Who wouldn’t want a glowing complexion? Often one of the best skin care products to achieve this is one of the most over looked. What is this category you ask? Carrier and essential oils. Did you just gasp? It is a hard concept for people, especially with oily skin, to wrap their heads around, but it is true. There are many oils that have been used throughout history to help cleanse, moisturize and protect the skin.
Ancient Hebrews used olive and grapeseed oil to keep their skin hydrated and as a natural SPF in the desert. Greeks bathed in olive oil and the Romans were known to apply almond oil to their whole body to look healthy.
Normal skin has a good oil to water balance, but we have been mislead into believing we need to remove all traces of oil from our skin and be “squeaky-clean” to have good skin.
In recent years, more people are looking for a back to nature approach to lessen the chemicals in their food, home cleaning products, and what goes on their skin. Plant and nut oils are once again emerging as popular beauty treatments.
One of the first oils that became popular, thanks to many Hollywood celebrities is Argan oil. Sometimes known as Moroccan oil, it has been used for centuries in Morocco to maintain the beautiful skin of the women in the harems. Many of its’ benefits include: deep hydration, helping to reduce fine lines and wrinkles, heals damage, lightens scars and pigmentation. One of the amazing things about this liquid gold is that it can be used to help people with acne. Packed with Vitamin E, it is an antioxidant that helps reduce inflammation and also helps to kill bacteria. By using 1-2 drops of Argan oil after cleansing you can help your skin heal from break-outs.
Jojoba oil is another remarkable skin care oil that is used in many skin care products, but you can apply it directly to your skin for great results. Jojoba is not an actual oil, it is liquid plant wax and is very close to the same make up as our own sebum. Jojoba is noncomedogenic and makes a wonderful medium for massage. I use jojoba mixed either with lavender essential oil or tea tree oil when performing facial massage. It is a great product to balance the skin after exfoliation.
Rosehip Seed oil is a wonderful alternative for people that are too sensitive to use Retin-A. It contains pro-vitamin A beta-carotene, which converts into a usable form of retinol in the body. Rosehip oil is also high in omega 3 & 6, essential fatty acids that help keep skin nice and hydrated. One of the great benefits of rosehip oil is that it helps diminish visible damage done by the sun.
Two lesser known oils that have been used as beauty products for centuries are Neem oil and Kukui Nut oil. Neem oils and creams have been used in Indian Ayurvedic treatments for an array of skin aliments such as eczema, psoriasis, acne, rashes & burns. Neem oil has antifungal and antibacterial properties. It does have a very strong smell and is solid at room temperature. Kukui Nut Oil has a beautiful smell and is a deeply hydrating oil from Hawaii. First brought to the island by Polynesians, it was used by royalty. Rich in alpha-linolenic and linoleic acids, which are part of the skins lipid barrier, these omega 6 essential acids help the skin absorb it easily.
Many of these oils are used in skin care products. Now some skin care lines are beginning to introduce oil cleansers, as more and more consumers are starting to see positive results by using oils on their face. There are many more amazing plant and nut oils out there that have great benefits for the skin. Two companies that sell high quality oils directly to consumers are Mountain Rose Herbs and Bulk Apothecary.