A wise male model once said, “Moisture is the essence of wetness, and wetness is the essence of beauty.” We couldn’t agree more. Moisturizer is the key to any skincare routine, and oil is nature’s answer to dehydrated skin, hair, and nails. Natural oils are packed with antioxidants like Vitamin E and A, which can repair dry, sun-damaged skin and offer protection against further damage from free radicals. You may have already heard us wax poetic about the joys of coconut oil—but it’s not the only fatty lipid fit for your face.
Oil has been used in skincare for centuries. Ancient Australian aboriginal tribes used emu oil for a variety of skin concerns, and historians suggest that legendary beauty Cleopatra used olive oil as part of her exhaustive regimen. Even people with acne-prone skin can benefit from using face oil! While oil is often perceived as highly comedogenic, or pore clogging (and coconut oil certainly is), there are several oils that have incredibly low comedogenic ratings, including argan oil, Shea butter, sunflower seed oil, and hemp seed oil. It’s worth trying a few different oils to find what works for you and your skin.
- Most oils contain a bevy of potent ingredients that protect against free radical damage while plumping and firming skin for a glowy look.
- Olive oil contains squalene, a common lipid found in human skin cells and thus a natural moisturizer.
- Almond oil is rich in vitamins and has a soothing effect on inflamed skin. It can even plump and diminish the appearance of fine lines over time.
- Jojoba oil is hypoallergenic, anti-bacterial, and non-toxic. Its moisturizing ingredients mimic the skin’s natural sebum production, resulting in plump, richly hydrated skin.
- Avocado oil has an ample antioxidant profile and a velvety finish.
- Rose hip oil is another hard-hitting option: it’s highly moisturizing, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and teeming with antioxidants including vitamin C, which aids in collagen production and can reduce signs of sun damage.
In short, oil is a multi-purpose skincare product that can be an essential part of anyone’s routine. You can use oil on your nails, cuticles, and in your hair as a deep conditioning treatment. Tousled in your locks, oil can help close the cuticle shaft to reduce frizz and impart a sleek shine. You can even use it as a gentle, non-stripping cleanser or makeup remover. Coconut oil even doubles as a natural non-toxic lubricant!
WHAT TO LOOK FOR
When shopping for face oil, quality is king. Some oils will be more expensive than others, but be sure that your formula contains potent active ingredients. Look for oil labeled as “100% pure”—the ingredients list should be relatively brief. Organic, cold pressed oil is the highest quality because the harvesting process doesn’t diminish the active ingredients.
Our roundup of local apothecaries could be a good resource in your quest. Northwest-based Being offers a line of vegan and organic options. (Emu oil, though effective, is not vegetarian friendly.) Another good bet would be Alder and Company’s Argan Oil. Sellwood Bodycare also offers a compelling blend of potent plant-based ingredients at a relatively affordable price. Try a few—a dime-sized amount should do—and get ready to reap the benefits of nature’s purest moisturizer.
IMAGE: SYLVIA RANDALL-MUÑOZ