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Wednesday, January 13, 2016

4 Reasons to Use Coconut Oil

Happy Tuesday, dear readers!

While the main focus of this blog is about life as an impoverished parent, there are other avenues I like to write about on here as well such as food and drink, religion, and beauty. Call it escapism, call it educating, call it whatever you want. My blog, my rules.

Day 8 of the 21 day blogging challenge asks to list reasons to do something. Since I need a break from writing about poverty and I'm sure you do too, here is an opportunity for me to do just that. Today, I will write about a cheap and effective beauty treatment that anyone can use, not just upper-middle class crunchy granola yuppies. This wonderful elixir is simply coconut oil, and lest you think I'm a wannabe crunchy granola yuppie, let me explain in four points my experience with using coconut oil and why you should try it too.

1. You can buy it with EBT

Unless your state puts some serious-to-the-point-of-mockery restrictions on purchasing certain food items with food stamps, coconut oil can be bought using your EBT allotment. Aside from its cosmetic uses, coconut oil is, after all, an oil used in cooking food. The best part is, the cheap stuff works just as well as the high-dollar NON GMO, ORGANIC, ULTRA VIRGIN, NATURALLY REFINED AND SERVED IN A BIODEGRADABLE JAR coconut oil. Skip the coconut oil moisturizer in the health and beauty section and head straight for the cooking oils aisle at the store. Even if you don't bother using it for cosmetic purposes, it is a cooking oil too.

Here we see the ghetto blogger in her natural environment, going on a beauty adventure

2. It's a fantastic hair conditioner.

This is my primary use of coconut oil and my big reason for even wanting to try it out in the first place. I had seen a number of homemade conditioner recipes calling for coconut oil, but I could not bring myself to try it because of the bourgeois stigma surrounding it. As a longtime lover of India and all things Indian, I was intrigued by an article I found detailing some common Indian beauty treatments and it was after reading that article that I figured I'd give the coconut oil conditioning treatment a try for a month and see if I saw any results. I am pleased to say that I have. Now, about two months later, I can definitely say there is a noticeable improvement in the quality and texture of my hair. It's definitely smoother, shinier, easier to comb, and there is much less breakage after I run my brush through it. My ends are less dry and frazzled too, though the conditioning won't save them from the yearly trim. All I do is on the morning of wash day, I section and grease up my hair with coconut oil from root to tip, making sure my ends are extra coated. Once I'm done, I gather the hair on top of my head and place my du-rag (conditioning cap) on. If my du-rag is in the wash, I will cut up some plastic grocery bags and use that instead. A knit cap goes over this whole ensemble, and off I go to do my normal day's activities. Later that night, after at least 8 hours post application, I wash it out as I normally would do. I do this twice a week, though if I were working, I would have to put the oil in before I go to bed and leave it in overnight, washing it out in the morning.

3. It's a great skin moisturizer.

This was a secondary byproduct from my use of coconut oil as a conditioner. I've always had oily skin, which was why I was reluctant to use any sort of moisturizer because with my face being acne prone as it were, I did not want to be afflicted with the dreaded "pizza face". But with a resurgent interest in beauty, cheap but effective skin care entered my radar. It also helped that winter came and made dry Arizona even drier. After about two months of using coconut oil as a bedtime facial moisturizer, my face is definitely more hydrated and it actually helped cut back production on the oil fields in my face! I had a bit of breakout at first, which I expected because I was starting a new beauty regimen, but it went away and my skin remains remarkably clear. The trick is to go lightly on the application of the oil
I went hiking right after church this past Sunday and while I'm still wearing my church makeup, you can see that my skin is clear

4. There are many uses for coconut oil

I alluded to its culinary uses when buying it, but the reality is that coconut oil can be put towards a wide range of uses. Cosmetic use aside, my daughter's pediatrician recommended using coconut oil to soothe sore nipples if the baby chomped on them while nursing, and my neighbor's daughter used some coconut oil on her baby's bottom when she ran out out of vaseline one time with no ill effect. I use my coconut oil as a makeup remover. A friend of mine also recommended using coconut oil as a personal lube, but I have yet to try that one out. Wikipedia lists some more uses for coconut oil as well.

Despite its many practical uses, do be aware that coconut oil is high in fat and should be limited in culinary use. This is why I primarily stick to using it cosmetically. Also of note, the plants which process coconut oil may also process other allergen-inducing products like tree nuts, so shop carefully.

You can use coconut oil too. Don't let bourgeois buttholes stigmatize something as practical as coconut oil.

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