From teeth whitening to keeping curly hair healthy, there's no question that coconut oil has become the multi-tasking "It" product in the beauty world. So when we got a copy of culinary herbalist Pat Crocker's book Coconut 24/7 (on sale today), which we found chock full of recipes for meals as well as beauty treatments, we asked InStyle.com's Pam Majumdar to try her hand at one of the DIY spa recipes and report back. See how she fared below!
I always opt for a minimal approach to makeup—my everyday routine consists of using ample toner and moisturizer, and then adding my (non-negotiable) black eyeliner and a touch of lip gloss. So I'm always on the lookout for any beauty elixir that can make my face shine brighter or diminish my under-eye circles while still letting me maintain that au naturel feel. When I picked up Pat Crocker's Coconut 24/7, I was immediately drawn to the turmeric coconut face mask recipe with its simple list of ingredients and the coconut-turmeric power couple: according to Crocker, coconut oil has long been known to moisturize skin as well as prevent wrinkles, and to add to that a spice known for its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial benefits? Sounds like a pretty good fusion to me! In fact, Crocker notes that the "combination of natural ingredients helps to reduce redness and dark age spots or dark circles under the eyes."
The face mask calls for just four ingredients: coconut oil, honey, ground turmeric, and 2 percent milk. The only item I wouldn't normally have in my pantry was the coconut oil itself, but after some quick googling I was able to locate it in the vitamins and supplements section of a drugstore ($13 for 16 oz., walgreens.com). Because all the ingredients could be used as is (no refrigerating or heating), it took just 5 minutes to combine and whisk everything in a mixing bowl. I then applied the mask, which took on the mustard-yellow shade of the turmeric, onto my face and left it on for close to 25 minutes. A word to the wise: it is best to leave it on no longer than the recipe calls for (which is between 15 to 20 minutes)—my face did start to feel tingly. Turmeric is a spice, after all!
I wasn't sure what to expect with the mask, but the final product was smooth on my face and quick to rinse off, and since the milk acts to exfoliate the skin, I was able to follow it immediately with my regular moisturizer.
The next day my face had a brighter overall shine, especially around the areas where I'm more prone to dark spots. I also noticed that my undereye circles were noticeably lighter. They didn't diminish completely, but since the directions state that the mask can be used up to twice a week (and recommended on a weekly or monthly basis), I'll definitely be making this easy recipe on a regular basis! Next on my list: Crocker's coconut hand lotion to keep at my desk.
Read on for the full recipes below, or snag a copy of Coconut 24/7 today.
Makes: 1/4 cup (2 applications)
1 heaping tbsp ground turmeric
1 tbsp liquid raw honey
1 tbsp melted coconut oil
1 tbsp 2 percent milk
1. In a small glass bowl, add turmeric. Using a long-handled teaspoon, stir in honey. Add oil and milk and stir to make a smooth paste. Divide mixture in half. Use one half immediately and store the remaining mixture, tightly covered, in the refrigerator for up to three days.
2. To use, remove makeup, wash face and neck and pat dry. Using the back of the spoon, spread mask evenly over cheeks, forehead, chin, nose and under the eyes. Leave mask on for 15 to 20 minutes. Rinse off with warm water, pat try, spritz with Lemon Balm Spritz (recipe available on page 202 of Coconut 24/7) or toner and moisturize with coconut oil.
Coconut Hand Lotion
Makes: 1/4 cup (about 24 applications)
3 tbsp softened coconut oil
1 tbsp almond oil
2 tsp glycerine
1. In a bowl, whisk together coconut oil and almond oil. Add glycerine and whisk for several minutes or until well blended. Transfer to a jar with a lid (1/3 cup capacity), cap, label and store in a cool place.
Still craving more coconut products? Shop our gallery of the best coconut oil–infused products now!