The beautifying skin benefits of oils are steeped in history, and in a modern day full of multiple skincare options for the face and body, their power still rings true, discovers Emma Bangay.
Oils are the hydration option de jour for face, body, hair and nails these days! With fans such as Eva Mendes, Miranda Kerr and Michelle Williams, its evident that their efficacy is more than excellent. Of the surge in popularity for the ancient, natural hydrator, Be Genki founder, Samantha Sargent puts it succinctly: "Nature is perfect!" she states. "It does not need to be modified within a lab. The oil from a plant contains a variety of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals all working synergistically together to bring about an effective result."
Which Skin Types?
All skin types, and all ages benefit from oils as there are so many different oils and complimentary combinations. “For example, Argan Oil helps to balance oily skin and acne, as well as being renowned for helping to repair damaged hair, whereas Prickly Pear Seed Oil contains an extremely high amount of vitamin E and is particularly beneficial for minimizing the signs of ageing,” says Sam.
Adds Amy Eleftheriadis of Sukin Australian Natural Skincare; “Rose Hip Oil in particular can be used any time from mid teen years onwards and any variation of body oils are great from any age and suit a very large range of skin types,” she explains.
How Much Oil is OK?
Amy suggests using no more than a dropper – rather than pouring oil into the palms – when applying to the face. “Depending on the skin type, some people would need that whole dropper, whereas others would probably use half and in some cases even less,” she says. “Because the skin on our bodies is tougher and harder wearing, we can afford to be more liberal with oil application on the limbs,” she adds. “For Rose Hip Oil 2-3 droppers on problem areas would not be too much and 3-4 pumps per body part would provide lasting hydration,” she says.
Sam adds that application is best in gentle, pressing motions, rather than rubbing product into the skin. “Applying oils to is also a beautiful opportunity to gift yourself a mini massage, whether that be delicately on the face with a gentle touch, or with long firm strokes on the body towards the heart,” she says.
Oils have a shelf life – as any of your good cooking varieties would have taught you by now. Not dissimilarly, as with all ingredients from nature, oils will begin to lose their effectiveness over time. Whilst oils are, for the most part, self-preserving, there is a point where composition and quality will be compromised such that it’s best to discontinue use, notes Amy. “Often the tell tale signs of an oil reaching the end of its life are if it starts to fade in colour or change scent, which can be quite noticeable,” she explains. “In extreme circumstances the oil will thicken and become gel like, but this generally only occurs when the oil has been unsealed for very long periods of time.”
Tips For Finding (and keeping) The Ideal Oil:
o Oils are multi-beneficial, with some providing nourishment to the body, face and hair. Sam says that the best all-rounders include Argan oil, coconut oil and olive oil. “Always remember to choose high quality virgin, unrefined, unbleached, cold-pressed organic oils though,” she points out.
o Can’t get to the cosmetic counter? Search for your salve in the kitchen. “Olive oil has outstanding beneficial properties for external and internal application,” says Sam. “It has excellent moisturizing qualities to help soften and smooth the skin, and is beneficial for both dry and irritated skin types.” It’s also a beautiful hair treatment oil that helps to naturally condition the hair and promote scalp health, she adds.
o “Face and body oils must be kept well sealed, stored below 30 degrees and well out of the sun’s reach,” Amy says. “Light can compromise the oil’s quality dramatically.”
o For premium efficacy, apply oils to freshly cleansed skin and underneath moisturizers. “If your pores are nice and warm when you apply an oil, your skin will absorb the oil and its benefits more rapidly. Applying underneath a moisturizer or cream means the cream will spread better on the skin, and application of makeup becomes much easier,” Amy says.
o Not all oils are the same, warns Sam. Mineral oil, synthetic fragrance oils and any petroleum by-products interfere with the skin’s natural functions, clog the pores, exacerbate acne, and are highly likely to be contaminated with carcinogens that are linked to breast cancer, she cautions.
Amazing Oils To Try:
1 of 6: Be Genki Vital Body Oil 26
from BeNaturallyYou - benaturallyou.com
2 of 6: Sanctuary Spa Wonder Oil Serum 3299
Available from Priceline
3 of 6: Vanessa Megan Body Beautiful Oil 5995
Available from - www.vanessamegan.com
4 of 6: Tom Ford Neroli Portofino The Body Oil 100
Available from www.tomford.com/beauty/
5 of 6: Sukin Facial Treatment Oil 1995
Available from pharmacies nationally.
6 of 6: Clarins Blue Orchid Face Treatment Oil 49
Available from AdoreBeauty - www.adorebeauty.com.au
o Sukin Facial Treatment Oil, $19.95. From pharmacies nationally.
o Clarins Blue Orchid Face Treatment Oil, $49, from AdoreBeauty
o Be Genki Vital Body Oil, $26, from BeNaturallyYou
o Vanessa Megan Body Beautiful Oil, $59.95, from VanessaMegan
o Tom Ford Neroli Portofino The Body Oil, $100, from Tom Ford
o Sanctuary Spa Wonder Oil, $32.99, from Priceline