Friday, February 24, 2012

DIY Vanilla Coconut Oil Moisturizer

One of the most challenging aspects of my life to eco-fy has been beauty products. I've given up on eco-shampoo (after trying dozens of different companies I've simply decided it's better not to waste the plastic bottles) and have been looking for a yummy smelling moisturizer that will work for our super dry winters but is affordable.

My go-to for a few years was Green Beaver's Apr├Ęs Ski lotion. It works very well, has a very 'clean' ingredient list and is made by a Canadian company. Unfortunately it also smells strongly like roasted chicken (the rosemary) and it just isn't moisturizing enough for these Halifax winters.

After searching through the options at our local health food store, it's frustrating to notice that as a consumer you really have to read every ingredient list. Just because it sits on the counter in the 'Natural' section doesn't mean it's free of synthetic or potentially sketchy ingredients. I've been uncomfortable with the idea of slathering chemicals that are meant to be absorbed into my skin and into my bloodstream, the least amount of ingredients the better.

Finally, after reading a few comments and posts of bloggy-friends who used coconut oil, straight up, I thought- why not? I bet it smells amazing and will be a very cheap attempt.

I bought organic coconut oil in a glass jar and gave it a go for about a week. Definitely a weird texture, scooping it out and rubbing it between my hands results in a strange melting to oil sensation. It also felt like I was greasing up after the shower, surprise surprise it was... oily! The great news is that in a few short minutes my skin is fine to put on clothing and I haven't noticed any oil stains on my clothes.

Sadly, and maybe it's because I've never cooked with coconut oil, it doesn't actually smell like anything.

I decided that I would try creating my own scented oil with some essential oils. Why not, right? My first attempt was actually fairly disastrous and resulted in way way too much essential oils that irritated my nose and my brain all day.

Today I tried out my second attempt and I am in LOVE. The smell is subtle but delicious, it was very easy to make and extremely cost efficient. Oh and it works!

Vanilla Coconut Oil Moisturizer
Hardware: ceramic bowl, table spoon, wide mouth mason jar
Software: coconut oil (organic is best!), vanilla (beans or extract. I used homemade extract that was gifted to me since I didn't have the beans. It means that there's a small amount of alcohol in the mix, but it hasn't affected the smell. I think vanilla beans would be stronger though).

Scoop a bunch of the coconut oil into the ceramic bowl. Mush it around with the table spoon a bit so it's a similar consistency. Add 1 to 1.5 tablespoons of vanilla extract (or scraping the insides of a bean). Mix so it's all one golden beautiful yummy colour.

Scoop into the mason jar (wide mouth and shallow will be easier to scoop out with your hands).
Place in a cool spot (or the fridge) over night.
It will be ready to use the next morning!

article and photographs copyright of EcoYogini at


  1. So Awesome!! Do you use this on your face as well? I have been searching high and low for something to clean and also moisturize my face. Everyone is saying coconut oil for everything but I find it's really hard to use it as a cleanser. Any ideas?

  2. @Meg: yay I'm excited too! :)
    Actually, I only use it on my body, my face would break out i fear if i tried it there. BUT I use HONEY to clean my face and it works awesomely!! this is the blog post I wrote for Five Seed on my face on honey :)

  3. What kind of coconut oil are you using? Refined coconut oil doesn't smell or taste like coconut, but virgin unrefined coconut oil has a very strong coconut scent and taste! I love it!

    I'm so glad this is working well for you! I love coconut oil so much!

  4. i've tried coconut oil a couple times but i feel like it's too greasy. i wish there was some other lotiony thing to cut it with but i'm not sure what that would be.

  5. @FiveSeed: ahhh THAT is my problem! It's refined (for cooking), I couldn't seem to find unrefined, but then i really didn't look that hard (probably some unrefined at Pete's frootique). I bet unrefined and vanilla would be a yummy combo!

    @Julia: yep it's greasy, but surprisingly the oily feel gets absorbed into your skin within an hour or so- i feel like it wouldn't be a good choice if you don't live in a very dry-cold climate though or if you don't have very dry skin. Perhaps Shea butter would be a better choice for you? I know you can buy that straight up...

  6. I grew up in the boonies but we never had deer antlers around (and my dad did hunt and tried to kill). ;) I do like deer antler buttons though, and also rustic wooden ones.

  7. I LOVE coconut oil.superstore health section
    Has nutiva brand unrefined virgin it's delicious!
    On toast, great for scalp treatment, great moisturizer, eye
    Makeup remover, lip balm, and in coffee. It is a miracle
    Oil . I'm still learning about the greatness of it. Oh
    And baking soda with a bit of water to exfoliate your face
    And then apply coconut oil is so great! It won't break you out
    It absorbs into your skin.

  8. I'm so lazy I often just scoop out the coconut oil into my hand and then add a drop of essential oil then and there.

    Did you know you can also use this to make deodorant? Just add baking soda and cornstarch to the coconut oil - and a drop of essential oil if you want it scented - and apply. I have never found this to be greasy but I have super dry skin.

  9. I am addicted to coconut oil, and it smells so yummy. My son always says "I smell coconut" after I walk in after a shower. I love to add brown sugar for a scrub in the bath, amazing! Can't use it on my face though, break-out city.

  10. Good idea to add essential oils! I'll give that a try - a few drops of lavender must be nice too. I've been addicted to coconut oil for a long time. Discovered it in India, when asking a lady what she did with that and she said 'everything!'. Anyway, she also had a good point about not using on your skin and hair something that you can't eat. The best kind I found is called 'parachute' (in Indian Grocery stores!) but it smells very 'coconutty'.

  11. I use this as a moisturizer on my whole body and wash my face with it every night... I add it to a little baking soda and it works wonders.. I am in the second trimester of my first pregnancy and before I became pregnant I never had a breakout ( but used a neutrogena face wash ) Not even 3 weeks into my pregnancy I started having the WORST breakouts of my life! So I started researching coconut oil and decided to give it a try and it is amazing! No more breakouts on this preggo! :) I know a lot of you say you think you would have a lot of breakouts using this on your face but it balances the oil levels in your skin and then you don't have to use any extra moisturizers. I love it. It also supposedly helps with stretch marks (reducing the appearance of and as a preventative) I cant wait to see if that actually works as my pregnancy goes on!

  12. Just bought a vat of 100% extra virgin, unrefined, cold pressed, organic coconut oil and wanted a little fragrance for it. Thought about using vanilla extract but wasn't sure how the alcohol content would work. But glad to hear others have had a good experience with it! My hair has never been softer and my scalp more moisturized without feeling overly greasy and sticky (I wear my hair naturally). Next adventure, my dry winter skin---can't wait for the cold to come!

  13. I used coconut oil in my hair I had a perm in it and they over processed it my hair was burned so bad it was just breaking off I started using coconut oil and my hair is so soft and I ware mine natural also.I use it for every thing I was reading on Pentecost on a.mother post it said to put baby lotion and victims e in it I haven't tried it yet.I was wondering about vanilla extract.also so thank u for your post .

  14. Thanks for the recipe. It seems good to use.
    Bio Oil

  15. If you use a blender and whip the coconut oil then put in the essential oil it has a very nice light fluffy texture and stays that way (unless it gets too hot and melts!). But I have read that if it starts to get hot you can put it in the frig and it keeps its nice fluffiness!

  16. Argan oil has proven his natural benefits by help heal nails that scarred as well as reinvigorate them with quick and non-toxic process.

  17. Question: why not melt the oil first in a warm water bath then adding the drops of oil and waiting for it to solidify...would that work I wonder?


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