Hey, y'all! I hope you had a very Happy Thanksgiving. My family did. :0) I think it's so wonderful that we set aside a day every year to really stop and focus on the blessings we have in our lives. This year I'm thankful for a husband who is my soul mate, a son who is my joy, a wonderful family, and a Father who loves me in spite of myself. I'm also thankful that He provided us with an earth full of plants, herbs, fruits and vegetables to nourish us on the outside as well as within. So, with that in mind, I want to continue on our Natural Skin Care Series and talk about ways to moisturize our skin. Breaks over...
Remember these guys from the Oil Cleansing Method? I told you we would see many of the same ingredients for multiple uses. Let me give you a bit more of my back history. Back several years ago I was looking for an effective way to moisturize my dry skin. The product brands that seemed to do an OK job were out of my budget. The ones that were within my budget just weren't getting the job done. One day I heard about olive oil making a really great moisturizer and then I remembered the scripture in Matthew 6:17-18 when Jesus instructed to put a little oil on the head during fasting so as not to draw attention to the fact. I remembered reading that He said this because in ancient cultures it was customary to use oil as a moisturizer and Jesus was really telling the people to go about their normal routines. I already had olive oil in the cabinet, so I promptly went and tried it. I've never looked back. I finally felt like I had found something that penetrated my skin without leaving it feel greasy.
There are several oils that you can use for moisturizing. I alternate between three, depending on the time of year and what my skin seems to be doing. But, I only used olive oil for several years. The three that I tend to use are olive oil, grapeseed oil and coconut oil. They are all pretty inexpensive (especially if you compare them to commercial moisturizers) and have wonderful benefits to the skin. A couple more oils that are commonly used for this purpose are sunflower seed oil, jojoba oil and sweet almond oil - though I have never personally used any of these. There may be other oils that I'm not aware of used in skin care.
First, I'm going to tell how I use them. Then, I'll share why each of the three oils I use are so wonderful. I keep a cruet in the bathroom with a little olive oil in it at all times.
I keep the grapeseed oil in an old pump hand soap dispenser on the sink. But, any pump dispenser would work great for either of these oils.
Coconut oil is solid at room temperature, so I just dig a pea sized portion out of the container and warm it briefly in my hand to melt it before applying it to my face.
Let's talk about extra virgin olive oil. Shortly after I started using it in my skin care routine, I received a catalog in the mail from a high-end skin care company. They were singing the praises of the product that "started it all" for them. Have a look-see...
THE GOOD OIL - If you thought you'd never put oil on your face, think again.
Remember when you were a teenager and you had your first skincare lesson? Oil, you were told is bad for you and makes you break out. But that oil myth has officially been debunked.
What's so great about oil, you ask? Oil gives skin softness, elasticity, and protection from harmful impurities and irritants, and as we age, our bodies produce less sebum, which results in dehydrated skin. The question should be - are we getting enough?...
Guess what this awesome product is. That's right. Extra Virgin Olive Oil. It has absolutely nothing added to it. No aloe, vitamin E, peptides, alpha hydroxy acids..... Just plain old olive oil. They sell 1 fl. oz. in their catalog for $39. I guarantee that even if you buy organic extra virgin olive oil, you will pay no where near $39 per ounce. If you can't afford organic, just buy regular extra virgin olive oil for starters. Your skin will still be much better off than loading it with industrial moisturizers. So will your pocket book. Here's some more of olive oil's benefits...Olive oil is high in antioxidants, including vitamin E. Antioxidants are nutritional powerhouses that protect against age-accelerating free radicals (think anti-aging). It aids in moisture retention, regenerates skin cells and softens skin tissue. Not only is it wonderful when applied to the face, it is an excellent all-over body moisturizer. If you battle dry feet in the winter, put a little olive oil on them followed by a pair of sox. This blows the old Vaseline stand-by out of the water.
Grapeseed oil - From Wikipedia:
Grape seed oil is a preferred cosmetic ingredient for damaged and stressed tissues, possessing regenerative and restructuring qualities which allow for strong control of skin moisturization. It can help skin retain the normal structure of epithelium cells and nerve cells via supporting the cell membranes. It is noted to be especially effective for repair of the skin around the eyes. Used as an all-over skin moisturizer, grape seed oil is known to reduce the look of stretch marks. A light, thin oil, grape seed oil leaves a glossy film over the skin when used as a carrier oil for essential oils in aromatherapy. It contains more linoleic acid than many other carrier oils. Grape seed oil is also usable as a lubricant for face shaving. In addition, grape seed oil applied to the feet each morning clears up many foot problems such as itching, scaly flaking and odor.
This is barely scratching the surface of grapeseed oils benefits, but it gives you a good picture for our purposes. I buy my grapeseed oil at Trader Joe's and a 16 oz. bottle costs $4. I find that this oil is lighter than EVOO, so I use it more often in the summer when my skin isn't as dry as during the cold winter months.
Coconut Oil - This stuff is so amazing it needs it own series. For brevity's sake I'm going to try to keep the information pertaining to it's moisturizing/skin benefits. It is slow to oxidize, extremely stable and lasts up to two years before going rancid. So, this stuff will last you a long, long time. As a matter of fact, you'll probably use it up way more quickly than it will spoil on you.
According to "Real Food" by Nina Planck, coconut oil's main fat is lauric acid, which is antimicrobial, antifungal and antiviral. Lauric acid kills fat-coated viruses including HIV, measles, herpes, influenza, leukemia, hepatitis C, Epstein-Barr, and bacteria, such as Listeria, Helicobacter pylori, and strep.
From The Nourishing Gourmet: Coconut oil kills fungi and yeasts that cause candidiasis, ringworm, athlete's foot, thrush, diaper rash and other infections. It also expels or kills tapeworms, lice, giardia, and other parasites. Coconut oil supports tissue healing and repair, functions as a protective antioxidant, helps to protect the body from harmful free radicals that promote premature aging and degenerative disease, functions as a protective antioxidant, and helps to protect the body from harmful free radicals that promote premature aging and degenerative disease. It has no harmful or discomforting side effects and is completely non-toxic to humans.
Now, I personally love using coconut oil as a moisturizer. It is light and velvety and soaks in really quickly, leaving my skin silky smooth. Knowing that acne can be caused from bacteria on the skin and seeing how coconut oil kills a billion and one bacteria and viruses - I think it makes sense to use it. Some will caution that it is comedogenic and will cause break-outs. Others say that if you get acne while using coconut oil as a moisturizer it's because your skin is detoxifying and will automatically clear up if you stick it out. I don't have the answer to that. But, I do know that as a person with acne prone skin, I don't have an issue using coconut oil. Maybe it's because I also do the oil cleanse method, which cleanses deep into the pores and un-blocks them naturally. My advice to you is use your own discretion here.
Any moisturizer you choose to use should be applied sparingly on slightly moist skin. This means - after you cleanse and dry your face, spritz it with your choice of toner and then moisturize before the toner dries. This will lock in the moisture. Remember, a little oil goes a long way. Give it a few minutes to soak in before you try to apply make-up.
My point in this post is this: There are several options using healthy, natural oils that will not only moisturize your skin, but give it wonderfully nourishing, anti-aging benefits as well. You don't need to turn to expensive commercial products with largely inflated claims of making your middle-aged skin look 19 again. Let's get real, people. Unless we turn to botox or surgery, aging to some extent is just going to happen. It's part of life. But, I do believe we can slow down the aging process by not overloading our bodies with toxic chemicals.
Click here to view more posts in this series.
Now it's your turn to share. :0) What do you use to moisturize your skin? Are you happy with the results?