A good friend of mine and I were having brunch recently. Over champagne and eggs florentine, our discussion turned to our skin care routine. She commented on how the recent santa ana’s were wreaking havoc on her skin and no amount of mouisturizing lotion was helping. I asked her if she had tried using facial oil, to help keep her skin moisturized, and how I much I loved adding this ingredient into my beauty routine. She explained that she was still too afraid to use oil on her face, in fear that it would lead to a serious breakout. I admitted that at first, I too was terrified to add oil to my combination skin. In my youth the excess of oil lead to terrible breakouts. However, I had read about how Italian beauties like Sophia Loren slathered EVOO all over their face to achieve a luminous glow and maintain their lustrous youthful appearance. So there had to be something to it right? So I did a little research into why oil is favored over lotion for your face, it’s benefits, and the different types that can actually reverse the signs of aging.
We all understand that moisturizing is an essential step in good skin care. The more moisture your skin has, the less cracking, thickening and flaking. Not only on your legs and arms, but also on your face. Dry skin causes larger pores, which can become more visible as we age. Through moisture hydration, we are able to replenish the skin’s natural ingredients that help maintain its structure. Thus, keeping pores small, complexion bright, and minimizing wrinkles by locking moisture in. In the past, moisturizers were essentially a mixture of water and wax, but as science has progressed, so has beauty and not always in the best ways. Many over-the-counter lotions and moisturizers contain chemically infused fragrances and ingredients which absorb quickly into our blood stream through our pores. Yuck!
One of the best reasons to use oil vs lotions on your skin is due to the purity and integrity of the ingredient(s). In addition, although both absorb just as well into skin, facial oils can help bind and protect the skin’s lipid barrier, helping to prevent moisture from evaporating from our skin. So instead of creating a greasy layer, clogging pores, and creating breakouts (something we all fear), oils actually keep our skin hydrated, vibrant and moisturized. Plus these lipids help keep dirt and other impurities out of our pores. Another great thing about oil is that it is vegan and mostly cruelty-free (check production methods per brand).
There are a number of different types of facial oils that are great for your skin. Depending on your age, race, and the composition of your skin, one may work better for you than another. It may be good to test small amounts on your skin, before committing to one. Below is a brief description of oils I have used, along with specific benefits.
Argan Oil – Derived from the nut of a fruit, that grows on argan trees typically from within the Argan Forest in exotic Morocco. This highly productive oil is rich in vitamin A and E, which helps boost skin cell production to allow healthy skin to flourish. Argan oil is packed with anti-oxidants, Omega-6 fatty acids, and linoleum acid which has been shown to ease inflammation and reduce the appearance of stretch marks. You can add it to your facial toner, mix with brown sugar and use as an exfoliant, or use as a leave in conditioner for your hair. Aside from the skin benefits, argan oil can also be used to treat bug bites and skin rashes.
Coconut Oil -All the rage, coconut trees have been hailed by many cultures as the “tree of life”. The oil is extracted from the kernel or meat of mature coconuts. The oil harveseted is rich in saturated fats and fatty acids which protects the skin from free radical damage. The oil is also helpful in healing wounds and preventing acne. It absorbed quickly to soothe thirsty skin and can also tone the skin to improve elasticity. For best results choose a cold-pressed virgin coconut oil. Or look for products that use cold-pressed coconut oil as an ingredient.
Grapeseed Oil – Just as the name indicates, this is a fruit oil extracted from the seeds of grapes. It is rich in beta-carotene, fatty acids, and contains vitamins D, C and E. Grapeseed oil naturally locks in moisture and penetrates the skin’s service quickly due to its light consistency. It will not clog pores; in fact this is one type of oil that can be used across all skin types. It has many uses inclusive of treating acne, tightening skin to fight signs of aging, and can also help diminish dark circles around the eyes.
Olive Oil – Olive oil contains three major antioxidants: Vitamin E, polyphenols, and phytosterols. These help protect the skin from prematurely aging by helping to restore skin smoothness, reducing wrinkles, and minimizing appearance of creases. Contrary to popular belief, olive oil will not clog your pores. It can actually be used as a cleanser due to the fact that over time, it helps to balance the natural oils of your skin. It can multitask too! Use it for nail and cuticle care, as an eye makeup remover, and as an ingredient in homemade facial masks.
Pumpkin Oil – The anti-aging superfood. This oil is packed with essential fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. It is compressed into an oil that soothes, hydrates, protects, and renews your skin! Frequent use can increase skin firmness due to the potency of the zinc and vitamin C, which tightens cells. It is also great for oily skin, as the zinc helps balance oil production and the vitamin E can protect against environmental stressors.
Rosehip Oil -A cold pressed oil that comes from the seeds of a specific variety of rose that is harvested from the seeds of rose bushes predominately grown in Chile. It is full of vitamins, Vitamin C, antioxidants and essential fatty acids. It is known to correct dark spots , hydrate, and is helpful in reduction of scars, fine lines, and eczema.
Aside from all the vitamins and antioxidants these oils contain, they are incredibly hydrating and feel fantastic on your skin. You can find these natural oils almost anywhere and at a fraction of the cost of those expensive beauty brand serums and mositurizers. Try for one week and you will be a believer too!
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