All You Have To Do Is Say Yes — Embrace The New Yes To Coconut Collection
From carrots and cucumbers to blueberries, tomatoes, and pink grapefruits — the folks at Yes To have familiarized us with the beauty benefits of each of these fruits and vegetables via a plethora of affordable and effective products featuring natural formulations. I’ve always been a bit partial to the Yes To Cucumbers range since I swear by the soothing Yes To Cucumber Facial Wipes, which remove dirt, sweat, and stubborn makeup while making the complexion feel refreshed. But then, when I thought I couldn’t say “yes” to another ingredient, I heard Yes To was launching a new collection centered on one of my all-time favorite fruits: the coconut. Next thing I knew, I was singing “She put the lime in the coconut, she drank ’em bot’ up” and imagining myself on a tropical island, sipping piña coladas, setting up a limbo pole, and jamming to the sounds of a steel drum band. Needless to say, my expectations for the Yes To Coconut collection were sky high — and, luckily, I was not disappointed.
Most women with thirsty hair and skin (like me!) are well acquainted with the moisturizing properties of coconut oil and coconut water. The former has an extraordinarily high concentration of lauric acid (it accounts for nearly half of its fatty acid content), which has antimicrobial and antiviral properties, along with the saturated fatty acids capric, caprilyc, myristic, and palmitic acid. It also contains oleic and linoleic acids, vitamin E, vitamin K, and polyphenols, antioxidants with known anti-aging benefits. The latter, coconut water, is rich in moisture-replenishing electrolytes and potassium, which explains why it’s become so popular among athletes and fitness devotees as a post-workout refreshment.
As a beauty ingredient, coconut oil is commonly used in both skincare and haircare treatments and remedies. When coconut oil is applied to the scalp, it promotes circulation, cools itchy and irritated skin, and promotes hair growth. When smoothed onto tresses, coconut oil manages to penetrate the cuticle (the outermost layer of each strand) and make its way into the cortex, thereby fortifying each strand from the inside out. The lauric acid molecules in coconut oil, meanwhile, bind to hair proteins, thereby strengthening strands, helping to prevent moisture loss, and helping to treat damaged locks. Because of its anti-fungal properties, coconut oil is also effective in treating dandruff.
On the skincare front, the saturated fats and medium-chain fatty acids found in coconut oil make it an excellent moisturizer, helping to repair the skin barrier, seal in moisture, and reduce inflammation. The polyphenols in the substance, meanwhile, prevent fine lines and wrinkles from forming.
Basically, then, coconut oil and coconut water are hydrating heroes — and Yes To’s Yes To Coconut collection takes full advantage of these properties.
From lightweight body lotions and softening hand creams to lip balms, moisturizing conditioners and shampoos, curl-boosting styling creams, exfoliating body scrubs, creamy body washes, and cleansing wipes, this collection caters primarily to women with dry, flaky, itchy, or even eczema-prone skin and damaged, dry, and unruly hair.
Though I haven’t tried every product in the collection, I have tested four of the 12 items in the collection. Here are my thoughts on each!
YES TO COCONUT ULTRA LIGHT SPRAY BODY LOTION
This is hands-down my favorite product in the collection thus far. This milky yet lightweight lotion is packaged in a bottle with a spray nozzle so that you can lightly spritz the formula on your body and then massage the lotion into the skin.
Technically, the spritzer is meant to be a time-saving tool for women on-the-go, helping them cut down on the amount of time spent moisturizing. Truth be told, however, this packaging element is more of a marketing gimmick since it takes just as long to spray lotion and rub it into the skin as it would to pump a few drops out of a bottle onto the palm of your hand and smooth the cream onto your limbs. And, really, who is so busy that they can’t spend a few minutes applying lotion? C’mon now! What I do like about the spray bottle nozzle, however, is that it’s helpful in monitoring the amount of lotion dispensed. Too often, we go overboard when applying lotion, then complain about feeling icky and greasy. Moreover, we blame the lotions and body butters we use for any unpleasant sensation, not realizing that any product would yield this sensation when used in excess (there’s only but so much the skin can absorb!).
From a sensory perspective, the Yes To Coconut Ultra Light Spray Body Lotion ($9.99 at Target, Walgreens and YestoCarrots.com) is indulgent and delightful. The moment you spray a mist-like stream onto your body, you’ll feel cool and refreshed and the mouth-watering coconut aroma will titillate your senses. The lotion’s consistency, meanwhile, is the perfect half-way point between a velvety cream and a watery serum —not so viscous as to feel gummy and tacky but not so aqueous as to feel runny and unsubstantial.
This non-greasy, skin softening lotion is formulated with virgin coconut oil, along with vitamin E-rich sunflower seed oil, jojoba oil (which has a chemical composition that mimics that of the human sebum, thereby allowing it to easily penetrate the epidermis), conditioning shea butter, soothing aloe leaf juice, tamarind seed extract (believed to boost skin elasticity and increase hydration levels due to its hyaluronic acid content), and grape seed extract (which stimulates collagen and elastin production, thereby making skin appear more taut).
If there’s a single product in the line that you MUST try, it’s this one!
YES TO COCONUT HEAD-TO-TOE RESTORING BALM
This is the Optimus Prime of hydrating salves and should have its own “approach with caution” sign because, while effective, it has an über rich consistency and a highly concentrated formula. For all of these reasons, I would not recommend smoothing the balm onto every area of the skin but, rather, using it with a level of discernment, focusing on areas that are prone to being particularly dry, flaky, ashy, and itchy – think knees, elbows, and heels.
The Yes To Coconut Head-To-Toe Restoring Balm ($9.99 at Target, Walgreens and YestoCoconuts.com) incorporates virgin coconut oil, avocado oil, sweet almond oil, cocoa butter, shea butter, sunflower oil, and soybean oil so that it’s a hydration Hulk! That said, it’s also quite thick — almost like petroleum jelly but creamier –and you only need a dollop to treat affected areas. Luckily, it melts upon contact with the skin, likely thanks to the shea butter in the formula, which liquifies at body temperature, and takes on more of an oil-like form. It takes a few minutes for the oil to be fully absorbed but, once it is, you’ll be stunned by the difference in the texture of these once rough areas.
My son has really dry elbows and knees, and I’ve been rubbing the balm on his joints routinely. I’m always pretty amazed by how well it transforms the look and feel of these dry zones. Also, I’ve occasionally used it to tame any split or frayed hair ends, and it worked wonders.
YES TO COCONUT CLEANSING WIPES
I’m a complete sucker for pre-moistened towelettes. You know how babies will smile and giggle as you wipe their tushies during a diaper change? That’s pretty much how I feel every time I glide a cooling towelette on my face!
That said, because I appreciate the convenience of these towelettes and the refreshing sensation they can provide, I’ve tried every facial wipe variety known to man (or close to it, anyway!). And, as a result, I’ve grown increasingly persnickety about which cleansing wipes I’m willing to smooth on my face. Some can be way too abrasive, leaving my skin dry, itchy, and red. Others are so flimsy that they don’t effectively remove my makeup or, worse still, leave a filmy residue that requires me to break out my liquid makeup remover and then follow with a thorough face washing session. And others still can trigger breakouts and generally wreak havoc on my complexion. Because of these factors, I’m practically the Goldilocks of cleansing wipes, forever on the hunt of some wipes that are “juuust right.” Thus far, my favorites include the Simple Skincare Cleansing Facial Wipes, the Yes to Cucumber Facial Wipes, the Josie Maran Bare Naked Wipes, the Korres Milk Protein cleansing Wipes.
And, now, I’m adding the Yes To Coconut Cleansing Wipes (5.99 for 25-wipe pack at Target, Walgreens, and YestoCarrots.com). The moment your skin comes into contact with one of these moistened towelettes, it’s certain to feel crisp and cool, as if it were itself drinking a chilled beverage. Like all of the cleansing wipes in the Yes To range, it effectively removes dirt, oil, sweat, and makeup (even waterproof mascara and long-wearing lipstick) and it doesn’t strip the skin of moisture — in fact, it replenishes it thanks to the coconut water and coconut oil in the formula. Other ingredients include vitamin E-rich sunflower seed oil, orchid extract (a natural moisturizer and skin fortifier that contains antioxidants that help combat free radical damage and minerals like calcium, magnesium, and zinc), hibiscus extract (a natural astringent that contains Alpha Hydroxy Acids that help to stimulate the skin’s natural exfoliation process, effectively sloughing off dead skin cells to reveal new and flawless layers of skin, improving skin tone, boosting radiance, and stimulating collagen and elastin production).
Though I’m still partial to the Yes To Cucumber wipes, I predict I’ll be using the Yes To Coconut Cleansing Wipes in their stead in the coming months, when the harsh winter chill will likely have my skin feeling achy and dry.
YES TO COCONUT NATURALLY SMOOTH LIP BALM
In addition to smelling delicious, the Yes To Coconut Lip Balm ($2.99 at Target, Walgreens, and YesToCarrots.com) seems to melt on lips, instantly making them feel smoother. Because of its slim tube and oval-shaped tip, the lip balm is easy to apply and it fits anywhere (even slim pant and jacket pockets). Formulated with coconut oil, shea butter, and aloe, the lip balm nourishes, softens, and soothes chapped lips while also strengthening this skin’s natural moisture barrier to prevent future dehydration.
Personally, I love the immediate sensation yielded by this lip balm, but I also find it to be slightly less effective in treating chronically dry lips (which I often have) than other options like the eos Smooth Sphere or the Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment. My pout does feel better after I glide the creamy lip balm atop my lips, but I just find myself reapplying the product a bit more often than I’d like.
Still, for just $2.99, it’s one of the more affordable options on the market and well worth every penny!