As a deep conditioner and overnight hair treatment, argan oil is the shit. It smells cool and exotic but doesn't clash with other products when there's just a hint of it in your hair. I already have a pretty intensive deep conditioning routine for my curly hair (including another killer argan oil product, MoroccanOil's Intense Hydrating Mask) so I didn't notice much of a difference in texture or softness when substituting this instead, but if you're looking for an all-natural alternative, this works like a charm.
Frizz Tamer & Shine Enhancer
For everyday styling, my results were decidedly negative. Like a lot of girls with curls, my hair is thick altogether, but the individual strands are fairly fine and delicate. Used as a daily conditioner and/or a styling product, this weighed my hair down way too much, and made it look oily and piece-y in a bad way. If you have thicker, coarser hair, dry hair, or hair that's already on the straight and shiny side, this may work better.
Done. I fell in love with argan oil as a moisturizer. The difference between 2 and 3 drops was the difference between pretty and grease ball, but the difference between 1-2 drops and my previous moisturizer was the difference between normal and GLOWING GODDESS. Even my mother, who has been known to send me pore minimizers after spending a dinner seated across from me (they're not that offensive, I swear) remarked that my skin looked "luminous." I've actually completely stopped using cleanser on my oily, somewhat acne-prone skin and found the "oil balancing" effect is real—I'm not breaking out, I don't have my usual shiny spots, my skin just looks great.
I did this completely wrong the first day and applied the oil to my skin like a normal lotion, which left me feeling a bit slithery and forced me to scramble for an arrangement of dark-colored cotton schmattes that were sort-of presentable to wear to work. Applying it to wet skin in the shower and letting it absorb for a few minutes while Tilexing the walls (whatever, we all have hobbies) then removing the excess while toweling off left my skin soft and moisturized with not very much product at all.
Five days post manicure, I'm still without a single hangnail, and my cuticles look extremely inoffensive. I didn't even really have to do anything to get this benefit; I just rubbed the excess oil from my body application into my cuticles and called it a day. Stretching a manicure an extra three days with no extra effort? Yes please.
Cracked heel treatment
My heels aren't particularly cracked, but I am definitely suffering from the winter boots-to-summer heels transition, with a number of attractive blisters, cuts, and rough spots. A layer of argan oil and a night spent sleeping in socks softened my feet, made residual injuries less obvious, and cleared up dry skin.
If I could change one thing about myself, it would be to get rid of my frizzy hair. I have that in-between curly and straight deal that poofs up after I wash it, if it's rainy out, and pretty much anytime it's exposed to moisture (i.e. all the time). The good thing about my hair: it doesn't get greasy. I go without washing it for longer than I would like to admit, and it usually looks best around day three (or four). I often put a little hair oil in after I wash it to prevent frizz, and to calm the flyaways in the mornings, so I didn't think coconut oil would be that much different. I applied a dab of it to my wet hair (maybe a bit too much on my roots?) after I got out of the shower, and it did get rid of most of the frizz, but it felt and looked greasy when it dried. This was totally new to me—I looked like I would if I went five or six days without washing my hair—and instantly had to throw it into a ponytail. I felt like someone who has to wash her hair everyday, and I was not into it.
I often use oil or oil-based products to remove makeup and it really gets everything off. Coconut oil was no different and worked like a charm. I put a little on a cotton ball (and then on some toilet paper when I ran out) and wiped away all the grime from the day before I washed my face. I like how it not only gets rid of the gunk, but moisturizes as well.
I have been using coconut oil as body lotion for a while now and would recommend it to anyone. I rub it on my legs, arms, and torso after I get out of the shower when I'm still a bit wet. By the time I'm dry, my skin is remarkably soft. No other product achieves quite the same softness. My boyfriend wasn't as into it as I am though, he said my skin was soft but "slippery." He also said I smelled like a macaroon all week with a strange look on his face—not sure if that is a good thing.
Even though I have used oils on my face many times before, I was nervous to try out coconut oil on somewhere other than my bod. But I went for it and rubbed a fingertip amount on my face morning and night. Like on my body, my skin instantly felt soft. But I could also feel the layer of oil and had a new level of shine to my skin that wasn't just dewy. It didn't bother me at first, but as the days went on, I began to dread my application process. It just made me feel icky. But the strangest part? Though my skin felt soft (and greasy), my cheeks began to dry out. Though it seems counterintuitive, oil is actually better for people with oily skin because it tricks you into not producing as much of your own natural oils. I have dry skin, so if I don't produce my own oil, it just gets worse. The final straw that made me not want to put coconut oil on my face ever again were the two friendly pimples that appeared on my jawline. I am not prone to breakouts and cannot remember the last time I had two at once. No thank you.
If I had to keep putting coconut oil on my face, I would just use it under my eyes. Although I couldn't see major results in just a week, it did feel soft and a little less puffy and dark than usual.
I am a bit addicted to lip balm. I always have a few different ones in my purse, on my desk, bedside table (okay, maybe not just a bit addicted) and am applying constantly throughout the day. Coconut oil was a welcome addition to my collection, since it goes on smooth, feels hydrating, and tastes yummy. I just wish it came packaged in a little tube instead of a tub so I could carry it around with me.
In the shower I slathered my legs with coconut oil instead of shaving cream and was quite happy with the results. This is another thing I might keep in my beauty routine. I got an ultra-close shave and my legs were super soft when I toweled off.
Given that it's so astringent it makes my eyes sting when I smell it, I knew from the get-go that tea tree oil would likely be an effective bad breath-killer. I added a few drops to a small glass of water after brushing my teeth. No, it was not pleasant—those two minutes of swishing could not end soon enough. But I was left with a fresh mouth and a boost of energy—plus, since adding this step to my daily routine, my sensitive gums feel better than they have in a long, long time.
Cleanser and Toner
I've been using tea tree oil as a facial toner for a long time—I swear by Trader Joe's super-exfoliating Tea Tree Cleansing Pads for one-step makeup remover, exfoliation, and toning. Switching over to just the oil was definitely gentler and less drying on my sensitive skin, but wasn't quite as effective as TJ's formula in blasting my pesky blackheads.
I will be the first to tell anyone that tea tree oil is a godsend for acne woes (as is clay powder, but that's a secret for another story). My skin is so sensitive that when I do break out, I really can't use anything that contains chemicals. This oil cleanses, clears, and corrects my skin tone in a matter of days, without any drying whatsoever. And I'm not just referring to acne—I get small psoriasis breakouts on occasion, and tea tree oil does the job for that as well.
Keratosis Pilaris Killer
KP—those chicken bumps some of us get on our arms—is a royal pain in the ass, because short of pumicing off your skin, there's really no way to get rid of them. I normally diminish the look of it with exfoliation and coconut oil, but this week I decided to give tea tree oil a try. It definitely reduced their appearance, but I think I'll stick with coconut in the end.
With my thick, wavy hair, my scalp is occasionally prone to some irritation (which is why I made the switch to no-poo). I tried adding a few drops of tea tree to a particularly itchy area, but while it soothed it for a few moments, I'm not convinced it did anything to really remedy the situation.
Health is beauty, no? As I write this, I'm battling a nasty sinus infection. But I'm sitting with a bottle of tea tree oil beside me, because even just a whiff helps clear things up and soothe the feeling that a truck keeps running into my face. I dig it—it's like the natural version of VapoRub.
JAN 2, 2017