Posted: Feb 23 2014
The first time I heard about placing 100% oil straight on the skin as a beauty product, I was taking an in-depth class on how to make my own lotions and creams thinking I may want to dabble in that one day. It was a very fun and informative class and after the cost of the class and materials, I ended up with the most expensive jar of lotion I’ve ever bought in my life. (But it was organic, handmade, and full of goodness!)
Although I pretty much decided at that point that concocting lotions probably wasn’t my calling (so meticulous), I learned some life-changing facts about the power of essential oils and how they can be placed straight on the skin for maximum benefit. I had always thought that straight up oil on skin meant oily skin, breakouts and altogether not such a hot look (especially in our already humid Maui weather). However, Stephanie, our instructor, convinced me that placing pure oil on the skin was the only way to go for skin care. Anything Steph said, I took as gold– I mean, this woman walked her talk. She even planted and harvested her plants according to the Hawaiian moon calendar so oils from the plants would be blessed by the light of the full moon. (I know it sounds hippy-dippy, but if you saw this girls skin, you’d do whatever she told you– trust!)
Thus began my mission to learn more about oils and their skin beautifying properties. I had already learned the secret of oil as a skin cleanser and no longer used harsh soaps or sudsing agents to take off my makeup (MAC Oil cleanser is still my favorite on the market). So maybe this oil thing had some validity.
Here are the top five oils I’ve found on the market that are surely worth a try! Along with some that I personally use every day to help in the every day battle of sun damage, age and something I’m experiencing called "being a mom". A little does go a long way! So even though these oils can seem a bit pricy, sometimes only 2-3 drops are needed for full affect. I like to place a few drops in the palm of my hand, warm it up a bit and then rub it in. Surprisingly, it doesn’t leave an oily slick or unsightly sheen, the skin seems to soak it all up. Of course, if this is really a concern, then put it on at night before bed as part of your nightly skin care regime.
Argan oil is used in a lot of products, most famously in the line of Moroccan hair products. It's rich in vitamin E and chock full of fatty essential acids. These fatty acids replenish your skin's lipid barrier and keep skin supple, plump and soft. This oil is luxurious and quite costly, so if you see a product boasting it has argan oil but is only $25, check the percentage of actual argan being used. Most likely it's being cut with other oils which makes it less potent. For best results go with 100% argan to ensure you are getting the maximum amount of fatty acids and antioxidant properties. Josie Maran makes a good one.
BLACK CURRANT OIL
Harvested from the little black currant fruit seed, the oil that is processed packs quite a punch filled with anti-inflammatory properties and skin healing goodness. It's especially good for traumatized skin– skin that has been seen too much sun, or experienced wind burn, or perhaps been recently subjected to a chemical peel. The calming effect that black currant oil has on the skin is remarkable and can also be used for healing scars and toning down redness. Ole Henriksen is one of the THE top brands for beauty oils and I am in love with their Pure Truth Youth Activating oil which is a blend of rosehip, vitamins A,C,E and the omegas.
Chamomile seems to be the miracle plant that soothes all that seek it. From upset bellies to a frantic mind, Chamomile has calming properties that apparently even extend to the skin. Chamomile oil is especially good for sensitive skin and the delicate skin around the eye area. That is why I use it under my eyes and on my eye lids to repair and replenish my skin after wearing a lot of eyeshadow. I swear it even nourishes my lashes. Chamomile oil will also nourish and moisturize making fine lines and wrinkles less noticeable. Sundari makes one that I swear by.
If you’ve been researching on your own, you’ve probably come across rosehip oil as the new miracle youth serum. An article in the Huffington Post boasts it has the power to be the next coconut oil (article here). Since using it for the past two months, I can honestly say it has done wonders on the skin. The oil from the rosehip seed activates skin’s natural reparative ability with potent antioxidants and essential fatty acids to reveal skin’s youthful state. It's also a single source of active vitamin A and vitamin C that leaves skin nourished and protected. Lychee Therapeutics makes a delicious blend of rosehip, pomegranate seed, and argan oil to create one powerful concoction called Rose Repair Oil. Pomegranate is richly nourishing to the outer epidermal layer of the skin and enhances skin elasticity and regeneration. A small dropper full of this super oil at night is all you need for a rich face treatment that will leave your skin glowing and rejuvenated in the morning.
This newcomer to the world of oils is gaining serious momentum. Prized by African women for eons, marula oil comes from the fruit of the marula tree and is known for its anti-aging powers. Its benefits are two-fold. First, because of its high anti-oxidant content, it protects your skin against damaging free radicals that accelerate aging. Next, due to the high essential fatty acid content, it visibly reduces the look of existing wrinkles, from pesky crow’s feet to the parentheses marks framing your lips. The Leakey Collection makes a beautiful packaged marula oil, cold pressed and 100% worth every penny.
So there you have it! As a makeup artist the hardest thing to cover, correct, and conceal is rough, weathered, dry skin. Even the best foundation will not be able to fake the appearance of skin that is nourished and balanced. I find that using pure oils as part of your skin care regime can do wonders for the appearance and health of skin. If you find that your foundation or powders are not compatible with the oil (i.e. they start to separate or change the color of your foundation), use it at night and use your preferred moisturizer during the day.
Also be prepared to spend anywhere from $50-$100 on an ounce of this precious oil. If it's less than that, it's most likely being mixed with other cheaper oils and you will not be getting the full effect. These oils need to be placed in dark colored glass to keep their potency, so make sure the packaging is legitimate as well!
There you have it lovelies! Enjoy your oils and feel free to share this information with other women who would appreciate the advice.
***All photos courtesy of the linked websites.