I used to be under the commonly held (but erroneous) impression that oil is bad for one’s skin. In fact, I would do everything in my power to eradicate it from my skin – by using products labeled ‘oil-free’ and strong astringents. As I aged, I noticed that this was a bad strategy because my once pink, plump skin surface became red and irritated. Instead of realizing that my oil-free skin routine was contributing to this, I continued to strip my natural oils and add more and more potent moisturizers, which only made it worse.
A trip to a high end salon in 2007 put a stop to this practice. The skincare specialist asked me point blank, “What the hell are you doing to your skin? It’s so red and irritated!” Then she pulled back and gently asked me about my regular routine, which I described to her.
She told me that my skin is naturally oily because that’s what it needs to be. She suggested I get checked for rosacea (which I did and I have) and that I stop battling the oil and working with it.
Five years later, I nearly have my rosacea under control and I barely wear any makeup at all (see my post on BB Creams and Tinted Moisturizers) and this is all thanks to ADDING oil to my skincare routine.
Types of Oil
The skincare specialist suggested some high-end oils to use, but I wasn’t about to spend hundreds of dollars on small vials of something I didn’t really trust, so I started to do some research online. What I uncovered was pretty amazing. All sorts of celebrities, models and women who I consider icons of beauty were singing the praises of oil – and very few of them were (yet) endorsing a specific product.
It seemed to me that any oil was better than the old fashion moisturizer creams, but various oils had their own qualities:
The thing that I love the most about coconut oil is the smell, but not everyone will agree. It also comes as a solid and turns liquid as you heat it up. I keep a jar for cooking and a jar in my bathroom for slathering. I use coconut oil more for my hair and body than my face as I find it takes a while to really absorb. But because it is one of the fattier oils, it’s really great for plumping up skin and reducing wrinkles if used religiously. Avocado oil has similar properties without the coconut smell.
This one is a little tougher to come by, but has uber benefits to healing scars, stretchmarks and inflammation of the skin in general. I’ve also heard the same of lavendar oil (though I haven’t tried it).
Also nice and plentiful in your local grocer and when using the extra virgin stuff, can be really good for super sensitive skin. I’m currently trying out a blended olive oil based product by a friend that has a combination of Rosehip, Lavendar and grape seed that I’m really loving. The difference with just going to the grocery store and buying it is price, but I like the addition of the other oils in one.
I’ve talked about my love affair with this one before on my beauty blog, but I still love it. The best part of Argan Oil is how quickly it absorbs. Unlike the other oils that I find take a long time to really absorb into the skin, a good argan oil will penetrate and do it’s work quite fast, letting me go on with my day. It also has great anti-aging properties (much like the others). The downside is this is a more expensive oil than the others.
And just in case it’s not easy enough to just go down to your grocery store and find some of these (or you want to ease into this oil thing), here are a few that I’ve tried that I particularly love: