June 27, 2015

Exploring the Jojoba Oil Benefits, Uses, and Composition

Jojoba Oil stock

As I am certain you are aware, there is a rather large number of oil products out there, and though the oils themselves have existed for centuries, if not thousands of years, it is only recently that they've been aggressively breaking through the consumer market.

And that's actually a pretty good thing; these oils are natural and can be very helpful in treating skin and hair problems, at least when used properly. Jojoba oil is one of the oldest and most powerful options out there, which is exactly why you need to take the time to learn more about it.

What's Inside Jojoba Oil?

To begin with, let us have a look at the ingredients that make up our beloved jojoba oil:

  • Fatty Acids: To begin with, just like any oil, this one contains a fairly large amount of fatty acids, including palmitoleic, oleic, eicosenoic and dicosdioenoic acids. Now, what this basically means is that jojoba oil contains a fair amount of useful fatty acids, ones that can have many beneficial effects on the body, and those are discussed a bit further below.
  • Vitamin E: A very well-known actor on the health and beauty stage, vitamin E is essential to the maintenance and repair of skin as well as hair follicles, and jojoba oil offers it in large amounts.
  • Essential Minerals: The oil is also plentiful in a number of minerals essential for skin maintenance and hair growth, such as copper, zing, selenium, chromium and iodine.

Now that we've seen what the oil's made of, it's time to move on and have a look at the jojoba oil benefits that come with using it.

The Jojoba Oil Benefits

Jojoba oil is one of those substances can be used for a number of things, though its benefits can be neatly summed up as follows:

  • Moisturizer: Being an oil with plenty of essential fatty acids, jojoba oil is a very effective moisturizer for both the skin and the scalp, promoting their smoothness and preventing them from drying up and cracking.
  • Antioxidant: Jojoba oil also acts as an antioxidant, meaning that it helps to improve blood flow. This means that it can be used to repair damaged skin and hair and help in their maintenance.
  • Anti-Hair Loss: One of the most useful benefits is that you can use jojoba oil for hair growth. While it may not be able to reverse it completely in every case, it can help to slow down hair loss, in some cases stop it, and in rarer cases, actually improve hair growth.
  • Therapeutic benefits: Jojoba oil has also been observed to be fairly effective at helping to deal with certain skin-related illnesses, such as acne, psoriasis, and even sunburns. Don't think of it as a miracle cure, but rather, as a powerful, natural tool you can use to speed things along.

As you can see, there is no shortage of ways in which the oil can help you. The time has now come to move forward and look at  how to use jojoba oil properly.

A Guide on How to Use Jojoba Oil

To begin with, you must decide on the area you need to apply it to, and the purpose. Let's start by assuming that you plan to use the oil by itself. In that case, you simply need to use a few drops of it on your fingertips, and use those to massage the oil on whatever part of the body it should go on.

If you are using it on a patch of skin, take care to very gently massage in circular motions a thin layer of the oil until it has been completely absorbed. If you are planning on using the jojoba oil on your hair, then you need to follow the same procedure, but ultimately you are going to end up using more of it, seeing as how you have to make sure to massage the oil into your scalp and all along your hair strands. It should be mentioned though that if you are looking to treat some form of hair condition, chances are that you'll only need to massage it into the scalp; the full head of hair treatment is more for beauty purposes.

Alternatively, you can also use the jojoba oil as an ingredient to add in a number of mixtures, and many of them have been mentioned above. Many people prefer to use this method, adding a few drops of heated oil to whatever they are making, mainly because it enhances the effectiveness of other products its mixed with, and vice-versa. In other words, it makes for a much more powerful treatment that often doesn't take much time before you see its effects.

Now that you've been initiated in this world, it's time to have a look at how to choose from the jojoba oil brands out there.

Choosing the Right Jojoba Oil

Whether you look to the left or to the right, you'll see countless choices staring back at you, probably leaving you with a sense of loss. The guidelines for choosing what you need are rather simple. Make sure that you go for a 100% pure and natural oil; this will ensure that there are no chemical additives or filler ingredients that make it less effective.

In addition, make sure it doesn't cost an arm and a leg and that at least the majority of people who used it have something positive to say about it. So long as you follow those recommendations you'll find that choosing between the many jojoba oil products is much easier than expected.

June 23, 2015

Covering Castor Oil for Hair Growth from A to Z

I don't need to tell you just how bad of a deal hair loss can be. It affects so many of us in a lot of different ways for a lot of different reasons, but in the end the results are the same: unsightly baldness in places that shouldn't have it. Now, we're still a very long way from the miracle cure that will change it all and make hair loss a thing of the past... however, we still have plenty of tools to use, and one of those is castor oil for hair growth.

Why Bother with Hair Growth Oil?

When it comes to fighting baldness and promoting hair growth, oils are perhaps one of our greatest inventions for a number of reasons:

  • Most are natural with absolutely no chemicals added.
  • Can be used for maintenance and therapeutic reasons.
  • Can be used for hair as well as skin care.
  • Some have been in use for hundreds, if not thousands of years with stable results.
  • They can be mixed with various additional ingredients to improve their effectiveness naturally.
  • There is no harm even if the oil proves to be ineffective.

Exploring Castor Oil for Hair Growth

So what precisely would make one turn to castor oil above others? Well, there are actually a few reasons to consider:

  • It is one of the oldest oils to be used for hair growth and skin care purposes, being multiple-centuries old.
  • It contains a whole lot of minerals and medium-chain fatty acids (ricinoleic, oleic and linoleic acids, amongst others). In turn, this allows the oil to nourish your hair and skin as well as moisturize it at the same time.
  • It is a pure alternative to the onslaught of chemical options out there and isn't heavy on your wallet.
  • Some of the acids found in castor oil have disinfectant and antibacterial properties, actually making it more helpful when trying to repair damaged hair and skin.

As you can see from this basic overview, this doesn't seem like too bad of a choice if you're looking to try something harmless that may help your hair grow. However, to use castor oil for hair growth properly you'll first need to heed a few instructions.

When and How to Properly Use Castor Oil

So when exactly is it appropriate to use castor oil? To begin with, if you notice that you are starting to lose hair at a faster rate than usual, now would be a good time to start using seeing as how castor oil's main strength lies in preserving hair and stimulating its growth, rather than re-growing it from scratch.

Additionally, if you notice split ends up can usually get rid of them with a bit of oil. If you notice that your scalp is dry and perhaps even looks like it might be infected, then you should definitely use some of the oil for its antiseptic properties; while it can take are of basic scalp infections, you may still want to check in with your doctor to ensure it's not something else. Finally, I should add that you can definitely use castor oil even when you don't have any issues, just for maintenance purposes.

Fortunately, the question of how to use castor oil for hair growth is one of the simpler ones and can be broken down into some very simple steps:

  1. Wash your Hair: Some suggest using the oil on your hair before shampooing, though most people have better success with it when they put it on clean hair. Before using it, gently wash your hair and let it dry until it's just a tiny bit moist.
  2. Heating up the Oil: The next step consists of heating the castor oil mildly in a bowl, and if you so wish, during this step you may mix it with other ingredients, preferably oils as well... but you certainly don't have to. In any case, the goal here is to heat up the oil just enough to make it easily usable so it gets absorbed by the skin more effectively.
  3. Massaging it in the Hair: So your hair is a bit moist and your oil is ready for use. The time has come to take a bit of it on your fingertips and massage it all over your hair strands, from the roots until the tips. Take your time and be gentle with your hands so as not to damage the hair. Only apply a single oil patch at a moment and gently massage the hair to help your body absorb the castor oil.
  4. Massaging it in the Scalp: Once you're done with the hair massage the time has come to move along to your scalp, perhaps one of the most important pieces of the hair growth puzzle. Gently massage the oil into the scalp with circular motions until it becomes completely absorbed, or as close to that as you can manage.
  5. Let it Rest: The next stage consists of simply wrapping your head up in a towel or a shower cap and just letting the oil rest and work its magic. Unless you are trying an overnight treatment, you should let the oil rest between thirty minutes and an hour.
  6. Wash it all off: Once the time has passed, simply hop into your shower and gently wash the oil off with lukewarm water.

If you follow this simple procedure on a daily basis for about two weeks to one month, you'll most definitely start to see some noticeable results, and at this point the only thing that remains is choosing the  castor oil for hair growth you'll be using.

Making a Product Choice

With castor oil being as old as it is, you can expect to see countless products on the market, and you can bet that each and every one of them will claim itself to be the final solution to your problems. Truth be told, most of those products have very few differences between each other; what you should go for are the ones that claim to be 100% pure.

This means that you'll only be getting the castor oil, and in some cases a few additional natural ingredients (ones that cause no harm)... and that point, it matters little which brand you choose. Once you've made your choice amongst the many castor oil products in existence, give it a month or two before deciding if you want to keep on going or switch to something different. Good luck!

Castor Oil for Hair Growth
Courtesy of: StyleCraze

June 19, 2015

Using Organic Virgin Coconut Oil for Hair and Skin Treatment

Refined Virgin Organic Coconut Oil

So the word has gotten around that virgin coconut oil is somewhat of a miracle worker, being capable of both making you healthier and look fabulous. However, in this modern day and age, us the consumers have become much more vigilant when hearing about these so-called miracles.

After all, countless fads have come and gone, each one claiming to be the ultimate solution to all our problems. Contrary to these other fads though, coconut oil seems to have stuck around for some time now, and at this point it's worth digging a little deeper and seeing what lies beneath the surface. And that's exactly what we're going to do: look at the facts behind coconut oil.

What Coconut Oil is Made From

  • Proteins: Coconuts themselves contain a rather large amount of proteins, and it seems that the same goes for the oil that comes out of it. For those who remember their biology classes, proteins contribute to maintaining the body's health in a number of ways, including tissue repair and the replacement of damaged cells. Basically, increasing the number of proteins in your body helps it to heal better.
  • Saturated Fats: Being what it is, coconut oil should be expected to have a high content of saturated fats, and those are predominantly medium chain fatty acids. When applied to the skin, these fats help it to retain its moisture, and when ingested they deposit themselves under the skin, giving a healthier and more rejuvenated appearance.
  • Vitamin E: As it turned out, coconut oil was found to have a large amount of vitamin E, a well-known suspect in the world of skin care. It is an essential vitamin for the body to maintaining, growing and repairing skin, nourishing it, keeping it smooth and protecting it from cracking and wrinkling.
  • Capric, Lauric and Caprylic acids: Though they do not exactly differentiate all that much from the saturated fats found in the coconut oil, these are worth mentioning on their own for their powerful anti-disinfectant properties as well as their ability to increase good cholesterol levels. As a matter of fact, a 2004 research at the University of California-Davis that infections in children were correlating strongly enough with low levels of good cholesterol. These acids will basically help us stay healthier all-around.

So this about covers the main ingredients you are going to find in coconut oil, and unless there is some sort of conspiracy about, the list actually looks pretty reassuring. I do have to warn you though that ingredients can change depending on who provides you the coconut oil. Only brands that claim to be virgin or extra virgin coconut oil should be considered because you can be certain they have no additives.

Coconut oil for anti-aging

Coconut Oil and Skin Care

Now let us go forward and have a look at how coconut oil can be of use for those of us looking to have a better skin.

  • Softening: Many of us tend to use a bunch of different creams to keep our skin soft, especially the face, the hands and feet, perhaps depending on how lucky you are in terms of climate. Due to its moisturizing ingredients, coconut oil can be rubbed on whichever part of the skin is affected to help it stay smooth and healthy. Of course, you have to use it daily for a week or two before you'll see whether or not the results are worth your time... unfortunately, there is no way to get around that. You could always try mixing the oil with other exfoliating agents (certain salts and sugars) to greatly accelerate its effects.
  • Lip Balm: Cracked lips may not be the end of the world alright, but they are a specific type of discomfort all on their own, and for some of us, embarrassment. I don't know about you, but I'm not exactly crazy about applying some chemical mixtures to my lips, right on the doorstep to my mouth and the rest of my body. Coconut oil actually seems to be an ideal replacement, mainly once again because of its moisturizing abilities... and of course, it isn't a toxic chemical.
  • Skin Medicine: This may be a bit of a touchier subject because people seem to be of mixed opinions on it so far, and the studies in regards to the subject are still ongoing. Though some people with skin disorders such as acne, eczema and psoriasis have reported benefits, I have to stress that it shouldn't be taken as scientific evidence, for there are always outliers. The few materials that do exist on the subject attribute these benefits to the coconut oil's high protein content, which helps the body to heal faster.
All in all, though hair treatment may not be its main calling, extra virgin coconut oil can certainly become a favorite tool in your hair care arsenal.

Coconut Oil in Your Food

As I mentioned it before, the amount of scientific studies surrounding coconut oil is still fairly limited, meaning that even though we know a lot about it, there is undoubtedly much more left to learn. Still, we know that it can be used as an alternative oil when it comes to cooking, whether you are looking to make a sautee or bake a cake. Now, the thing is that it's still oil we're talking about, meaning that it is very high in saturated fats and too much of it will certainly prove harmful.

Substituting coconut oil in your diet won't exactly make the pounds start dropping off you, but many people have reported a reduced waist size after including it in their regime. So long as you eat it sparsely, you'll find that ultimately it is a healthier and maybe even a tastier alternative to what you've been using all this time.

Using and Choosing Your Coconut Oil

The proper way of using coconut oil will ultimately depend on what you intend on using it for. For instance, if you are going to be using it for skin care, chances are that you'll find yourself simply rubbing a bit of the heated oil once or twice a day on the areas you think need it the most. On the other hand, if you elect to use it for hair treatment, you may be called upon to create mixtures based on the coconut oil, adding some ingredients to it like egg yolk or honey. Keep in mind that good extra virgin coconut oil will be easy to manipulate and come with instructions on how to use it, so that part shouldn't worry you too much.

Last, but not least, it's important to give a few-sentences-long crash course on choosing a coconut oil. Perhaps one day I will be dedicated and rich enough to extract my own oil from hand-picked coconuts, but that day is still ahead for most of us I imagine. The amount of brands we have to choose from doesn't exactly help our case, so just make sure that first of all, most people who reviewed the product had positive things to say about it. And second of all, make sure the label indicates that it is natural or organic virgin coconut oil we're talking about, because that means you'll get the real deal, no impurities or additives. Best of luck to you all!

June 18, 2015

Understanding and Using Argan Oil for your Benefit

Whether you look to the left or the right, you'll find that the beauty industry has been packed to the brim with chemical products. Perhaps we've gotten a little overconfident in our abilities to surpass what nature has to offer, and that led to many people having damaged skin and hair, or even worse, damaged health. Whenever a potential natural alternative comes along and stays for a while, I believe we owe ourselves to look into it, and as it happens, today that alternative is argan oil.

A Look at What's Inside Argan Oil

Imported from Morocco where it's been used for centuries now, argan oil is pretty versatile thanks to the combination of ingredients that have been observed in it. A closer look reveals that argan oil mainly consists of:
  • Polyphenols: These anti-inflammatory micronutrients are actually essential to our body for it to protect itself against ultra-violet radiation (the sun's rays).
  • Squalene Oil: Part of argan oil is composed of what is referred to as squalene oil, a powerful moisturizing substance that works wonders on human skin in terms of moisturizing and repairing damaged cells.
  • Fatty Acids: Due to its ntaure, argan oil has a high content of fatty acids, many of which are essential to the maintenance of a plump and smooth skin, one that won't fall prey to wrinkles and stretching.
  • Linoleic and Oleic Acids: Though they play a small part relatively to all the other ingredients found here, oleic and linoleic acids have strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, mostly helping to maintain a healthy and radiant skin.
  • Vitamin E: A very powerful antioxidant and one of the most important ingredients in any skin care product, vitamin E is found to naturally occur in argan oil in abundant quantities, providing help on various fronts, such as protection from sun damage and a reduction of inflammations. As a matter of fact, argan oil has 200% more of it than olive oil.

The Uses of Argan Oil

And so now that we know what's inside this argan oil, it's time we moved the discussion to what exactly we can do with it. Well, you'll be glad to know that just like with any oil-based beauty product, you can use it in various ways, depending on the effect you are trying to achieve. However, it is fair to say that these uses can be divided into two main categories: hair and skin care.

Argan Oil for Hair Care

It is possible to use argan oil by itself as a deep conditioner by applying two tablespoons of it to your hair and your scalp. Once you've spent a few minutes massaging it in, you can either leave it for half-an-hour, or even the entire night if the fancy strikes you. Don't worry, it's not a dangerous practice, but doing the overnight treatment too often may end up making your hair oily and greasy to the touch. After that, simply wash it off with some shampoo.

Alternatively, you could also go for a hair mask, and there are plenty of recipes floating around the internet that will teach you how to make an effective mixture based on argan oil, often involving simple ingredients you are certain to have lying around the house. In the end, it can be used like a very versatile hair care product, helping to maintain its strong and shiny appearance.

Argan Oil for Skin Care

Argan oil has been used for skin care for as long as its been in circulation, and as its ingredients show us, there are some very good reasons for that:
  • Moisturizing: Having dry and cracked skin is a huge deal for some people, especially those living in colder climates and feeling it in their hands, feet and face. Using just a bit of argan oil on a daily basis and rubbing it on the affected areas does wonders to help keep them smooth and moist, preventing further cracking.
  • Healing: As the argan oil moisturizes the areas you use it on, at the same time it helps them to heal up faster. Its antioxidant properties improve blood circulation to the areas its used on, which in turn allows the blood to circulate where it needs to more efficiently and repair various skin-related damages.
  • Vanity: I'd be a liar if I said that I use argan oil exclusively for its health benefits. In addition to all of that, it's fantastic at making your skin look plump, supple and smooth as a baby's, leaving many jealous faces in your wake.

Choosing your Argan Oil

Having covered what we need to know about argan oil, let us move forward to the more interesting part: actually choosing an oil. As you'll go out to the market you'll notice that there is really no shortage of brands to choose from... everyone wants a piece of this pie. There are some good news however: as long as you stick to virgin argan oil products, you can be sure that you'll get the 100% pure stuff, without any chemicals and whatnot, and in the end, that's what you need to get the ball rolling. Best of luck to you all!