Coconut Oil. What on earth did I do before you entered my life? Oh yeah, that's right - I spent way too much money on chemically enhanced beauty products and lotions. Since I don't want to sound too dramatic, I won't say that Coconut Oil has drastically changed my life, but it has drastically changed my personal care and hygiene routines. And those are part of my life, soo...with that logic, then I guess I can say that Coconut Oil has drastically changed my life...maybe?...no? And in case you were wondering, yes, that is a spoon in the picture. Let me explain.
Most people start using Coconut Oil to replace Olive Oil when cooking. And while I now do that, too, I actually started using Coconut Oil to experiment with the ancient Ayurvedic practice of oil pulling which is seriously the best thing ever (if you're debating the oils in cooking, HuffPo has a good article on the Coconut vs. the Olive here). My fellow yoga teacher, Laura, introduced me to oil pulling during our 200 hour teacher training program, and since then, I can count on one hand the number of days I've gone without it. My mouth honestly feel disgusting on days when I don't oil pull. So as not to seriously gross anyone out, I should probably clarify that I do very much still brush and floss my teeth. Oil pulling is just a nice extra treat! Here's how it goes (cue the spoon):
The Ayurvedic theory is that this oil pulling process removes all the toxins that congregate in your mouth while you sleep (hence why your breath smells so rotten when you wake up). The oil attracts and traps the toxins so you want to do it before eating or drinking anything when the grossness is gathered in one place and is ripe for the picking. It's believed that this helps improve oral hygiene (plaque, gingivitis, etc.), acne, inflammation, and a whole bunch of other yucky stuff, too, but I haven't been able to find too much scientific proof on that. From what I've experienced personally, though, my teeth are whiter, my skin has improved over time, I really haven't caught a cold at all even though all of my coworkers have been getting sick, and my mouth just feels cleaner all around. I've clued my dentist into this and he is using me as a case study on oil pulling to see if it really does help with oral hygiene. March will be about a year of monitoring, so I'll report back then. Side note: if you're looking for a dentist in the DC area, these guys are the BEST.
So after experimenting with and falling in love with oil pulling, I decided to try replacing my lotion with Coconut Oil. Using Coconut Oil as a lotion was a little messy at first since the oil starts out solid, then quickly liquefies in your hands, and it's is incredibly greasy (obviously)! But I got over that quickly and now love texture. I use this as face lotion, eye cream, and body lotion. It makes my skin soft and radiant - seriously!!
And if you're into essential oils, you can get really fancy! Using as much or as little Coconut Oil as you'd like, you can scoop the Oil out (in its solid state) and use a mixer (I use a KitchenAid mixer with the wire setting) to whip the oil together with 3 - 5 drops of an oil. Rose Absolute oil has firming and energizing properties so it's great if you want to create a face cream. Peppermint is good if you want a cooling lotion (think IcyHot).
So after only $5.99 at Trader Joe's, I have a new ingredient in the kitchen, a new whitening mouthwash, and an all-in-one lotion. I keep jars of this thing everywhere...well, only in my bathroom and in the kitchen, but I do stock up on Trader Joe's Coconut Oil every time I see it in the store. Word of advice: Trader Joe's has the best quality and value of Coconut Oil, but they don't always have it in stock so get at least 2 or 3 jars at a time when you're running low!
I’m Anahita Reilly, a Type-A, native Northern Virginian, happiness lover. This blog evolved out of my longstanding desire to share this beautiful thing called yoga with others. Click here to read more...