For most of us, oils are the last thing we’d want to put on our skin. Though they have a reputation for clogging pores and making hair greasy, the right oils actually contain an abundance of essential vitamins, minerals and fatty acids.
Oils can re-balance, moisturise, protect and brighten skin while improving texture and tone. They penetrate deeper into the skin than creams and can therefore be more effective in balancing our complexions, helping with dehydration, dryness, lines – and even excess oil.
Indeed, oil based cleansers can, surprisingly, be good for oily skin. Harsh ‘oily skin’ products can strip the skin of its natural moisture which in the long term makes the skin overcompensate and produce excess sebum. An oil based cleanser works by attracting other oils without stealing the skin’s natural moisture.
For hydration, try a nut or seed based oil. Almond and plum kernel oils can be used to boost the skin’s natural barriers, which help to keep moisture in.
Cosmetic oils are all the rage with celebrities. Victoria Beckham herself used oils to avoid pregnancy stretch marks, and Emma Stone, of The Help and Crazy, Stupid, Love fame, credits her glowing skin to regular use of grape oil. Actress Emily Blunt swears by olive oil to give smooth and supple skin, although this particular regimen is to be avoided if you already have oil-prone skin.
Oils are also effective hair care treatments. They penetrate deeply and can mend split ends and banish frizz and dryness. Coconut oil is one of the best natural nutrients for luscious locks, and can help to prevent dry scalps and dandruff.
Jennifer Lopez, however, has a more unusual use for oil. She is reported to carry a bottle of grapefruit oil to sniff, apparently warding off hunger and reducing between meal snacking.
Though this final habit is perhaps a little strange, the benefits of oils to skin and hair care can help some annoying problems – they are definitely worth thinking about next time you change your beauty regime!
Natura Skin Clinic