Tag Archives: Coconut Oil

Natural Ingredients To Add To Your Daily Routine

If you subscribe to the long-held belief that ignorance is bliss, it will logically follow that the less ignorant we, as a society become, the less blissful we will be. Case in point: Until not long ago, we were carelessly lying in the sun, eating our McDonald’s, and using doorknobs in doctors’ offices. We now know UV light produces free radicals, our foods are packed with preservatives and artificial ingredients, and just about every surface we touch is swarming with bacteria. What’s next? Our beauty products? According to Dr. Axe, the majority of commercially available beauty products are packed with fragrances, artificial colors, stabilizers and preservatives that can be absorbed through the pores of the skin, leading to a range of potential negative long-term effects on our health, specifically hormone imbalance, and irregular periods. Luckily, there are natural alternatives to ensure your skin remains radiant while your body remains healthy.

Apple cider vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar
This inexpensive natural skin care product can help to kill pathogens, such as bacteria, and clear skin problems arising from gut issues. Apple cider vinegar was first used by Hippocrates who believed in its anti-fungal properties as a useful treatment for skin sores and ulcerations. Additionally, ACV contains beneficial vitamins, such as potassium and magnesium, which make it an excellent detoxifier when taken internally.

Raw honey

Raw Honey
Raw honey is known to reduce breakouts and scars, boost hydration, help to heal wounds, and fight allergies. Because raw honey is unprocessed, it is able to keep its nutrients intact, unlike most store bought honey. It has been used to heal everything from dandruff to diaper rash to psoriasis and can be used to treat acne when applied to the skin for ten minutes.

Sea salt

Sea Salt
You may have seen this ingredient popping up on food labels lately as a replacement for regular table salt. Sea salt is packed with nutrients like calcium, potassium, sodium, and magnesium which it absorbs from salt water. Luckily, these are the same types of mineral found in our skin, which is why sea salt is so effective in balancing, restoring and protecting our skin. It also contains anti-inflammatory properties for removal of dead skin cells, the balance of oil production, maintenance of skin moisture levels and calming of breakouts.

Avocado

Avocado
A much loved fatty fruit, the avocado contains vitamin A, D, and E, all able to penetrate the skin to soothe sunburn, increase production of collagen and treat age spots. It can be applied externally or eaten to reduce skin inflammation and combined with essential oils or honey directly to skin.

Coconut oil

Coconut Oil
Coconut oil has a plethora of benefits, including the ability to strengthen skin tissue, remove dead skin cells, and protect against sunburn. Research shows that the antibacterial and antioxidant properties of the oil can even fight skin disease and defects in the epidermal barrier. Coconut oil can be used on both skin and hair, to cleanse, moisturize, and heal wounds, and because what we put inside us can effect how we look on the outside, the oil can help keep skin radiant when taken internally to wash away toxins and help with digestive function.

Tea tree oil

Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil has been used to combat redness, inflammation, and breakouts on skin for centuries. It provides a mild alternative to harsh acne treatments which can cause side effects and dry skin. Tea tree oil contains anti-fungal, antimicrobial and antibacterial properties and its phytochemicals make it one of the most effective of the skin care essential oils.

What do you think? Are you ready to scrap your serums and creams for avocados and coconuts? Let us know how you weigh in!

The Best Plant Extracts For Skin

Usually, when we think of the plights of ancient civilization, acne does not top our list. However, that does not mean skincare was not a problem for our forebears. After all, if there was a sun, was there not sun damage and, if there were pregnancies, were there not stretch marks? While we can pretty much assume our forefathers and mothers all battled with skin issues, there is a noticeable absence of the mention of benzoyl peroxide and hyaluronic acid in the history books. So what did our ancestors use to ensure skin health before the advent of “science-based skincare?” Plant extracts. And if they worked back then, shouldn’t they work now?

Let’s take a moment to investigate the best plant-based extracts for your skin that are still available.

Aloe vera

Aloe Vera
This extract has been around since time immemorial. Best known as a remedy for irritation and minor burns, this desert plant is known for its ability to fight bacteria, protect skin cells from damage, soften skin, and rebuild new tissue. Aloe is an ideal ingredient for mature skin and improves collagen levels when ingested or applied topically.

Tea Tree Oil
Ideal for moisturizing and cleansing, tea tree oils reduces sebum production in the sebaceous glands and reduces the amount of bacteria that cause blemishes to form. Its antiseptic properties make it an effective healer, it is known for its ability to safely remove dead cells from the skin and decrease the appearance of wrinkles.

Shea
Shea butter evens skin tone and protects and moisturizes the skin and scalp without clogging pores. Extracted from the nut of the West African karate tree, shea butter is naturally rich in vitamins A and E and helps restore elasticity to the skin and soothe irritation.

Shea butter

Olive Oil
Hailed as a skin care remedy by the ancient Egyptians, olive oil is still regarded as one of the most effective natural oils for skin care. It has been associated with everything from aiding in digestion to acne prevention and anti-aging. The words “Extra virgin” or “cold pressed” on the label should indicate that the olive oil contained within is the purest of all extract and have more nutritional components to improve skin appearance, but beware falsely labelled products!

Avocado
One of the finest extracts found in nature, the oil from the avocado is an extract long found in face masks, bath oils, and cleansing cream. Avocados are rich in vitamin A, which is effective at removing dead skin cells and contain amino acids which protect skin against environmental damage.

Cocoa Butter
Cocoa butter is known for the ability to reduce scars and is often recommended by surgeons to patients to reduce evidence of surgery incisions. It is credited with boosting collagen in the skin and reducing stretch marks and the appearance of wrinkles and frown lines. Cocoa butter is an active ingredient in most moisturizers and is useful in combatting rough skin where dryness is common.
Cocoa butter

Coconut Oil
Great for both hair and skin care, coconut oil is an effective moisturizer for dry skin and scalp. It can also delay the appearance of wrinkles and has been proven to be effective in the treatments of psoriasis, eczema, and dermatitis. The antioxidant properties of the coconut prevent premature aging and degenerative disease and it is available in a variety of skin care products, such as lotions, soaps, and creams.

Do you know of any plant extracts we haven’t mentioned that do wonders for your skin? Let us know your favorites. We’re all ears!

Natural Ingredients That Keep Skin Soft, Flexible, and Resilient

Of course, the modern women knows that wit and ingenuity are our greatest weapons, but we also know its not a bad idea to keep a few tricks up our sleeves for when the going gets tough. Like when it comes to the war against aging skin. That’s when it time to call in the coven for a little witch’s brew. How do you think Cher, Michelle Pfeiffer and Susan Sarandon stayed so young looking for the Witches of Eastwick sequel?

When it comes to magic potions for your skin, nature is your best resource. There are plenty of ingredients bestowed by the good grace of Mother Nature that can keep your skin flexible strong, and resilient.

Coconut Oil
1. Coconut Oil
Not just for monkeys! Coconut oil’s many talents include removing dead skin cells, protecting against sunburns and strengthening epidermal tissue. In fact, research shows that coconut oil can even fight chronic skin disease and curb cutaneous inflammation. You can use this miracle of nature on your hair and skin to remove makeup, cleanse, heal wounds and scars, and prevent razor burns. When taken internally, coconut helps to bring oxygen and nutrients to the cells and wash away toxins, making it indispensable for skin health.

2. Tea Tree Oil
Also known as mealeuca alternifolia, tea tree oil has been used in Australia for hundreds of years to fight inflammation, redness, and breakouts. It is also known as a well-tolerated alternative for people who react poorly to harsh acne treatments. and its hydrocarbons contribute to its anti-bacterial properties. Researchers have found more than 100 different chemical components that are aromatic and capable of traveling through the pores of the skin and mucus membranes, which is why tea tree oil is so effective as a home remedy for acne.

3. Apple Cider Vinegar
This inexpensive skin product can kill pathogens like bacteria, and clear skin problems resulting from gut issues as well as cleanse the skin and prevent acne. It also contains vitamins like magnesium and potassium, which are can be effective detoxifying agents when taken internally because of their ability to improve liver function and balance gut bacteria.

Raw honey
4. Raw Honey
Bring on the sweet stuff for reducing breakouts, healing wounds, fighting allergic rashes, and reducing scars. This unheated, unpasteurized ingredient keep all of its nutrients intact because it is not subject to processing, like other honey. Honey is also an effective antimicrobial and can be used for dressing burns and wounds, and has been used in treatments to heal dandruff, psoriasis, diaper dermatitis and more.

5. Sea Salt
One of the more recent stars of the nutritional world, sea salt is chockfull of calcium, magnesium and potassium that it absorbs from seawater. because these minerals are the same as those found within the skin else in our body, sea salt is an excellent ingredient that can protect, balance and restore skin. Ir contains anti-inflammatory properties to fight breakouts, remove dead cells, balance oil production and help skin retain moisture.

So what potions are you stirring up this week? We would love to know!

Selecting The Best Oils For Dry Winter Skin

Does anyone remember the 1986 Vaseline intensive Care commercial which starts with a woman saying “Sometimes your skin gets so dry, you can actually scratch the word “dry” right on your hand?” Then the camera pans down, and sure enough, there it is; D-R-Y written plain as day right on the woman’s flaky skin. Is that actually possible? If you’re suffering from dry skin this winter, it is not necessary that you put this barbaric practice to the test to realize it, but hopefully, you are able to do something to relieve it. Let’s talk about the best oils for dry winter skin.

coconut oil

Coconut Oil
Among the many benefits of coconut oil are its abilities to soothe sensitive skin and eczema and to moisturize dry hair. Joanna Vargas, celebrity facialist recommends it to her clients, straight from the grocery store as a body oil, adding that, “It’s fatty acids make it helpful for anyone with eczema.”

In addition, according to Perry Romanowksi, a Chicago cosmetic chemist, “It’s 12-carbon fatty acid structure allows it to penetrate the hair cuticle and provide flexibility and strength,” He instructs clients to use it on dry ends, to prevent flyways or for deep conditioning in the shower.

Argan Oil
Argan oil is best at banishing dry skin, dry hair, and reducing fine lines. Extracted from the fruit of Moroccan argan trees, argan oil is packed with omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants and vitamin E. Joshua Zeichner, assistant professor of dermatology at the Mount Sinai Medical Center explains, “The fatty acids help our skin cells make healthy collagen, reduce inflammation, and promote healthy collagen.”

Avocado Oil
The emolliency of avocado oil makes it the perfect weapon against irritated, dry, and sensitive skin Jennifer Linder, MD, says, “The oil is high in Vitamin E and omega-3 fatty acids, which helps proper cell function and decreases inflammation.”

Lavender oil

Lavender Oil
A fragrant way of helping the acne or irritation prone skin, lavender oil helps to control the production of sebum and soothe skin irritation and also makes an excellent partner for other skin products. Linder says, “It is thought to help aid in the absorption of active ingredients into the skin.” he adds that lavender oil is also, “a natural antiseptic and disinfectant.”

Flaxseed Oil
Flaxseed oil has high levels of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids which makes it great for the heart, as well as the skin. Dr. Howard Sobel, MD., recommends it for his patients with sensitive irritated skin, or skin condition like dermatitis and eczema. He talks of its anti-inflammatory properties and mention studies that show that, “if taken daily, it can improve skin conditions such as eczema in just three months.”

Jojoba Oil
Pronounced ho-Ho-ba (accent on the Ho), jojoba oil is technically a wax. However, because its chemical structure is so similar to the natural oil in our skin, it is absorbed easily. It is best for general dryness and contains vitamins B and E, as well as mineral like copper and zinc to make skin stronger.

Olive oil

Olive Oil
Best for those with very dry skin, olive oil, especially extra virgin serves as a great all around natural moisturizer. Dr. Sobel says, “Its super rich in fatty acids and vitamin E. It is also well absorbed by our skin because of its similarity to our natural skin oils and studies show that it may be helpful in prevention of skin cancer.

Get your natural glow on this winter and tell us how you keep your season bright! We love to hear from you!

Foods and Supplements that Support Immune Health

“The doctor of the future will no longer treat the human frame with drugs, but rather will cure and prevent disease with nutrition” Thomas Edison (1847-1931)

When looking at the history of immunology, it is apparent that the earliest milestone was the vaccination. In 1796, Edward Jenner introduced the small pox vaccine, and admittedly these practices had their benefits, However, by the late 18th to early 19th century, forward thinking of men, like Thomas Edison, began making some very accurate predictions.

While pharmaceuticals are still beneficial and are widely used, it is becoming apparent that the foods we eat may be the most powerful medicines of all.

1. Grass Fed Unpasteurized Organic Milk
Organic milk which comes from grass-fed down contains bacteria and beneficial fats that boost the immune system and can decrease allergies. It is packed with zinc, vitamin A, and enzymes and is not related to health problems associated with pasteurized milk, such as skin rashes, diarrhea, cramps and rheumatoid arthritis.

whey protein 2. Whey Protein
It was good enough for Little Miss Muffett. Since raw milk may be hard to come by, it can be substituted with whey protein that also comes from grass-fed cows for similar health benefits.
Whey is a liquid that separates out from the curd in cheese production, hence curds and whey. It dries to a powdered form in which the nutrients are concentrated and is prepared for packaging and use. In addition, because whey protein contains immunoglobulins and beta glucan, it can fight colds and flu while supporting the detoxification process in the body.

3. Fermented Foods
Fermented foods are perhaps the most crucial in improving immunity and kefir is one of the most helpful examples. It is rich in enzymes and packed with microorganisms to boost immunity and keep your “inner ecosystem” running efficiently. Other fermented foods include kimchee, tempeh, pickles, sauerkraut, olives, and yogurt. The secret behind fermented foods is their high levels of friendly bacteria which effect the gut’s immune system, which protects against pathogens and helps to produce antibodies.

4. Organic Raw Eggs From Free- Range Chickens
If Sly Stallone can eat them, so can you. Raw eggs are an exceptional source of high-quality fat and protein that many people lack. As long as you have a reliable source for getting these babies, you need not fear salmonella.

coconut oil 5. Coconut Oil And Coconuts
Coconut oil is an excellent source of lauric acid, which your body converts to monolaurin. Monolaurin is the compound in breast milk responsible for keeping a baby’s immunity healthy. It is also beneficial to the thyroid and improves metabolism. According to research, lauric acid also has the ability to disturb lipid membranes of disruptive organisms. Try to choose coconuts and coconut oils that are unrefined, unbleached, and organic, produced without chemicals or heat processing and are non-GMO.

ORAC Values
ORAC is the Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity and the ORAC score is a way of assigning a value to the antioxidant value of foods and supplements, with the higher scores representing the most effective foods. You can check a food’s ORAC score on the ORAC Values website. Stay well and eat well during this flu season and load up on the foods with the biggest nutritional content and feel free to let us know what foods are getting you through this cold and flu season.

Coconut Five Ways

Coconut is a surprisingly versatile food with many potential benefits and uses. You’re probably familiar with coconut oil, or have at least heard of it, and maybe you’ve even heard of or had some coconut water before, but what about coconut milk, meat, or flour? Each has its uses, and they can all be used in cooking and baking to replace other common ingredients. Let’s discuss how to get the best use out of coconut regardless of the form it comes in.

Coconut oil

Oil
Far and away the most well-known form of processed coconut product, coconut oil is a thick, translucent white fat that’s solid at room temperature, and becomes a colorless liquid if heated. It is a saturated fat, meaning you should take care not to over-indulge, but using it to replace vegetable or canola oil in cooking and baking or adding a tablespoon to smoothies, cocoa, or even coffee is perfectly fine, just treat it with the same caution as any other fat, and use in moderation.

Coconut oil does contain some antioxidants, but the amount is negligible and infinitesimal compared to a single glass of red wine or any variety of darker fruits. Coconut oil does also contain the “good” kind of cholesterol that helps clean arteries, but it also contains plenty of the “bad” kind that clogs arteries, and at best, the effect cancels out. In short, coconut oil has advantages over other oils if you’re going to use oil anyway, but don’t eat gobs of it just because it’s marginally more healthy.

That said, outside of its use in cooking, it’s excellent on your hair and skin. Just rub a moderate amount in wet hair or a small amount on your hands, face, and anywhere else that needs some moisturization. It will absorb quickly and leave your skin and hair silky smooth.

Coconut water

Water
Coconut water is often hailed as a health drink due to its high potassium and electrolyte content, low sugar and fat and cholesterol free status. Coconut water is the liquid trapped in the center of the coconut and has a sweet, nutty taste. It is much better than a lot of sugary sports drinks and sodas due to its comparatively low sugar content, but it does contain 60 calories per serving, which can add up. Ultimately, it does have health benefits, but they are often exaggerated greatly.

Meat
Coconut meat is high in manganese, iron, phosphorous, and zinc, essential minerals you need to function. It does, however, contain a lot of fat and carbohydrates, so use with caution. Shredded coconut meat can be used as a dessert topper and a breading for fried shrimp or chicken, among other delicious uses.

Flour
Not flour in the typical sense, coconut “flour” is a grain-free powder that can be used to replace wheat flour in most recipes, and is naturally gluten-free, a useful trait for those with actual gluten sensitivity, though gluten-free foods have no health benefits for those with no gluten sensitivity. Because it is made from coconut meat, coconut oil is relatively high in carbohydrates and fat, but it also contains a healthy dose of fiber and protein, so use in moderation in place of flower for a nice boost, but, as is becoming the running theme in this article, don’t overdo it.

Coconut milk

Milk
Coconut milk is made from the firm white meat of the coconut. It is high in calcium and offers a good alternative to dairy milk for anyone who’s lactose intolerant or just doesn’t like dairy milk for one reason or another. Coconut milk itself contains a large amount of coconut oil, and its health benefits—and drawbacks—are almost identical as a result. Have a cut or two a day, no problem, but don’t overdo it.

 

Cocunut Oil and the Fountain of Youth

Coconut oil is a natural oil derived by pressing the tough white “meat” of the palm coconut, which produces as thick, transparent liquid oil that solidifies at room temperature into a hard white greasy mass. Coconut oil is greatly extolled as an anti-aging “superfood” that’s good for your heart, skin, and hair, a natural anti-ager, and great to consume just about as much as you want of with only positive effects.

Of course, as with many foods or substances of near-legendary hype status, the truth is a bit more mixed than that. Let’s dive into some of the most commonly proclaimed virtues of coconut oil and separate fact from fiction.

Coconut oil

Coconut Oil: “It’s a Healthy Fat, So Eat Up!”
About 84% of coconut oil’s calories are from saturated fat (compared to olive oil’s 14% and butter’s 63%), but it is frequently claimed that high quantities of coconut oil are fine, or even good, because they contain “good” fats. Specifically, coconut oil is made up primarily of medium-chain triglycerides (aka MCTs). MCTs are supposedly better than the more common longer-chain lipids, which are found in large quantities in vegetable oil, dairy, and animal fats.

There are studies that point to coconut oil providing an increased level of HDL cholesterol, which is considered the “good” kind of cholesterol because it helps remove plaque from your arteries. That said, coconut oil consumption also increases LDL cholesterol, aka the “bad” kind, which can cause plaque buildup in your arteries. Granted, small amounts of even “bad” cholesterol are necessary for survival because many essential hormones are synthesized from cholesterol (which is why “zero cholesterol” diets are a terrible idea, and can be dangerous, while low cholesterol diets are more sensible), but you don’t need more than just a little. In any case, the fact that coconut oil increases “good” cholesterol is countered by the fact that it also increases the “bad” kind, meaning it’s far from the freebie food that you can just eat however much you want of, and should be consumed in as much moderation as any other food high in saturated fat (in other words, go ahead and add a tablespoon to your coffee if you like the taste and the way it feels, but that’s about where you should stop on an average day).

Anti-Aging?
Coconut oil does contain antioxidants, and for this reason is often said to be an anti-aging superfood that does everything from slow down wrinkling of the skin to aiding with memory issues arising from Alzheimer’s. While it does have beneficial antioxidants, it’s antioxidant count is fairly low, and you’d be better off with high-antioxidant fruits, vegetables, and grains.

Skin and Hair
So coconut oil may not be the magical superfood it’s hyped up to be, but what about applications to skin and hair care?

This one actually has a fair bit of truth to it. While coconut oil alone shouldn’t replace a solid hair or skincare routine, a small dab of it on your face on top of your moisturizer can be a great help moisturizing, and a little bit rubbed into your hair can help prevent damage, too. Just don’t overdo it; oil is still oil, and can cause breakouts or greasy looking hair/skin if you use way too much.

Top Anti-Aging Oils

Beauty oils have been a major skincare trend for several years and there is a reason that these products continue to be popular – they are effective, yet gentle. If you use the right oils, you can not only add moisture to your skin, you can also arm it against environmental damage, stimulate collagen production and decrease signs of aging like discoloration. With so many oils available, it can be difficult to know where to start looking. Below, find four of the absolute best oils you can use for anti-aging.

Sweet Almond Oil

Sweet Almond Oil
Dry skin is one of the most common frustrations when it comes to aging, and sweet almond oil is incredible at thoroughly hydrating your skin. Sweet almond oil contains significant amounts of vitamins E and K which helps your skin regenerate and maintain elasticity in addition to improving circulation. While sweet almond oil is not a substitute for sunscreen, it is a natural ultraviolet radiation blocker and it can increase the effectiveness of your sunscreens. Sweet almond oil is the perfect anti-aging oil for you if you aren’t fond of overly oily oils or pungent smells that can accompany other oils. This oil is nearly odorless and absorbs rather quickly into the skin.

Coconut Oil

Coconut Oil
Antioxidants are incredibly helpful in the fight against aging, and coconut oil is extremely high in the antioxidant vitamin E. This skin-softening antioxidant also helps protect your skin against environmental damage, including UV radiation, and fights wrinkle-causing free radicals. Coconut oil is also composed mainly of lauric acid – a medium chain fatty acid that provides skin benefits. Coconut oil can help with signs of aging all over the body and may help fade the appearance of not only wrinkles, but stretch marks as well. This oil has a pleasant, mild coconut smell and is in solid form until heated.

Argan Oil

Argan Oil
There is a reason that argan oil has become omnipresent in the world of beauty – it works. Argan oil is composed of about 80 percent fatty acids which are known to help erase visible signs of aging such as wrinkles. Argan oil is full of antioxidants that protect against environmental concerns like UV rays. One prominent sign of aging is hyperpigmentation, or sun spots, that indicate previous damage and argan oil can help fade these spots of discoloration for a more even complexion. Argan oil also encourages and increases the rate of regeneration of healthy skin cells, meaning that newer, healthier skin cells improve the appearance of your skin.

Apricot Kernel Oil

Apricot Kernel Oil
If you have dry and damaged skin, apricot kernel oil is perhaps the best anti-aging oil available for you. Apricot kernel oil contains the intensely hydrating omega-6 gamma-linoleic acid to nourish your skin, while vitamins A and E encourage regeneration of skin cells and promotes the production of collagen to fight wrinkles and keep skin smooth and even. You do not have to have dry or damaged skin to use apricot kernel oil for anti-aging, this oil is considered non-greasy and does not take too long to absorb into the skin.

When looking to anti-aging oils be sure to select those that are labeled as organic, unrefined and cold-pressed. These oils retain the most vitamins and nutrients and provide the maximum benefits to your skin. You can use the above oils on their own or as a carrier oil for blends of essential oils, such as tea tree for acne. If you are looking for great anti-aging benefits in your skincare products, check out one of these four incredible anti-aging oils.

Most Effective Winter Ingredients

Cold weather has arrived and more is on the way. If your skin tends to suffer significant damage when the temperature dips, you know the frustration of trying to keep your skin well moisturized and healthy. Fortunately, we have you covered with our three most effective winter skin care ingredients, all of which are all natural. These ingredients add moisture, lock in moisture and keep your skin looking and feeling healthy despite the rough winter weather.

Shea butter.

Shea Butter
Shea butter is a rich, creamy superfood for your skin. It is derived from the seeds of the fruit grown on Shea trees. Originating in Africa, shea butter has been used for centuries as an effective way to care for skin. Shea butter is nutrient rich and it contains the vitamins A, E and F in addition to essential fatty acids your skin requires. Due to the vitamins and fatty acids found in shea butter, it is an incredible ingredient to add moisture to your skin during the harsh winter months. It also helps your skin to retain moisture and its own essential oils to prevent further dryness. Shea butter contains oleic, linoleic and stearic acids and it aids your body in collagen production. With consistent use, many people notice not only is their skin more moisturized, it is also much smoother in consistency. You can use shea butter all over your body and if you have very dry skin, you could use it on your face. If you have oily skin, you may want to use shea butter only around the eye area as it might be too rich for your skin as an overall facial moisturizer.

Meadowfoam Seed Oil
If you haven’t heard of meadowfoam seed oil, you aren’t alone but you may want to pay attention. Meadowfoam seed oil is a carrier oil, like sweet almond or jojoba oil, and it is incredible for moisturizing dry winter skin. Like jojoba oil, meadowfoam seed oil is a bit waxy in texture and is excellent for adding moisture to your skin. Because of the nutrients and antioxidant properties of meadowfoam seed oil, this winter skin care ingredient works to improve the barrier function of your skin. This mean that at the same time meadowfoam seed oil adds moisture to your skin, it also retains that moisture for significant periods of time. Again, to receive the nutrient benefits of meadowfoam seed oil, you want to be sure you are purchasing cold-pressed and unrefined oil.

Coconut oil.

Coconut Oil
Unrefined, cold-pressed, virgin coconut oil is an excellent skin care ingredient at all times of the year, including winter. This all-purpose oil can be used for a huge variety of skin care needs from removing stubborn eye makeup to acting as a moisturizer for your entire body. If you have acne-prone skin and are using coconut oil on your face, be sure that you are purchasing unrefined, cold-pressed, virgin coconut oil as refined coconut oil may clog pores. One of the components of coconut oil that make it such a great ingredient for winter skin is the concentration of vitamin E. Vitamin E helps repair skin damage and prevents skin from cracking due to extreme dryness. Your skin isn’t the only thing to dry out during the winter; you may find that your hair does as well. Slather some coconut oil on your hair and wait 30 minutes before washing for a deep conditioning treatment.

These three natural skin care ingredients are an excellent way to increase moisture and improve the health of your skin when the elements outside make it difficult to do so. Be sure to avoid anything that strips your skin of moisture such as products that contain alcohol or fragrances. Invest in some spa gloves and socks and apply one of these all natural skin care ingredients before hitting your sheets at night. Cover with the gloves and socks and you will wake up to incredibly moisturized and smooth skin. Enjoy your softer, healthier skin all winter long when you use one, or more, of these incredibly effective winter skin care ingredients.

Cooking Healthy: Butter VS Coconut Oil

To keep yourself at your healthiest and happiest, it is important to eat a balanced and nutritious diet. Maintaining a healthy eating plan can seem a bit overwhelming. Maybe you know what to look for in the produce aisle or the dairy section, but you aren’t sure what to do with it when you get home. The way in which you prepare your meals is as important as the ingredients you select. Both butter and coconut oil are popular cooking substances, but which one is the healthier option? Vine Vera did a bit of research to help you decide whether you should be cooking with butter or with coconut oil.

Nutritional Information
In a one tablespoon serving, coconut oil has 117 calories, 14 grams of total fat and 12 grams of saturated fat. A one tablespoon serving of unsalted butter contains 102 calories, 12 grams of total fat and 7 grams of saturated fats. The percentage of fat from saturated fat in coconut oil is 86% whereas the percentage of fat from saturated fat in butter is 58%.

Based on the numbers alone, it appears that butter would be the healthier choice when it comes to cooking. However, there are more factors to consider when deciding on whether to cook with coconut oil or butter.

Butter and coconut oil for cooking

Benefits of Coconut Oil and Butter
Saturated fats are composed of building blocks known as saturated fatty acids. Lauric, stearic, palmitic and myristic acids are all types of saturated fatty acids. Some of the saturated fatty acids in both butter and coconut oil are medium-chain fatty acids, which may be less likely to be stored in the body as fat tissue than other types of fatty acids. Because medium-chain fatty acids are broken down differently in the body, they may even help you lose weight when used in moderation.

The main saturated fatty acid in coconut oil is lauric acid, which boosts level of HDL (the good) cholesterol and that may help neutralize the risk of having heart disease. Although lauric acid raises helpful HDL levels, it also does raise the levels of LDL (the bad) cholesterol as well.

The primary saturated fatty acid in butter palmitic acid, but it also contains a small amount conjugated linoleic acid. Linoleic  acid is thought to help revitalize your metabolism and may have other health benefits. Butter also contains a good amount of vitamins A, D and K2. Vitamin K2 is a heart-friendly vitamin that is associated with a lower level of plaque buildup in the arteries.

Which One is Healthier for Cooking?
When it comes to whether one is better than the other for cooking, the answer is neither. While both coconut oil and butter have positive benefits and potentially negative aspects, neither are particularly harmful or helpful. Canola or olive oils are a healthier choice for cooking, but when used in moderation coconut oil and butter are tasty ways to prepare your foods.

As with all things, moderation really is the key. While neither butter nor coconut oil is particularly healthy as a cooking agent, neither of them are things to completely avoid in the kitchen. Use coconut oil in dishes with bold and exotic flavors, such as a Thai curry or use unsalted butter to make a tasty omelet for breakfast. Used sparingly, both coconut oil and butter can be a part of a healthy and balanced diet.