I don’t claim to be any sort of beauty expert, but I do have slightly over a decade of experience with playing with make-up and beauty products. There’s just something about swirling, tapping and blending the colors that is the perfect combination of therapeutic and artistry. But like most art forms, things look a bit better when starting with a nice blank canvas. 🙂
If you travel a bit north of my face you will find my hair. So, it’s red. And super curly and super dry. So for years and years and years I tried all kinds of crazy expensive hair products and salon treatments that were supposed to give me glossy hair. Finally, in a fit of desperation I asked my stylist to tell me what to do to make my hair not feel like hay no matter how much it cost. You know what that fabulous lady said?
Yup, coconut oil. I’m sure you all have seen all the dozens of uses for coconut oil pins floating around on Pinterest, but I kind of ignored them all. But I went home and as soon as it was time to break down and wash my hair, I nixed my regular conditioner and used coconut oil instead. I left it in for about 5 minutes, then rinsed it out. I dried my hair and it was…greasy. For the first time in my life I had greasy hair. Not the look I was looking for. After doing some research I figured out water doesn’t rinse out oil (duh) – you have to actually shampoo it out. It took me a few washes to figure it out- but what I do now is put the coconut oil in, then after about five minutes I squirt some shampoo into my hands, rub my palms together then run my hands down my hair a few times without scrubbing. This gives me the benefit of the coconut oil without the greasiness. I do this every single time I wash my hair. If you have fine hair that tends to get greasy I think this method is probably not for you…but if you have dry hair this will rock your world. 🙂 Try it and see.
This is how my love affair with oils began. Next I started experimenting with my skin.
I’ve always had skin that was a bit problematic. Being a mix of Cheroke-Irish-Iranian, I have skin that has both yellow-olive and cool blue undertones. I have the red hair from my dad and the brown eyes from my mother. My skin is the lovely combination of super dry and super sensitive. Not sure which genes to blame that one on. 😛 So, for years I tried a myraid of skin solutions and “miracle products” and my poor skin went from being breakout free but flaking apart to spotted with breakouts but not peeling.
Then I started hearing about oil cleaning. I saw a few things online, then I went to a Young Living Essential Oil class (more on this later for sure!) and the girl leading it, Chrissy had the most amazing skin. When I asked her how- she said oil cleaning. SOLD. I followed the instructions in this blog post. Since I have dry skin I did a ratio of about 10% castor oil to 90% sunflower oil. I mixed it up in a glass jar from West Elm. The process is you rub the oil on your face- this is a time to relax and enjoy it, give yourself a mini massage. You then take a washcloth and run it in hot water and place it on your face. It should be steamy, but not burning or anything. When the washcloth turns cold (one minute or so) you use the wet cloth in circular motions to remove the oil and make-up from your skin. You then run the washcloth in hot water again, place it back on your face, wait until it turns cold then use circular motions to remove any remaining oil/makeup. Then do it one more time.
I’ll be totally honest- I don’t do it every night. It’s a process and takes 5-10 minutes and often I’m too lazy to finish. But when I do it my face is glowing, bright and soft. After the oil washing then I moisturize with….oil. 🙂 I currently am using organic argan oil. It’s so wonderful. It doesn’t make my face look oily AT ALL. Nor has it caused any breakouts or anything. In fact, since adopting this method and cutting out all the artificial stuff in facewash and moisturizer I have hardly had any skin issues at all. I don’t need the specialized cream I got from the dermatologist for my dry patches. I hardly ever have breakouts and when I do- I use a drop of Frankincense oil on it and it is gone the next morning. Lately I also have added Young Living Beauty Serum into my routine- just a drop or two into my argan oil. My skin has literally never looked better. I don’t wear foundation or powder anymore. I have no need to cover my skin! Hooray!
Then I started hearing about oil pulling. If you all haven’t heard about that yet- get ready. It’s the next big thing- check out this post and this post. Basically the premise is that by swishing organic coconut or sesame oil in your mouth for 20 minutes, you will “pull” all the toxins out of your sinuses/gums/wherever. I’m not a medical practitioner or a scientist or a sinus sufferer so I can’t speak to that, but I’ll share my experience. I used coconut oil since it was on hand already. I took a spoonful, put it into my mouth and spit it immediately out. I can’t handle solid oil slowly melting in my mouth. YUCK. So the next time I tried it I melted it over low heat in a pot, waited a few minutes for it to cool and tried again. Much better.
Twenty minutes went by really quickly. I used the time to read a few emails, write some calligraphy and before I knew it my timer was beeping. I spit it out into the trash can (never down the sink because oil clogs your drains!) and ran to check my mouth. I had no idea oil pulling would do this but ya’ll. My teeth were WHITE. Like whiter then they have ever been with any Crest strip. Crazy white. So very quickly oil pulling has been part of my routine for just the vanity factor. 🙂 I was literally shocked. I kept staring in the mirror and touching my teeth…and then I took a selfie. I have no make up on- literally rolled out of bed, swished oil for 20 minutes then took this photo.
Lastly, I’ve started smoothing my cuticles and lips with oil to moisturize them. I’ve used olive, coconut and argan oil. All have worked great. My favorite is taking a tablespoon or so of olive oil and mixing a drop of lavender essential oil in. I then use that to massage my hands, moisturize my lips and massage my temples. Smells and feels wonderful.
Again- these are just things that have worked for me. But I am hooked and I don’t think I will be going back to buy chemical-laden creams or products anytime soon. I love that I can use natural oils that I can buy at a grocery store and last for a while- and are super affordable which leaves me more money in my pocketbook to buy drywall texture and paint for the house. Or whatever. 😉 Win/win.
Ready for another fun essential oil project? You’ve got to try this easy DIY essential oil candle – you won’t believe how easy it is to learn how to make candles!