Recently we have had more and more questions regarding oils and their use in skin care. With their popularity in magazines, beauty blogs, and natural skin care; oils are quickly becoming a staple in many women’s and men’s skin care routines. Oils have been used for centuries in natural skin care. Greeks used olive and grape seed oil. Egyptians used sesame oil, and a blend of essential oils to protect their skin from the sun. Oils can be used for moisture, humectants, emollients, barrier protectors, and carriers for essential oils. Oils can have many benefits in skin care, but without proper knowledge, it can be easy to choose an oil that may cause more harm than good. We have decided to take some time to research different types of oils, list their benefits, and what type of oil suits which skin type. Think of this as your go to guide for everything oils!
Not Every Oil is Created Equal
Carrier oils, which we will address in this blog, are cold pressed from the fatty part of the plant, do not evaporate or go rancid. This allows for a wide variety of uses such as sealants for moisturizers, pre cleansers to remove makeup, or as a “carrier” for essential oils to be mixed into. Essential oils are added to carrier oils to boost benefits. They evaporate, can go rancid, are highly concentrated and very fragrant.
The molecular composition of oils can cause a variance of weight from light to heavy. This molecular change is what makes one oil better for oily skin and another better for dry skin. The heavier the oil the more moisturizing and the better for a drier skin type. In contrast, the lighter the oil the better it will be at blocking your body’s over production of oil, and will allow for a normalizing on oily skin. The molecular composition can also make some oils more beneficial for either skin, hair, or nails. Typically the oils that are more similar to your natural sebum production, will have a better effect on the face, than elsewhere on the body. Some oils have natural anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-inflammatory benefits, which can be great for acneic, or sensitive skin types. Others have high levels of anti-oxidants; vitamins such as vitamin E which helps with repair wear and tear, and cracking; vitamin A, which helps with cellular regeneration, has anti-aging properties, and promotes cell growth. With the multitude of properties and benefits oils can help treat conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, acneic skin, fine lines, stretch marks, wrinkles, dermatitis, and regulate oil production.
The absorption rate of an oil is a good indicator of the oil’s molecular composition, and is a guide on how to choose the best oil for your skin type.
1- Very fast absorption rate. These are considered “drying oils”. They are quickly absorbed into the skin, have a low molecular weight, and does not leave the skin feeling oily or slick. The best for acneic, oily, or breakout prone skin types. Examples include hazelnut or rosehip.
2- Fast absorption rate. These oils feel light to the touch, absorb into the skin readily and does not leave an oily feel. They leave a silky, smooth finish. These are recommended for acneic, oily, breakout prone skin types, and also work well for body and hair. Examples include apricot, grape seed, and argan.
3- Average absorption rate. These oils leave a satiny finish on the skin. They have a medium molecular weight, are closest to our natural oil production, and leave a satiny finish on the skin. This is best for normal, lightly oil, and mild breakout prone skin. Examples include hemp seed, and jojoba oil.
4- Slow absorption rate. These oils may feel sticky or waxy before warming at body temperature, and leave a slight oily residue on the skin. With a higher molecular weight, they are best for normal to dry, dry, and combination skin types. Examples include almond, avocado, flaxseed, kukui nut, olive, and sunflower oils.
5- Very slow absorption rate. These oils are the heaviest in molecular weight, typically are solids, and may need to be heated prior to application for proper absoption. They feel heavy and leave an oily, protective barrier on the skin. This is best for dry, sensitive, and inflamed skin types. Examples include coconut, evening primrose, macadamia and palm nut oils.
How to Choose an Oil for Your Skin
This is a comprehensive list of some of the most popular, and currently more accessible oils on the market.
Argan oil: High vitamin E, vitamin A, omega 3 fatty acids, antioxidants, reduces inflammation, promotes collagen production, and skin barrier function. Best for normal to dry skin, and fine lines.
Avocado oil: High in vitamin E, omega 3s, emollient, anti-inflammatory, and anti-itch. Great for eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis, and rosacea.
Coconut oil: High in saturated fats which help create a protective barrier; capric, caprylic, lauric acids which are strong disinfectant and antimicrobial properties, high in vitamin E, and great as a makeup remover. Best for sensitive skin, eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis, rosacea, and sensitivity.
Flaxseed oil: High in omega 3 fatty acids, omega 6 fatty acids, anti-oxidants, anti-inflammatory, skin healing, and known to prevent skin cancer. Great for eczema, psoriasis, and dermatitis.
Jojoba oil: Contains zinc, copper, vitamin B, and vitamin E . Vitamin E helps with strengthening skin, zinc is known to help with dermatitis and psoriasis, and similar to skin’s natural oils. Anti-microbial, iodine helps with acne lesions, and balances natural oil production. Great for normal, combo, dry, acneic skin types.
Olive oil: High in fatty acids, vitamin E, and prevents skin cancer. Best for dry skin types.
Rose hip oil: Contains omega 6 fatty acids, vitamin A increases cell turnover, vitamin C reduces fine lines and wrinkles and fights pigmentation, and heals scarring. Great for oily, pigmentation, acneic, breakout prone skin.
Hemp seed oil: Omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids, increases elasticity, contains vitamins A and E, anti-oxidants, potassium, iron, zinc, magnesium, calcium, and vitamin D. Anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, and anti-microbial,. Best for acneic, sensitive, rashes, balances oil production, effective moisturizer.
Grapeseed oil: Astringent which tightens pores, anti-oxidants, and anti-inflammatory. Linolenic acid creates protective barrier for skin, minimizes dark circles under eyes, and anti-aging. Great for normal, acneic, mature skin types.
Well there you have it! Your go to guide for everything you need to know about skin care and oils. Look for our next post on essential oils, and eventually you’ll become the oil blending master! If you have any further questions, feel free to contact us.