We often blame the weather for our extra dry skin, blaming dry, air conditioned offices. But often, we’re also to blame; too-hot showers, a lack of moisture replenishment from using the wrong skincare, not turning on the humidifier before bed, and an internal lack of hydration from not drinking enough water are things we can change to promote a soft, glowing complexion. Our skin needs moisture, it needs balance, and it needs care.
The modern skincare routine has grown from the basic cleanse-tone-moisturize variety to include facial oils, treatment serums, or a cleansing balms containing any number of oils. And it’s no wonder, what with the natural movement taking over, cosmetic formulators are reaching into kitchens, borrowing from other cultures, and traveling the world to source a myriad of ingredients to compete for a spot on our top shelf. Which brings us to oils. From Morocco to Mexico, the fields of France and the tops of trees in South America, no leaf is left unturned. Oils are everywhere. Almost all oils are known to contain some number of antioxidants, which makes them useful for not only replacing moisture to the skin, but as highly functioning anti-agers, and celebrated healers.
Here are 10 natural oils to add to your skincare routine—and how to use them.
Derived from the seeds of the Argan tree native to Morocco and high in antioxidants and essential fatty acids. Argan oil is lightweight and easily absorbed.
It has been popularized in recent years, with entire cosmetic ranges featuring it as a key ingredient. Argan oil can be used on face, body and hair.
Try: Leaves of Trees Argan Oil ($35, leavesoftrees.com)
Its claims to fame include: balancing sebum (oil) production, improving skin elasticity, calming irritation, and reducing signs of aging by combating free radical damage. Add it to your daily routine as a moisturizer, or apply at night as part of a cleansing and hydrating routine, or add a few drops to your hair to treat dry ends.
Try: Oile Biologique 100% Organic Argan Oil ($44, thedetoxmarket.ca)
Barbary Fig Seed Oil
Barbary Fig Seed Oil is made from the seeds of the fruit of Barbary fig, a type of cactus. This oil is exceptionally high in Vitamin E and linoleic acid. Barbary fig seed oil protects against free radicals, stimulates new cell growth, and calms inflammation. It is skin-smoothing, soothing and softening, and hydratiing to face, body, hair, and nails.
Try: La Bella Figura Barbary Fig Seed Oil ($108, clementinefields.ca)
Barbary Fig Seed Oil
Use it pure on skin and nails, and anywhere that will benefit from a few drops of this powerful elixir, or find it in a super-oil blend and apply at night.
Try: La Bella Figura Barbary Fig Seed Oil ($95, thedetoxmarket.com)
Extracted from the pulp of the fruit of the moriche palm, a tree native to South America, this oil is high in vitamin A, and is considered to be the richest known natural source of beta-carotene, a powerful antioxidant known for its cell renewing abilities.
Bronze it up with buriti – it’s found in raw makeup line, RMS Beauty’s Buriti Bronzer.
Try: RMS Beauty Buriti Bronzer ($28, rmsbeauty.com)
Buriti oil reduces dryness, fights aging, lines and sagging skin. Give skin a pick me up when paired with lime in Odacité’s Pure Elements collection.
Try: Odacité Buriti Lime Serum Concentrate ($44, thedetoxmarket.ca)
A macerated oil made from marigold flowers infused in oil. Calendula Oil is known mostly for it’s healing properties. It can be applied to minor burns and abrasions, and can be rubbed into sore muscles and sprains. This oil works wonders on seasonal eczema and extra dry skin.
Try: St. Francis Herb Farm Calendula Oil ($20, well.ca)
Apply pure oil directly to affected area, or find it in a hydrating body cream and use daily for smooth skin.
Try: Pai Comfrey & Calendula Calming Body Cream ($40, freshfaced.ca)
Made from the fat from the flesh of coconuts, this white, slightly waxy oil turns to liquid at room temperature. Coconut oil has seen a recent surge in popularity as a cosmetic ingredient due to its antibacterial, anti-fungal and antimicrobial properties, as well as its moisturizing and quick-absorption attributes.
Try: RMS Beauty Lip Shine ($25, rmsbeauty.com)
It is a common ingredient in many soaps and body care products. Find it in RMS’s entire raw makeup range, from concealer to lip shine and luminizer.
Try: RMS Beauty Raw Coconut Cream ($18, rmsbeauty.com)
You can also pick up a big jar of organic, cold pressed coconut oil and use as body cream.
Coconut oil can be used to clean teeth and taken internally for overall health or used as a makeup remover, moisturizer, cleanser, and to heal sunburn.
Try: Maison Orphée Virgin Coconut Oil ($15, maisonorphee.com)
An oil extracted from bean-like seeds of the desert shrub, Jojoba, it’s known for its wide-spread use in cosmetics. An excellent hydrator and skin repair oil said to mimic the body’s natural oils. Use it post-shower on damp skin, as a hair treatment, or give it to your guy to use as a beard oil.
Try: Desert Essence 100% Pure Jojoba Oil ($14, desertessence.com)
Extracted from the nuts of Marula trees which are indigenous to Southern Africa and Madagascar, Marula oil is said to contain more natural antioxidants than argan oil, which makes it a must-try for dry, chapped skin, scars and fine lines.
Try: Acure Organics Marula Oil ($16, acureorganics.com)
Apply it pure as a facial oil, to spot-treat scars and dry areas, or find it in a luxe concentrated beauty balm.
Try: May Lindstrom Skin The Blue Cocoon Beauty Balm Concentrate ($179, freshfaced.ca)
Made by cold-pressing the seeds of a type of wild rose bush. Rosehip oil is exceptionally healing, and can be used directly on skin conditions such as burns, eczema, dermatitis and acne.
It’s also known to treat and smooth fine lines, and is a favourite oil of celebrities Rose Byrne and Miranda Kerr.
Apply a super-charged version as daily moisturizer. Pai’s Rosehip BioRegenerate™ uses CO2 extraction methods to preserve double the regenerative sterols and five times the carotenoids of the plant.
Try: Pai Rosehip Biogenerate Oil ($40, clementinefields.ca)
Sweet Almond Oil
Made from pressed sweet almonds, it contains vitamin A, B and E, and is a common ingredient in cosmetics and skincare. It’s been said to reduce dark circles, renew skin cells, and provide moisture.
Try: Studio78 Paris We Take Some Fresh Air Primer ($39, clementinefields.ca)
Sweet Almond Oil
Find it in a smoothing primer or face oil. (Tip: a few drops of this stuff makes for a great cuticle treatment).
Try: Aesop Fabulous Face Oil ($57, aesop.com)
Wild Carrot Oil
Cold-pressed from the seeds of Queen Anne’s Lace, a flowering plant that is native to areas of Europe, Wild Carrot is related to, but is not the classic orange garden variety carrot.
This earthy-smelling rich oil is rare and very high in antioxidants. It is used to give skin a glowing look. Find it concentrated in a treatment serum and add a few drops it to your daily moisturizer for a major skin boost.
Try: Odacité Wild Carrot Facial Serum Concentrate ($65, thedetoxmarket.ca)
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