Plant-based oils are one of the oldest skin care ingredients – you can find them in body lotions, moisturizing creams, serums or even makeup products. In recent times, various blends of oils have been particularly popular, just like basic oils such as argan or coconut oil. But does everyone’s skin need them? And if so, how do you know which one is best for you?
DO ALL SKIN NEED OILS?
– The skin derives its moisture from water from deeper layers and from normal sweat secretion. For example, if you exercise (and sweat), your skin will be much more hydrated, says cosmetologist Petra Mayer. – One of the skin’s natural moisturizing factors is sebum, which helps the skin to retain water in the stratum corneum. Without natural moisturizing factors, the water would evaporate, leaving the skin dry and cracked. One of the most important constituents of human sebum are the various unsaturated fatty acids (stearic acid, gamma-linolenic acid, palmitoleic acid). Vegetable oils contain these acids in various forms and proportions. So dry, oil deficient skin types are recommended to use them, she adds.
According to the cosmetologist, for oily skin, sebaceous gland regulation is important externally, which may also be supported by certain oils (eg jojoba, avocado oil), but it is very important to always have a customized choice, as most of us have very special complex skin conditions. So while what may work for one, might not work for someone else.
For people with problematic acne-prone skin, it is important to always check the oil’s comedogenic index, which indicates how likely it is to clog pores and to cause acne. For example, despite its wonderful marketing, coconut oil (on a scale of 5) has a comedogenic index of 4, so it is not recommended at all for acne-prone skin. On top of that, of course, the seasonal changes also affect our skin’s needs – while in the autumn / winter, a greasy skin may “need” some extra oil, whereas in the spring / summer you may not need it anymore (or maybe another type of oil).
WHICH OIL IS THE BEST?
– There is a need to distinguish between body and facial skin, since most of the time our body is covered by clothes, so its condition is primarily influenced by internal biological processes. In contrast, the skin of our face is constantly and directly in contact with our external living space (eg, sunlight, which has a powerful aging effect, can cause pigmentation, etc.). That is why our skin may have different needs for different areas of the body and even for certain areas of the face (eg T-line is greasy, cheeks are drier). So before we start using any oil, the most important thing is to be aware of our current skin type (which may vary with age, hormonal status, season). For this, it is best to seek the help of a beautician, as this will help us achieve the goal of choosing the right product sooner. Even so, you will probably need some experimentation, but we will certainly spare some unnecessary rounds and money, says Mayer Petra.
HOW TO CHOOSE
It is very important that you only buy quality products from a proven source. – There are several certification organizations in the world that can confirm the purity and quality of a given product. The credibility of the manufacturing company on the market tells a lot, but it is also worth considering the product specification of the manufacturer (it is a good thing if it only sells oils). Additionally, the keyword is clearly cold pressed, as these unrefined, chemical-free, quality oils contain most of the active ingredients.
APPLY TO WET SKIN
Cold-pressed plant oils or oil blends, because of their antioxidant and vitamin content and their own therapeutic value (eg anti-inflammatory, wound-healing, circulation- enhancing effects), can be super addition to your skin care routine. From the oil of your choice you can mix 1-2 drops into your moisturizer or you can use it alone after toning. Ideally, apply the oils to damp skin. If you are struggling from very dry skin, you can use several drops – the key is to pay attention to your skin’s needs and experiment with it until you find the perfect oil and the right amount.
Here’s how to use them:
- For removing makeup: Because the oil is very good at removing dirt and makeup, you can use it for cleansing your face. It is no coincidence that oil cleansing is so popular these days. You can use it as a makeup remover by applying a few drops on a cotton ball, wiping your eyes, lips, and also as a face wash, rubbing it all over your face and then wiping it with a soft cloth dipped in warm water (not hot!). If you feel like you can use a gentle, gel face wash after it.
- For body care: After showering, you can mix some oil into your body lotion or use it on its own.
- For Hand / Nail Care: You can remedy dehydration of the hands and nails by massaging a few drops of oil into your hands and nails.
- Hair Care: A saver of dry, split ends! Just rub a bit of oil into the ends of your hair while still damp.
WHAT YOU SHOULD NEVER DO
Never mix oil in a sunscreen or moisturizer containing sunscreen! As this will dilute it, thus reducing the intensity of the sunscreen. So you won’t get the SPF protection that’s written on it, but much less!
What skin type, which oil?
It basically depends on your individual skin condition, but generally according to the type of skin, these are recommended.
Dry skin: argan oil, olive oil, linseed oil, pomegranate oil, evening primrose oil, macadamia nut oil
Combination skin: grape seed oil, eea buckthorn oil, jojoba oil, rosehip oil, rice bran oil
Oily Skin: avocado oil, jojoba oil, marula oil, squalane oil
Acne Skin: jojoba oil, black cumin oil, cucumber seed oil, avocado oil, squalane oil, hemp seed oil / CBD oil
Sensitive skin prone to irritation: rosehip oil, marigold oil, wheat germ oil, almond oil
MY FAVES (#NOTANAD):
Have a beautiful skin!
An earlier version of this article was published in the 02/2018. issue of the Hungarian Women’s Health Magazine.