Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Winter Beauty...Is It Possible?

The last five years of my life, I lived 10 minutes away from the beach, in a locale where it was always slightly humid. I had no idea how much winter could ravage my skin or my hair! As I began the battle against peeling lips and static-filled hair, I jumped on the coconut oil bandwagon, and it’s really helped me stave off painful, flaking skin.
Not much snow out there...
When I get out of the shower, or in the mornings before work (so that’s about 3-4 days a week), I dip my fingers in a Trader Joe’s bottle of organic virgin coconut oil, and rub it over my face (and that's all I put on). A little goes a long way – I don’t plaster my face in oil. I've found that it helps my face maintain softness even when I’m out with toddlers in the snow during the day. 

Oh. There it is.
I also put it on my lips just about every time I go outside, and find that it provides a good base layer before putting chapstick on a few hours later. If I only put on chapstick, it usually seems to dry out my lips, but with coconut oil as a base, my lips seem to absorb the chapstick better. That may be just me (I don’t have scientific evidence here), and I still get chapped lips as much as the next person forging through winter, but I feel that coconut oil makes a big difference.

That's what winter will do to your hands! Just kidding...those scratches are courtesy of little miss Hobbes.
Many people put coconut oil in their hair as well. I don’t do this as much, mainly because I am cheap and don’t want to use all that oil. However, I've been using this banana mask that I found through Lydia Magazine (and by using it, I mean last night was the second time, but I could use it a lot more!). Whenever I have some bananas that we’re not going to eat, I will go ahead and make the hair mask.

The recipe calls for an emulsifying blender. I’m not sure if my blender emulsifies or not. So I just blended the banana, milk, and honey mix for a long time to try and ensure that there wouldn't be any banana chunks lurking in my tresses. The last time I made the hair mask, I found that my hair felt softer and more moisturized for several days.

Another trick of mine that I used even in Santa Barbara is sugar scrub! I've blogged about it {before}. Last night, I decided to use coconut oil instead of vegetable oil. Here’s the recipe for all of you:

1 cup sugar (I use a brown sugar/cane sugar mix)

¼ cup coconut oil (my coconut oil is usually solid, so I scooped the solid oil into a quarter cup and melted it)

Generous drizzle of vanilla (about 1-2 teaspoons)

1-2 teaspoons of cinnamon

Mix it up, and then rub it over your hands to exfoliate.

The vanilla balanced the intense coconut smell. Some people would be all over that, but Aaron isn’t the biggest fan. You also can modify the amount of oil. A quarter cup is an amount of oil that will work for most skin types, but next time I’ll probably add a little more, because I like my sugar scrub to be on the oily side. It makes my skin feel smoother.

For more resources on coconut oil:


Wellness Mama

Empowered Sustenance

I’ve had fun experimenting with how I can help my body stay healthy throughout the winter, although those who live in the snow know it can be an uphill battle. Even though it is so dry, I still think there’s nothing quite like waking up in the morning and seeing snow outside. I love it.

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