Sunday, August 25, 2013

Natural Oils for Your Face and Body

I was asked recently why I choose to use natural oils for my night moisturizer on my face and felt the response was worthy of a post on the blog. Because there's such a hesitancy and reluctance by most people to put oil on their skin, I did a little research so I could adequately explain to you why some pure oils are the best thing for your skin and why you might want to consider using oils on your face as well.

If you look around your local cosmetic store or supermarket, there is a wide variety of different skin moisturizers. All of them usually promising deeply hydrated, younger looking skin (often at a significant price).
But look a little closer at the ingredients list and the petrochemical derived additives like propylene glycol, cyclomethicone, petrolatum and methyl paraben may not sound so appealing. 
If, like mine, your skin is at all sensitive or problematic, it’s beneficial to have one simple, natural oil to use as a face moisturizer, rather than trying to work out which of two dozen different additives might be causing your skin problems.
So many people are concerned with putting oils on their skin, but once your skin gets used to it, you’ll see amazing results. The health benefits of coconut oil as a moisturizer and hair balm have been known for years. And many dermatologists recommend using avocado oil as a calming treatment for patients with rosacea. The benefits of natural oils on our skin have been known to medical science and health gurus for years. And finally knowledge of those benefits are being passed down to the rest of us.

What is a Face Oil?

Simply put, face oils are formulas made entirely from natural oils. They can be a blend of a few different plant-based oils, or a single-origin product such as olive, argan or avocado oil. 

Why Oil?

It’s simple. They are usually more effective at hydrating than a moisturizer and, despite their slick texture, absorb quickly. Most importantly, they nourish the skin, adding powerful vitamins and antioxidants. Because of all those super ingredients, oils nourish your skin, protect it from the sun and free radicals, and have antiseptic and firming qualities. They are especially important for dry and aging skin, which can suffer from a lack of collagen and elastin. You will see real results because oil gets below the surface and penetrates into two of the skin’s five layers to give you a soothing and smoothing effect.

Which Oil is for Me?

The best face oils are natural products made from pure oils and other plant-based ingredients. If the product combines oils with synthetic fillers, it loses its effectiveness. Depending on your problem, different oils do different things. For example, avocado oil is used to treat rosacea since it is extremely calming. For hyperpigmentation or discoloration, pick one that has tons of vitamin C, such as pomegranate oil or avocado oil, because they will have a brightening effect on skin. Even oily skin can benefit from these natural hydrators. Try lavender oil, because of its calming and antiseptic qualities, as well as pomegranate oil, because it firms and minimizes pores. For acne-prone skin, combine the oil with a glycolic acid or hyaluronic acid serum, and applying in place of a moisturizer. That way it won’t give you an oily sensation or clog pores. 

How to apply the oil as a moisturizer?

You can apply oil to your face in the same way you would any other moisturizer – with a cotton wool pad or very clean fingers. Make sure your face is washed well and preferably still damp to spread the oil easily.
Use it straight after showering in the evening. You don’t need that much, a small dab per cheek, forehead, etc. A little goes a long way. This is part of the greasy learning curve I went through over the first few days of using the oils on my face. Using too much oil gives you a greasy feeling. Rub excess oil on your neck and decolletage to moisturize them as well.
While it is not absorbed as quickly as some moisturizers, face oils are usually barely noticeable in ten to fifteen minutes. If this bothers you, give it a few minutes to absorb, then gently wipe your face with a damp washcloth.
You could use it as a day moisturizer (and I often do on days off when I’m not rushing out the door to work), but because these oils are so rich, it seems better as a nightly moisturizer applied before bed.

Which oils do I use?

To start - I'm currently using olive oil (extra-virgin cold pressed) on my face nightly as a moisturizer. I just ordered avocado oil that I am planning to switch to because I have rosacea on my cheeks and avocado oil is more calming and repairative. I also use sweet almond oil on my body after showering as a moisturizer to great effect.

What effects am I seeing?

The first few nights after I started using the olive oil on my face, when I woke in the mornings, my complexion was a little greasy but looked hydrated and healthy. I was a little worried that using oil on my face would make me appear greasy, but once my skin acclimated to using the oil, the opposite was actually true. My skin is so well hydrated after using the face oil that it doesn’t produce excess sebum like it used to. Natural oils have the ability to soak through at least two of the five layers of the skin to deliver hydration and minerals to the deepest parts and work where it's needed the most - where new skin is formed. By using them as a night cream I'm actually making healthy skin from the inside out.

After the first few nights of using the oil on my face I would wake up and my skin was not greasy at all, but still had the hydrated and healthy glow. I'm more than pleased with the results I've seen. 

For More Information

I will continue to seek out relevant scientific reports and data about the health benefits of natural oils for the face and body and post what I find here on the blog. Websites like,,,, and many others are full of pertinent information. Google is your friend, and as long as you are discriminate on which sites you deem as reliable, you'll find a wealth of information. Good luck and I hope you bring face oils into your life. What's best for our bodies comes from nature, not a lab.

As if you needed more convincing, here's a video from my favorite Youtube Guru - Tati, where she talks about using oils and lists some of her favorites.

Thanks for your time, and stay beautiful!