Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Natural Beauty: Natural Moisturizers

When perusing the local Whole Foods for an all-over moisturizer I could use in the arid Utah climate I came to two conclusions: 1) paraben-free moisturizers are spendy and/or 2) natural moisturizers are kinda goopy and sticky.  I neither like goopy or spendy, so I decided to move a few aisles over to the cooking oils to see if I could find a better alternative to moisturize my whole body.  I was pleased to discover nature already has my back: there are quite a few oils typically used for cooking (here in the U.S.) that are amazing for keeping your skin moisturized and glowing!

Enter the holy grail of oils, coconut oil!  This versatile oil not only is an amazing moisturizer for your entire body, it's great for your face and hair, too.  Coconut oil has antibacterial properties, so slathering it on a blemish or scrape can actually speed up the wound's healing time.  Coconut oil absorbs rather quickly, so it doesn't leave too much of a residue behind after application.  Coconut oil also naturally smells amazing!

Coconut oil is solid at room temperature, but it quickly melts when applied to the skin.  If you want to use it in your hair, I recommend melting a little in a bowl in the microwave and letting it cool before application.  Coconut oil really has a ton of beauty uses!

Another great moisturizer is sweet almond oil.  It is quite a bit more viscous when compared to coconut oil and is commonly used as a massage oil.  I love it as an all-over moisturizer, except for the face.  With a light hand and applying right after the bath or shower, your skin will be glowing for the rest of the day!  Sweet almond oil doesn't have a smell, which can be considered a good and a bad thing.  If you want your skin to be lightly scented, you can add a few drops of essential oil to the large container of almond oil and mix well.  Be advised that some essential oils can be irritants, so if you have sensitive skin, I'd stick to fragrance free!

The last natural moisturizer I love is grapeseed oil.  It shares many of the same properties as sweet almond oil, but is just a tad "lighter."  I like to use grapeseed oil in the summer, while sweet almond oil is what I use for the drying winter months.  Grapeseed oil is scentless, so if you want to add essential oils for fragrance, that's up to you!

Another way to moisturize we really don't think about is from the inside out!  Taking 2000-6000mg a day of fish oil can up the moisture content of your skin.  Vegans and vegetarians report that taking flaxseed oil can help in moisturizing the skin.  Drinking water throughout the day is also an effective way to keep your skin glowing!

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