Magical Oils Take Their Place in Skincare
With at least a dozen uses, oils are taking their place in skincare
There was a time when you couldn’t persuade women to use oils, except in the bathtub, but all that has changed radically.
The most important development is the recognition that the animal and mineral oils of yesterday really did clog pores and irritate some delicate skin. However, today’s broad range of plant-based oils is another kettle of fish.
The light, easily penetrating moisturizing products are offered through a variety of companies, and one product usually serves a number of needs. There are oils that have proven successful in minimizing the appearance of stretch marks and scars, and the same oils can be used as a scalp treatment, a serum for fly-away hair, massage oil, lip moisturizer, brow grooming, even makeup remover, simplifying the number of bottles on the skincare shelf and benefitting the pocketbook. Well-known names from Kiehls to L’Oreal are promoting oils, as well as medical and natural care companies. Many offer a full size container and travel-size bottles of the product.
Bio-Oil, with vitamins A & E, Calendula, Lavender, Rosemary and Chamomile extracts, is one that offers some very strong claims: in a clinical study 50% of people who used it for eight weeks recorded an improvement on stretch marks, and uneven skin tone was reduced by 93% in six weeks’ use. The product ahs received a long list of awards, from Most Easily Absorbed Body Moisturiser by Harper’s Bazaar Beauty Awards to Best product for pregnant women in Poland, both in 2014. I tried it on my hands, face, neck, and on body scars from surgery years ago, and within three weeks saw improvement in skin tone and texture – definitely anti-aging effective – and the scarring was less visible. A two-oz. bottle runs from $11.99, and can be found at GNC, Target and other outlets.
After a series of long plane rides, I used CapriClear Spray-on Moisturizer made from 100% fractionated coconut oil, which is thought to be more effective than virgin oil in penetrating the skin, and it doesn’t have to be warmed or stirred before using it. The all-natural, paraben-free product turned out to be one of the fastest absorbed oils I have ever tried; I could use it just before getting dressed without worrying about it staining my clothing, and it feels incredibly gentle and skin becomes very silky, even after dehydration from time in the air. And being able to spray it on makes it so easy, good for hard to reach spots like the middle of the back.
The company reports that it was proven in testing to relieve symptoms of eczema and atopic dermatitis including flaking, cracks, itching, scaling and redness, and reduces the appearance of scars and stretch marks.
The full-size 5.2 fl. oz. bottle at $19.99 and TSA-friendly travel size 1.9 oz. $10.99 bottles are available at Bed Bath & Beyond and other retail stores as well as Amazon.com and drugstore.com.
Natural Australian Jojoba from The Jojoba Company Australia is made exclusively with 100% natural Australian jojoba grown and harvested on the company’s own farm. Jojoba is really not an oil, but a wax ester, matching a component of healthy human skin, which allows the body to accept it for deep hydration. This is incredibly gentle and effective, and the company also makes a baby oil. The 1 fluid oz. bottle is $19.95 online and in health food stores.
People who have had problems with other oils rave about Seaberry Moisturizing Face Oil, a blend of pure oils—seaberry, cranberry seed, camellia seed, grapeseed, and sweet almond— that reportedly increases the skin’s smoothness and elasticity and works against free radicals as an anti-aging product. Used traditionally in Siberia, the product was discovered by co-founder Lev Glazman when used by a doctor to heal her arm after it was burned by boiling water. It certainly has a positive effect on skin tone; fortunately, I didn’t have to try it as an agent for healing burns.
At $50 for 1.6 fluid oz., it is available at Sephora and Amazon.
A completely different application of oil is pulling, This is an Ayurvedic technique to remove toxins from the mouth, a key to heart health. Devotees say it provides benefits from whiter teeth and fresher breath to joint pain relief, energy boosts, weight loss, relief from gum disease and tooth decay.
Although most of these rely on single oils, GuruNanda Pulling Oil contains a proprietary blend of sesame oil, sunflower oil, coconut oil and peppermint oil, which have different properties. The process of pulling involves putting a tablespoon of oil in the mouth and swishing it around without swallowing it, building up to 20 minutes. The oils attract bacteria, which then are removed when the user spits out the oil (in the trash, as it can clog drains). I found it difficult to get up to the 20 minute mark, but even using it for 10 minutes made my teeth whiter and, together with flossing and brushing, my mouth feel much fresher.
The generous 8.45 fluid oz. bottle is $14.99; you can buy it on their own site or on Amazon.com