As Autumn slowly arrives here in Sydney, I look at my tanned beautiful skin and marvel at its good condition. ?I’ve spent the summer walking in the sun, swimming at the beach, watching my son play sport on Saturdays and so on, all with hardly any sunscreen having been used.

This year I’ve changed two things and the difference they have made to my skin is amazing!

We are indoctrinated from a young age to try and prevent sun damage to our skin. ?We wear hats and sunscreen to protect us from the harsh sun we live under. ?Australia has the highest incidence of melanoma in the world and often by the time we are 40, we look older.

I spent 14 years living in the UK and when I came back to Sydney, the most repeated comment for several years was “Your skin is amazing”. ?Obviously all that grey cloud is good for the complexion!

So this year, despite spending lots of time outdoors, I’ve changed how my skin is exposed to the sun and the result has been amazing…

I avoided the annual sunburn day – a day early in the summer when I usually forget the sunscreen, spend too long outdoors and regret it the next day with sore, pink skin followed quickly by peeling.

By walking my dog early in the day I’ve been getting sun exposure before it’s very hot or very strong. ?Most of my beach outings have been after walking the dog (early in the day) or after school in the afternoons. ?Most beach outings this summer were for an hour or less, instead of the traditional half or whole day excursions that I used to do.

This year I perfected the art of the “quick swim”, making the effort to have a swim, even if I only had 10-20 minutes available. ?Something is better than nothing and I decided that the pay off was greater than the hassle because swimming in the sea just makes me feel so good.

The other change I’ve made is that all summer I’ve been using coconut oil instead of soap.

I’ve been skin brushing, then applying coconut oil all over, then jumping under the shower to wash. ?I’ve been using coconut oil on my face. ?I use it for general cleansing and to remove makeup (on the rare occasions that I’ve worn any).

I rub the coconut oil into my skin, rinse off under the shower, pat myself dry and off I go.

I have beautifully moisturised skin, all the time. ?I haven’t burned in the sun. ?I have beautiful skin that looks and feels soft.

Using coconut oil is quicker than using shower gel and then having to moisturise afterwards. ?For most of us it’s probably cheaper too. ?I did wonder if I’d smell like coconut oil or if my clothes would get covered in oil but that hasn’t happened.

I love the feel of my skin after washing with coconut oil and I love the smell of my skin ( fresh and clean, without that fake smell some products have).

I have used my shower gel occasionally, when I felt particularly filthy or when I was camping – the thought of potentially spilling coconut oil in the communal showers and causing somebody (probably me) to slip decided that for me! But mostly I’ve stuck with my oil and in return I don’t think I’ve acquired any new wrinkles this summer!

Have you tried washing with coconut oil? ?What other tips do you have?

*Image courtesy of Free Digital Photos.