Come on: After seeing this picture of Kate Hudson with the hashtag #coconutoilskin, why wouldn't I try it?
As a cook, I'm already a huge fan of coconut oil. I sauté with it, put it in treats, add it to smoothie bowls, sometimes blend it into coffee. I also use it for minor burns in the kitchen; I find it not only soothes the pain, but also aids in healing. You'll always find a big container of organic, extra-virgin coconut oil in my kitchen (like this one).
When I was in culinary school, there were enormous tubs of coconut oil in the kitchens, and invariably you'd get some on your hands when reaching in to get some for a recipe. All of us got in the habit of rubbing it into our hands, and it helped soothe the chapped skin we got from so much hand-washing and working with food and knives.
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So I don't know why it never occurred to me before to use it on my face, especially since I have incredibly dry skin that I abuse with lots of running outdoors. Plus, now that I'm in my mid-forties, well, let's just say my skin can use all the moisture it can get. I am also always on the hunt for the most pure, natural beauty products that I can find.
With all that in mind, I thought, Duh! Why not give it a shot?
Here's what I did: At night, after cleansing my face, I replaced my fancy night cream with pure coconut oil. I also gently rubbed it on my neck and chest, and then into my hands (and over my elbows). It didn't take much, maybe about a nickel-sized dollop. Then, in the morning, I put more coconut oil on my face, neck and chest just after showering. About 30 minutes later, I applied sunscreen before putting on makeup.
I didn't do anything different from my usual (bare-bones) beauty regimen, except for applying some oil just after showering, which only took a few seconds.
The result? Here's my before (left) and after.
Photo: Beth Lipton
OK, so I still don't look like Kate Hudson (bummer). But I really love the way the coconut oil feels on my face. It's super-moisturizing and nourishing, and it soaks in nicely so my face feels soft, but not greased up. I like the smell of coconut; if you don't you probably could mask it a bit with an essential oil like lavender. So I'm going to keep using it. I don't know that I'll stop buying night cream altogether; some nights I might mix it up and use a regular cream. But I'm officially buying a second tub of coconut oil so I can have one in the kitchen and another in the bathroom.
I may just try it on my hair next.