Oils have been around since…well, forever but recently the beauty industry has seen their resurgence. It almost seems like there is a new ‘beauty’ oil discovered every week, each superseding the one before. From kitchen pantry and health food stores to the beauty aisle, the following oils are lauded as the ultimate ingredient for your face, body, hair and/or nails.
Argan (Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil)
Pressed from nuts found in argan trees-exclusive only in Morroco- argan oil is rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids including linoleic acid, omega-6, which helps in maintaining the lipid barrier in skin and natural tocopherols (vitamin E). It nourishes, regenerates and protects the skin.
In hair, it adds moisture to dry hair, calms frizzy ends and can help with a dry scalp.
Coconut (Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil)
A staple in tropical regions of the world, coconut oil moisturizes, strengthens connective tissues, provides antibacterial properties through lauric acid, nourishes and heals. I think it’s important to note that although coconut oil has anti-bacterial properties and some people claim it’s a great treatment for acne, use caution. Those who suffer from acne may find it feels too heavy, clogging pores and potentially leading to more breakouts.
In regards to hair, coconut oil can penetrate better than other oils and therefore is commonly used as a deep conditioner (or found in conditioning products).
Grapeseed (Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil)
Extracted from the seeds of grapes, this is rich in linoleic acid and acts as an emollient and antioxidant (high in vitamin E). Linoleic acid is an unsaturated EFA that is found in skin lipids like ceramides and cholesterol which protects the skin barrier function, prevents the drying of skin and soothes. It’s ideal for massage oil since it glides well on skin.
Jojoba (Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil)
From the jojoba plant and known for resembling sebum (oil found on your face), jojoba oil moisturizes, reconditions the skin and provides barrier potection. Interestingly, jojoba oil is thought to balance oil production which could be great news for people with oily skin. The tocopherol content provides excellent antioxidant activity. *Note: Sometimes only small amounts are needed to reap the benefits so tread lightly if you apply the oil straight to your face. It might be best for those with oily skin to look for skincare products formulated with this ingredient instead.
Olive (Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil)
Olive oil is rich in vitamin E and antioxidants which help repair and renew skin from oxidative stress, soothes inflammation, smoothes the skin and helps maintain skin elasticity.
In hair, olive oil doubles both as a deep conditioner and dandruff controller, and when rubbed on nails, it helps cuticles stay plump and hydrated while producing a natural shine.
Sunflower (Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil)
Produced from sunflower seeds, sunflower oil replenishes and restores the skin with nourishing fatty and amino acids. Amino acids supply nutrients to nourish the skin, which in turn strengthens connective tissue and keeps the skin smooth. Sunflower oil also increases moisture retention (great for dry skin!) and provides natural barrier protection.
Sweet Almond Oil (Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil)
This oil contains high levels of oleic acid and unsaturated triglycerides provide moisture to skin that is easily absorbed into the skin. Oleic acid, found naturally in vegetable and animal oils, is high in unsaturated omega-9 fatty acids, providing emolliency and a soothing factor to skin.
In hair, it adds shine and purportedly controls hair fall.
Bottom Line: Although the benefits of these oils are superb, it may not work the same for everyone. You may find that some oils dry out your hair instead of smoothing them or they work wonders for your body but can wreck havoc on your face. ‘Natural’ can be great but isn’t exempt from producing adverse reactions so use with caution.
Have you tried any of these oils? What was your experience like?