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Which Oils Are Best For My Skin–Part 2

In the first part of this post we discussed Olive oil and Jojoba–two oils with long shelf lives that can be used multiple ways with personal care benefits. In the second part of this post we will be talking about Coconut oil–yet another versatile oil–in the hope that you can decide which oil is best for your particular skin. We also include a recipe that you can use to create a simple salve that you can personalize with your own favorite ingredients.

Coconut Palm

Coconut Oil

For soapmakers, coconut oil is a treasure because it adds the much desired frothy lather to  soap that is difficult to achieve with other vegetable oils.  Coconut oil is derived from copra, or the dried coconut meat and soapmakers can choose from 76, 92, 101, or 110 degree oils each with its own corresponding melting point.  For instance, 76 degree coconut oil melts at 76 degrees etc. Every soapmaker has a preference depending upon their processing temperatures.  At the Kulturology Soap Company we use 76 degree coconut oil because we process at the lowest temperatures…generally 80 degrees.  However, for use as a moisturizer we prefer organic, undeodorized 76 degree coconut oil.  The smell is just devine!!  Keep in mind however, that coconut oil is not liquid until it reaches its melting point.

76 degree Coconut oil
76 degree Coconut Oil

Coconut oil has natural anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties and therefore is beneficial for acne sufferers.  It can be used as a hair masque, breath freshener, skin moisturizer, lip balm, massage oil, deep conditioning treatment for hair, cuticle conditioning, and as a natural salve.  Coconut oil truly is a versatile item to have in your natural skin care arsenal.  A word of caution however; too much coconut oil can have the opposite effect on skin and hair, causing it to dry out.

Coconut Palm
Coconut Palm

We have barely scratched the surface of available oils out there. Sunflower, safflower, sweet almond, grapeseed, and avocado oils come immediately to mind. However, olive oil, jojoba, and coconut are three oils that offer a stable shelf live and the greatest number of personal uses. Mountain Rose Herbs is a wonderful resource for a multitude of natural oils.   

Recipe

All of the oils discussed above can be used alone or combined with various butters and waxes to create your own salve.  Here is a simple recipe that you can customize based on personal preferences.

1 oz beeswax

2 oz vegetable butter of your choice (we love organic cocoa or shea butter)

2 oz vegetable oil of your choice (olive oil, jojoba, avocado, sunflower, endless possibilities)

The most difficult and messiest part of this recipe is melting the beeswax.  DO NOT USE YOUR FAVORITE POT FOR THIS!!  If you have never worked with beeswax, this will be a learning experience.  For small quantities you can use a small mason jar set in a small pot of water over low to medium heat.  Beeswax quickly solidifies when removed from heat and becomes almost impossible to remove from pots, clothes etc.  We use locally sourced beeswax in our Boo Boo Balm from a local beekeeper.

Boo Boo Balm
Boo Boo Balm

While melting the beeswax, measure out and heat together the oils and butters.  DO NOT GET DISTRACTED!!  Remember you are heating oil!!!  Once the beeswax and butters are melted it’s time to mix them together and pour into small pots or jars.  If you would like to add essential oils, add them after all the ingredients are combined and beginning to cool but before the mixture begins to set up.  The recipe will produce 5 ounces of salve…we like to use one ounce amber glass jars to protect salve from light. 

Whether you decide to venture into your own salve making or not we hope you find the information we have provided helpful.  And, that you are ready to build your own natural skin care pantry!!