Janice Sakata-Schultze, a freelance content marketing strategist and writer from Denver, wrote this guest post for Kapuluan Coconut. She and her daughters tried coconut oil for their different beauty issues over one month.
With my family living in the arid high altitude air of Colorado, we constantly battle skin and hair problems. My two teen daughters and I have tried every product on the market, to varying degrees of success. Plus, they’re often chock full of ingredients that we can’t pronounce and don’t know their reason for existence.
The interesting thing about our personal beauty care is we each have specific main problems. My younger daughter NL has coarse dry hair that has less moisture than a haystack in summer. The older one JR gets occasional acne breakouts but fortunately nothing too serious. As for myself, I’m the lucky one – my hands and skin become tough and leathery, especially in the low humidity winter.
So after reading about the benefits of coconut oil, I convinced my kids that we should all give it a go and see if it could help our issues. Naturally, being adolescents, they were both skeptical and teased me that I was just following “another dumb trend,” as one of them eloquently said. The other one reminded me that I said that same about eating more kale
What finally convinced them was appealing to their growing sophistication as consumers. They choose chemical-free products whenever possible, whether it’s for food or beauty care. Coconut oil fit the bill perfectly for our personal experiments.
Below are the results of our month-long experiment, starting from the first week in January to the first week in February:
Coconut oil for hair care: from coarse to soft
NL doesn’t like to wash her hair because she knows that most shampoos and conditioners don’t work for her. She complains that her hair “always looks awful.” When she wakes up in the morning, she looks like a wild warrior from deep in the jungles of Borneo.
Her naturally wavy locks have a rough texture that many products can’t seem to tame. She also likes to color her hair often and use a straightening iron on a nearly daily basis. We decided that using a deep conditioning coconut oil treatment twice a week might be the best solution for her, as well as using a dab in the morning as she styled her hair. The treatment that we chose was from Livestrong, because it seemed the simplest.
After nearly 30 days of these two strategies, NL’s hair looked shinier and felt softer to touch. It wasn’t completely silky smooth, but it appeared healthier than it had in a long time.
Coconut oil for acne: from pimples to perfection
My 15-year-old JR has beautiful, luxuriously long medium brown hair, but her complexion is another matter. While she doesn’t have the severe acne problems that plague many of her friends and classmates, she does have occasional breakouts around her forehead, nose and chin. The pimples are often formed as stubborn blackheads.
She really hadn’t washed her face much as daily nighttime regimen before this. But she knew that if she didn’t start, the acne could continue. We began with a straightforward washing routine based on WellnessMama.com. JR would also apply a tiny bit of coconut oil on pimples, or rub some on her cheeks if she experienced dryness or redness.
Once the month was done, her complexion looked noticeably clearer and smoother, and she had fewer breakouts than before using the coconut oil
Coconut oil for skin: from rough to smooth
The last experiment with coconut oil involved my own skin care. Before moving to Colorado in 2002, I never experienced problems with dry skin, and I battled them every year since. Applying lotion becomes a nearly hourly ritual so my hands don’t crack and bleed (pretty, I assure you).
During the 30-day experiment, the simplest one of the three, I rubbed emulsified coconut oil into my hands, cuticles and lips every morning and bedtime. If my arms and face needed some extra love, I worked it there too. Whenever I washed my hands, I reapplied coconut oil. It even replaced my regular lotion half the time. Taking a sizeable scoop of oil and rubbing it in my hands first, I then applied it to damp skin and dried off with a towel.
The result here? My hands and body stayed relatively soft, even through the harsh cold and dryness of a Colorado winter. Admittedly, I wasn’t always consistent with it, and when I didn’t apply any, my skin sometimes cracked. But the upshot of this was the coconut oil worked as well as lotion…and it’s completely additive and chemical-free.
The takeaways from our coconut oil beauty experiments
My daughters and I all agree that coconut oil has a place in our self-care and beauty regimens. Also, we were fortunate that none of us didn’t suffer the allergic reactions to coconut oil that some do. We all love the scent of virgin oil, and we appreciate that it’s a truly all-natural product. If my sometimes doubting teenagers believe that coconut oil can help their beauty issues, it can work for anyone.