoliate my skin a little bit as I massaged it into my face. It washed off fairly easily and I followed it with my Day and Night Oil.

Making a Thicker Clay Mask

I personally like a thicker clay mask.  An easy way to make that is to combine some clay (say, 0.5 teaspoon) with 1 Tablespoon of aloe vera gel.  I found this to make a thicker consistency and have had great results with it.  In this particular case, I made the mask with 0.5 teaspoons of green clay and aloe vera gel.

Face Masks from the Kitchen

I have learned how to make a few different masks using kitchen ingredients only.  It’s been lots of fun experimenting with different fruits and combinations.

Avocado Mask

To make this mask, I blended one half avocado with 1 Tablespoon of Manuka honey and 1 tsp of coconut oil.  I spread it all over face and neck and left it on for 15 minutes.  It was very creamy.  I could feel it dry a bit on my skin.  This was super moisturizing and it took a while to rinse it all off my face!  My skin felt very soft afterwards.

I’ve also tried this mask with some oatmeal added to it.  It served as an exfoliant as I massaged the mask into my skin.

Berry Delight Mask

I first mixed one crushed strawberry with two or three crushed raspberries. I then stirred in some Manuka Honey.

This mask was fairly thin. I thought it might also be scratchy with the mashed up berries, but it was actually very smooth.  I left it on for about 10 minutes and felt it tighten on my skin right away.  It also washed off easily.  My skin felt noticeably soft and moisturized afterwards!

Bananas and Honey Mask

For this mask, I mashed a quarter of a banana and mixed it with Manuka honey.  I massaged it into skin and left it on for 15 minutes.  Even though it was runny when I applied it, I felt the mixture tighten on my skin.  My skin felt soft afterwards, but not quite as supple as it felt after the Berry Delight Mask. strawberry/raspberry mask.

Chocolatey Goodness Mask

I was inspired to try this mask after seeing Kristina post about it on her blog Homemade Wellbeing.  I mixed 2 tsp of cocoa powder, 1 tsp of Manuka honey, 2 tsp of coconut milk and 2 tsp of ground oatmeal.

I massaged this into my face for a bit of exfoliation.  I left it on for about 20 minutes and my skin felt very soft at the end.  Between the smell and having soft skin at the end of the mask, this was definitely one of my favorites.

I liked this one so much that I tried again with a slight variation.  On the second try, I mixed cocoa powder, five mashed blueberries, Manuka honey and coconut milk.   Once again, it was divine!

Do you have a favorite face mask?

Do you have a favorite mask that you use?  Even better, have you ever experimented with kitchen ingredients for your skin care?  If you have, please leave me a comment to tell me all about it!