The "slickest" form of self-care.
I’m glowing right now. Glowing from head to toe. Like a Christmas tree. A Hanukkah bush. Like a woman who’s just discovered that “Hey, I can have an orgasm all by myself!”
Sorry, dudes. Bad joke. Not just bad. Horrible. Foul, even. I love each and every one of your hairy asses.
Speaking of hair, coconut oil is the bomb for your skin, and your crowning glory. More on the hair thing in a bit.
After having breast cancer, I vowed to go as chemically-free as possible. No processed food, and no more beauty products — especially body lotions and bath soaks — with parabens, preservatives and all those chemicals we can’t pronounce.
I’ve done my share of the legwork, and, even though the health and beauty industry offers up a ton of products touted as “natural,” none, in my humble opinion, beats coconut oil. Especially virgin, unrefined coconut oil, as I love the tropical scent. The luscious aroma makes me feel like a Tahitian beauty. Someone Marlon Brando would have screwed in a heartbeat.
Although coconut oil does great things on the inside, this article is not about ingesting it. I’m talking about slathering it — all over your lovely body.
Let’s talk about coconut oil’s benefits for your skin, first:
It moisturizes like nothing else. Along with its anti-inflammatory and antifungal properties, coconut oil’s unique combination of natural fats makes it ideal for treating the skin. These include linoleic acid, which is especially helpful for acne-prone skin and lauric acid (up to fifty percent), which is deeply hydrating and also, antimicrobial. Altogether, we’re talking a super-moisturizing, chemically-free, skin-loving potion that also helps fight the signs of aging. Score!
It makes the perfect makeup remover. Why use harsh, chemically-laden stuff on your eyes/facial area, when you can remove and smooth at the same time? In fact, you can even “wash” your face with coconut oil. First, use it to remove your makeup. Gently, smooth it over your eyes, cheeks, lips, etc. Wipe with a tissue, and follow with another, heavier layer of coconut oil. Massage it into your skin for a couple of minutes. It’s self-care, baby, so enjoy this “me time.” Then, soak a washcloth in warm water and wipe it all off. You’ll be left with a glowing, baby-soft complexion.
It makes a great exfoliant. Hopefully, your coconut oil is of a room-temperature, spreadable consistency. Plop some in your hand with either Epsom salts or Himalayan salt. Hell, even plain old Kosher salt will do. Mix together and rub all over your body, preferably in the shower, as you’ll need to rinse it all off. (Duh, Sherry!) Boom! Pure silk, with all those nasty dead skin cells, removed.
You can also treat dry, flaky lips the same way. Exfoliate, then layer on the CO, preferably overnight.
Shave much? If so, toss your shaving cream or gel and use coconut oil, instead, for satiny gams without the chemicals.
Let’s talk hair. As with the skin you’re in, coconut oil can do awesome things for your locks.
Conditions dry hair. Use coconut oil as a mask for your thirsty tresses. Apply evenly once a week, let it sit for at least thirty minutes (or even better, overnight), then wash, rinse and repeat if you haven’t gotten it all out.
Helps to nourish thinning hair. Coconut oil helps protect fragile hair — like mine — from breakage, as it gets deep into the hair follicles to help strengthen and promote growth. Use it on your eyebrows too, and you’ll look like Cara Delevingne, in no time!
Tames frizz. All it takes is a tiny bit.
Now, I’d like to introduce you to coconut oil’s newest incarnation: Fractionated coconut oil. This is coconut oil that remains at a liquid state, making it ideal for everything beauty.
Fractionated coconut oil is made by heating the oil above its melting point. Then, it’s left to cool and the solid “fraction” of the oil is separated from the liquid. This whole process can take several hours. Amazing, considering how affordable it is.
Fractionated coconut is odorless, colorless, and non-greasy, making it ideal for skin/hair care. The kind I buy comes with a handy pump, which I love.
Because I also love the smell of virgin, unrefined coconut oil, like to mix things up, according to my mood.
Another handy tip: You can add essential oils to your fractionated coconut oil for a blend that’s uniquely “you.” Because I’m a lover of all things “musk” I add Egyptian musk oil to mine. Actually, I have one bottle scented with musk and another, with a luscious, creamy vanilla.
Here’s what I love most about coconut oil: After I’ve slathered it all over my body, my skin has a sheen to it that’s absolutely gorgeous. And, it lasts. I can pretend I look like J.Lo. Like I was dipped in a honey pot.
For healthy glowing skin and hair, you can’t do better than this stuff. So, ladies, and you dudes too — for your hair, your beards — give coconut oil a shot. It’s natural, affordable and dammit — it works!
Warning: Coconut oil may render you irresistible. Even, to yourself. (Put those hands back where they belong!)
© Sherry McGuinn, 2020. All Rights Reserved.
Sherry McGuinn is a slightly-twisted, longtime Chicago-area writer and award-winning screenwriter. Her work has appeared in The Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, and numerous other publications. Sherry’s manager is currently pitching her newest screenplay, a drama with dark, comedic overtones and inspired by a true story.