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Sunday, June 30, 2013

The Dirty Truth: Coconut Oil as a Facial Cleanser

Okay, 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.
Cleaning with Coconut Oil #beautyDIY #OCM
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. You can use as little as 1 drop per tablespoon of coconut oil, but I like mine stronger by using 1-3 drops per teaspoon of coconut oil.

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. Did you know that only 10% of an essential oil actually needs to be 100% plant matter to have "pure" on the label! Blasphemy!

If you want to learn more about essential oils, you can check out this post about 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).

The Dirty Truth is...
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 quite a few 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. Some other people have a tremendous about of acne with OCM and that doesn't mean that OCM isn't for you- it means you have to experiment more with different kinds of oils and ratios

HAVING TROUBLE WITH OCM?!  READ THIS: Blending Oils and Troubleshooting OCM

If you'd like to join my Natural Living Support Group on Facebook please fill out this form or you can read DIY Beauty Basics 101

I can NOT give personal recommendations or treatments because I am not a medical doctor. THANK YOU!!***

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, but please-- do not ask me for a blend specific to your skin type, you know your skin better than I do-- listen to it and it will tell you what it wants!

112 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. 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. 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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  5. 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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  6. 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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  7. 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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  8. 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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  9. 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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  10. 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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    2. I use a q-tip, wet with water, to clean the excess coconut oil off of my eyelashes before applying mascara. This way you get the benefits of the makeup remover without it ruining your new makeup. I hope this is helpful!

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  11. 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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    2. 1. Examine your diet for excessive sodium intake and insufficient water intake; 2. Get enough sleep each night; 3. Find out if your foods are not giving you sufficient vitamin B, folic acid, and omega 3s (dark circles can be a sign of vitamin or mineral deficiency (they often know with young kids if they have dark circles their diets are lacking) - I'm not a physician nor a dietician, so definitely see your doctor and have a conversation); 4. Ice/cold compresses help with puffy eyes; 5. Cucumber and aloe vera gels can help around the eyes. 5. Green tea bags also may help with inflammation around the eyes. You can freeze these and keep them around to get the benefits of both cold and the tea properties. 6. Internet says the Mayo Clinic also recommends trying an extra pillow to elevate the head to prevent pooling of fluids in the face. Personally, I don't know about this one because I know I've fallen asleep with an extra pillow watching the T.V. and honestly, I get a crick in my neck and suffer headaches later. Plus, I feel it obstructs airflow as you sleep, so you won't feel well rested. Many people suffer problems with air obstruction and for that reason, they don't get a good night's sleep. Google is great to find more information. Happy natural remedy researching!

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  12. 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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  13. 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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  14. 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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  15. 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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  16. 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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  17. 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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  18. 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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  19. 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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  20. 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?

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    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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  21. 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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  22. 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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  23. 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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  24. 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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  25. 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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  26. 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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  27. 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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  28. 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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  29. 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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  30. 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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  31. 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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  32. 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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  33. I really want to start doing this, but am very nervous too. I use makeup every day. So can this be used as a makeup remover too? Do I just use this like any face wash or should I use a cleanser first and then use coconut oil as a moisturizer?

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    1. Lisa, I completely understand! I was very nervous too. It just seems wrong to put oil on your face, right?! Sometimes it's best to take baby steps! (that's what I did)

      Coconut oil is AMAZING for removing make-up. You can use it by itself or add a little bit of vitamin E for extra skin benefits. Technically, you can jump right in and clean/remove make up/moisturize at the same time! But if you need to take baby steps-- there is no shame! I actually used this as a make up remover, then cleaned my face for a few weeks just to test the waters. :)

      I hope you like it and I hope you share your experience with us! Thanks for leaving your question :)

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    2. Yay!! I'm so glad you like it! And it's soooo fabulous for removing make up! :) It takes a few weeks for your skin to complete it's cycle, so hopefully after that happens you'll have even less break outs! :)

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  34. Now, you can get all pure natural elements products in this site. Be interested in pure natural elements products! That makes your skin moisturized and soft.

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  35. just concerned bout the oil going down the drains?

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    1. Hi! Some people have expressed concern about the oil clogging the drains, but I haven't had an issue. I make sure to leave the hot water running for a minute or two after I wash my face. And a good amount of the oil ends up on my wash cloth anyways! :)

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  36. hello,
    can i use it to remove my make-up?
    if yes, can i use cotton balls?
    aubrey

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    1. Aubrey, heck yes, you can use it to remove make up! It's amazing!! And yes, I use cotton pads for my eye makeup :)

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  37. All my questions were answered as I scrolled down the page. AMAZING advice and suggestions. Thank you!

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    1. Yay! I'm so glad that you found the answers you're looking for :) If you think of any new questions-- don't hesitate to ask!

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  38. You answered all my questions with the replies to previous posts. Thank you for all of the information.

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  39. Thanks for the tutorial! I've been using coconut oil for a body lotion for years and just started using it as a facial cleanser. This helped me answer some questions I had about it. Our chlorine is super duper high in our house (live in Texas) and my skin is all types of dry! so this is how I will be cleansing my face from now on to cut down on putting too much water on it.
    charity
    www.lifeafterbaseball.net

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    1. First of all, I LOVE your blog! Those muffins-- wow! Look AMAZING. {nom nom} Haha-- I'll be stalking you now! :)

      Second, I hope you let me know how the coconut oil works for you as a facial cleanser! :)

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  40. My dermatologist told me that pores do not open and close. Myth.

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    1. That is true, but you can change their appearance. Our pores do not have any muscles so they cannot open and close functionally. The "opening" and "closing" is our pores’ reactions to either being clogged by gunk ("open" look) or our pores’ reaction to an astringents which tighten the skin ("closed" look). I use the term because it's easier to explain. The coconut oil should help to remove the gunk from the pores and make them appear less prominent. Following the coconut oil with an astringent (either an essential oil or witch hazel or rose water) will tighten the skin causing the pores to look even smaller. But you're right-- they do not open and close on their own. :)

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  41. Could you please address the fact that pure coconut oil, in addition to nearly all coconut oil derivative ingredients such as lauric acid and lauryl/laureth, have been identified as strongly comedogenic?

    This is based on research of topical application of individual ingredients found in skin care or cosmetics, rating each ingredient 0 (least) to 5 (most) for comedogenicity and irritation causing. Oils and their derivatives that are listed as the most comedogenic (4-5) include coconut oil or coconut butter and cocoa butter (also wheat germ oil), while safflower oil and sunflower oil were the least or non-comedogenic (0), and finally moderately comedogenic oils (rating 2-3) included olive oil, almond oil, avocado oil, apricot kernel oil, corn oil, sesame oil, soybean oil, evening primrose oil among others.

    Here are some site references with such lists:

    http://www.sageskincare.com/Articles.asp?ID=255
    http://wiserootsnutrition.com/skin-clogging-ingredients/
    https://www.beneficialbotanicals.com/facts-figures/comedogenic-rating.html
    http://www.acne-skin-care-expert.com/support-files/comedogenic-ingredients.pdf
    http://www.caryskincare.com/acnecomedogeniclist.html
    http://www.temptalia.com/the-ingredients-guide-comedogenic-irritating-ingredients-to-watch-for

    I'm sure you have seen at least some of these lists and are aware of the research, given all your research and as a nurse. So could you please address the finding on coconut oil? Thank you.

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    1. I love how you approached this. You make me smile :) I love science.

      I had mentioned a little bit at the bottom of this post and linked to another post I wrote where I talked about a lot of what you mentioned-- it's called "Blending Oils and Troubleshooting OCM". You are welcome to read it and if you think I left anything out, I'd be happy to amend it. I'll never argue with science :)

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  42. Hello, I'm getting ready to start this, and I bought some organic coconut oil, but it says refined. Do you think it will still be ok?

    Also - I really enjoy your blog, and I'm glad I'm stumbled across it. You have some really great ideas :)

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    1. Hi, Megan!! I'm so glad you found the blog, too! :) I'm excited that you're going to start OCM-- the unrefined is just a little better because the way it is made preserves more of it's beneficial qualities, but coconut oil itself is very stable so there isn't a huge difference between the two. I prefer unrefined, but it's not as important as if you were using olive oil. Many people use refined coconut oil without any problems. :)

      I hope that answers your question!

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  43. I am curious as to if you use a makeup remover first, then use the CO? Thanks!!! :)

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    1. Carla, good question! I actually use the CO as a makeup remover-- it's fabulous! But if you don't want to use it to remove your makeup, then I'd say, yes, you are correct! Remove makeup, then CO. :)

      I hope that answers your question :)

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  44. I just came across this post a few days ago.. thank you for all the info! I purchased Coconut Oil and Thayers Witch Hazel in the mail from Amazon and am excited to add them into my routine. I currently use Jojoba Oil to remove my makeup at night followed by Kavi (sulfur based) bar soap that I use with a Clarisonic to wash my face and then a light moisturizer... in the AM I use the soap and moisturizer without the Clarisonic. I'm trying to decide how to add the Coconut Oil and Toner into my normal routine. My skin is mostly okay using Kavi, but not 100% clear of acne and I have extremely oily skin that makes wearing makeup almost impossible. I've used pretty much everything over the years, Benzoyl Peroxide works the best but is so drying that I am trying to find a more natural way to treat my skin. Any advice on adding the products into my normal routine? Does anyone use a Clarisonic along with Coconut Oil and if so what are the results? Thanks!!

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  45. Hi Thank you for your informative post! I was just wondering, do you use any type of foamy or soapy facial cleanser after cleansing with oil? I have always washed my face with regular facial cleanser even after using oil to take off my makeup. Was I wrong all this time? Is it too much stress on the skin if I do oil cleansing and regular facial wash afterwards? What if you are wearing a heavy make-up? Does oil really remove all of the makeup and any impurities? I am thinking of starting with coconut oil. I am just nervous to start because I never used 'only' oil to cleanse off my make-up, so I wanted to confirm with ya. hehe. Thanks!

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    1. Julia, you are not incorrect. There are many ways that you can make OCM work for you and washing your face afterwards is what some women do. However, if you apply coconut oil to a cotton pad or soft washcloth, I believe you'll find that it can remove your make up quite well.

      I am a big believer in listening to your skin. If you skin is happy with your current routine, then that's a good sign that you're doing well. If you're seeing areas of irritation, pimples, redness, or anything like that then it may be overstimulated.

      I know the idea of cleaning with oil is the opposite of everything we've ever heard growing up. It freaked me out for months before I got the nerve to try it. But it does work! It usually does take an adjustment period because the chemicals in traditional cleaners strip the oils from the skin so there is a point where the pores aren't quite sure what to do. You may notice dry skin or oily skin for a little while, but it's usually not for very long. Some women also like to clean with oil, but then after 5-10 minutes splash some cold water on their face to remove any excess oils. So really it's about making it your own and doing what works for you.

      Good luck, Julia! If you have any questions please let me know :)

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  46. i love using coconut oil to cleanse my face but it does irritate my eyes. any suggestions?

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    1. Hi! Is it irritating your eyes because it's getting inside your eye? Or is it irritating your eyes when it's around your eyes?

      Coconut oil typically can be used to remove make-up, but there should be care to not get it inside the eye. It is oil and although it is natural, it can cause some issues. If it's irritating your eyes simply by being near your eyes, then you may not want to use coconut oil or you may want to dilute it with another carrier oil.

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  47. Does the coconut oil need to be melted or softened before using it on your face?

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    1. Jennifer, thanks for your question! :) Nope, the oil doesn't have to be either way. When you go to use it the oil will naturally melt against the warmth of your skin and it'll work just fine :)

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  48. How many times a day would you recommend? Twice, or just once?

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    1. I would start with once a day to make sure your skin likes it and doesn't get too oily :)

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  49. Cool! This was an extremely wonderfu article.
    I’ll have to give it a try. Thanks for sharing!

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  50. Hey Sherri. Thanks for this post you've done! I'm wondering about a few things before I start this routine. I use LouAna All Natural Pure Coconut Oil for cooking and I believe it's refined and wasn't sure about using this on my face or body. Sure I've read somewhere about starting out using coconut oil once a day to see if my skin has a reaction to it but wasn't sure what to use the other times to wash my face and remove makeup/eye makeup. What is OCM? I couldn't find it anywhere in the comments as to what it was. Also, I have a 10 yr old daughter who is starting to get breakouts as I did at her age and wondered if it was good for her to use coconut oil on her face as well. Oh and where did you find the cloths you use on your face? Sorry so many questions at once, I just wanna make sure I got as much info as possible before I start using it lol Thanks in advance. Nancy ;-)

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  51. Love your post. I have been using coconut oil for a couple years and love it. I also use it with my 2 dogs ( they love it as well). My skin is so much softer and since I add a drop or two to shampoo my scalp is no longer dry and itchy. There are so many uses for this amazing stuff.

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    1. That's awesome, Michele! Thanks for sharing :) I love the idea of adding a drop or two to shampoo, too. Brilliant!

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  52. How should i melt it down? I have the hard white cocunut oil that my sister used when making shakes for her diet ( she is off it now and passed the coconut to me for my skin) but i am not sure if it will work .. if i turn it to a liquid i assume i will have to use it warm or it will solidfy back up.. .. or is this not usable for skin cleansing?

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    1. Just putting it in your hands will melt it. :) Or as you rub it across your face it'll melt. It's nothing to worry about! I would not nuke it in the microwave though! That's baaaaaaad.

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  53. Hi Sherri!
    I have recently switched my beauty routine since stumbling across your blog and have had really great results with the African Black soap and a few of your other recommendations! I had tried the OCM with a 1:1 mix of jojoba and almond oil since I have sorta oily skin and it worked pretty well but I only did it for a week and was on vacation in Hawaii so I think the humidity may have helped keep my skin clear. I recently bought an oil blend from Fat Face Skin Care because I really liked their deodorant but have been having some reactions that I am wondering about. I have gotten a few blemishes, which I was expecting as part of the purging process, but I have also gotten a dry patch (which never happens) and a kinda weird cluster of tiny bumps, which I saw you mentioned is probably a bad sign. Is this something that will work its self out or is it really a bad reaction to the combo? I believe the main oils are coconut, castor, olive oil and jojoba as well as a few others. Maybe it would be better to simplify? I just hate to have spent money on something and not use it!! Thanks so much for your blog and your suggestions!

    Amanda

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    1. Hi Amanda :) Hmmm... well, that's a hard question to answer because there is normally a purge/transition time where the skin has to learn how to function without being stripped of its oils, but... hmm... do you think the dry patch is an eczema patch or just dry skin? If you believe the white bumps are comedogenic acne, then it's basically time to hang up the towel on that one and try a different solution. If you think it's just acne-- you can wait it out and see.

      I feel you about that-- I hate spending money and not using the products either. You could look at the ingredient list and then look up each one on the comedogenic ratings list to see which ones have the higher ranking. Maybe that would help you decide which oils may be causing your bumps.

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  54. Oh and thank you for this blog. Its so wonderful! I just want to know if my method was ok?? I'm getting more pimples everywhere. A big mean red one on my check :( I have acne prone skin. It's been controlled for so long up until recently. Idk wahd going on. I'm 25.

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