Does applying oil to your skin terrify you with visions of breakouts, blackheads or a greasy oil slick? If so, you’re not alone. But before you forego oils entirely as part of a healthy skin care regimen, read on. It turns out that using oils on your skin (and yes, this includes your face) have some incredible benefits. The key is figuring out which oil is right for your skin type and knowing how to use it.
Known as Africa’s “miracle oil,” Marula Oil has been revered among African women for centuries for its powerful moisturizing and anti-aging benefits. Extracted from the fruit kernels of the marula tree, this precious and highly prized oil from Kenya nourishes and deeply hydrates the skin while protecting it from those damaging free radicals that accelerate aging. What makes it so effective? For one thing, it’s super-rich in fatty acids and Vitamins E and C. And for another, it has higher levels of antioxidants and Omega Oils than Argan Oil. But the proof is in the using. Marula Oil has been shown to visibly reduce the look of wrinkles—from crow’s feet to those “parentheses” that frame the lips. The way to get the best benefits of this light, non-greasy oil is to use it sparingly. Day and night, massage just two or three drops on your face, neck and décolleté as a stand-alone moisturizer or layered under another facial moisturizer, if your skin is on the drier side.
Grape Seed Oil:
Another oil known for its great anti-aging benefits, Grape Seed Oil is light, absorbent and helps to regulate your skin’s natural oil production—making it ideal for oily skin. Found to lighten age spots and pigmented skin caused by UV rays, Grape Seed Oil has been shown in scientific studies to have more linoleic acid than most oils, as well as more antioxidant power than Vitamins C and E. Plus, biochemists researching the health benefits of this oil have found that it contains Oligomeric Proanthocyanidins (also known as OPCs)—another class of flavonoid complexes that act as antioxidants in the body. In addition to their antioxidant abilities of fighting off free radicals, OPCs also stabilize Collagen and maintain the skin’s Elastin, for a visibly firmer appearance. Use Grape Seed Oil directly on your body to reduce the appearance of stretch marks and saggy skin. Although the oil is often found in many cosmetic products, you can also add one to two drops of Grape Seed Oil to your face moisturizer to enhance its effectiveness.
Olive Oil is more than just a condiment. Once referred to as “liquid gold” by Homer, Olive Oil has been used as a beauty and skin care remedy by the Phoenicians, Greeks, Egyptians and Romans. Today, it’s still prized for everything from erasing stretch marks and minimizing wrinkles to anti-aging therapy and deep hydration. One reason Olive Oil is so effective is that it’s rich in antioxidants, such as Vitamins A and E, polyphenols, phytoserols and the rare compound, Hydroxytyrosol, all of which help repair skin and neutralize the free radicals that cause skin damage. These antioxidants have a natural ability to stimulate cells and bring skin back to a firmer, healthier state. Applied to the face or body, Olive Oil will penetrate deeply and create a protective barrier that traps moisture without clogging your pores. And because it’s gentle and non-irritating, it’s a good choice for sensitive skin, though people with very dry skin should avoid using it. Olive Oil can serve many skin care purposes: As a nighttime facial moisturizer, Olive Oil can be applied sparingly to cleaned skin. Mixed with sugar, it makes an excellent exfoliating facial scrub. Add 3 to 4 tablespoons of olive oil with a few drops of an essential oil like lavender to the bath for a fragrant, hydrating soak. Actress Emily Blunt once told Allure magazine that she soaks her face in Olive Oil to soften her skin. If you’re prone to acne, you might want to proceed with caution (though Olive Oil has also been touted as a great treatment for acne as it doesn’t clog pores.) As a skin care remedy—the same as when using it as a condiment—100% cold-pressed, extra-virgin Olive Oil is best.
Extracted from the kernels of the argan tree, Argan Oil is one of the rarest and most expensive oils in the world. Berber women have used this precious oil for centuries to nourish and protect their skin. Abundant with super-high levels of Vitamin E, antioxidants and essential fatty acids, it’s excellent for repairing cell membranes, preventing premature aging, reducing inflammation and retaining moisture. Argan is also rich in proteins, which help tighten the skin, minimize wrinkles and improve elasticity. Experts believe that Argan Oil can also help with many skin conditions, from dry skin patches to psoriasis, eczema and acne. Argan Oil can be found in some skin care products, though many people look for it in its pure form. If you have pure raw Argan Oil, a few drops can be applied to clean skin at night
as a moisturizer. It’s non-greasy and non-oily, absorbing easily into the skin.
Black Currant Oil:
Derived from Black Currant Seeds, this centuries- old health tonic is wonderful for skin that has undergone some sort of trauma—for example, post-laser treatment, or even for someone with wind-burned skin après a day on the slopes. Rich in vitamins, antioxidants, essential fatty acids and anti-inflammatory properties, it helps slow down the skin’s aging process and is wonderful for repairing damaged tissues, healing scars and minimizing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It even helps minimize symptoms of psoriasis and eczema. A word of caution: Allergic reactions to Black Currant Oil are possible, so check with a professional before using.
Rose Hip Seed Oil:
Rose Hip Seed Oil is one of the best oils available for anti-aging and skin rejuvenation. Packed with Vitamin A, Vitamin E and essential fatty acids, it helps delay the effects of skin aging, promotes cell turnover and boosts Collagen production for firmer, smoother skin. In addition, it’s ideal for minimizing the appearance of scars, stretch marks, age spots and hyper-pigmentation. Rose Hip Oil is known as a “dry” oil, which means that it soaks into the skin easily without leaving a greasy residue. This oil deeply hydrates and can be used straight out of the bottle—even on sensitive skin. It’s not, however, recommended for use on acne prone or very oily skin.
Just as chamomile tea is known for its relaxing, stress-relieving properties, Chamomile Oil is excellent for calming the skin. A great choice for people with sensitive skin, Chamomile is a natural skin soother, calming irritations, redness, sunburn, windburn and bruises almost immediately. In addition to its calming abilities, Chamomile’s anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties make it an ideal choice for people suffering from rosacea or broken capillaries, as well as for treating acne, eczema, psoriasis, rashes, burns and redness. As Chamomile is a member of the ragweed family, people with allergies to ragweed should avoid Chamomile Oil. To make sure it’s okay for you to use, test patch the oil by dabbing a drop on your wrist for a day to see if you have any allergic reactions.