Well, it now turns out that I may have been a little hasty and the skin reaction may have had nothing to do with oils and everything to do with . . . eggs!
I was consuming more eggs (I hardly ate any before) then usual to increase my protein intake and I was also using some hair treatments which involved slathering my barnet in a couple of smashed eggs (a beauty secret from back in the day) and it now looks that this may have been what my body did not like hence the not so attractive rash.
So watch out and you may notice in the near future that I start referring to lavender, rosewood, other oils and the alike again as I'm thinking of slowly reintroducing them in to my skincare routine.
One ingredient that I did not cut from my routine was Coconut Oil even though it is fair to say that Coconut Oil and I have a bit of a love-hate relationship.
Regardless, it is only fair to say that Coconut Oil is an investment. It can be used in so many ways that I am sure most people will find one way or another that suits them. There is no need to leave it standing wasted on some shelf just because it has not worked one way for you, use it another.
This is why I initially brought Coconut Oil. Muhsine (http://bubblegarm.blogspot.com/2009/06/coconut-and-vitamin-e-oil.html http://bubblegarm.blogspot.com/2010/03/hair-masks.html) and others have discussed the intensive conditioning treatment that this oil can provide for your hair.
In the colder months, I was using it as a hot hair treatment. My coconut oil was solid and needed melting down. So I would melt a couple of tablespoons in the microwave and then let them cool a little and apply to preshampooed hair which you leave in for a while or overnight and then rinse out.
The treatment worked fine, the scent wasn't great but tolerable and besides my hair was shiny. However, it was difficult to rinse out. I would often blowdry after the treatment and the result would be hair that looked good but felt as if it was coated in some horrible residue. Even when I managed to get the Coconut Oil out, my hair would quickly go lank and need washing again within 24 hours. For me, rinsing with water was often not enough and I had to actually shampoo the oil out. So in later hair treatments, I would just apply the oil straight to damp, unshampooed hair to minimise the products going in to my hair but then I'm not sure if the Coconut Oil was absorbed quite as well.
In summary, I would suggest using this oil as a hair treatment and seeing if you can find a way to work it and then repeating the process as an occasional treatment.
There is no doubt that when I apply Coconut Oil to my skin, it intensely moisturises as good as any body butter. However, it leaves the skin (and floor!) very slippery and seems to absorb slowly. It is a fab overnight treatment with a "unique" scent.
In the winter when the air temperature has not melted the solid coconut oil down, I usually take a slab and apply it like a Lush massage bar. As soon as my little slab of Coconut Oil made contact with the skin, it started to melt for me. In the summer when the air temperature has done the melting, I use Coconut Oil like a body oil. The results appear to be the same whichever way I apply!
Coconut Oil is also good when used as a balm, soothing particularly sore or dry bits of skin, in the same way that Eight hour cream or Vaseline might be used.
This is my favourite way to use the coconut oil. I jut mix some liquidfied oil in with salt and use it as a scrub in the bath. This works really well. My skin feels as if it is been worked by the salt and then soothed by the coconut oil. You can also change the ratio of salt to oil, when you are making the scrub yourself, according to how much each specific skin area needs exfoliating. I usually keep the salt and oil seperate then mix it as needed during application. I might take 1/4 of a handful of salt for my kness and then just 1/8 for my decolletage.
I must admit that I do like the fact that the oil gets rinsed away when you use it as a scrub as - and I know that I'm always talking about this- the scent is one I only tolerate, nothing more. I certainly do not embrace it!
I got my Coconut Oil from Holland and Barrett. I think the packaging has changed but this product number (13182) and weight (453g) is currently reduced from £11.99 to £5.99 on their website. http://www.hollandandbarrett.com/pages/product_detail.asp?pid=690&searchterm=coconut%20oil&rdcnt=1
So that is how I use my oil. What do you think of Coconut Oil?