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9 Easy Beauty Hacks Using Coconut Oil

9 Easy Beauty Hacks Using Coconut Oil

Coconut oil has quickly become one of the most talked about and celebrated natural oils – and with good reason. Coconut oil is rich in vitamins K, E and Iron. It also contains lauric acid with natural anti-bacterial qualities. Considered a wonder fruit, it has numerous health benefits that help increase metabolism, regulate cholesterol levels and reduce damaging effects of various diseases such as diabetes.

Aside from these, there are many other good uses for coconut oil that will keep you and your beauty routine healthy. Here are 10 coconut oil uses that will fit right into your beauty regimen:

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1. Using Coconut Oil for Hair Conditioner

Women in the olden days use coconut oil for hair care. It is known to be the secret for long, thick, and shiny locks. Even most shampoos today include coconut oil as one of their ingredients. Coconut oil gives hair intense moisture. It also fights dandruff and keeps your scalp healthy.

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    Image by Susy Morris via Flickr    
    • To condition your hair with coconut oil, simply heat the oil until it’s slightly warm before combing it through your hair. Wrap your hair with a towel or shower cap before washing it out a few hours later or the next morning.
    • If you suffer from frizzy dry hair, you can also use coconut oil to treat it. Simply rub a little bit of coconut oil in your hand and run your fingers through your hair to smooth it over. Massage your hair through its roots and scrunch them a bit for some volume.

    2. Using Coconut Oil for Lip Balm

    Coconut oil makes for a wonderful lip balm. It’s nourishing, moisturizing and has this great natural coconut scent that smells good. It can also soothe chapped lips and give you soft and supple healthy-looking lips.

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    • For dry, flaking lips mix some slightly warm coconut oil with sugar and a small drizzle with honey. Use this to very gently exfoliate your lips and rid them of dry skin. Use your finger and make a light circular motion. This concoction will leave your lips kissable and luscious.

    3. Using Coconut Oil Pulling To Whiten Teeth

    Coconut oil possesses anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties, which makes it great for treating mouth bacteria and removing plaque. It is a known technique to keep your teeth white and breath fresh. It also promotes gum health and reduces risk of tooth decay.

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      Image by Phu Thinh Co via Flickr                                                                                                                                     
      • Coconut oil pulling is a traditional Ayurveda practice of swishing a tablespoon of oil around your mouth for a recommended period of twenty minutes or so.

       4. Using Coconut Oil as a Makeup Remover

      Coconut oil is a great makeup remover because it solubilizes water-resistant substances  in various makeup products like mascaras and eye shadows. It also promotes clear skin, reduces wrinkles, and leaves your face moisturized.

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      • For a brilliant makeup remover, dip a cotton wool pad in coconut oil and use it wipe makeup off. It removes eyeliner and mascara particularly well. As a bonus, coconut oil will seep into your eyelashes, condition them and promote growth. Cconut oil also enhances the pigmentation of your lashes and can be used to smooth down any untamed eyebrow hairs.

       5. Using Coconut Oil as a Body Lotion

      Coconut oil can be used as a body lotion on its own or even added to your current body lotion. Coconut oil contains antioxidants that help reduce skin aging by fighting off free-radicals. Coconut oil works great for treating acne and eczema.

      • Simply apply a tablespoon coconut oil and mix it with your current body lotion. Best applied after a hot bath or shower, coconut oil will lock the moisture into your skin. It helps soothe irritation, heal bites and scratches leaving your skin soft and smooth

      6. Using Coconut Oil as a Shaving Cream

      Coconut oil as a shaving cream will moisturize skin and prevent razor burns.  When applied with aloe vera, it can also make your skin smooth and reduce rash and irritation.

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        Image by sunny mama via Flickr
        • Apply a teaspoon of coconut oil per leg after bath or shower and use as a shaving cream. The oil will prevent any rough friction from your razor as well as help soften the hair for a smooth shave. You don’t have to worry about using too much of the oil as any left-over oil will act as a moisturizing after-shave!

        7. Using Coconut Oil for cuticles

        Coconut oil as nail cuticles will help strengthen your nails and even have anti-aging effects to your hands. This is due to the antioxidants that will help reduce the appearance of age spots and wrinkles.

        • Use coconut oil as, or mixed into, your hand lotion and apply. Massage the oil into your hands paying special attention to your cuticles and nails.

        8. Using Coconut Oil as Body Scrub

        Coconut oil can also be a great exfoliating body scrub that will keep your skin moisturized and feeling young and fresh.

        • To make an exfoliating body scrub simply mixes coconut oil with either some sugar, sea salt or a mixture of the two. You can also add lemon and honey or any essential oils for a great smelling scrub that will leave your skin nourished and glowing. Other variations include adding freshly crushed lavender to the scrub, olive oil or vanilla extract.

        9. Using Coconut Oil for Foot Scrub

        You can also use coconut oil for foot scrub. The anti-bacterial and anti-fungal qualities of coconut oil will keep your feet free of any fungi. The scrub exfoliates and softens the sole of your feet. It will also treat dry cracked heels.

        • Using the coconut oil gently scrub it on your feet and between the toes. You can use this as treatment for athlete’s foot. Experts recommend scrubbing foot with coconut oil at least once a week.

        It’s clear that coconut oil can do it all. From conditioned, silky locks to beautifully soft feet: coconut oil is truly a girl’s best friend. Adding this ingredient to your beauty routine is not only an affordable choice but a very smart one.

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        Armela Escalona

        Freelance Writer

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        How to Control Your Thoughts and Become the Master of Your Mind

        How to Control Your Thoughts and Become the Master of Your Mind

        Your mind is the most powerful tool you have for the creation of good in your life, but if not used correctly, can also be the most destructive force in your life.

        Your mind, more specifically, your thoughts, affect your perception and therefore, your interpretation of reality.

        I have heard that the average person thinks around 70,000 thoughts a day. That’s a lot, especially if they are unproductive, self-abusive and just a general waste of energy.

        You can let your thoughts run amok, but why would you? It is your mind, your thoughts; isn’t it time to take your power back? Isn’t it time to take control?

        Choose to be the person who is actively, consciously thinking your thoughts. Become the master of your mind.

        When you change your thoughts, you will change your feelings as well, and you will also eliminate the triggers that set off those feelings. Both of these outcomes provide you with a greater level of peace in your mind.

        I currently have few thoughts that are not of my own choosing or a response from my reprogramming. I am the master of my mind, so now my mind is quite peaceful. Yours can be too!

        Who Is Thinking My Thoughts?

        Before you can become the master of your mind, you must recognize that you are currently at the mercy of several unwanted “squatters” living in your mind, and they are in charge of your thoughts. If you want to be the boss of them, you must know who they are and what their motivation is, and then you can take charge and evict them.

        Here are four of the “squatters” in your head that create the most unhealthy and unproductive thoughts:

        1. The Inner Critic

        This is your constant abuser. He is often a conglomeration of:

        • Other people’s words; many times your parents.
        • Thoughts you have created based on your own or other peoples expectations.
        • Comparing yourself to other people, including those in the media.
        • The things you told yourself as a result of painful experiences such as betrayal and rejection. Your interpretation creates your self-doubt and self-blame, which are most likely undeserved in cases of rejection and betrayal.

        He is motivated by pain, low self-esteem, lack of self-acceptance and lack of self-love.

        Why else would he abuse you? And since “he” is actually you– why else would you abuse yourself? Why would you let anyone treat you this badly?

        2. The Worrier

        This person lives in the future; in the world of “what ifs.”

        He is motivated by fear which is often irrational and with no basis for it.

        Occasionally, he is motivated by fear that what happened in the past will happen again.

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        3. The Reactor or Trouble-Maker

        He is the one that triggers anger, frustration and pain. These triggers stem from unhealed wounds of the past. Any experience that is even closely related to a past wound will set him off.

        He can be set off by words or feelings. He can even be set off by sounds and smells.

        He has no real motivation; he has poor impulse control and is run by past programming that no longer serves you, if it ever did.

        4. The Sleep Depriver

        This can be a combination of any number of different squatters including the inner planner, the rehasher, and the ruminator, along with the inner critic and the worrier.

        His motivation can be:

        • As a reaction to silence, which he fights against
        • Taking care of the business you neglected during the day
        • Self-doubt, low self-esteem, insecurity and generalized anxiety
        • As listed above for the inner critic and worrier

        How can you control these squatters?

        How to Master Your Mind

        You are the thinker and the observer of your thoughts. You must pay attention to your thoughts so you can identify “who” is running the show; this will determine which technique you will want to use.

        Begin each day with the intention of paying attention to your thoughts and catching yourself when you are thinking undesirable thoughts.

        There are two ways to control your thoughts:

        • Technique A – Interrupt and replace them
        • Technique B – Eliminate them altogether

        This second option is what is known as peace of mind!

        The technique of interrupting and replacing is a means of reprogramming your subconscious mind. Eventually, the replacement thoughts will become the “go to” thoughts in the applicable situations.

        Use Technique A with the Inner Critic and Worrier and Technique B with the Reactor and Sleep Depriver.

        For the Inner Critic

        When you catch yourself thinking something negative about yourself (calling yourself names, disrespecting yourself, or berating yourself), interrupt it.

        You can yell (in your mind), “Stop! No!” or, “Enough! I’m in control now.” Then, whatever your negative thought was about yourself, replace it with an opposite or counter thought or an affirmation that begins with “I am.”

        For example, if your thought is, “I’m such a loser,” you can replace it with, “I am a Divine Creation of the Universal Spirit. I am a perfect spiritual being learning to master the human experience. I am a being of energy, light, and matter. I am magnificent, brilliant, and beautiful. I love and approve of myself just as I am.”

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        You can also have a dialogue with yourself with the intention of discrediting the ‘voice’ that created the thought, if you know whose voice it is:

        “Just because so-and-so said I was a loser doesn’t make it true. It was his or her opinion, not a statement of fact. Or maybe they were joking and I took it seriously because I’m insecure.”

        If you recognize that you have recurring self-critical thoughts, you can write out or pre-plan your counter thoughts or affirmation so you can be ready. This is the first squatter you should evict, forcefully, if necessary:

        • He riles up the Worrier.
        • The names you call yourself become triggers when called those names by others, so he also maintains the presence of the Reactor.
        • He is often present when you try to fall asleep so he perpetuates the Sleep Depriver.
        • He is a bully and is verbally and emotionally abusive.
        • He is the destroyer of self-esteem. He convinces you that you’re not worthy. He’s a liar! In the interest of your self-worth, get him out!

        Eliminate your worst critic and you will also diminish the presence of the other three squatters.

        Replace him with your new best friend who supports, encourages, and enhances your life. This is a presence you want in your mind.

        For the Worrier

        Prolonged anxiety is mentally, emotionally and physically unhealthy. It can have long-term health implications.

        Fear initiates the fight or flight response, creates worry in the mind and creates anxiety in the body.

        You should be able to recognize a “worry thought” immediately by how you feel. The physiological signs that the fight or flight response of fear has kicked in are:

        • Increased heart rate, blood pressure, or surge of adrenaline
        • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
        • Muscles tense

        Use the above stated method to interrupt any thought of worry and then replace it. But this time you will replace your thoughts of worry with thoughts of gratitude for the outcome you wish for.

        If you believe in a higher power, this is the time to engage with it. Here is an example:

        Instead of worrying about my loved ones traveling in bad weather, I say the following (I call it a prayer):

        “Thank you great spirit for watching over _______. Thank you for watching over his/her car and keeping it safe, road-worthy, and free of maintenance issues without warning. Thank you for surrounding him/her with only safe, conscientious, and alert drivers. And thank you for keeping him/her safe, conscientious, and alert.”

        Smile when you think about it or say it aloud, and phrase it in the present tense; both of these will help you feel it and possibly even start to believe it.

        If you can visualize what you are praying for, the visualization will enhance the feeling so you will increase the impact in your vibrational field.

        Now take a calming breath, slowly in through your nose, and slowly out through the mouth. Take as many as you like!

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        Replacing fearful thoughts with gratitude will decrease reactionary behavior, taking the steam out of the Reactor.

        For example:

        If your child gets lost in the mall, the typical parental reaction that follows the fearful thoughts when finding them is to yell at them.

        “I told you never to leave my sight.” This reaction just adds to the child’s fear level from being lost in the first place. Plus, it also teaches them that mom and/or dad will get mad when he or she makes a mistake, which may make them lie to you or not tell you things in the future.

        Change those fearful thoughts when they happen:

        “Thank You (your choice of Higher Power) for watching over my child and keeping him safe. Thank you for helping me find him soon.”

        Then, when you see your child after this thought process, your only reaction will be gratitude, and that seems like a better alternative for all people involved.

        For the Trouble-Maker, Reactor or Over-Reactor

        Permanently eliminating this squatter will take a bit more attention and reflection after the fact to identify and heal the causes of the triggers; but until then, you can prevent the Reactor from getting out of control by initiating conscious breathing as soon as you recognize his presence.

        The Reactor’s thoughts or feelings activate the fight or flight response just like with the Worrier. The physiological signs of his presence will be the same. With a little attention, you should be able to tell the difference between anxiety, anger, frustration, or pain:

        • Increased heart rate and blood pressure; surge of adrenaline
        • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
        • Muscles tension

        I’m sure you’ve heard the suggestion to count to ten when you get angry—well, you can make those ten seconds much more productive if you are breathing consciously during that time.

        Conscious breathing is as simple as it sounds; just be conscious of your breathing. Pay attention to the air going in and coming out.

        Breathe in through your nose:

        • Feel the air entering your nostrils.
        • Feel your lungs filling and expanding.
        • Focus on your belly rising.

        Breathe out through your nose:

        • Feel your lungs emptying.
        • Focus on your belly falling.
        • Feel the air exiting your nostrils.

        Do this for as long as you like. Leave the situation if you want. This gives the adrenaline time to normalize.

        Now you can address the situation with a calmer, more rational perspective and avoid damaging behavior.

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        One of the troubles this squatter causes is that it adds to the sleep depriver’s issues. By evicting, or at least controlling the Reactor, you will decrease reactionary behavior, which will decrease the need for the rehashing and ruminating that may keep you from falling asleep.

        Master your mind and stop the Reactor from bringing stress to you and your relationships!

        For the Sleep Depriver

        (He’s made up of the Inner Planner, the Rehasher and the Ruminator, along with the Inner Critic and the Worrier.)

        I was plagued with a very common problem: not being able to turn off my mind at bedtime. This inability prevented me from falling asleep and thus, getting a restful and restorative night’s sleep.

        Here’s how I mastered my mind and evicted the Sleep Depriver and all his cronies.

        1. I started by focusing on my breathing—paying attention to the rise and fall of my belly—but that didn’t keep the thoughts out for long. (Actually, I now start with checking my at-rest mouth position to keep me from clenching.)
        2. Then I came up with replacement strategy that eliminated uncontrolled thinking—imagining the word in while breathing in and thinking the word out when breathing out. I would (and do) elongate the word to match the length of my breath.

        When I catch myself thinking, I shift back to in, out. With this technique, I am still thinking, sort of, but the wheels are no longer spinning out of control. I am in control of my mind and I choose quiet.

        From the first time I tried this method I started to yawn after only a few cycles and am usually asleep within ten minutes.

        For really difficult nights, I add an increase of attention by holding my eyes in a looking-up position (Closed, of course!). Sometimes I try to look toward my third eye but that really hurts my eyes.

        If you have trouble falling asleep because you can’t shut off your mind, I strongly recommend you try this technique. I still use it every night. You can start sleeping better tonight!

        You can also use this technique any time you want to:

        • Fall back to sleep if you wake up too soon.
        • Shut down your thinking.
        • Calm your feelings.
        • Simply focus on the present moment. 

        Becoming the Master of Your Mind

        Your mind is a tool, and like any other tool, it can be used for constructive purposes or for destructive purposes.

        You can allow your mind to be occupied by unwanted, undesirable and destructive tenants, or you can choose desirable tenants like peace, gratitude, compassion, love, and joy.

        Your mind can become your best friend, your biggest supporter, and someone you can count on to be there and encourage you. The choice is yours!

        Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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