This DIY Scrub Naturally Cured One Woman’s Eczema

And you can make it at home!


Wendy Pagaduan, 50, suffered with painful, unsightly eczema for decades. Doctors’ remedies never helped, so the RN decided to heal herself by creating an all-natural skin scrub that changed her life.

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Registered nurse Wendy Pagaduan’s stomach knotted as the patient she was hooking up for dialysis glanced at her hands and nervously asked, “Should you be touching me?” Her whole life, Wendy had suffered from eczema and keratosis pilaris, skin conditions that caused patches of bumpy, rough, red skin on her scalp, elbows and hands. Often, the irritated skin developed painful open sores that, like her patient noticed, were visible even through her medical gloves.

The Castle Rock, Colorado, then-46- year-old had spent 30 years and thousands of dollars on expensive creams and ointments searching for a cure. But even with prescription salves, she’d get only short-term relief at best. No more, she finally decided. I’m tired of just accepting that things can’t get better. I’m a nurse. I am in the business of healing. It’s time I heal myself.

Mixing up a miracle cure

Wendy Pagaduan
Wendy PagaduanMichele Johns Photography

Wendy began examining the ingredients in skincare products and discovered that most contained preservatives, many of which were irritants. Frustrated, she decided to put the chemistry she’d learned in nursing school to use and make her own all-natural scrub. This way, she could control what was in it.

Doing some research, Wendy learned exfoliating and moisturizing were critical for skin health and that sugar was an excellent and gentle exfoliant when mixed into a hydrating base. So Wendy added the sugar to pure coconut oil, which is antimicrobial and has powerful anti-inflammatory properties. After lots of trial and error, she found that a ratio of 2⁄3 oil to 1⁄3 sugar produced a nice buttery balm that felt great when she massaged it on her hands.

Wendy began applying her scrub to damp hands two to three times a day, and after rinsing, she’d moisturize with “fractionated” coconut oil, which is free of saturated fats and won’t clog pores.

To her amazement, in less than two weeks, all the once-severe redness and irritation on her hands was gone. She continued using the scrub and, six months later, she hadn’t had a single flare-up.

Wanting to share her miracle cure with others, Wendy started Clean Coconut Skincare & Wellness (, which offers a whole line of skincare products. Used twice a day, a jar of Wendy’s scrub lasts six to eight weeks, while the oils and lotions last three to four months.

Today, Wendy, now 50, uses her scrubs daily and eczema flare-ups are virtually nonexistent. “My self-esteem and confidence have skyrocketed,” Wendy beams. “And it’s so wonderful to help others heal too. I’ve never been happier.”

More ways coconut oil helps heal and beautify

  • Nixes plaque: Daily “oil pulling,” or swishing teeth with coconut oil, removes harmful microbes from the mouth to reduce plaque by 60 percent and gingivitis by 56 percent, researchers say. To do: Swish 1 Tbs. of liquefied coconut oil for 5 to 10 minutes daily, then spit in the garbage.
  • Speeds slimming: Researchers in The Journal of Nutrition say women who consume coconut oil daily burn 65 percent more calories, even at rest. Why? Its healthy fats boost metabolism and cut cravings. Tip: Use it instead of vegetable oil.
  • Thickens hair: Applying 2 Tbs. of coconut oil to damp hair weekly, donning a shower cap for 30 minutes, then shampooing can cut breakage by up to 40 percent to help keep hair thick. Researchers credit the oil’s healthy fats with strengthening strands.

This story originally appeared in our print magazine.

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