Monday, September 10, 2012

My Skin and Hair Secret

Since I feel like I am pretty clueless in the "Beauty Department", I always appreciate when other women share their tips and secrets for great hair, makeup, whatever! I especially love it when those tips include natural ingredients and are low-cost. So, I decided to share one of my favorite tips for great hair and skin!

For the longest time I had these two big patches of dry skin on the backs of both my arms. I also had dry patches along the sides of my nose. Not to mention, I always hundreds of tiny bumps all along the backs of my arms for as long as I can remember. My parents have always had them too, along with a few other people in my family. Needless to say, I never really had the prettiest skin. It's sensitive and it gets dry and irritated very easily.

A couple months ago, I got FED UP with all the dryness and ugliness of my skin. Every once in a while I've had people ask me if I'm cold because of all the "goose bumps" on my arms. It's a little gross to explain to people that they're not goose bumps, they're pores clogged with dead skin and it's hereditary. ::sigh::

Since I had recently come across a great group of women on Instagram, who were so friendly and open about their beauty routines, I decided to ask them all for some hair and skin advice. I got SO many tips (thanks guys!) and they were all natural and low cost ideas.

I decided to start with what I heard the majority of them claim was the answer to all my problems: coconut oil. I ordered this one off Amazon, and couldn't wait to get started! Per the advice I received on Instagram, I covered my hair in oil for an hour before showering, then washed my hair as normal. Then, instead of using lotion I applied the coconut oil all over. And waited....

It took about 3 months for me to see major results. Although, after the first month and a half, I was already able to see the dry patches on my skin slowly shrinking. My skin looked better than ever and felt so soft, even after a full day of not reapplying.

Now, that I've been using coconut oil in place of lotion and any sort of deep conditioner (9 months of using the oil), my skin looks GREAT, and my hair is so soft and healthy. Also, it's definitely much more manageable. I will never go back to using store bought lotions. Even when I spent money on the more expensive brands, they never left my skin feeling soft for more than a few hours.

softer, shinier hair!

I've even had other people tell me that my hair looks great. My parents are even surprised to see that those bumps at the backs of my arms are GONE. Yes, I still have the scars from picking them as a kid (I never listened :P), but no tiny bumps! And all the dry patches I had on my face and arms? ADIOS!!

this picture was SO difficult to take without my husb! hah also, my arm used to be all red and bumpy and funny looking (and by "funny" I mean "icky")

The nice thing about it, is that it lasts quite a while. It's also easy to find in stores if you can't get it online, and is pretty inexpensive. I paid about $6 for the jar you see above, and that will last me at least 4-5 months.

waiting for the oil to set for about an hour, before showering

A few things to keep in mind when using coconut oil: 

It is solid at a little below room temperature, so if you're about to use it and it's completely solid, don't worry! Take a bit and rub it on the palm of your hand until it melts, then apply it as lotion or in your hair. If you don't melt it in the palm of your hand, you'll have white chunks on your hair and skin!

If I have time in the morning, after applying it to my skin, I wait for it to absorb before I get dressed for the day. Otherwise it WILL stain your clothes (although I've been using this mixture to EASILY get oil stains out!). If you don't have time to let it sit, no problem! I just apply a light layer to my problem areas (cheeks, elbows, knees), and I'm careful to not let my clothes rub these areas too much as I'm getting dressed. Since the moisture lasts so long on my skin, I can go without applying it usually for 24 hours, and I won't have dry skin the whole day.

And don't forget, coconut oil is great for cooking, too!

So there you have it! Be sure to let me know how it works out for you. :)