There’s coconut oil in many moisturizers, so what’s the hype about?

Coconut oil is magical, miraculous, natural, and over hyped….

It has been used in many household and personal care products for decades. Lauric acid is a long chain fatty acid from coconuts and is used to create detergents…like sodium lauryl sulfate and all the other detergent molecules that contain the word lauryl (and derivatives thereof). These molecules are used in laundry detergents, dish washing liquids, shampoos, skin cleansers, bath cleaners, car engine cleaners etc etc… The easy way to recognise a detergent is how it leaves the surface to which it was applied….that is, it leaves the surface ‘squeaky clean’. By the by, squeaky clean is totally unnatural and unhealthy for the skin and hair – so stop using these detergent products already!!!! Other coconut derived detergents are coco glucosides….but used in small quantities they are used as emulsifiers in other leave on products. Emulsifiers help bind water and oil based ingredients together to form the ‘cream’ format you know and love…

And the medium chain fatty acids of coconut oil are used in moisturizers…. just look for the ingredient ‘caprylic/capric triglycerides‘…that is what that fractionated part of coconut oil is called… The higher up on the list of ingredients means the larger the quantity of this fraction of coconut oil is in your moisturizer. They are called fatty acids. The term oil does not accurately describe this ingredient. These fatty molecules are highly suitable as skin moisturizers.

These wonderful medium chain fatty acids of coconut oil can also be used in oil based cleansers - like the fabulous Deep + Gentle Cleanser (oil) from Sensitive Skin Clinic.

Yes, you can use coconut oil as a moisturizer and hair conditioner…no problem! Most coconut oil products you can purchase have been processed to eliminate the unsaturated fats (unsaturated fats increase the potential for coconut oil to become rancid). The processed coconut oil is usually aroma ‘neutral’ meaning it does not smell like coconut, because it is RBD oil (refined, bleached and deodorized). Virgin coconut oil will smell like coconuts. Virgin coconut oil often contains contaminants and thus is seldom used for cooking or any skin and hair application…..and these contaminants in virgin coconut oil can cause skin irritation and worsen the clogging of pores. Virgin coconut oil is definitely not recommended for sensitive skin!

So look for the high quality, non pore clogging, non waxy, non greasy, non irritating ingredient caprylic/capric triglycerides in your search to follow the crowds into the world of coconut oil hype….. As I’ve said before, I definitely don’t have a problem with anyone using high quality coconut oil on their skin or hair.

As for the health benefits of eating it….well I’m not knowledgeable enough in matters of nutrition to say very much, other than some people will need to check with their doctors if high quantities of saturated fats in their diet is bad for any heart/blood condition they may have. Coconut oil is very high in saturated fats.

Here are seven uses for coconut oil (with no scientific facts to support them)and the list was compiled by someone who just wants to be part of the hype machine…..and they leave it up to you to research whether there is any truth in what they say….in other words the typical ‘beauty editor’ approach in all ‘glamour’ magazines :-)

The information provided here is not meant to diagnose or cure any medical conditions. Please see your doctor or a trained medical professional should you have any concerns.

You have way more sun damage than you think, and it just gets worse

You’re young, you’re tanned, your skin looks great – healthy – gorgeous – impenetrable… ????


Your skin has aged by the time you get into your teens, by the time you’re 20 the sun damage is set for future aging to show on your skin as you move past 35….brown spots, fine lines, wrinkles, maybe some white (no-colour) spots, and then further sun damage to DNA in some skin cells could eventually accumulate to turn the cell cancerous (carcinomas and melanomas).

On this planet, everything will age because of the sun, and our skin ages the fastest because of all our sun exposure during our lifetime. So wear a mineral sunscreen everyday already!!!!

Check out this video to see (and be shocked) at how the damage is in your skin – even though you cannot see it with the visible eye…. and then see how sunscreen on the skin helps protect it from too much sun (note, they are sunscreens not sun blocks – because nothing but a cardboard box can block some of the sun’s rays from penetrating your skin.

Yes, there are many sunscreen myths out there… but there are undeniable facts about how the sun damages the skin…. and that is why so many people (especially white/pink/brown skin tones) have to deal with sun spots/brown spots/age spots as they move past age 35… and…even very dark skin tones (equatorial region) have a great potential for age spots as they get into their 60’s and 70’s…and even they can end up with skin cancers…NOBODY is immune from the damaging effects of the sun while they reside on planet Earth!

Oh, and the sun will always increase the level of sensitivity you experience in your skin…not just from sun burn, but from damage to the immune cells in your skin, to the weakening of the skin barrier function, to increased vaso-dilation and advancement of serious skin conditions like rosacea…

The information provided here is not meant to diagnose or cure any medical conditions. Please see your doctor or a trained medical professional should you have any concerns.

Adult acne is very different from teenage acne, so the solutions should differ too.

Acne is a pretty complex medical condition, (it is not right to refer to a few pimples on your face as acne)….and adult (or mid-life) acne is a very different condition than teenage acne… especially for women.

The big difference in the prevalence of acne today versus a few decades ago is the level and type of stress that women are under these days… Topical acne skin care solutions will help, but a reduction in the stress hormone cortisol, will be the best solution.

Here is a really good article on adult acne written by Dr Christiane Northrup. It is comprehensive and well worth the read – if you are interested in knowing more about your skin condition. Be warned though, it is longer than any article the average ADD person can handle!

Of course, being a doctor she goes through all the medical types of solutions, but later on in the article she also talks about lifestyle, food/diet, and holistic approaches….(it is so gratifying to see medical people step outside their pharmaceutical dominated world)….

My tried-and-true approach to adult acne is described in this article, and if you want to learn more about acne (teenage and adult) then watch this SkinCareTV video.

The information provided here is not meant to diagnose or cure any medical conditions. Please see your doctor or a trained medical professional should you have any concerns.

Acne products increase your chance of allergic reactions

Most people who know me, know that I am absolutely opposed to the marketing hyped acne skin care solutions prevalent today…you get bombarded with the marketing spin and hype on TV and magazines, even doctors offices and medical magazines….hey, some of the worst acne products are marketed under a Doctor’s name….that’s because we are all programmed to believe that marketing hype from a doctor is akin to being the truth….but NOT SO!!!!

Check out this really interesting WebMD article about these high profile acne skin care solutions….see if your well known brand is amongst those that the FDA registers as being potential agents for allergic skin reactions….

If you want to know my approach to Acne, which delivers great results (though in a more natural, wholesome, non-medical/aggressive manner) then check out my recommended products and home care regimen in this blog article.

To learn more about acne, see the 2 part Acne: New Strategies video at the SkinCareTV channel.

Nerium Oleander poison – do you believe the Nerium AD hype?

A question from a client about the Nerium AD products:  “Been a while since I’ve bugged you for your professional opinion.  My mom’s sister in law gave her a magazine a while back that is all about a product called Nerium AD.  Mom passed it on to me to peruse because I love skincare and learning about new products.  The before and after pics on this product are pretty amazing!  I’d love to know if you’ve ever heard of it and what you think about the ingredients and before and afters?”

Answer: The marketing hype from Nerium is epic….the truth may be something else completely!

Firstly, all parts of the ‘Nerium AD fabled oleander plant’ are toxic to all animals on this planet – yes that includes you… It is toxic for your heart, nervous system, and skin….to name a few organs. See the real information at Medline and Wikipedia. Even the American Cancer Society has sobering facts about oleander extracts.

There are NO peer reviewed scientific studies to support the marketing hype from Nerium. Only a secret/proprietary study was done by the Nerium marketing corporation….suspicious already?

Are there any ingredients in their products that can change your skin? Yes. In the night cream (see ingredients) they have proprietary proteins (marketing-hype-speak) that are too big to enter the skin, but will definitely bind water to themselves and make your skin feel highly hydrated…and a hydrated skin shows fewer wrinkles and looks more youthful. (However… Hydrate + Serum plus Cell Youth Actif will do a much better job for your skin)… In the day cream (see ingredients) they have some great peptides and the wonderful esterized vitamin C found in C + Renew Serum. These are actually good ingredients! Add to that some artful photo editing and fancy photo lighting, plus slightly different positioning of the face that can make skin stretch/tighten slightly, and you have the ultimate marketing-hyped-before-and-after-shots….

Sure, the ingredients I mention above will indeed improve your skin (especially if you are someone who does zero skin care now), but does the oleander do anything at all?

Seeing as oleander is toxic to the skin, I should imagine they have miniscule traces of it in the formula….otherwise everybody will be returning the product because they’ve broken out in hives….

Having trace amounts of poisonous plants in products is not new – homeopathic medicine does this….they dilute the poison to the extent that only it’s ‘energy’ survives in the end product – none of the poison itself… I see Nerium has large quantities of soothing aloe vera in the formulas – that’s to ensure there is some ant-irritant solution for the potentially highly irritating oleander extract miniscule trace elements….

Is this element of toxicity ‘shocking’? How dare this company produce and sell a highly toxic product? Well, seeing as our society is in love with a highly neuro toxic substance called Botulinum Toxin Type A (aka Botox ™) then why would we not expect some money hungry people to come up with another toxin for us to try out – in the name of vanity?

You have to think through the marketing hype and look at the facts…It is a myth that you can have brains and beauty :-)

Now, do you not suppose they tested their toxicity experiments on animals????? Hmmmm!!! UUUUGH!!