In the last blog, I wrote about my family’s challenges in finding high quality skin moisturizer that led us to the pure shea butter we now use daily (and provide for you). Today I want to tell you about a superior all-natural product you need to keep within reach: coconut oil.
My wife has particularly sensitive skin. The damp cold of winter can be especially tough for her. She’s also dealt with acne in the past and avoids lotions and creams on her face. After doing some research, she decided to try coconut oil. She quickly found it to be a great barrier to the drying effects of winter weather. Her skin wasn’t chapped, it was soft without being greasy, thus no clogged pores leading to a breakout.
Shea butter is an excellent all-over, all-day moisturizer, but when you need a light touch, coconut oil is where it’s at. In our house we use it to moisturize our face, hair and scalp. Personally I find it works great as a beard oil. It’s also made its way into our kitchen pantry as a replacement oil for pancakes, biscuits, popcorn and stir fry dishes. The nutty, slightly sweet taste of unrefined coconut oil adds a subtle, pleasant taste to select dishes. And the best part is we don’t need to use a lot of it; a little truly goes a long way with this gem. It was a no-brainer that coconut oil would be on the list of our first product offerings at Idris’s Pieces, but I wanted to know what made it so dynamic.
Coconut oil has a long, storied history in Asia. It’s a medicinal staple in Ayurvedic medicine due to its antibacterial and antiviral properties and has been used to treat respiratory conditions, wounds, burns, and skin infections. Dealing with a rough bout of eczema last winter, my wife used it as part of a holistic regimen to heal her skin. Coconut oil can also reduce the risk of cavities and gingivitis through the ancient practice known in America as oil pulling.
Composed of medium chain fatty acids that aren’t stored as fat but converted as energy in the liver, coconut oil is often described as a superfood. The energy it produces increases blood flow and oxygen throughout the body. It can help lower blood pressure, prevent insulin dependency and dementia, and contribute to weight loss when added to tea or coffee. What’s key is that you use pure, unrefined coconut oil (also known as virgin coconut oil) that comes from the meat and milk of the coconut, which is what we sell at Idris’s Pieces (ours is also organic).
You might be tempted to buy one of those big, plastic jars of coconut oil you see at budget stores. Trust me, we’ve fallen for it too. (Just like I was telling you all about the cocoa butter, we kept putting on the cheap coconut oil and wondering why our skin felt drier!) But those seemingly cheaper varieties use refined oil extracted from the remains of the coconut that is then bleached and deodorized. Unlike the pure, unrefined coconut oil we provide, refined oil contains contaminants that make it unsuitable for consumption, and has also been stripped of its unique scent and taste. No more yummy sautés or curries, no more natural healing properties. Just a crude oil akin to the stuff we’re trying to stop putting in our cars.
With our organic, pure, unrefined coconut oil, the sky’s the limit on how you use it. How are you going to use it to treat yourself today?