You know what, every now and then I like to try a bit of homespun beauty. I don't go crazy, like mixing my own shampoo in a vat over the bath or anything but I have been known to plaster porridge on my face (oats make a great exfoliator and are very soothing for dry skin).
This latest kitchen cupboard discovery is the endlessly useful coconut oil. I'm not talking cocoa butter or shea butter. This is more like the insides of a Bounty. Without the sugar. And organic. And virgin. *Blush*
It's a great ingredient and has been included in hundreds of skincare formulas I've come across before. It's also the 'healthiest fat in the world' (cue fanfare of silver hornets and trombones) with an amazing array of health promoting properties. Google it if you're interested but as a quick overview it acts differently to other saturated fats - this one is a medium chain triglyceride which means your body metabolises it right away and doesn't store it like it does other fats. It can reduce bad cholesterol, it's great for keeping your heart healthy, it's anti-microbial, ant-viral, anti-inflammatory and it has a whole host of anti-oxident action too. Seriously it's overwhelming stuff. I'm breathless just thinking about it!
But aside from eating it (I have yet to try it on my toast but I hear it's a great cooking oil too as it's stable at high temperatures) the reason I'm loving it so much is how good it is for the skin. I feel a little silly after declaring it can have boundless good effects on your health and then following it up with, "I use it to take my eye make up off!" but it's true. I do. And there's nothing better if I may be so bold.
Quick moan: I hate taking off my eye make up. Firstly, because it generally means the removal of my entire eye - without make up I look like a little blind mole that's been dug up from the soil and dangled in bright sunlight; pallid, squinty, shy. And secondly, it's just messy, my eyes sting, go red, get sore. Its just a faff isn't it?
So using something that is quick, uber-gentle and actually good for my skin instead of leaving me with nightmares of propylene glycol molecules dancing around my bloodstream in some kind of Wizard of Oz mash-up, well, it's just perfect really. I dampen cotton wool with warm water, squidge a bit onto the pad, it quickly turns into a liquid from the heat of the pad, I apply to my eye, hold a few seconds, circle my eye a couple times and then wipe away. DONE.
After using it to remove eye make up so successfully, well, one thing led to another and what can I say, I began using it as a full face cleanser! Bam! Right now, I have to say, it's even made me put my Clarisonic down and reach for the hot cloth method once more. Yikes. It makes my skin look so clean, so much more even and I love that! (There will be updates on my progress with Mr. Clarisonic soon)
So then I went the whole hog and began using it as a body oil, it's LUSH! I was getting a pesky little eczemary patch on my arm, Lo! And Behold! it cleared that up in a matter of days, nay, hours. It instantly relieves dry skin and it works to generally improve skin tone and elasticity. It's blooming marvellous. I don't usually go in for a body lotion or such like, mostly because it's a bit of a bore applying it but I'm loving this and it smells all tropical and exciting.
I won't go on any more. You get the picture. Buy a jar of it from your health food shop for about £4 and quench that winter skin!