For The Love Of Oils
To oil or not to oil?
If you've been asking yourself this question, let me give you the simple answer: YES!
Facial oils have created their own movement. They've been around for centuries and have been raved about by many. But for a time, they had developed a bad rep as they were thought to be bad for the skin by clogging pores and inducing breakouts. But I'm here to tell you that not all oils are equal and not every oil is right for every skin type, but there is an oil for everyone!
(Just to be clear, this post covers the benefits of plant-based oils, which are the most common used oils in skincare.)
Facial oils come packed with a variety of nutrients for the skin such as fatty acids (like omegas), vitamins and antioxidants. They have a way of deeply moisturizing the skin, giving it additional barrier protection, which can decrease trans epidermal water loss (TEWL) in the skin. (TEWL is what's responsible for that dry, crepey skin which can also become red, irritated and itchy). Oils are so valuable for anyone suffering from dry, dehydrated, aging, damaged, inflamed and/or compromised skin. In my opinion, there isn't a single skin type or condition that wouldn't benefit from using an oil. After all, our skin produces its own oil, which is necessary to protect the skin against bacteria, viruses and toxins.
Skin can suffer a lot of damage during the day, from photodamage caused by UV rays to environmental pollution and toxins accumulated both externally and internally. it can also be affected by hormonal changes, chronic stress or a compromised immune system.
This is where facial oils can really become beneficial as they act like little miracle superfood serums for the skin, since they have the ability to treat multiple skin issues by reversing damage with their powerful antioxidant content, nourishing the skin with vitamins, and repairing, moisturizing and strengthening the skin with their fatty acid content. The same can be said internally, where plant-based oils such as evening primrose, borage and sea buckthorn have high contents of omegas and other nutrients to help heal, nourish and strengthen from the inside. Just imagine what happens when you use them as both supplement and skincare!
I strongly believe oils are the single most effective way of really affecting the skin in a positive way.
Facial oils are beneficial for any and all skin types, the trick is finding which one benefits your skin, which can be determined by texture, feel and absorption. Here's a breakdown of some common facial oils on the market and what skin types/conditions they benefit:
Argan oil: One of the most commonly known oils, argan is raved about by many for its deeply hydrating and nourishing qualities and its ability to strengthen, replenish moisture and increase elasticity to dry, brittle hair, skin and nails. This is an oil that is especially beneficial for mature skin or drier skin types.
Cacay Seed Oil: According to the International Journal of Phytocosmetics and Natural Ingredients¹, Cacay has been said to be a very potent source of Vitamin E, F, retinol (form of vitamin A) and high linoleic acid content, making this oil an ideal choice as a natural age-corrective and preventative treatment and is a great intensively hydrating oil for normal/dry skin.
Cranberry Seed oil: Containing the ideal ratio of omegas 3, 6 and 9, cranberry seed oil helps to strengthen the skin's lipid barrier and connective tissue, while increasing moisture retention. This is the ideal facial oil for treating hyperpigmentation issues like age spots, melasma and pigmentation due to scarring and is great for sensitive skin. This is one of my personal faves because it has a nice delicate scent, it's lightweight and absorbs into the skin easily, leaving my skin feeling so radiant and loved! Suitable for all skin types.
Evening Primrose Oil: Commonly taken in supplement form, this oil has been proven to be an effective treatment for many inflammatory conditions of the body and skin. Due to its rich gamma linoleic acid (GLA) content, evening primrose makes a potent natural anti-aging treatment for increasing elasticity, moisture and firmness in the skin.
Goji Berry seed oil: Goji berries contains a high quantity of antioxidants to help repair, prevent and protect the skin from environmental damage. This oil is suitable for all skin types, especially sensitive/delicate and younger skin as well as anyone with pigmentation issues.
Moringa Seed oil: Most helpful in treating inflammatory scalp and skin conditions, especially anyone suffering from damaged/compromised skin. Moringa is also known to help with dandruff issues and to strengthen hair. I have used this oil every time I've had a negative reaction to skincare and it has never failed me. It's also a more affordable oil for anyone on a budget!
Pomegranate Seed Oil: Research shows that pomegranate seed oil has tremendous chemopreventive capabilities² (stops cancer from forming) as well as being a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent, with an ability to greatly improve pigmentation disorders. It is said to be one of the best oils for photoprotection as it has a strong ability to absorb UVB rays, making it an ideal sun protection booster.
Sea Buckthorn Oil: This oil has built up a great reputation as being one of the best oils to treat inflammatory skin conditions such as eczema/dermatitis and rosacea because of its fatty acid content and barrier-protecting ability, which reduces trans-epidermal water loss (TEWL, or dehydration in the skin). It is also beneficial for treating acne³ due to its content of linoleic acid (an omega 6) which replenishes the skin's natural moisture content by stimulating the oil glands in the skin and allowing for blocked pores to decongest (think blackheads, whiteheads), making it a great option for teens or anyone with sensitive skin.
Rosehip Oil: Being naturally rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids (also known as PUFAs-omegas 3 & 6), rosehip oil is one of the best out there for improving overall skin health. It is rich in antioxidants and has great anti-inflammatory properties, making it suitable for mature skin, age spots, sensitive skin (or before shaving). Research shows it has the ability to speed up wound healing and reduce/improve the look of scars⁴.
Tamanu Oil: Stimulates new tissue formation and reduces the appearance of scars. It has anti-inflammatory properties and contains a high level of fatty acids, making it a very moisturizing and healing oil. It is often used for circulatory issues such as varicose veins and heavy legs and is said to have antibacterial properties, making it ideal for treating wounds⁵.
Baobab: This oil has show tremendous healing for anyone suffering from eczema, psoriasis or dermatitis due to its ability to reduce TEWL and repair compromised skin. It works well under makeup and is suitable for normal, dry and mature skin.
In a nutshell, here are the benefits of using facial oils along with some extras:
-Reduce dehydration or trans-epidermal water loss (TEWL)
-Soothe irritations from wearing face masks
-Deeply nourish and hydrate the skin
-Provide long-lasting moisture/increasing moisture retention
-Help protect the skin from environmental damage & toxins
-Treat pigmentation issues
-Speeds up wound healing
-Bring down inflammation
-Reduce appearance of scars
-Strengthen skin's protective barrier
No matter what your skin type or condition, using oils will improve not only the moisture content in your skin but will address complaints you might have. As mentioned earlier, your skin produces its own oil but sometimes it can become depleted, so replenishing it is definitely beneficial for maintaining skin health.
My suggestion to you is if you are trying out facial oils for the first time, sometimes its worth trying a single oil, like the ones listed above, to see which one might be best suited to your skin's type and condition (if you need help determining your skin's type & condition, check my other blog post here)
Sending you glowing vibes,
Castro Lozano JC. Biocosmetics: platform for sustainable economic development in Colombia. Int J Phytocos Nat Ingred. 2017;4:7. doi:10.15171/ijpni.2017.07