Got a lot of blackberries? Then check out this recipe for Blackberry Mojito Fruit Leather.

I'm not a huge fan of fruit leathers, but this turned out super good! And, really, you can't go wrong with blackberries, mint and rum.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Nontoxic wrinkle cream

Looking for a natural wrinkle cream that doesn't cost an arm and a leg or an eyebrow? Well, I think I've finally found my fountain of youth. In a rather haphazard way.

I decided, oh about ten years ago, that I should probably start really taking care of my facial skin to help ward off signs of premature aging. I dutifully began a regimen of department store brand cleansers, moisturizers, anti-aging lotions, sunscreens, scrubs and the whole ball of wax. At around 30, I figured that my head start would help me out tremendously and I'd be looking fresh as a daisy well into my 60s.

Since then, I had dropped some of the products and really just stuck with moisturizers, anti-aging lotions and microdermabrasion type products with a healthy dollop of sunscreens. I mostly stuck with Estee Lauder products and even branched out to La Mer for a while, which was quite lovely.

Over the last three years, I noticed a considerable aging of the skin around my eyes with a lot more dark circles, which I contributed to the immense amount of stress in my life and so I quit some of the anti-aging products and started using a Retinol SA based product on the areas that were showing more wear and tear. I have to admit, I saw some extremely amazing results - my skin looked years younger. But, I still saw wrinkles around my eyes that weren't there before and just chalked it up to aging.

Then, early this year, a few things happened. I started having an allergic reaction to a product I received for review and the Retinol really aggravated it. So, I stopped all commercial, chemically-laden products cold turkey and switched entirely over to nontoxic products to solve the problems I was having. Which meant that I was relying solely on coconut oil (from my soap making and beauty product stock) as my moisturizer.

I've been using coconut oil morning and night as an all over facial moisturizer, particularly heavily around my eyes since mid-January. In addition, I got rid of all my toxic makeup and switched over to Gabriel cosmetics. I've noticed two things.

The first is that the circles under my eyes have lessened quite a bit. I'll chalk this up to less irritation and probable allergic reaction to the chemicals I've been exposing my facial skin to over the years. It certainly isn't because I'm getting more sleep since I've been getting a lot less lately.

The second thing I've noticed, and I honestly can't really believe this myself, is that the wrinkles around my eyes have all but disappeared. Seriously. I've been trying to figure out what the deal is, but my theory is that my skin is recovering from the toxic chemical burden which has halted the aging, and the coconut oil is providing enough moisture and plumping to make the wrinkles that I do have less visible. From what I've been reading, coconut oil helps in preventing premature aging and degenerative diseases due to its antioxidant properties.

For what it's worth, I'm sold. It's been incredibly effective for me and it's super cheap and, most importantly, it's completely nontoxic. I don't have to worry about a hodgepodge of chemicals being slathered on my skin. Plus, I use it for pretty much everything now. Moisturizer, makeup remover, deodorant base, soap and any skin treatment I'm experimenting with.

I can't say that others will have the same results as I have, but it's worth a try. I never would have gone this route if I hadn't had a reaction to a product that I couldn't pin down and had to stop using everything potentially toxic that touched my skin.

For those of you who are worried that coconut oil will cause your skin to break out or be too greasy, well, let me tell you I have combination skin which is oily in spots and I haven't had an increase in acne. The coconut oil goes on oily, but is immediately absorbed into the skin. That said, I haven't tried the type of coconut oil that is found in the grocery store, just the kind for soap making, so I don't know if there's a difference.

Image courtesy of bizior.

40 comments:

LatigoLiz said...

One thought to consider...diet. Healing from the inside out. Just a another idea to throw into the mix.

Erica said...

I've been using coconut oil as moisturizer for the past few months, too, and I have been liking the results. The only thing I'm worried about is that it might be harboring bacteria, since I use my fingers to dig it out of the jar each day, and it's a big jar, and it doesn't have any preservatives. And, it's food - I'm using the kind from the grocery store. I think next time I buy a big jar I will divvy it up into smaller containers before I start using it.

Robj98168 said...

All I am gonna say is
FAT DON"T CRACK!!!!

Anonymous said...

I've been thinking I'd do this when my current moisturiser runs out. Are you using non-fractionated oil? Does it make any difference if it is (or isn't) other than to application?

I've been washing my face with honey since I read about it here, and love it.

Hazel

TheSimplePoppy said...

I'm so glad you wrote this! Recently I had been stressed out and I hadn't even been using moisturizer or even washing my face with honey as usual. I saw a picture of myself and realized my skin looked so haggard. I started washing my face again with honey - but I mixed coconut oil in with it and haven't bothered with moisturizer for the most part. It has been an amazing difference. Interesting that other people are experiencing it too!

MaddyG said...

That's awesome! I'm going to try it. I have such Crow's Feet. I read somewhere that olive oil is good for wrinkles too, but I haven't tried it yet.

All of Us said...

I use Rosehip Seed Oil from Mountain Rose Herbs and have had great results.

Kim said...

I use safflower oil as a moisturizer (no scent) instead of olive oil, so I don't smell like salad dressing, lol! Thanks for the honey tip, I will have to try that.

Billie said...

I used to use coconut oil and discovered that I can eat it but I can't put it on my skin. I go itchy red for about an hour before it goes away.

I use a combination of cocoa butter, avocado butter and ilip tree butter. I really need to use it more! I have been getting slack about moisturizing my skin.

Laryssa Herbert said...

Sounds great! I was thinking of doing this and after hearing your results, I will for sure!

Farmer's Daughter said...

I love my coconut oil sugar scrub.

MadameMim said...

I use coconut oil on my face at night, but sweet almond or jojoba during the day, especially as it gets hotter down here in GA...it just seems lighter. I love coconut oil on my feet before bed. The next morning they are so soft.

Deb(bie Debbie Doo) said...

I am so going to be giving this a try! Since developing the whole damn Multiple Chemical Sensitivity a few years ago I have given up using any products since even that uber expensive nail polish from the health food store caused a reaction - but oh man is my skin dry, dry, DRY!

Giving up make-up wasn't really so hard - living w/ this dried up skin though sucks - since, ya know, no makeup means fresh healthy looking skin would be so much preferred!

Crossing my fingers down here in T-Town!

swiggett said...

I've been using jojoba oil as a moisturizer (after my honey wash) for a good three months, and love it. But - look forward to trying coconut oil!

Kim from Milwaukee said...

Tropical Traditions makes an organic coconut oil that also supports families in the Philippines with a living wage, and the oil is heavenly. I've been using CO for my skin and diet for about 20 years, nothing beats it!

You can also use it as a substitute for Crisco in pie crusts as well!!! Oh, and cats love it as a fur ball preventative. TT has a booklet on all the great uses for CO. I make lotion from coconut milk...so rich and lovely.

Rob, you found my beauty secret.

Anne said...

Thanks! I've had super sensitive and dry facial skin while I've been pregnant, and washing with honey (and sometimes oatmeal) is the only thing that calms it! I've been using Burt's Bee's Repair Serum (with rosehip seed oil) as a moisturizer, but will look for a good coconut oil option. So great to know about the simple, inexpensive, nontoxic options that work as well or better than all the fancy-packaging chemical-laden stuff!

Gloria said...

Can anyone recommend a good facial sunblock? I've been using Coppertone 30 but even the "oil free" leaves my face shiny so I have to use a bunch of powder and that can't be good. Help!

Olivia said...

I, too, use coconut oil but I can't say, alas, that it does anything for the wrinkles or crowsfeet. Oh well - young at heart.

Susan Elwell said...

Here's another idea. In south Florida, the parks, schools, anything that has children generally gets a regular outbreak of head lice (EEEWWWWWW!). Yes, sad, but reality. A little research led to coconut oil, how many Asian diets include it to combat creepy crawlies, both inside and out. A side benefit, they have gorgeous skin too. Look up Thailand, Phillipine coconut oil http://www.westonaprice.org/Thailand-Land-of-the-Coconut.html.

tortuga said...

Living in Seattle is good for your skin too. My grandmother's older sister visited a few years ago. My grandmother lived in Las Vegas most of her life and her sister in Seattle. My grandmother looked much older. I've been crazy about staying out of the sun since then.

Jamie D. said...

I tried coconut oil - but it seemed to dry out the "dry patches" more on my skin for whatever reason.

I melt beeswax and sweet almond oil together, then add a little chamomile extract for a moisturizer/balm...and that works wonderfully for my combination, acne-prone skin.

Lisa said...

give a shout out to where you get the coconut oil? and do you smell like a macaroon?

Crunchy Chicken said...

Lisa - I get my coconut oil from Zenith Supplies in Seattle. It must be refined since it's deodorized and has no smell at all. It has an indefinite shelf life.

I don't know where they source if from.

debra said...

i've been using coconut oil for a year now. before that i used olive oil. i like the coconut oil much better. i don't feel like i'm wearing an oil slick on my face. i use the kind you can get in the grocery store and keep it in the fridge. a little goes a long way. i hadn't heard about washing your face with honey but will certainly give it a try this evening.

Madz said...

just wondering if you use pure coconut oil? and if so,how do you keep it from solidifying? especially in colder seasons?
I have some I brought back from Rarotonga few years ago but can't use it as it's been completely solid since I hopped off the plane.

sweetwoman said...

thanks for the post i will try it

Christina said...

The problem I see with coconut oil is that it's got so many miles on it unless you live in the tropics. Plus the growing/harvesting of it for increased western use will have to have impacts where it is produced, whether that's deforestation to start more coconut farms, or labor violations, so you've got to watch out for organic and fair trade policies. Shea butter comes from an African plant. Jojoba is Mexico and American Southwest.

I think in places where all these oils don't occur naturally, animal fats were collected for the stated purpose - not all of them requiring killing the animal, lanolin for example can be harvested off the sheep's wool, but many of them lard based (bear grease, goosefat). I wonder if nut and seed oils, of which most regions have a local plant or two, would have the same benefit.

Kim from Milwaukee said...

@Madz - coconut oil does solidify, but it melts easily in your hand, from your body heat. If it smells like coconut, it's the least processed and has the greatest health benefits, internally and externally.

Dana @ MFCK said...

Great advice. I wonder what the difference is between the soap making variety and what's available in grocery store beauty isles?

Tree Huggin Momma said...

Virgin or Cold Pressed Organic Coconut Oil is what you want to use. We use it (and by we I mean my 12 yo uses it dutifully every night) me when my lips are so dry they burn. We got turned on to co because my 8 yo has huge dry lip issues (wonder where she gets that from) and every chap stick out there (including Burt's) burned her. So we were using vaseline oil and it worked for a couple of weeks and then the flakies (as we call them) started getting worse and spreading.
I had heard to use CO before but I hadn't found a local store that carried it. On a whim I went to the local co-op and score they had it on sale.
It worked and she carries it around with her everywhere. When I remember I use it on my skin as a moisturizer but I am usually in a hurry. Wish I could get DH to put it on 2x a day to help with his ichtheosis (fish skin, yep he really has scales).
When looking into CO I found out most anti-aging products contain CO because it works.

Steve & Paula said...

One thing to make sure of, is that the oil is raw virgin coconut oil.
Eat it too. Pure unadultered saturated fats do not cause heart disease.
Its anti bacterial, anti fungal and anti viral.
It is documented to kill MRSA as well.
Can't beat that!

Steve & Paula said...

To your readers that are concerned about a good sunblock, I will say this.
A good natural traditional foods diet, that includes plenty of saturated fats and fermented/raw cod liver oil as a suppliment, will fully provide a way to no longer sunburn. Period.
I am living proof, and everyone I knwo that has given it a try, has had the identical results.
It usually takes about ayear to clear the body of the processed oils and build up the natural defense.

Your body will thank you if you give it real fats.

jen said...

I get a lot of breakouts on my chin. I will have to try that.

Anonymous said...

What's wrong with smile lines? Oh, right, we're women. We're not supposed to have faces with expressions, or to age. I protect my face from the sun to avoid getting skin cancer, but aside from that I think I'll be radical and happily look like a middle-aged person with a life rather than a child or a doll. Can you tell this makes me crazy? I'm just sick of men with gray hair and lines all over their faces still being considered some of the "sexiest men alive" (this means you George Clooney), while even feminists accept a double-standard for women. Screed over.

EB said...

my prob with coconut oil was that it just sat on top of my face and didn't soak in.

I asked around and now i use a dab of olive oil on my face mixed with my regular cream.

for some reason olive oil soaks in my skin better than coconut oil (am allergic to jojoba).

Colours and Textures said...

I have been using coconut oil as a moisteriser for over a year. I buy a pot from the pharmacy and add a few drops of lavender essential oil to it, it smells lovely and hopefully the lavender acts as a preservative.

Owlfarmer said...

I get non-GMO extra virgin coconut oil from Whole Foods; the label reads almost like a Dr. Bronner's bottle: it can be used for almost everything, including all of the stuff mentioned above, and even as a "personal lubricant." The smell is kind of nice, actually, and adds a little flavor when used in cooking. It's almost all saturated fat, though, so digest it sparingly.

historicstitcher said...

I dropped all commercial facial products last year and use just grape seed oil now. After a lifetime of fighting with oily, greasy skin that wouldn't quit, and all of the drying agents, both prescription and OTC, and being told NEVER to moisturize my oily skin because it would be worse...guess what? On switching to soaping only once a day and moisturizing with oil, my greasy skin has leveled out and my lifelong acne cleared up.

Go figure.

Anne said...

Coconut oil makes my skin break out after a few days. It has a high comedogenic rating (4 out of 5) and clogs pores easily. I use hemp oil, which has a really low comedogenic rating (0) and lots of beneficial properties for aging or damaged skin, plus is soaks in really quickly and doesn't feel greasy. I let it steep in green leaves for a few days and voila! It's awesome and great around the eye area too.

Sarah Boxer said...

I have combination skin. Oily around crease of nose and on top of nose and chin but dry everywhere else. I also have Roseasea=service redness on cheeks and nose. I rarely have a breakout. Perfect skin as a teenager but red as an adult. I absolutely love the Lady Soma Renewal Serum. I have been using Lady Soma for 3 weeks and my skin looks younger and healthier.

Its not greasy at all!!! Its wonderful for wrinkles and moisture protection.

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