Washing with coconut oil…forever

Firstly, can I just say thank you for the really kind comments you guys left on my last post. I can’t tell you how much I appreciated them. You are a truly lovely bunch.

Now, I know I said that you couldn’t possibly be interested in hearing about me showering with coconut oil but I promise this is a just once thing for the blog, rather than a forever thing. I thought you might be interested to hear about how someone even washes with coconut oil.

Interestingly, it turns out that I now wash my body in exactly the same way I wash my face when using an oil-based cleanser. First off, I slather on a very generous layer of a base oil. Sometimes I use coconut oil, because it’s the one that works best for my skin, but often I opt for an oil that’s liquid at room temperature for speed, such as cold-pressed sunflower, sweet almond or jojoba oil.

Once it’s everywhere (skin, bathroom, taps, you name it…), I jump in the shower with a flannel and gently buff it all off again.

And that’s really all there is to it.

I find that on getting out of the shower, there’s still a thin film of moisture on my skin and I tend to then top it up with a bit more coconut oil because I find that sinks in the best and seems to calm my skin down in a way most other oils don’t. Then I apply a layer of the prescription cream I’m also using.

And my initial thoughts after 3+ weeks?

The skin that isn’t usually affected or inflamed (i.e. the normal bits) is in the best condition EVER. My lower legs are like silk and normally at this time of year, they’re like lizards. I’m actually so converted to the benefits of washing this way that I’d happily keep it up despite the extra time. The troublesome bits of skin are definitely improved too. They’re not cured or anything miraculous and they still cause me grief, but I’ve certainly noticed that they feel calmer, periods when I’m plagued by itching are reduced and – if this makes sense – the skin underneath and immediately around the flare-up is improved, which makes the bad bits seem better.

For anyone who is experiencing dry, itchy, scaly or that horrible transitional skin you can get at this time of year, do try washing without soap or detergent. Even the gentler kinds. I was sceptical when my GP suggested it, but he was right. Skin like mine really doesn’t like foaming stuff and I’m keen to see the results once another few weeks have passed.

On the flip side, I smell coconut EVERYWHERE. Good thing it’s a lovely smell. Because it’s become my new signature scent…

http://www.playbuzz.com/rachaelg/is-this-more-deadly-than-a-coconut

This post was sponsored by coconuts…

8 thoughts on “Washing with coconut oil…forever

  1. I’m really glad that it’s working so well, but I sense your plumber will be glad that the oil may be clogging your pipes! I hope that your plumbing is okay, because this does sound like a really beneficial way to wash.

    • This made me laugh, then really got me thinking… I take your point but I suspect (and hope!) that the amount that ends up going down the plughole is reasonably minimal. Most days, I pootle around doing other things (like teeth cleaning) before getting in the shower so some of the pre-showering layer of oil gets absorbed. Secondly a lot ends up on the flannel. Also, I’ve used heavy oils for cleansing my face for years now and never had a blockage under the sink. Having said all that – should I ever have a problem, I’ll definitely update here. In the interests of full disclosure and all that!

  2. This is going back to my childhood but have you ever used that “soap” they prescribe for eczema which is basically like lard? Was awful stuff and petroleum based but I was thinking whilst reading you’ve basically found the natural alternative to that. Same principal really with oiling yourself up and removing with flannel. I often apply oil to my legs before jumping in shower to help protect when shaving. I’ll have to give this method a try next time I flare up. I love oil cleansing for my face so may as well give a try on my body πŸ™‚

    • Ha! I DO remember that stuff. I couldn’t tell you what it was called but it was vile. In fact, one of the first things I said to my GP when he mentioned the ‘no soap’ shower rule was that I also flatly refused to use emollients like E45 for washing (as I’d been made to do when younger). I have yet to be prescribed a moisturiser by a GP that wasn’t almost entirely mineral oil plus added preservatives. Urgh. The coconut oil was my idea but I credit my GP for pushing me to take the leap in the first place πŸ˜‰ x

  3. What a great post – It makes sense that if we use oils to cleanse our faces that making that transition to our body is sensible. Also, if we are showering regularly then it’s also not stripping the skin of its natural oils. So pleased you have found something that is working for you and hope it continues that way πŸ™‚ xx

  4. Great post Faye. I have very dry skin, especially in the colder months, and often use coconut or even hemp oil in the shower. Glad you’ve found something that works for you x

    • Thanks Annie. Hemp oil is one I haven’t really tried but I might well do soon. Despite having to pare back my routine somewhat, I still have the bug for trying new things! Just within a more limited spectrum these days… x

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