So 2 days ago that once-a-year occurrence happened, that really means the cold weather is a ‘comin: The heat turned on in my apartment. “What?! Big deal,” some of you non-New Yorkers are probably saying. But in NYC, guys, most of us have NO control over the heat in our apartments. This brought up the topic: Dry Winter Skin: How to keep your body and face moisturized in the cold months.
It goes on when it goes on, and stays on at whatever temperature your landlord dictates. There are minimums it shouldn’t drop below, but I have friends in Brooklyn that would argue that that rule is not always enforced- and attest to it with the use of their multiple space heaters.
Fortunately for me, my apartment gets STEAMY HOT. I live on the ground floor, so I’m not sure if that is a factor, but my apartment gets nice and toasty, just the way I like it. 🙂 So when the heat turned on the other day when I got home from being out all day, it was sort of like walking unexpectedly into a sauna!! Cozy but also wow….hot!!!
Well, whether we control our apartment heat or not we all have to deal with one thing: dry winter skin. It is already time to start warding it off and keeping our skin healthy!
One of your best weapons to fight dry, scaley skin is the mighty coconut oil. In Sanskrit, the translation for the word for coconut tree literally means “Tree of Life.” Coconuts indeed will give us life- and beauty- in different forms.
We’ve talked a lot about young coconuts that you can crack open and eat and drink fresh (I sort of recall a rather embarrassing video that took me WAY more cracks than usual to get open! I swear!! 🙂 ). But today we’ll focus on coconut oil, which is made from the hardened white flesh. In countries like French Polynesia and the Philippines, I have seen coconut milk pressed out of the white flesh with hand-made tools from the local forest, which is always an amazing-looking process to witness.
But raw, unrefined coconut oil is made when the white flesh is shredded up, and then the oil is pressed out further to make the concentrated essence: the coconut oil. Because the pressing process doesn’t get hotter than 100 degrees Farenheit in raw coconut oil, the coconut oil can remain raw and unaltered, with its natural enzymes intact. (Around 116 degrees is generally accepted as the temperature when enzymes can start to become denatured, as well as vitamins and amino acids).
Consuming coconut oil is a great way to beautify and moisturize your skin from the inside out. It has a plumping and softening effect, which makes your skin look and feel more healthy and attractive (and so much nicer to the touch! 🙂 ).
Coconut oil is great in desserts. Check out the recipes for the cacao truffles, macaroons, and key lime pie bars that are in the Recipe section. I talk about coconut oil in the key lime pie bars dessert recipe post also. It is also great in certain smoothies- but not the Green Smoothie!! You want the greens and fruit alkalizing your system first, and not getting slowed up with any kind of fat, even this amazing one. Save it for later on in the day. Also, you can cook with it. It stays stable at higher temperatures, meaning it won’t oxidize and get rancid the way other oils become when heated, which includes even olive oil.
Coconut oil is a healthy saturated, cholesterol-free fat made of medium chain fatty acid that our bodies can break down and be emulsified easily, and without overburdening our livers, the way other fats can (like clogging animal fat- yuck. Sorry, I had to insert that!:) ). Coconut oil contains Lauric Acid, which supports the thyroid and can help increase our metabolic rate.
Well, not only can you eat coconut oil, you can put it all over your hands and body. It makes a great body moisturizer- and absorbs right into the skin. It can be used on your hair as a conditioner (leave in or rinse out, depending on the texture of your hair), and for massage as well. It will keep the skin tight and moisturized. There are natural anti-bacterial properties in coconut oil as well, due to its content of Capric Acid, which makes up about 6% of its fatty acids. It can even be great to alleviate stretch marks! Some of us may feel funny about using the same bottle for kitchen purposes, that we also use to slather on our bodies in the bathroom and bedroom. It just seems a little…gross? I personally keep separate jars in the kitchen and in my bedroom. Don’t worry if the coconut oil gets liquid or stays a white solid. In either case, it works great! You don’t have to refrigerate your coconut oil, by the way.
“What about putting it on my face?” Some of you are asking. Ah, the face. 🙂 The face, the face. The face is to me, is a whole separate territory. The thing with the face is, that it is especially important to all of us to keep our faces looking our best. And we do not live in a completely natural environment. Our faces are constantly exposed to environmental toxins and pollution, and we live stressful lives surrounding by radiation and electropollution. And yes, if we overdo it, just the way we can overdo anything, the sun can be harmful, and especially if we are toxic on the inside.
So no! I trust my elbows and calves to coconut oil, but not my face.
Make sure to get coconut oil brands that are raw and unrefined. And if ever you have an opportunity to try an organic young coconut, it is super delicious!
Take care, and let me know how you do with your skin!
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I love coconut oil…although I do wash my face with it at night, is that okay? Or is best to ingest it?
If it is working with you as a wash, that is great. It does have anti-bacterial properties.
Ingesting it can be helpful also- so you can do both. 🙂
what is the best brand of coconut oil to use i got the cooking coconut oil is there a better on i have use it for cooking and my face it has worked on my face but i haven’t used it long enough to see if cooking with it has worked ..
HI Sarah, there are lots of good brands. Right now I’m using Dr. Bronner’s more than other brands.
I’ve tried several brands of RAW pressed coconut oil and had little luck. It just doesn’t seem to moisturize my skin for some reason. I have thought about adding other oils to it. Do you have any suggestions or alternatives? I live in the desert and need all the help I can get until you come out with a body lotion! 🙂
That’s great!! I’m so happy to hear that you love The Solution. 🙂 Yes, in the winter it is is a real saver.
If the coconut oil didn’t work for your body, you might want to try raw, unrefined shea butter. It stays solid, and is much thicker than the coconut oil. There are some body lotions like Kiss My Face, with shea butter in it that is also paraben-free, but I am not 100% loving it. So far, the raw shea butter is the better option. It is hard to find good paraben-free body lotions isn’t it!
Let me know how you do with the shea butter!!
Castor oil packs, or jojoba oil!
Were you asking me about castor packs? 🙂 Check out my blog on them! I forget what I called it, but it will be in the Detoxing section of the blog. 🙂
Coconut oil isnt moisturizing enough for me either. i have eczema and I’ve been looking for raw, unrefined Shea butter but I’m hesitant in making a purchase. Is there a trusted website/brand you recommend for fair trade Shea butter? I found one that whole foods carries but it doesn’t say it’s raw or unrefined, it says “handcrafted”. I’ve also read different things regarding the color and authenticity of real Shea butter? If you could shed some light on this my dry itchy skin would be forever grateful.
Great post. I went out a bought a jar of Living Tree coconut oil. I was having such trouble finding brands that we not fermented and also extracted the oil from the coconuts promptly after being harvested. The only brands that I found that held to those standards were Living Tree and Alissa Cohen’s coconut oils.
Luckily, I don’t have much dry skin issues. My skin moisture tends to say well-balanced. However, I do have some internal dryness, it seems. My colon hydro-therapist (I’ve had two sessions 🙂 so far) has me taking magnesium citrate and triphala, but says that I still seem dehydrated. I’m going to try increasing my salt intake (Celtic, etc) and see if that helps me hang on to water.
Hi Nala- sorry it took me a while to get back to blog comments! By now you’ve been trying the salt and maybe the coconut oil also. How are things going?
Oh no problem! Thanks for taking the time to read our comments! You’re remarkably generous with your time :), esp. as you’re so busy.
Right now I’m doing fruit, fresh juice, green smoothies, and a bit of salted sauerkraut now and then.
I’m not sure yet, I fell like I’m still adjusting 🙂
Yeah Kim Great post! Since you love the toasty apartments you can come live in my house hahaha….rather, u can live in Jamaica….cuz U KNO it’s steamy 3/4 of the year!!! DANG! Anyway I love Coconut oil, it’s scientifically proven to be the only oil that can penetrate the scalp!! I use it all the time but then my hair is curly and thick! I don’t love it for my face either, in it’s raw state…i think it’s too much i prefer jojoba oil 🙂
I could use some Jamaica weather come February in NY. Can I move in with you then? 🙂
Hi kimberley I was just wondering why you chose Dr. Ohhira’s probiotics over one like Megaflora? I thought the best probiotics had to be refrigerated? Thank-you!
Hi Kim! I love Nutiva’s coconut oil. My whole family uses a lot of coconut oil, and I’m trying to convince my fellow dietitians why we can view it as good saturated fat. Thanks for the great post!
HI Em! Yes, I hope everyone comes around to the magic of coconut oil. Thanks for visiting me!
I just discovered you a week ago and I’ve been trying to read a page a day from your informative back archives to catch up..(..taking notes etc.) Thanks for sharing your wealth of knowledge w/ us!
Glad to be aboard the Snyder Express! “..ALL Aboard! next stop: perfect health!” (..sorry!) haha
What’s your opinion of the DR.Perricone philosophy and skin products? I’ve read his books and his ‘stopping aging at the cellular level’ ideology is fascinating.
I’m currently using his Cold Plasma creme along w/ the men’s line from IQ Derma. I desperately want to try your Solutions product when this runs out.
I eat rather well (I can’t wait to modify my morning smoothie w/ your ideas!) and your raw menu looks delicious! Being a musician, the strange hours in the studio leave me at times w/ horrible ‘delivery’ food choices but I always bring an assortment of Trader Joes raw nuts along to address those late nite cravings.
..how am I doing so far?
Do you have any books published?
your new pal, tommy
My first book is on its way. 🙂
Thanks for your hilarious comment!
I have met Dr. Perricone in person. I must say that my health philosophy and his are completely on opposite ends of the spectrum. I have read 2 of his books. The idea about eating salmon every day to get the fatty acids to plump the skin I vehemently disagree with. We build beautiful, youthful skin from clean blood and clean tissues. Salmon is full of mercury, and all animal protein is heated and corrupted, so that our bodies only absorb at most of 50% of the amino acids anyway. Animal protein leaves acidic residue in our body which is aging…it is not to say we all have to be vegetarians, but we do not NEED fish or animal proteins (it is for sensory pleasure), and to say it builds beauty is false in my opinion. Also, I don’t trust anyone that doesn’t look like they are a shining example or following what they preach!
I am working to eliminate ALL links to the solution on my blog. Can you tell me if you find one still lurking somewhere? I will be able to make a public announcement about this soon (yay!), which I’m very excited to do.
Well please come visit me again soon!
I just saw this post but I had already done some research I recently purchased Nutriva raw/unrefined coconut oil specifically to use on my face to clear up blemishes at night. I use a seperate organic moisturizer in the morning because I don’t like the greasiness of the coconut oil on my face during the day. Is there anything else you would recommend using on the face for blemishes? I am also using tea tree oil and Aztec Secret clay mask. My skin is clearing up well (especially after eliminating dairy). I’d love to try The Solution but I’m also trying to get pregnant and I thought I read it wasn’t intended for use during pregnancy?
Skin care is an important thing to consider when you’re trying to stay healthy — especially during cold season.
You have posted nice and informative post,Thanks for sharing..
I am so excited about reading your book!! I have incredibly dry skin on my face. I really am in the search for a great hydrating face cream. I started food combining last week and feel better already! If you have any suggestions that would be great!! Thanks for the awesome information!!
I will right away seize your rss as I can’t to find your e-mail subscription hyperlink or e-newsletter service. Do you’ve any? Please allow me know so that I may just subscribe. Thanks.
Yes! Check out the subscribe page on the blog page. xx
So if don’t ‘trust’ coconut oil to use on your face. What do you use for your face?
I’m sorry, I didn’t understand the following paragraph:
‘“What about putting it on my face?” Some of you are asking. Ah, the face. 🙂 The face, the face. The face is to me, is a whole separate territory. The thing with the face is, that it is especially important to all of us to keep our faces looking our best. And we do not live in a completely natural environment. Our faces are constantly exposed to environmental toxins and pollution, and we live stressful lives surrounding by radiation and electropollution. And yes, if we overdo it, just the way we can overdo anything, the sun can be harmful, and especially if we are toxic on the inside.
So no! I trust my elbows and calves to coconut oil, but not my face.’
Can you clarify why you don’t put coconut oil on the face?
I’d love to understand why. Thanks!
I read that over a couple times and did not understand it either. I don’t understand the comments on toxins and then a jump to saying no about coconut oil for the face.. and why? I’d love some clarification as well :). I thought coconut oil was supposed to be good for your face?
I don’t understand either. I have been using coconut oil on my face for a few days and it feels great. Is there some reason not to use it to moisturize my face?
I started to us coconut oil on my face. I then got a make-up magnifying mirror to put on my make-up. I looked in the mirror and saw I had lots of bumps, looks like white heads but different. Has anyone experienced this? I searched online and whiteheads and coconut oil for the face has lots of posts related to the same thing. I know you have been asked about a face moisturizer, what do you use?