If you’ve been reading The Organic Beauty for awhile, you know that my number one secret for gorgeous skin and hair is oil. I use it to wash my face, moisturize my skin, and condition my hair (among many other beauty tricks). Being a slightly lazy organic beauty, I opt for simplicity — pure jojoba, argan, and coconut oils. But simple can definitely get a little boring.
These amazing gluten-free, flourless pancakes are moist, absolutely delicious, and loaded with healthy fats and antioxidants. An Organic Beauty weekend favorite!
Flourless Blueberry Coconut Pancakes
3 large ripe bananas
5 eggs, lightly beaten
½ cup shredded dried coconut, plus more for garnish
1 cup fresh blueberries, plus more for garnish
½ teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons coconut oil
Pure maple syrup or agave (optional)
In a medium bowl, mash the bananas with a fork. Whisk in the eggs and coconut until combined. If needed, you can add a little more coconut to achieve desired pancake batter consistency. Stir in the blueberries and cinnamon. Heat coconut oil in a large nonstick pan, over medium heat, until melted. Working in batches, pour ¼ cup portions of the batter onto the skillet (you should be able to cook 4 pancakes at a time). Cook the pancakes until the bottoms are golden brown, about 2 minutes. Gently flip the pancakes and cook until golden brown on the second side, about 1 minute longer. Transfer the pancakes to a plate and repeat with the remaining batter. Stack the pancakes and garnish with additional coconut and blueberries. Garnish with maple syrup or agave, if using, and serve immediately.
We’ve been touting all the benefits of coconut oil on The Organic Beauty of late, and we want to share with you all of the amazing benefits of this magical beauty and health ingredient you might already have in your cupboard! If you aren’t using coconut oil in your cooking and beauty regimen yet, you need to be! Check out Go Nuts for Coconut Oil (6 Amazing Benefits and 10 Beauty Tricks), and our Amazing Benefits of Coconut Oil infographic to learn why this is your secret to shining, healthy hair, moist, radiant and clear skin, and healthy gut and even a trimmer waist line! You can also read about all the favorite coconut oil beauty tips of various health and beauty experts, including yours truly, over on AllParenting.
So in honor of all this coconut obsessing, we’re giving away a duo of Pure Fiji Coconut Milk and Creme Shampoo and Conditioner! (Retail $50)
We fell in love with the Pure Fiji line of products on our honeymoon (in Fiji!), and absolutely loved the moisturizing natural ingredients and delicious scent. This ultra nourishing shampoo and conditioner feature exotic blends of coconut crème, cold-pressed oil, island drift-nut extracts, and sugar cane derived cleansers, and is fortified with soy and wheat proteins, which helps repair damage and improves resilience – restoring bounce and shine for healthy looking hair. And of course, this line is sulphate-free!
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By: Stephanie Heino
At this point, I am sure you are all aware of how yummy coconut tastes, but did you know that it also offers a great myriad of health and beauty benefits? My all-time favorite fruit is complex and versatile and can be used in a lot of different areas they you may not be aware of. We have all seen people going crazy for coconut water in an attempt to hydrate their body in the best possible way, and recently all I see and hear when visiting grocery stores, juice bars and beauty stores is what a great natural all in one product coconut really is.
Let us see what the hype is all about!
6 Things to Love About Coconut Oil
1. It may help with weight loss. Coconut oil contains medium-chain triglycerides that are metabolized differently than fats from other oils. These unique fats may help with weight loss. It also contains Vitamin E, K as well as minerals such as iron. Coconut oil has also been proven to stimulate your metabolism, improve thyroid function, and escalate energy levels, all of which help decrease your unwanted fat, while increasing muscle. Because of this, coconut oil has shot to popularity by being the world’s only natural low-calorie fat.
2. It can raise your good cholesterol. Although coconut oil contains saturated fats, it’s not the bad kind you normally think of. In fact, coconut oil can raise your good HDL cholesterol and give you a dose of antioxidants! When coconut oil was first brought to the U.S., there was a lot of negative hype about it because it contains high levels of saturated fat, but don’t panic! People were concerned that it increased cholesterol and contributed to heart disease—but this is a myth. It actually lowers cholesterol and reduces the chances of heart disease. This is because its fat content is simply changed into energy, lessening the likelihood of fat buildup in the arteries and heart.
3. It may strengthen your immune system. Coconut oil contains antimicrobial lipids, lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid, which have antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral properties. This can help in fighting harmful bacteria and illness in the body! (Goodbye acne!). If you consume coconut in any of its various forms (whether it be raw coconut, coconut oil, coconut milk, coconut butter, etc.), it can help treat some of mankind’s worst and most resilient of illnesses such as influenza, giardia, lice, throat infections, urinary tract infections, tapeworms, herpes, gonorrhea, bronchitis, and numerous other ailments caused by microbials.
4. It helps you to absorb important minerals. The fats and substances in coconut oil help your body to better absorb calcium and magnesium, which are important for healthy bones and teeth. It also prevents osteoporosis (a condition in which the bones become thin and fragile and lose their density). This makes coconuts a good, healthy alternative for those who are lactose intolerant, but still want to have strong bones and teeth. Those who prefer a vegan diet can benefit from it as a good source of protein and fatty acids.
5. Provides amazing nutrition. Whether you’re eating the meat, drinking the juice, or consuming it as oil, coconuts are a delicious and nutritious source of fiber, vitamins, minerals and amino acids. It has tons of calcium, potassium, and magnesium, as well as plenty of electrolytes. In fact, coconut water is known to have the same electrolyte levels as human plasma, and is one of the reasons people zip it up in the summer!
6. It helps with blood sugar levels. Coconut oil also helps control blood sugar levels by improving the secretion of insulin and the utilization of blood glucose.
You can use coconut in a myriad of different ways (cooking, baking, smoothies and as beauty remedies) and forms (coconut water, coconut milk, coconut crystals, coconut flour and nectar, etc.) so make sure to pick up your raw, organic cold press coconut oil the next time you go to the health food store for your fruits and veggies. Coconut oil is ideal for high heat cooking since it is the only oil that does not create toxic byproducts (those that cause wrinkles on your face ladies!) when heated. Also get rid of your petroleum based creams that plug your pores, causing pimples and generally poison your body and start using something that’s really good for you and the planet!
10 Amazing Beauty Tricks With Coconut Oil
1. As a cheekbone highlighter
Nothing perks up a tired face like a little highlighter, but you don’t need store-bought products to achieve the same effect. Simply sweep a small amount of coconut oil on top of makeup and leave it alone. It looks like your skin but adds more glow, which is why many natural makeup brands use it as a base ingredient in their formulas.
2. To shave your legs
Conventional shaving cream is an expensive cocktail of chemicals that you don’t need to get a nice clean shave on your legs or underarms. Coconut oil, on the other hand, is inexpensive, naturally antimicrobial, and smells divine. Plus, its skin-soothing properties will leave your legs looking hydrated!
There’s a reason many conditioners contain coconut oil: It’s better able to penetrate hair (and prevent protein loss) than mineral and sunflower oil. Apply to your hair, comb it, and then pile it into a loose bun. You’ll want to place a soft towel over your pillow or sleep in a shower cap. In the morning, shampoo as usual with a gentle cleanser.
4. To remove eye makeup
Yes, coconut oil even works on waterproof mascara! Put a little on a cotton ball and gently sweep it over your eyes, paying attention to your under-eyes as well. The oil does a great job breaking down waxy, inky eye makeup, and leaves the delicate area hydrated, too. Once you’re done, wash your face as usual.
5. As a body moisturizer
A recent animal study found that when applied topically, virgin coconut oil can speed up wound healing, and a human study found it to be effective in increasing hydration and reducing water loss in seriously dry skin.
Because coconut oil is naturally antibacterial, antifungal, moisturizing many women see miracle when using coconut oil as part of their facial skin care (be careful if you’re adult-acne prone!). Mix the oil with baking soda to create an exfoliator and simply rub the oil in circular motions all over your face and neck, giving yourself a gentle massage as you go. If just using it as a facial wash, leave it on for 10-15 minutes when you are in the shower to get maximum results!
Go nuts for coconuts!
Ever notice how near the end of winter your skin starts looking a little dull and listless? Dry, winter skin causes a build up of dead cells on your skin that make the outer layer look a little less than fabulous. Though there are a lot of good facial scrubs on the market, sometimes all those added ingredients aren’t all that necessary.. I’ve found that a really effective, super easy, and decidedly cheap option is a simply at-home sugar scrub. I did one this morning to wake up my skin a little bit, and noticed an immediate improvement in the brightness, smoothness, and moisture of my skin, not to mention a marked shrinking of a pesky zit I woke up with.
I recommend using a raw, organic sugar of a medium coarse size (a little finer than Sugar in the Raw, but not nearly as fine as table sugar). This size gives you a really good exfoliating effect without being too harsh on the skin.
Just sprinkle about a teaspoon of sugar into your hand and start massaging it onto wet skin, paying special attention to your lips, T-zone, and any other problem areas. Keep exfoliating for a minute or so, until the sugar starts to melt a little bit. Once most of the larger pieces have melted into your skin, leave the sugary sweetness on your face for a few minutes as a mask to reap maximum benefits. Then rinse with warm water.
For dry skin:
Mix the sugar with some olive oil for a super moisturizing scrub!
Add some fresh lemon juice, vanilla extract, or use coconut oil instead of olive oil!
What are these amazing benefits, you might ask? Well…
- Raw sugar is super rich in alpha-hydroxy acids, to help your skin brighten and glow
- Sugar has healing properties that can benefit those with skin issues like psoriasis, eczema, and acne
- Sugar is super hydrating and absorbs into your skin very quickly, without clogging pores
- Sugar absorbs dirt and oil from pores, and works to balance the natural oils of your skin
- Sugar stimulates healthy cell growth and helps circulation of lymphatic fluid
- Sugar is super exfoliating to rough patches not only on your face, but on elbows, knees, and feet as well!
Convinced?? Well then whip your sugar out of your pantry, and get your skin healthy and glowing for spring!