My younger self was always slightly afraid of oils. As adolescents, when we feel our skin is at its most vulnerable to breakout from hormonal changes, we look to mattify and dry out. A lot has changed in skincare both in the understanding of managing our skin and also in terms of product offering. Who would have thought that you could clean you face with an oil? My teenage self would have baulked at the possibility.
It seems to have taken a long time for the right information to filter through because the ancient Egyptians used to keep their skin looking radiant with moringa oil. Instead of oils causing breakouts, they in-fact rebalance the skin by mimicking sebum production, sending signals to the glands to stop producing more. What we need to do is stop trying to strip the skin of oil and instead balance it. Our skin is a living intelligent system that we need to work with rather than against. Good oil contains smaller molecules that penetrate the skin better, that won’t irritate and that promote the natural cycle of skin health.
We do already use many household names without realising. Essential oils have a wide-ranging benefit but be careful to use them as directed, as many are too strong to apply neat. Lavender oil for relaxation and sleep, minor cuts and burns, it’s also anti-bacterial. Tea tree oil has strong anti-microbial, anti-fungal and antiviral properties and has long been used as an antiseptic, peppermint oil for IBS and nausea, eucalyptus for clearing congestion.
Oils come in all shapes and sizes but they are ideal for delivery of anti-oxidants – especially important in our polluted cities. Also, many oils are anti-inflammatory, others shrink pores and many are also the perfect base for make up. Just choose wisely. As for anti-ageing, you can’t go wrong with oil, protecting against wrinkles and adding immediate glow too. I even have an oil that leaves a light tan but without all the chemicals!
Purepotions offers an effective cleansing oil. Skin Salvation is 100% natural and can be used as an alternative to soap, to cleanse and moisturise the face. Excellent for both oily and dry skin and totally free from perfumes, chemicals, synthetics and preservatives. Simply massage on to dry skin and wipe off with a warm wet cloth. You will be amazed at the difference. (£22 at Waitrose or online at Balmonds).
For a facial oil that packs an anti-ageing punch, with that hint of colour, try Tropic Elixir. This golden oil is smoothing, hydrating and rejuvenating. Moringa protects against free radicals, pomegranate is high in vitamin e for hydration and rosehip is rich in anti-oxidants. Apply alone or under moisturiser. (£24 at Tropic Skincare ). Another oil for mature skin, which sinks in fast, nourishing the skin, is the Miracle Facial Oil by Evolve Beauty. Evolve is a company based in Hertfordshire, producing some of the best artisan, natural beauty products available. They are handmade in small batches to preserve freshness and antioxidants. (£30 at Evolve Beauty).
Award-winning brand Skin Revivals offers a large choice of skin oils. Their Pure Organic Argan oil can be used on hair, skin and nails. Ideal for smoothing and softening and perfect for sensitive skin. (£11 at Beauty Naturals).
Urban Veda has created a range designed for each skin type according to ayurvedic, holistic healing principles. Find your ‘dosha’ or skin type with their online skin tool and it will create a bespoke selection of natural ingredients for you skin. Their Purifying Facial Oil is wonderful for rebalancing oily skin for a clearer complexion. (£29.99 at Urban Veda.)
Lastly, there are some exceptional oils for the body. For pure luxury and almost instant absorption, Olverum does a Dry Body Oil (£36 in Fenwick or Liberty or at Olverum). RosehipPLUS is an organic, cold pressing of rosehip seeds and helps with scarring, stretchmarks and scars (£19.87 on Amazon). For the bath, try Emulsion, a new, natural, vegan skincare brand. Spray in the unscented Dispersible Oil Base (£22 at Emulsion) and add a spritz of essential oils; either Raspberry & Black Chamomile or Wake Up Happy – an uplifting blend of chamomile, ylang ylang, geranium, rose, pepper and lavender.