I enjoy giving advice on how to make great DIY fashion from old items in your wardrobe.
I have read a ton of articles on both Aloe Vera and Coconut Oil and it always sounds so absurd to do, or you feel like you never see any results. This isn't another article telling you which is better, nor am I going to sit here and write out ways to persuade you. I am going to tell you flat out what these are and what they do, and you can decide for yourself. I am not one to take advice from the internet, so you can guarantee what I am going to say is going to benefit you more than an article on how to get your hair and nails to grow.
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly!
So for years all I have heard girls talk about is anything that has to do with Hair, Skin and Nails. I have been thrown into so many different directions on how to keep up on beauty, I have decided to go my own direction. I did a little research and it was amazing to me how many different at home items you can use instead of spending an ungodly amount of money on products. In the last 2 years I have been known for not really eating out, and doing more with what I have then reading labels at the hair salon to figure out what kind of products I want to use. I found it really interesting that majority of what you can do at home with little cost, is no different than what you buy at the store but with more ingredients that may or may not help you. From hair tips to skin tips, I have found that Aloe Vera and Coconut Oil are the two hottest things on the market for everyday essentials. As you can drive to your local Walmart and buy a bottle of Aloe for your sunburn, you can also use straight from the plant aloe as well. What I am going to show you is the details about Aloe Vera and Coconut Oil and what you can use them for, where they come from and what the benefits are. Then you can decide on your own which is the best for you. Who knows you might stay the same, you may switch it up.
What is aloe vera?
Aloe vera, although you see these at your local stores such as Walmart, Target, Lowes, Home Depot ect. actually comes from East Africa. This plant has been used for many of years, particularly for cosmetic use. We all know Aloe Vera to be the number one thing to use for sunburns, which works 100% and I definitely recommend it, however it was also used in traditional medicines to treat a wide range of problems.
Like a cactus, aloe plants are 99% water. The 1% is at combination of different elements which can include Vitamin A, your Vitamin B's (B1, B2, B3, B12) and your Vitamin E. As well as, calcium, sodium, chlorine, magnesium, zinc, phosphor, potassium, iron and a few other ones I can't really remember.
The most important part of the plant, the gel. The Aloe Vera gel improves cellular oxygen as well as blood circulation. You can usually find this in the form of creams, gel, juice or capsules. Make sure when you use any of those forms, that you check with a doctor or on direction on how much to take. Each form will vary.
What can I use it for?
Other than the common sunburn treatment and the original medicine purpose, here are a few other things I found to be true that you can use aloe vera:
- Massages: If you mix two tbsp. of aloe vera gel, 1 tsp.organic lemon juice and 2 tbsp. of organic brown sugar you have made yourself a homemade massage lotion!
- Protection against scarring and stretch marks: With regard to rougher patches, you can mix 2 cups of sea salt, 1 cup of organic coconut oil, 1 cup of aloe and 2 tbsp. of organic honey. If you rub this on scarring or stretch marks, it turns out it works just a good, if not better, than a pricey jar at your local store to help reduce the showing of marks.
- Asthma: If you boil hot water and add the aloe leaves, and inhale, it becomes a soothing vapor.
- Acne: For anyone having any kind of pimple problem, you can apply pure gel on your pores and skin after washing your face or taking a shower. It will reduce the showing and eventually disappear.
- Makeup Remover: As most of those removers you buy are harsh for your skins with chemicals, you can substitute it with aloe vera. Squeeze just a dollop of pure aloe gel onto a cotton ball and wipe away your makeup!
- Shaving Cream: This was something new to me and I had to try it! Not only can you use aloe with other ingredients to make it a DIY, but because it's an antibacterial and a good moisturizer, you can use it on its on in place of expensive shaving cream!
- Eyebrows: As a lot of girls clearly judge other girls based on their eyebrows, a good trick is using aloe. Dip a clean mascara wand ( you can get these individually at your local Sally's Supply) in some Aloe Vera gel, and sweep over stray brows. It's almost like hair spray but for your eye brows, except they don't get hard and sticky!
- Feet: Lets be real girls, and guys, we all have that cracked feet/heel problem! I have tried tons of things on Pinterest for this and nothing seems to work. However, I did start using Johnsons Baby Lotion on my feet before bed and they felt softer and less cracked in the morning. Make sure you put it on again in the morning though! For another way, using Aloe Vera is a good alternative! Mix 1/2 cup oatmeal, 1/2 cup cornmeal, 4 tbsp aloe vera gel, and 1/2 cup unscented body lotion ( I use Aveeno) and rub all over your feet until well exfoliated. Sit for 10 mins then rinse with warm water!
- Hair: Not only can aloe help your hair grow, but it can also help with other issues as well. It relieves scalp itching, scalp redness and inflammation, adds strength to your hair, anti-fungal properties while alleviating dandruff and helps your hair retain water and moisture. Just like using it as shaving cream, you can take Aloe and rub it into your hair, and massaging it into your scalp, let it sit and then rinse! I usually let it sit for the same time it would take to shave my legs and then I would rinse.
As you can see, Aloe Vera can be used for a list of things, and probably even more if you do a little more research! Remember Aloe can be used as a DIY combined with other components, or you can use it straight! Just make sure it has at least 30% concentration of Aloe!
What is coconut oil?
Coconut oil was originated and used in countries that are more tropical, like Thailand and the Philippines. The oil began to be more popular in Western countries like the United States and Canada. In the 1900s, coconut oil was seen as harmful through propaganda campaigns spread by the corn and soy oil industries. Coconut oil was seen as being too high in saturated fat so people started to question the propaganda in the 2000s.
Now, through many article and studies, coconut oil is now seen as one of the top trends with some of the best health benefits for your body. Some of the health benefits can include hair care, skin care, stress relief, maintaining your cholesterol level, weight loss, regulated metabolism and many more. One of these reason is due to 'lauric acid' which I used by our body. Your body converts the lauric acid into something called monolaurin, which is what helps in dealing with virus's and bacteria; influenza, herpes, HIV, etc.
When buying coconut oil, like you would see on Pinterest for hair growth and other benefits, you have to be careful as to what kind of coconut oil you buy. For example; if you are using it for cooking and therapeutic uses use refined coconut oil. If you are using it for hair care and skin care unrefined coconut oil is best.
Purpose and Preferable Type to Buy
- Cooking: Refined Coconut Oil
- Weight Loss: Virgin Coconut Oil
- As a Carrier Oil: Virgin Coconut Oil, Fractionated Coconut Oil
- Good Health: Virgin Coconut Oil, Organic Coconut Oil
- Massaging: Pure Coconut Oil, Refined Coconut Oil
- Hair: Pure Coconut Oil, Refined Coconut Oil
- Medicinal uses: Virgin Coconut Oil, Virgin Organic Coconut Oil
What can I use it for?
There are many ways that you can research and find to use Coconut Oil. Here are a few things that I've tried and use Coconut Oil for:
- Hair: Not only does coconut oil help your hair grow, but it gives it shine as well. If you want to grow your hair you can mix 6 tablespoons of coconut oil and 3 eggs, massage into scalp and all over ends (make sure your hair is dry when you do this). Leave on for 30 mins, or if you have more time leave in longer, then rinse out with warm water. Sometimes if I have time and nowhere to go the next day, i'll massage into my hair and then cover with a shower cap and go to bed (cover your pillow with a towel). Rinse in the morning with warm water. If you want your hair to have more shine, run a small amount through your wet hair, pea-size for short hair and bean-size for long hair. This give you a conditioning effect with shimmer without pending a lot of money on your local store serums.
- Make-up Remover: Take a cloth and little bit of coconut oil and swipe away makeup!
- Skin Moisturizer: From dry feet to flaky skin, take some coconut oil and run it on your skin. You don't need much, but it's a better way to nourish your skin without using heavy lotions.
- Cooking and Baking: You can use coconut oil as a substitute for shortening, butter and other others. This gives you a lighter and sweeter tasting dessert. I usually use coconut oil for all my cooking needs, whether its making chicken or making eggs or spraying a pan for brownies, coconut oil is going to be a better way to go than using all those fatty oils like PAM spray.
- Stickers: Sticky labels and price tags that you can never get off so you tend to lean towards "Goo Be Gone" to get them off. Now you can use coconut oil! Mix a little bit with some baking soda, spread it on, let it sit for 10 mins and rub it off.
- Popcorn: We all like to go to the movies and buy that $20 tub of popcorn loaded with a gallon of butter (exaggeration of course). When your at home though you whip out the microwave bags that are probably just as unhealthy, butter or not. Now you can take 1/2 cup organic (non GMO) popcorn, 4 tablespoons of coconut oil and if you want, salt. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oiling a heavy bottomed large pot. When the oil is hot, put a kernel or two of corn in it and wait till it pops. After it pops, proceed to adding the rest of the corn kernels in, cover the pot and gently shake over burner until the corn stops popping for 5 seconds. Take pot of the heat and lift lid; be careful incase some may be still popping. Add the rest of the coconut oil and toss till coated. Sprinkle your flavoring of choice and toss until coated. Enjoy!
- Season Cast-Iron Pans: Most people, such as my dad, think you need to go out and buy that expensive maintenance pack for your cast iron pans. Instead use coconut oil as your coating to keep your pan slick and make sure foods to stick.
- Furniture Polish: What? you can use coconut oil and lemon juice to bring shine to your wood furniture. Make sure you test it out on a small spot first to make sure.
- Drink Sweetner: So this is something I would have never thought of. You can take beverages such as hot chocolate or fruit smoothies and add a little coconut oil for a coconut extract. If you are going to do this, make sure you heat it up so it's a liquid form before stirring it in.
As you can Aloe Vera and Coconut Oil can be used for a number of things, some the same and some different. From what I have found is that Coconut Oil can be used more for skin and hair in the reference of beauty, as well as cooking. Aloe Vera seems to be used more for the purpose of skin care and medical reasons. As Coconut Oil can be the same, each of these have their own benefits. So have fun enjoying the benefits of both Coconut Oil and Aloe Vera, neither of these are bad, and they are both good choices. It all really matters on your own preference and what your using with it.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2014 Sarah Dill
Loren on February 13, 2018:
You said unrefined coconut oil is best for hair, but for hair care listed you have pure and refined coconut oil. Which is better refined or unrefined?
Roy on November 13, 2015:
You are a vert beautiful lady. I just bought some aloe oil and I will add some essential oil to it.
vishnu on November 20, 2014:
use both oils