Sunday, June 30, 2013

The Dirty Truth: Coconut Oil as a Facial Cleanser

Cleaning with Coconut Oil @DIYBeauty OCMOkay, okay... I know. The idea of smearing oil all over your face is completely the opposite of what many of us grew up learning. I know. It's weird.

I mean most of us grew up with the idea that oil was the cause of our bad skin. I thought that the more I could get rid of oil, the better I would look and that belief lead me to years of buying prescription medication, cleansers, and lotions that said "oil reducing". I spent a ton of money and my skin only got worse! Eventually, I gave up all the expensive oil stripping products and things started to get better.

Okay, maybe it wasn't exactly that easy. But there was enough of an improvement that I began to wonder if oil wasn't so bad after all.

I did a lot of research, but part of me was still very hesitant to try it. I somehow just knew that if I used it, then I would wake up the next day with a face full of zits. I bet that's how you feel too, right?

Oh, the horror!! 

Seriously, it took me months to grow enough nerve to try it. Yes, I know. I'm a wimp.

I was such a wimp that I decided to start experimenting with coconut oil in other ways. I made deodorant with oil. I know. It's weird. But it worked! My pits smelled fabulous and there are no zits. Sweet!

I tried other beauty products with coconut oil and each one worked great. I didn't break out anywhere on my body, plus my skin was smoother and softer. I became a believer! It was time to start using coconut oil to clean my face.

Why Coconut Oil Is Good For Your Skin
  • It has antibacterial and antifungal properties (goodbye acne and eczema)
  • It won't change the pH of your face so it's not irritating
  • Lots and lots of antioxidants to help diminish fine lines and wrinkles
  • Great natural moisturizer
  • It tricks skin into thinking it has enough oil to slow down oil production while locking in the moisture.
  • It's been shown to work for all skin types although some people may be more prone to break outs using only coconut oil. If you break out then you can mix it with other oils like castor oil or jojoba oil.
Even celebrities use it! Heck yes, I want to look like Gisele Bundchen and Gwyneth Paltrow!!  If it's good enough for them, then it's definitely good enough for me! Also, I found out that ancient nobility (Pharaohs, Roman Emperors) used natural oils commonly for skin cleaning and moisturizing. If oil is good enough for models, celebrities, and ancient royalty, then I suppose it's good enough for me. {wink}

The one thing I will impart with you as IMPORTANT is that you buy a good quality coconut oil.

You should look for a coconut oil that is unrefined, 100% coconut oil, and preferably organic. Remember this stuff will be entering your pores and hydrating your skin-- this is a time to splurge a little! Get the good stuff!

Your face will smell like vacation.

What You Need:
Step 1: gently massage the coconut oil to your face (~30 secs)
Step 2: apply warm towel onto your face (to open up the pores)
Step 3: wait 15-30 seconds or so and then lightly remove oil with washcloth-- no scrubbing!
Step 4: if you feel like you need it, splash some warm water to remove excess oil, but your skin should absorb most of it. 

coconut oil for OCMDone! See-- not so hard, right?

The warm cloth will open up your pores and allow the coconut oil to go inside and push out all that dirt and yuck that's inside.

Overtime, coconut oil is supposed to help even skin tone and reduce the size of your pours. You can also use this in the shower, but I don't recommend washing it off right away. Let your skin absorb it for a few minutes before you try to remove any excess oil.

You can also add other oils into the coconut oil for additional benefits. I've seen multiple websites that recommends mixing the coconut oil with carrier oils, especially castor oil at a 1:1 ratio.

You can use carrier oils such as....

  • Almond oil or Grapeseed oil for oily skin
  • Sunflower oil or Aragan oil for regular skin
  • Avocado oil or Apricot oil for dry skin
  • Jojoba oil for all skin types, but especially acne prone skin
  • Castor oil for all skin types (but is more likely to cause drying and sensitivity than other oils)
Don't be afraid to experiment!

Essential oils
You can add essential oils to your coconut oil to get added skin benefits. Just make sure to dilute them by using 1-3 drops per teaspoon of coconut oil.

  • Lavender: acne, scars, wrinkles, elasticity, acne, sensitive skin, all skin types
  • Frankincense: oily skin, wrinkles, acne
  • Geranium: dry skin, sensitive skin, wrinkles, elasticity, and acne
  • Jasmine: Dry and sensitive skin
  • Chamomile: Acne, all skin types
  • Tea Tree: Oily skin, acne
  • Carrot seed oil: sun damaged skin, wrinkles

I recommend using therapeutic grade essential oils because other essential oils are more likely to cause a reaction because they are not meant to be applied directly to the skin. I use Young Living essential oils


Trouble Shooting
There have been reports of increases acne with the use of coconut oil in some people. Other people have great results, so you'll have to see how your skin reacts to the coconut oil. If you do notice that you start to break out, then I've read that people will often replace the coconut oil with jojoba oil or mix it with castor oil which greatly improves the symptoms.

Storage
I recommend putting a little coconut oil in a container with a lid so you can freely dip your fingers or put a cotton ball into it.

It can be stored at room temperature. It does NOT need to be refrigerated. It will last years at room temperature, but since you will be introducing objects or fingers into the coconut oil, I recommend that you use your best judgement. Even though coconut oil has antibacterial and antifungal properties remember that your fingers harbor bacteria so you probably don't want much more than a few weeks supply in your storage container at at time. Sorry, I'm a total germaphobe.

You should not store coconut oil in anything that doesn't have a lid that easily comes off or that you can  not stick your fingers into because it can be a liquid or a solid or something in between. Coconut oil has a melting point (anytime the temperature is above 75 degrees) so the consistency will change throughout the year. It's summer and I have seen it as both a liquid and a gel consistency, but I know from using coconut oil that it can become solid when it's colder. However, it easily melts when it comes in contact with heat (like your hands).

Some Thoughts
I know that this isn't for everybody, but a lot of people really love cleansing with coconut oil and they have seen tremendous results. But it can cause comedogenic acne in some people (which are tiny clusters of small, hard pimples) and if that happens you should change what you're doing. You can keep cleansing with oils, but you should either change oils or blend the oil with another carrier oil.

For more information on blending oils: Blending Oils and Troubleshooting OCM

Just keep in mind that most people who try OCM can get great results, but they may need a little trial and error to find their perfect formula. Below this post there are some great comments from many of my awesome readers who shared their experience with OCM-- I really recommend browsing through them to get an idea of what kind of results you can expect. Please leave a comment or email me if you have a question!

If You Want More Coconut Oil Ideas:
I hope to hear some of your stories about your adventures with coconut oil! 

105 comments:

  1. How long would you recommend waiting before you give up? Thanks, Sherri.

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    1. Sarra, in my opinion, oil cleansing is one of the hardest things to figure out so that's a tricky question.

      What I did was wait a month to see if I had any side effects because that's usually when they start literally popping up. If you don't have any issues at this time, then you are probably in the clear! When I had issues with pure coconut oil, I started blending different oils to try to get a formula that would work for my skin. Honestly, this could go on for quite a while before you find what works for you so it really depends on how badly you want to use this method, but each oil blend can take a month to show side effects. A lot of people swear by blending coconut oil and castor oil, but some people have problems with that too. I use a blend of almond oil, jojoba oil and avocado oil and it works a lot better for my skin, but if I use it every day then I notice I start to have issues because my skin is so sensitive. So I use it only once or twice a week.

      Based on your question, I can't tell if you are close to giving up or if you are just curious about how long to try it, but in case you are getting frustrated I want you to know that there are other great natural methods that you can look into as well such as African Black Soap -- this is my primary way to clean my face. It's amazing! Also, non-alcoholic witch hazel or rose water are wonderful additions to a skin care routine. Clay is a wonderful natural way to nourish your skin, remove toxins and reduce acne as well.

      Hope I answered your question! :)

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  2. I've been using this method for years and love it! My skin has improved greatly.

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    1. Yay! I'm so glad it's working for you :)

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  3. do you have to moisturise after using the coconut oil as a cleanser?

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    1. No, you don't have to. Personally, I think it feels like you've already moisturized due to the moisturizing properties of the coconut oil. However, some people absorb oils differently and so you may feel as if you need something more. If that's the case I'd suggest a light moisturizer afterwards. So it's completely up to you! :)

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    2. Hi, Sherri. Ha ha ha. I did this before finding your page AND i used the TJ's coconut oil. I'm 61 years young and have a ruddy complexion and still get these bumps on my face. They are not pimples or blackheads, they are just globs of whatever, so I've been using Retin-A which is working on peeling away cells, but it makes my face so extra sensitive., so, I' decided to use the coconut for cleansing. I use it for Oil Pulling as well. If you've never heard of it, google it. You seem very very young and you might as well get started doing as many natural things as you can.

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    3. Mona--- haha! Great minds think a like! So funny!

      Did those bumps clear up when you switched to coconut oil?

      It's so funny that you mention oil pulling because I just recently started doing it! It's awesome! I'm going to write a post about it soon, but you're right-- it's great. Everyone should do it!

      And thank you for calling me young :) It is a lovely compliment! I'm about to turn 31 in Dec!

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    4. I'm gonna be 33 December 17th! Still break out... been using raw honey for face wash and coconut oil too I'm still breaking out and have been using it since the 27th of February! So frustrating I'm always switching up but don't know if I'm just purging or what to do?? When is ur bday?

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    5. Hi Angela! We December babies have to stick together! I'll be 32 on Dec 30th… Oh, the time flies!! Does it even seem like we should be 30 yet?! I think not.

      Is your acne small bumps that are localized in groupings? Usually on your chin or forehead? If so, that's a sign that your pores are being clogged by the OCM and you should change it immediately.

      If it's regular random acne, then it's not as definite as to if it's the OCM or something else. It usually takes about a month for things to even out so if you don't see a change soon-- I'd suggest a change. Coconut oil is one of the oils that can be more likely to cause acne. Almond, rose hips, argan, grape seed, avocado, castor… all of them are less likely to clog pores and if you blend them it decreases the risk of acne some more. I have a post on blending oils-- I'll put it on the bottom of this post if you want to read more about it.

      Have you tried using plain raw honey with a teeny bit of cinnamon on your acne as it begins to pop up? It's a great way to quickly get rid of acne-- I do it three times a day when I feel one starting to come up. I let the honey sit for around 10-15 minutes and then wash it away. Usually within 24-36 hours the pimple is gone! I also do a raw honey mask every two weeks that really helps keep the acne away. I use avocado and almond oils (but you can really use any cosmetic grade oils) with raw honey and let it sit for 15-20 minutes, then wash it away. I love it and I have seen a HUGE difference in the amount of acne that I have (hardly any).

      There are other options too for acne, so if you want to use something different let me know and I'll give you some ideas.

      Here is the link for Troubleshooting OCM: http://www.overthrowmartha.com/2013/07/cleaning-your-face-with-oil-what-you.html

      Good luck! I hope you keep me posted on how you're doing!

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  4. your statement of olive oil causing acne is false. "reports" is a pretty pathetic excuse to back up your statement... olive oil contains the same omega fatty acids found naturally on your face; it actually fights/prevents acne while keep the skin moisturized.

    funny how people can claim they are an expert at something by making a website and write whatever and have followers-- yet there are no actual references to where you get your information at all. completely false.

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    1. Ouch! Sorry to offend. I didn't claim to be an expert. In fact, there is a disclaimer at the bottom of my page that says this is all my experience and research and I am NOT an expert. I'm just a nurse who loves messing with holistic stuff. :)

      As for the olive oil comment-- I put that there because olive oil, along with a few other oils, are comedogenic (which is acne causing). That's actually a scientific fact which you are free to look up. Some people just tolerate comodogenic oils better than others so they see improvements, while others see bumps.

      Before I wrote this post, I did a lot of research that included reading lots of forums. What really struck out to me was that a lot of people said they had bad experiences with olive oil. In fact, these experience were more frequent than with other comodogenic oils. I just thought it would be nice to say that it seems to be something to stay away from. It's just a recommendation based on what I researched so that people would be more likely to succeed. It wasn't meant to offend or be taken as dermatological law.

      If you are an olive oil user and it works for you-- then I'm really happy for you! I'd love to hear about your experience and I'm sure readers would like to know that it worked for you.

      As for my sources-- here are some of them. I knew I had more, but I guess I didn't bookmarked them:

      http://theskinnutritionist.net/blog/understanding-comedogenic-acne/

      http://www.acne.org/messageboard/topic/232347-is-olive-oil-comedogenic-or-noncomedogenic/

      http://www.crunchybetty.com/community/discussion/comment/2119

      http://acnemantra.com/olive-oil-comedogenic/

      http://www.temptalia.com/the-ingredients-guide-comedogenic-irritating-ingredients-to-watch-for

      http://www.healthcarefox.com/1290636/Is-Olive-Oil-Comedogenic-Or-Noncomedogenic%3F

      http://skincare.answers.com/skin-treatments/unraveling-the-mystery-on-non-comedogenic-products

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    2. Good for you Sherri! I like how you handled that. I've seen a TON of complaints about Olive Oil as well but some success stories too. I myself started with Castro oil blend which I guess my skin s too sensitive to and just switched to pure coconut oil. The good stuff! It did still leave my face dry so I applied natural vitamin e oil after the cleansing but wasnt sure what o do next. I left it on for awhile then wiped it dry with a clean towel. I hope I'm on the right track. Let me know if you have any advice I'm all ears! Also I wasn't sure if I needed to make the coconut oil into a liquid or if I can just rub it together in my hands and apply even though there are some little chunks here and there. If you find out anything please let me know! Ill keep researching in the meantime! Thanks for the info!

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    3. Chell! Thank you :) I really appreciate your compliment!

      I think you are on the right track. Vitamin E is awesome for your skin. If you feel like you need more moisture, then you could also try blending the coconut oil with an oil that's better for dry skin like avocado oil or grapeseed oil, too, but it's not necessary if you're getting the results you want with the vitamin E.

      That's a good question! You don't really need to make the coconut oil into a liquid. Rubbing it in your hands is just perfect! You shouldn't really heat the oil because it can denature some of the good properties of the coconut oil if it gets too hot, so what you're doing is just fine!

      I hope that answered all of your questions, but if you think of any more I'll be here to try to help! :)

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    4. Oh good! Thanks for the quick reply!

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    5. Chell,

      When I first started using coconut oil when I found out my favorite face wash was TERRIBLE for my skin. Anyway... before I digress the first couple days my skin dried out and I ended up just applying more coconut oil to the dry spots and it helped. It has been 3 weeks and my skin looks better than it ever has :) hopefully that helps you!

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  5. I have only been using coconut oil for a few days and my face is on fire, super itchy & dry. Wondering if I add avacado oil or something maybe it will help?

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    1. Erica, I would say that sounds like it could be having an allergic reaction. I'd stop taking the coconut oil! If you want to keep up with the OCM I would say give your skin a few days break and switch to a new oil completely. Avocado oil is heavy, but amazing for dry skin, but it's best blended with something lighter-- you can use almond oil, jojoba oil, rosehips or many other types of oils, but I'd say you should probably not use the coconut oil for now. I have really sensitive skin too and I've had a reaction like that before-- its no fun! I think it's your body's way of saying it doesn't like it. I'd say listen to it!

      A product you may want to look into is African Black Soap-- its awesome for rosacea and sensitive skin. It's really turned my skin around for sure! I posted about it here: http://www.overthrowmartha.com/2013/08/african-black-soap-to-minimize-pores.html Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any questions. :)

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  6. Thanks Sherri. I have tried African Black soap but it dries out my face real bad. Guess I will back off the coconut oil for now, give my face a chance to calm down and reintroduce slowly. Thanks so much for your advise. Its truly appreciated

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    1. I'm sorry to hear that. I'm just curious-- was your black soap sourced from Ghana? I know it can be so upsetting with sensitive skin. Hang in there! I'm sure you'll find your solution! :) Let me know if I can help you in any way.

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  7. I tried washing my face with only coconut oil last night just for the heck of it, I had never heard of anyone doing it but did hear someone use it as a mascara remover so I thought I would just try it all over my face. I loved it! I just warmed up the oil in my hands and rubbed it all over my face and then just rinsed with warm water. It removed all my mascara and I didn't even have to apply a moisturizer, it felt like I already had some on. This morning when I took my shower I just rinsed my face in water. I'm 54 yo, this will be my routine from now on unless I have some kind of reaction down the line!

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    1. Yay, Rebecca! I'm so glad you love it!! :)

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  8. I've found that it's the amount of coconut oil you apply, after a foam cleanser I dab it on in the shower as a moisturizer. But now I've figured that it's extremely hard to figure out the correct amount, so I'll just use that as a cleanser and use a cream moisturizer instead. I usually apply too much on my forehead, but it makes my skin oh-so-soft and does calm down the acne.

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  9. Hi !

    I am a 35 years old French woman from Tahiti and it's been centuries since people from my island use coconut oil as a beauty product .
    They use it both as a cleanser and as a moisturizer .
    I had to leave my island years ago but yet,I still keep on using coconut oil as my only beauty product to take care of my skin .
    and hair .
    Well, I use a nice sunscreen during the summer as too much sun can damage teh skin regardless of routines and products .
    I am 35 years old and people use to believe I am still a student .My skin looks healthy, glowy (not greasy ok ) and I don't have to manage wrinkles (at least not yet ha ha ha !!!) .
    I wouldn't let go with this fabulous and yet cheap beauty product .
    You are right to say one should get extra quality coconut oil but even extra quality remains cheaper than many drugstore products anyway .
    Of course,there will always be skins for which coconut oil won't work at all . This is why it is better to test it by not directly applying it on the entire face .Just to see if you do not do an allergic reaction and if your skin simply likes it .
    Anyway, I sincerely believe that gentle routines are preferable for all skin types ,even for oily and acne prone skins . Our skin is a part of ourselves and it is directly related to the nervous and emotionnal system .
    When there is something wrong with your emotions, when you feel down, would you like someone to be hard toward you ? Wouldn't you prefer comforting words ? Why should our skin be different ?
    Harsh routines should get considered as a slap in the face our skin and mind would have to endure and to recover from .
    I don't think it would work on the long run .
    And even if your skin doesn't like coconut oil, there are other gentle products your skin would probably enjoy .
    Softness is the key for all skin types .ALL .
    In a way, all depends on what you want : a nice skin right away or a nice skin on the long run .

    Thank you for this wonderful post !
    Have a nice day !

    Maeva

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    1. Maeva, thank you for your advice and the story of experience you have had with coconut oil. I love that you still get mistaken for a college girl (I bet you love it, too!)

      I really love the question you asked about how would you like to be treated when you feel down and compared that to your skin because it's so true! Softness is definitely the key to good skin! I really enjoyed your post! Thank you!

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  10. How many times a week should i do this for the full affect?

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    1. Hi, Sierra! I recommend once a day, but a lot of people do it morning and night, but other's do it only a handful of times a week. So it's really your preference how you want to use it-- there's no wrong way! I like to tell people to listen to their skin. It will tell you what it needs. :)

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  11. If I have a face full of makeup on, do I wash the makeup off with a cleanser and then use the coconut oil or do I just glop on the CO as my cleanser, then remove it with a wipe? Just found your site and this article and am so so happy I did because it's awesome! HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!

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    1. Happy Holidays to you too, Leah! That's actually a really good question and I know the answer! :) Coconut oil can definitely be used as a makeup remover! It even works on the waterproof stuff. I'd just recommend using a cotton ball for your eye makeup, but for the stuff on your face-- it will be removed as you wash. :)

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  12. Hi all, I'm a cosmetologist and use different peels on my face, but wanted a regular wash/moisturizing routine for maintenance. I've just started with this, and after two treatments of coconut oil, some of the underlying acne came to the surface. It is also great for your hair! Two of my sons have eczema too, so I started taking a small scoop and putting it in each of our bath water with a little vitamin e oil. It gets the hair, skin, nails...everything! I can even shave my legs without cream or gel! The oil in the water is enough, and leaves them smoother than before.

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    1. Thanks Shawna! That's really some great information. I never thought of using it in place of shaving cream! It's kind of brilliant! :)

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  13. Two questions:
    1. I recently started using coconut oil as a cleanser/moisturizer/makeup remover and love it. However, due to its awesome makeup removing skills, it causes my mascara to run (its even waterproof), creating dark circles under my eyes. Any suggestions on how to fix this? I don't want to stop using it on my eyes, it has worked wonders!
    2.Does it make a difference if the Unrefined Organic Coconut Oil is just that or does it need to be virgin or extra virgin to be more effective? Why?

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    1. Hi! Coconut oil is such an amazing product! I'm glad you're enjoying it.

      However, honestly, I don't know how to stop your water proof mascara from running. I use a plant based mascara and I don't have an issue with it running during the day, but I only use the coconut oil at night and the mascara is very easy to remove. Do you use coconut oil in the morning and night? Perhaps if you used it only at night around your eyes, then it won't run as much? Or maybe try switching brands of mascara to see if that helps?

      There are some differences in the quality of the oil you use, but I don't think that necessary translates to virgin or extra virgin oil. I believe a good quality brand is more important. I am an advocate fort unrefined coconut oil and I definitely recommend organic due to the lack of pesticides and other chemicals, but other wise I haven't notices much of a differences between virgin and extra virgin for skin care.

      I hope that helps! If you have any other questions, please ask away! :)

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  14. Also, any suggestions on how to diminish dark under eye circles naturally? I hate wearing makeup, but if I don't I look so tired because of the under eye circles.

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    1. I use a product by 100% Pure to reduce dark circles under my eyes. It's called "Organic Coffee Bean Caffeine Eye Cream". It definitely helps with the dark circles and any puffiness, but it doesn't completely take it all away. I have never attempted to try to make an eye cream, but that's actually a really good project. I'll do some research and experiment a bit to see if I can come up with something. He is a link to the eye cream if you're interested:

      http://www.100percentpure.com/Organic-Coffee-Bean-Caffeine-Eye-Cream-1Oz-p/1fmcbec.htm

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  15. I recently began taking Adipex to help lose weight, but now my face us breaking out with red bumps. Do you know if cleansing with coconut oil will help with this type of acne?

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    1. Hi! Well, this is actually a pretty loaded question. I can't really give medical advise regarding a medication, but I do know that a very common side effect from Adipex is acne. From what I understand it's a pretty stubborn acne, too, which seems to respond to chemical treatments. I really have no idea if natural treatments will combat the medication's side effect. I know that's not what you wanted to hear, but also trying a natural treatment wouldn't hurt. Coconut oil or African Black Soap would be where I would start if I were in your shoes. If you decide that you are going to stop Adipex due to side effects, then you should check out Garcinia Cambogia. I know some people who have taken it with good results and it's been hailed all over the media as a great natural way to lose weight (including Dr. Oz). I hope this help! Let me know if you have any more questions. Have a nice weekend :)

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  16. Is hydroquinone really carcinogenic?

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    1. Well, I'm not an expert, but I can tell you what I've seen. From what I've read it's been banned in some of Europe and Asia due to the studies they've performed on rats linking it to cancer. However, the rats took large amounts of hydroquinone. I've attached a link below of an article by the campaign for safe cosmetics which they claim that it is one of the most toxic ingredient still allowed in cosmetics.

      http://safecosmetics.org/article.php?id=289

      According to EWG, it's highly toxic. It got a score 9/10 for toxicity. You can read the following summary of toxicity from the EWG if you want to learn more:

      EWG: http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredient/703041/HYDROQUINONE/

      However the FDA stands by hydroquinone as safe if used according to the directions and for a limited period of time. I won't tell you not to use it or that it definitely causes health problems or not, but it is something that you should be educated about and informed as to if you'd be willing to risk the potential side effects for the known benefits of the product.

      I hope this helps.

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  17. It says that the organic cotton wipes are reusable are you able to wash them to reuse them?

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    1. Definitely! I love them! They are actually baby wipes so they are really heavy duty. I toss them in my laundry and wash them-- they hold up great! In fact, I think they are better after a couple of washes. ;)

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    2. Hi! I came across a news report about a year ago while I was researching which kind of natural oil would be best for my skin ( I chose coconut oil and have hardly had a single breakout since!) . This report stated that the olive oil industry is very corrupt and that even brands marked extra virgin have been analyzed and found to contain horrible things like diesel fuel! The report stated that most of the brands sold in Canada seemed to be safe and mentioned that The Kirkland brand sold at Costco was pure. Perhaps this is why the results are inconsistent with olive oil?

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    3. Wow, Cindy! Thanks for sharing that info! I definitely think you're right in that those extra "ingredients" play a factor in the results when using olive oil. I knew that olive oil had the potential of having some nasty things in it, but I had no idea about how bad it could be! That's definitely an eye opener. Wow. Diesel fuel! That's crazy. I'm going to read more about that! Thanks for sharing.

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    4. Can i use coconut oil and baking soda together making a paste to exfoliate my face once every week? Or should i just use coconut oil like u use every day . Also does coconut oil reduce sun damage? And can i use this exfoliater on my hands and feet as they are in pretty rough condition too . After applying this exfoliater and then scrubbing and then washing with warm water do i have to use a face wash (won't it take away coconut oil with it and leave my skin unmoisturized) and do i necessarily have to use a baby face wash can't i use any garnier face wash or a soap please help i hate my face right now as it is dull now due to sun damage . I try to avoid sun now more but i can't help getting little bit of ot every day i'm a university going student

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  18. If i use coconut oil and baking soda once every week as an exfoliater do i have to use face wash after that? If yes then is it necessary to use baby face wash or i can use any garnier product or a soap , also can i use this exfoliater on my hands too as they are in a pretty bad condition too and i'm just 19 right now And can this exfoliater reduce sun damage . should i just use coconut oil like you use every day

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    1. Ohh good question! Coconut oil has an SPF of about 10 naturally.

      Should you use coconut oil to wash? That's going to depend on your goals and your skin. Using oils on your skin can be rewarding, but it's also something that may backfire on you-- a lot of people get acne when using oils, others do not. If you want to be more natural and you have specific goals I can try to recommend things to you that I've tried.

      If sun damage is your concern, then you may want to do things to boost your anti-oxidant levels, like drink green tea or roobios tea. Drinking 2 cups of quality tea a day can really do amazing things for your body. I also have an aloe vera moisturizer on my website-- it's very light, but it does wonders for your skin. Aloe helps your skin turn over faster so it helps your skin recover from things like sun damage, but make sure you get one WITHOUT preservatives. If you have dark spots-- you can apply fresh lemon juice to them directly. Also, it wouldn't be a bad idea to get more Vitamin A and E into your diet (or a vitamin)-- it'll help reverse sun damage.

      A friend of mine tried this recipe to help with sun damage from e-how and it actually was good (go figure):

      For a natural facial combine 1/4 cup of plain organic yogurt, 1/8 cup organic apple cider vinegar, the juice of a quarter of a lemon and 1 tbsp. of aloe vera in a bowl.You put on one layer and let it dry for 10 minutes, put on a 2nd layer, let it dry for 10 minutes and then a 3rd layer and let it dry for 10 minutes. Then wash it off with warm water and a wash cloth. No need to wash again.
      From: http://www.ehow.com/about_5161770_home-remedies-sun-damage.html

      I hate to be a party pooper, but I don't have any experience with baking soda as an exfoliator. I have very sensitive skin and I can't use anything like that or I'll look like a lobster! I use coconut oil only as a cleanser/moisturizer, but if you want more information about using it as an exfoliator then I suggest you check out some other websites because I'm sure they can give you better information than I can! (I'll put some links at the bottom of this post)

      What I can tell you is that at most you would exfoliate once a week, but probably every other week is a better idea. There is a thing as too much exfoliation so listen to your skin to determine if you should be doing it less.

      Usually you can wash your face (with any cleaner) before or after exfoliating, but you'll probably get better results doing it BEFORE because it'll loosen up some of those dead skin cells. Typically, if you can use something on your face, you can use it on your body or even use something with a little more grit on your hand like a sugar scrub (I LOVE sugar scrubs for hands! OMG!)

      Here are a couple of sites that I found that may help you in your search:

      http://www.nwedible.com/2013/05/all-natural-diy-facial-exfoliator-coconut-oil-baking-soda.html

      http://myuncommonsliceofsuburbia.com/homemade-coconut-oil-facial-scrub/

      http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-8216/diy-use-baking-soda-to-exfoliate-your-skin.html

      I know I threw a lot of information at you, so if you have any questions please contact me. :) Good luck!

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  19. I cannot do olive oil on my face; else I break out. I can use it mixed with dead sea salts as a body scrub 1x per week at best. Anything more is too irritating to my skin. Dead sea salts mixed with coconut oil provides the best results. I believe it moisturizes better than emu oil. Which is good for irritation. I tried your tooth paste using coconut oil and baking soda only. Loved it! Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Thanks for sharing your experience! :)

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  20. Great article! I have been anxious about trying this as well, as I break out easily, but I am going to try it today! I think I will put some coconut oil in a small 1oz container with some vitamin e, and use this. This way I will hopefully be avoiding the bacteria from my hands as I will have to re-fill this small jar more often. Thank you for sharing your experience, and I will let you know how it goes!

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    1. Thanks, Jodi! Your plan sounds wonderful-- I always worry about germs, too! I hope you let me know how you like it! :)

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  21. I had acne in my face and that made me angry.. but after i used coconut oil, i'm happy now, and i can proudly say you have to trust coconut oil.

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    1. Thanks for sharing your story! I love to hear when people have success using OCM! :)

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  22. Can i use pinch of coconut oil on my face and hands every night before sleep and not wash will it improve my skin ?

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    1. You can! Definitely! But just know that in some people it's causes amazing results, but in others it may produce a special kind of acne, a small clusters of hard bumps. If it gives you any issues you may want to switch to argan oil, rose hips oil, or something like Beauty and the Bees Liquid Velvet which has several oils. They tend to be less likely to cause irritation to the skin.

      If you try it I hope you let me know if it works for you! :)

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  23. Oh so should i keep it for a few min and then wash , won't it take away all the oil ? I could use the method you told but due to my hectic scedule i'm very lazy i wanted something simple . Yes sure i will tell you results :)

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    1. That's what I do! I find that even after I wash away the coconut oil, my skin still feels like it has plenty of moisture. :) I can't wait to hear how it goes for you!

      Happy Friday!! I hope you have a great weekend!

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  24. I just gave up my expensive (and now discontinued) Mary Kay Extra Emollient Cleansing Cream and also my Mary Kay Timewise Moisturizer for Organic Coconut Oil. I bought the huge one at Costco for $17 and I use it at night to take off my makeup, including my waterproof mascara (so no more eye makeup remover either!) and then in the morning, I use it as my under makeup moisturizer. I've been doing this since December and I can't believe the difference. I'm going to start using the Coconut oil for oil pulling. Which is, you put it in your mouth and swish it around for 10-20 minutes every day and it's supposed to pull bacteria and toxins from you and then you are supposed to spit it in your trash can so that it doesn't clog your plumbing. I'm down to try it for sure! I also make my own shampoo with it, and my own conditioner, body butter, and I even cook with it. Crazy, but true. You can't go wrong!

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    1. I LOVE hearing about good results AND money savings!! Thanks so much for sharing your story, Julia! I love it!! Isn't it crazy how many things you can do with one product? You've pretty much got most of your beauty routine done using just coconut oil! That's so great!

      Fun story: We've been giving 3 TBSP of coconut oil to my grandmother who has severe dementia and she has gotten so much better! NO JOKE! Coconut oil is one of nature's miracles. I've been doing oil pulling too-- it's pretty awesome! It's soooo hard to do it for 20 minutes though! You'll have to let me know what you think!

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  25. For anyone trying to find a cleanser for oily skin you can always go with pure apple cider vinegar and then moisturize with coconut oil. I have to say though: if you have sensitive skin, you should dillute the vinegar with water as it is VERY strong. I am the skin type that is oily and dry all at the same time so my acne cannot be treated with acne medication as it irritates the dry areas on my skin. ACV changed all of that.

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    1. Thank you soooo much for your comment! I've been reading about ACV for skin care and I've been worried because I do have sensitive, dry skin. It's good to know that it's working for you! Did you find that the ACV balanced your skin so you know longer have the dry/oily parts? I'm going to have to look more into this! Thanks again!

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    2. Basically, everyone is different. I have used olive oil on my skin with no problems at all, it is known to be very good for the skin... I have never broken out using it. I also have also used coconut oil with great results. So you should not discourage people from using olive oil... it is trial and error.

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    3. Lorelei, thank you so much for your comment. You are right-- everyone is different and will respond to oils differently. It's so fantastic that you found what works for you. It's also wonderful to hear from someone who uses olive oil and has great results! Do you use extra virgin? Can you give me and the readers any tips about what to look for when using olive oil based on your experience?

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  26. oh, and oil pulling is not that hard to do for 20 minutes.... you get used to it! Just do chores around the house while pulling (or get ready for work or do it in the shower). I make coffee, feed the cats, and watch the news.... it goes by faster than you think. It has really made a difference in my gums and even started to clear my sinuses. I have been doing it with coconut oil for about a month and it has helped a lot! :)

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    1. Lorelei, you're right-- it does go by faster when you do chores. I have a sensitive gag reflex so about 10 minutes into it (after it bulks up with some extra saliva) I just start gagging. Maybe I should start with less. How much do you use for each oil pull?

      Delete
    2. I have a bad gag reflex too. I find oil pulling best for me when I start with a small amount, and when it gets to be to much, I spit it out and get more. Works best that way. I need to order a couple more good oils, but my SIL and Mom have had great results mixing EOs with their oil for pulling.

      Per 1/4 c coconut oil, 10 drops each lemon, tea tree, peppermint, myrrh, cinnamon bark, 5 drops rosemarry, 3 of geranium. They say it's taking the bad sensitivity out of their teeth! I can't wait to try it. I use a lot of coconut oil, I need to try this on my face too! I usually use Apricot Kernel oil after my shower, that is good too! Thanks for the post and all you replies to the questions. Is very helpful!

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    3. You're brilliant, Tracy! Your method is so simple, but that will help a lot. THANK YOU!!! I love their formula, too! It's got a lot of great oral hygiene essential oils. I'm definitely going to try it! Ohhhh!! I'm excited!!!! {squeals} Thanks for sharing!

      Apricot Kernel oil-- I haven't tried that one yet. I'll put that on my To-Be-Researched list! You're giving me tons of great info today! Thank you so much! I hope you let me know what you think of coconut oil for your cleaning/moisturizing routine! :)

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  27. I have struggled with acne my whole life but a few years ago I decided I was on a mission to cure my problem once and for all and avoid harsh chemicals all at the same time. I made a salt scrub using olive oil and Epsom salt. It is fantastic and I no longer have any acne, my skin loves the oil. I was nervous to try as my skin is very oily but it was exactly what I needed! I also switched to bare minerals makeup. This also was an adjustment but so worth it! I have been looking for a little extra moisturizer so I think I will try coconut oil as well!

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    1. Jesse, thank you for your comment! You're the second person today who has told me that they use olive oil successfully! That's great. Do you use any special kind of olive oil? I'm really curious to see if there's a secret to success with getting a certain kind of olive oil. Any info would be appreciated.

      Please let me know how the coconut oil works for you! :)

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  28. I use extra virgin olive oil. I think the Epsom salt and bare minerals was key in helping with the acne too. I also like to use essential oils in it! I got the recipe from a book for all natural homemade beauty products, they suggest organic oil but I found cheaper off brands work just as well. I will let you know about the coconut oil results, I always have it on hand b/c I use it in a lot of recipes. I can't wait to try it!

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    1. I am definitely going to have to do some research! Epsom salts for acne-- that's such a cool idea! Thank you so much for sharing your story and peaking my curiosity. :)

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  29. I have heard about this method for a while now and I have been scared, too! I was so worried I would break out like crazy. I tried it at first with olive oil and castor oil and I broke out but that might have been my own dumbness. I recently did more research and I love using coconut oil for everything else so why not? I'm currently using coconut oil and alternating with doing a jojoba/castor oil blend. It's day two and so far nothing. I'm going to do a review on my blog about it but I really want to try your other method you mentioned too. Thanks for posting!

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    1. Hi Shelby! You definitely should write a post about OCM! It's such a hot topic right now and every bit of education and experience can be used to help each other grow and learn! It's definitely the #1 post on my blog! And, I agree, coconut oil is amazing. What else do you use it for?

      Olive oil and castor oil works for some people so don't be hard on yourself. It's all about trial and error! Olive oil and coconut oil are both culprits of comodogenic acne where as other oils aren't as likely to cause issues, but blending them definitely helps! I like your jojoba/castor oil blend. Jojoba is definitely one of my favorite oils! :) Have you tried hempseed oil? I've been reading a lot about it and it seems like it's taking the skin oil world by storm. I'm going to try it and probably blog about it here at some point. :)

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    2. I'm only using OCM every other day to see how that works. My skin is so sensitive I'm worried it could make things worse by using it every day and doing an intense cleanse like this can be rough on the face. But then again everyone's skin is different! I love the jojoba and castor oil because the castor oil will have get out all the dirt and crud while the jojoba softens my skin. I don't know about adding coconut oil to that party so I've been alternating with it, and doing your method. Do you think I should add the coconut to the jojoba/castor mixture? And no I have not tried hempseed but I will definitely look into it!

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    3. Shelby, I use OCM every third day because my skin is so sensitive, so I understand! I think what you're doing is perfect. I hope you let me know how it goes!

      I bought some hempseed oil after leaving this post the other day so I'll let you know how it goes :)

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  30. Hi.! I absolutely love what coconut oil does for my complexion..but it does give me lots of white bumps on the forehead...any suggestions? grapeseed oil keeps my oiliness in check ..and castor oil im scared to use it coz i read it may exacerbate facial hair growth,,thank u in advance!

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    1. Minaal, the white bumps on your forehead-- are they small, clustered and a bit hard? If so, it might be comedogenic acne. I'd definitely google it and learn more. It's basically the acne that is caused by the oil cleansing method when pores are clogged. If it is comodogenic acne, you can still do oil cleansing, but you may need to use two or more oils to create a balance so you don't have the bumps anymore or some people just use oil every other day instead of every day. Other people need to switch off the coconut oil because it has a higher ability to produce the comodogenic acne than other oils like grape seed and almond oil.

      I wrote an article (there is a link is at the end of the main post) about troubleshooting OCM and blending oils. Some of that info might be helpful to you and I believe that I posted a picture of my comodogenic acne.

      You're right about the castor oil-- I'm a bit scared of it too! :) I've been reading a lot of great things about hempseed oil. It's being called the skin miracle oil because it works on all skin types and seems to resolve quite a few skin conditions. I'm planning on trying it when my oils run out!

      I hope this helps-- please let me know if I can answer any questions :)

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  31. Hi ladies! I have the perfect solution for those who cannot use the OCM. I myself tried all the oils, and broke out in some way with all of them. The coconut oil was my favorite, so I found a way to make it work. Precleanse with the CO 3-5 minutes, and then wash it off with a glycerin soap. I wash mine 2 times, just to make sure all the gunk is off. This method has been extremely effective for me, as I have never had skin this clean, smooth, and clear. The precleanse removes dead skin, blackheads, and bacteria. I recommend only doing it 3 times a week to start, because it can be a bit drying at first. I also recommend clearly natural liquid glycerin soap with the vitamin e. I hope y'all have the same great results!

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    1. Thanks for sharing your experience Shari. What are the ingredients in Pre-Cleanse? It sounds pretty awesome.

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  32. I started using coconut oil as a post facial scrub moisturizer after I ran out of my vitamin e cream. I usually break out pretty bad. I've noticed since I started using it my skin is smoother, softer and I don't break out anymore! Huzzah! And this 38 year old passes for 23-25! I use the oil all over my body and my skin is soooo silky soft. I love coconut oil! And it smells fantastic!

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    1. You make me, happy! It's AWESOME that you're 38 with such amazing skin and that you did it all naturally with coconut oil! I absolutely love it! Thanks for sharing your experience.

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  33. Sherri thanks a lot for the prompt reply. Okay so firstly, my face looks pretty greasy even after doing the hotcloth thing 4 times.. so is it okay to rinse mt face directlt wiith hot water?
    also, since I have unbelievably oily skin.. should I use 60%grapeseed and 40% coconut oil?
    How long does the purging period typically last.. coz I just got three painful pimples under my chin. Ow..

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    1. Hi Minaal, no problem-- that's what I'm here for! Yes, you can splash your face with water if you feel like you need it. You can definitely blend the oils and you may find that your skin feels less greasy that way. I really love grape seed oil-- it's wonderful for oily skin.

      I'm sorry to hear about your pimples :( The purging process can come and go for about a month. You can use raw honey with just a pinch of cinnamon to put on your acne to help get rid of them. I use raw honey for an acne spot treatment and it usually zaps them away within 24 hours.

      I hope that helps!

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  34. Hi Sherri ! thanks for the prompt reply..
    firstly did u experience an initial purging period.if yes then for how long?
    secondly, sometimes the oil doesnt completely come off even after doing the hotwashcloth on my face 4 times..so can i then rinse my face after that with hot water? and end the regime with cold water?

    thirdly, is it better to do this at night or in the day?
    thanks a lot..
    hate my hormonal acne.

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    1. Minaal, that's a good point that you brought up with the hot and cold water! Yes, that would be perfect-- hot, then cool/cold.

      A lot of people wash their face with oil in the morning, but I prefer to do it at night because I can look a little oily. It's really all about preference!

      I also make an aloe moisturizing toner which some readers have told me helps with hormonal acne. It's very light so I don't think it would cause any problems with your skin. Here is the link in case you want to look at it :)

      Link: http://www.overthrowmartha.com/2013/01/a-diyers-natural-moisturizer-for-dry.html

      Let me know if you have any other questions :)

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  35. costco has the best price on coconut oil, 56 oz for 16.99

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    1. Wow!! That's FANTASTIC!! Thanks for sharing!

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  36. Precleanse is just the coconut oil massaged on face for 3-5 minutes before cleansing.

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    1. Ohhh! Duh! I thought it was some fancy product you could buy. Haha! Thanks for clarifying it for me :)

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  37. Sherrri.,..im back with questions..okay so am i supposed to leave the oil on only for a few minutes before i steam it off..or for about 30 mins?? gah...purging..and idk..obviously my complexion started glowing in days when i would leave the coconut oil on my face for 1hr

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    1. Hi Minaal! I leave it one for a few minutes, but that's just me. Some people use it as more of a mask and leave it on longer so it's really up to you.

      Personally, if I am going to leave the coconut oil on as a mask, I like adding other ingredients for more of an affect. My favorite combo is coconut oil with avocado (or banana) and some raw honey. You can add more oils too if you want their benefits, too. But it really makes the complexion look amazing and the honey keeps acne away.

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  38. Hi,
    Yesterday I tried a mixture of baking soda, lemon, sugar, salt and coconut oil. I applied it on my face and then washed it off. My face looked great - clear, clean, smooth and soft. But when I woke up this morning, my enemies were here - acne or something like that, on my face causing me pain! I would like to know if I can still use coconut oil on my face to see if it gets rid of these acne or don't give it a try again???

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    1. Hi Christelle! The coconut oil can cause a bit of a "purge" initially so many people will get some large ugly pimples initially. Your face will need time to adjust. I usually suggest a one month period to see how your skin reacts, but you usually get a good idea about pimples in a couple weeks. If you get small, hard pimples that are painless which sit in clusters-- that's a type of acne that's specific to oil cleansing and it means your skin isn't compatible with that particular oil at whatever strength you are using. You can blend oils or use a different oil if that happens.

      Just a thought-- you do have a lot of abrasives in your mix. I don't know what ratio you are using, but the baking soda, lemon, sugar and salt all have abrasive qualities which can add to the sensitivity of your skin. Sometimes using exfoliation too often or too aggressively can lead to acne or other skin conditions. You've only done it once, so I don't think that's the cause of this acne, but it may cause issues down the road depending on your mix.

      I hope this helps! Please let me know if you have any questions.

      Delete
  39. Hi, wondering if this can be used to help treat my dasughtets back acne?

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    1. Hi! It could help with her body acne, but teens can get discouraged with OCM because everyone responses differently to oils. So it really depends on if she's open to the idea and willing to tweak it a bit if she needs to by adding other oils or switching oils. And many people tend to have a "purging" period where the acne gets worse before it gets better. Teens sometimes aren't very excited about that or willing to go through a worse stage to get better.

      A better option for body acne could be something like African Black Soap, especially a brand that has shea butter. The African black soap can be a bit drying so the shea butter balances it out-- but the black soap is fantastic for body acne. We've used the brand Nubian Heritage Soaps with success.

      I hope that helps. Let me know if you have any questions :)

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  40. Can you use it to treat all acne even whats not on the face?

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    1. You can use coconut oil all over your body. In fact, it makes an excellent shaving cream and make up remover.

      Another option is black soap which can be used on your body to reduce acne, but it's a bit more drying. But it works great against all types of acne. I'd just recommend using lotion after you shower if you go that route.

      Hope this helps!

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  41. I am 63 years old and thought I was the only one cleansing with coconut oil. Years ago, Mary Kay Cosmetics face cleanser looked just like coconut oil and I loved it. It is amazing how fresh my face feels when done. I am now using it in so many ways. I am finding it is effectively lubricates my poor nostrils dried out by cold weather and electric heat (hope that isn't too gross?!) It is great in my hair for shine and healthy looking locks (a little dab 'll do ya!) I'm getting ready to go to China and am looking for simplicity to make travelling easier. Very nice chatting!

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    1. You are definitely not the only one! Coconut oil is totally in style. I've seen it used in just about everything!

      And you could never gross me out-- I'm a nurse!! In fact, I said to myself, "That's a fabulous idea" when I read it. I also agree that it's wonderful for hair too! You brought up a lot of really good points. Thank you.

      And I appreciate that you told us your experience. Readers really get a lot of benefit from reading reviews like yours. Plus, I love hearing opinions, thoughts and stories of happy skin, hair and noses. :)

      I hope you have a wonderful time in China. I'm so jealous!

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  42. Wow! So glad I came across this article on pinterest! I started using CO as a moisturizer last month. I never read about "purging", only good results. Within a week, I was experiencing the worst acne of my life, even worse than a teenager! Painful horrible acne on my chin and jaw line. I stopped using it immediately, and just assumed it wouldn't work for me. Then, I switched over to argan oil and the acne cleared right up! Argan oil is crazy expensive, so this article gives me hope that maybe I can use the CO to cleanse, and that the acne may have been just part of the purging stage. I remember when I started the no-poo method of cleaning my hair, my hair went through quite a "purging" state itself-yuck! Now I shampoo it two times a week using only pure aloe vera and coconut milk, and it feels amazing! Will report back results! Thanks for all the great information you dug up:)

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    1. I'm so glad that I could help D'Ann! I use argan oil too and it is expensive! You might have better success blending oils if your skin loves the argan so much--- part coconut oil and part argan oil. You can even toss in some almond or jojoba to thin it out.

      The purge is definitely not fun and it's different for everyone. Some people barely have one and other people have a really severe case! You can use raw honey on any acne that pops up and it will really destroy it fast! I also use a raw honey and avocado mask to help prevent acne.

      I hope this helps and please keep me updated! I'd love to hear how it works for you!

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  43. I'm so glad to have come across this article!! I've been using oils as moisturizers on my face for years! And, you're right, it was against all I've ever been told! But it was the best decision!! I started with argan oil (got my friends hooked too!!) and have just recently become a cult follower of CO!! You get way more bang for your buck with CO vs argan so I was hoping the switch over would be a smooth transition and it was!!! Trader Joe's organic virgin coconut oil is my favorite! I use it all over! I'm so glad others have caught on to the oil idea! Now, if I could just get up the courage to try pulling.... Not sure if I'm ready for that yet!

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    1. Lisa, I'm so glad you came across this article too! I love your experience with OCM! I am also an argan junkie so I completely understand how you got hooked! :)

      Oh, I know what you mean about the oil pulling! I've been hearing a lot about it, but I have officially decided to start doing it! I've been reading a lot about it and it's supposed to be great for whitening teeth and bad gums (I could use both of those) so I'll definitely keep you posted as to how it goes :) I'm starting on monday! ECK! Wanna do it together? :)

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  44. I get bumps on my arms, I'm not sure exactly what they are but they bug the hell our of me, do you think putting coconut oil on my arms would help that?

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    1. Megan, I don't know if coconut oil would help your bumps if used it alone, but it could help in combination with other things. Lately, I've been really into using coconut oil with essential oils to heal my skin conditions and it's been phenomenal. Seriously, it's so easy and effective that you won't believe it! What I do is get some coconut oil and put it in a little dish, I add a couple of drops of the essential oil and mix it up. Then I apply it to the area I want to treat two to three times a day. If you go to the top of this page and see the menu bar-- there is a heading "Essential Oils". You can see what essential oils did for my fingers after one week! It's crazy.

      Okay, so let's talk essential oils:

      Do you think they could be cysts? Frankincense essential oil is fantastic for cysts and wart removal, and Bergamont is another option that's been really successful.

      If you think it might be an allergic reaction or rash, then lavender is wonderful for soothing the skin-- that would definitely help with itching. I also like German Chamomile for skin allergies and irritation. It's very soothing, but it can also help with all sorts of skin conditions like eczema, boils, inflammation and abscess.

      If it's pimples, then you could use tea tree oil, frankincense or lavender. Lavender also helps with scars if you're worried about that.

      You can use two or three oils at the same time, but you need to make sure aren't using too much essential oil. At a maximum it should be a 50:50 dilution, but usually around 5-10 drops into a heaping tablespoon of oil will do the trick.

      I'd just recommend a high grade essential oil because I've seen a few people get skin reactions when using the wrong types of oils. The bottle should say "100% therapeutic essential oils". If it doesn't have therapeutic in the title-- then it shouldn't be put on your skin.

      I hope that helps :)

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