For once, I envy Houstonians and their abundance of humidity. Ever since I moved up North, I've been struggling with severe dryness, especially as the weather transitions from summer to winter. The weather is relatively cool now and the heater seems to be on constantly, which means everything is red, dry, flaky and itchy. I really do mean everything: my scalp, eyes, skin and lips. No matter how much I moisturize, none of my normal products are really doing the trick. This gave me a bit of inspiration for the column: I want to try different things for the next few weeks to tackle all these issues. If readers have suggestions, I'd love to hear from them as well.
First up is using coconut oil as a night cream. In the past I've shied away from using oil on my face for fear of breakouts. The French dry oil I tried over the summer was perfumed so I didn't really want to put that on my face as I have sensitive skin. Coconut oil is a little different. It is natural, after all. There aren't any additives (that I know of). It supposedly has anti-bacterial properties and the fatty acids in the oil help reinforce the skin's natural lipid barrier. This would make it an excellent moisturizer and perfect for hydration. My Indian friends tell me it's pretty common practice back home to wear coconut oil as a night cream.
The goal was to ditch my normal nightly routine and replace it with coconut oil. I picked up a jar of 365-branded Organic Virgin Coconut Oil from Whole Foods in the regular food section. I doubt there is a difference between what they sell to eat and what they sell in the beauty section. Coconut oil is a solid at room temperature but turns into a liquid pretty quickly when it touches your skin. I made sure my skin was clean and I applied a thin layer of oil all over my face and neck and a bit around my eyes.
A few nights with coconut oil slathered all over my face and neck made a hell of a difference. I woke up in the morning with supple skin again! My face was clear! My fine lines disappeared! No more redness! No more flaky skin! What is this magic? I can see why it's remained a popular beauty product for years in India.