Whether from stress, hormones or one too many chocolate eggs from the holidays, if your skin is going through a rough patch, we have natural solutions for you! Natural plant and seed oils have many skin-loving properties which can greatly improve your skin’s appearance, tone and texture. Oils may seem like an odd thing to put on skin, especially if you already have an oily skin type, but they actually balance sebum production, act as a moisturiser and can prevent pores clogging up.
In chemistry, there is a concept known as “like dissolves like”, and it applies to clogged pores, blackheads and pimples too (our bodies are all chemistry after all). Have you ever scrubbed your face with soaps or rinsed with water to try get rid of blackheads and un-clog your pores and found that your skin is just as oily and bad as before? That’s because water doesn’t mix with oil and soaps scrape it all away making your skin produce more to compensate. Now bring natural oils into the equation. They can happily dissolve the excess oil and dead skin cells, but because they mimic your skin’s own sebum, your skin doesn’t need to produce more. Excess oil production can be balanced by treating with... oils!
Natural oils are also packed full of antioxidants, healthy fats, lipids, acids and proteins, vitamins and antibacterial properties, all of which are essential for healthy, glowing skin.
We explain our favorite skin oils below:
Argan oilis known as ‘liquid gold’ in Morocco because of its many beauty benefits. Famous as a treatment for damaged hair, it also helps repair dry skin and nails. It is rich in omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants, ultra nourishing for skin and promoting healthy collagen. It helps reduce the appearance of fine lines and moisturises dry skin.
Jojoba oil is actually a plant wax, not an oil. It is a wonderful skin softener and is easily absorbed, leaving no oily residue. It contains vitamins B and E as well as the minerals copper and zinc, all essential to beautiful, healthy skin. Jojoba oil mimics the skin’s own sebum production, so it balances oil production. Who would have thought a plant wax could exhibit mimicry!
Coconut oil is famous for its moisturising properties and needs no introduction. Massage into dry skin for instant relief!
Almond oil is a mild, hypoallergenic oil that can even be used on baby’s skin. Almond oil is rich in skin-loving vitamin E, keeping skin soft and moisturising and soothing itchiness. It also brings relief after sunburn, removing redness and inflammation.
Sesame seed oil is quite literally food for your skin. It is rich in fatty acids which keep your skin supple and soft, vitamins and minerals which nourish, and a penetrative power which allows for improved circulation. Sesame seed oil contains sesamol, an antioxidant which helps prevent wrinkles and refines pores. Use sesame oil to get that glowy look!
Tamanu oil has been used for centuries to speed up wound recovery, and is known for its bacteria fighting and cell regeneration properties. It is also a unique anti-inflammatory, containing a lipid called calophyllolide which is not found in other oils. This makes it an ideal oil to treat acne.
Marula oil is pressed from the fruit of the marula tree. Its antimicrobial properties fight off bacteria causing acne, while amino acids and essential minerals nourish and deeply penetrate the skin.
You will often hear grapeseed oil advertised as one of the active ingredients in skin treatments, lotions and anti-aging creams. That’s because it has one of the highest percentage linoleic acid contents out of all oils, as well as other essential fatty acids, skin tightening and toning properties, vitamins and it is suitable for all skin types. Grapeseed oil is wonderful to use on scars, stretch marks and wrinkles, helping to fade them and restore youthfulness and elasticity to the skin. Plus it is a byproduct of winemaking, so now you can enjoy the fruit of the vine on your skin as well as in a glass!
Pomegranate seed oil is ideal for mature skin, or skin that is sunburned, dry or prone to irritation. It contains ellagic acid, a polyphenol also found in red raspberries, that has been shown to prevent cancer and UV damage. Ellagic acid is also a skin tightener and brightener. Another component of pomegranate seed oil, punicic acid, is an omega-5, aids skin repair and protects from sun damage. Pomegranate seed oil is perfect for all skin types and enhances texture, is anti-aging and on the same antioxidant level as green tea.
Rosehip oil is great for uneven skin tone, is an anti-ager, and is packed full of vitamin C, A, omega-6 fatty acids and linoleic acid. It boosts collagen production, increases cell turnover and regenerates cells. It is reportedly used by Kate Middleton and a number of celebs in their skincare routines, so I’m putting my money on Rosehip oil being pretty effective!
In addition to having wonderful skin benefits in their own right, these oils are also known as carrier oils, which 'carry' essential oils which are too powerful on their own. In closing, I'd like to highlight an essential oil that deserves mention for its skin benefits - grapefruit rose! Grapefruit rose essential oil is used to treat acne (as are many of the citrus oils), tone and cleanse the skin and reduce oiliness. It is also fabulous for treating cellulite (winner!), can prevent signs of premature aging, free-radical damage and is a natural antiseptic. All of these qualities, plus others, make it our essential oil Wonder of the Week!
My mother has used oils for years as moisturisers after showering at night and her skin is as soft as a baby’s even though she’s in her sixties! Oils can also be used as makeup removers, or just massaged into skin before sleeping. They work best on warm, clean skin, when gently but thoroughly massaged in.
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