For thousands of years, women have nourished their hair and skin with one perfect product, provided by nature: beautifully scented vegetable oils.
Natural oils contain polyphenols, fatty acids, and antioxidants, and can make an incredible contribution to healthy and fresh looking skin and hair, though it is very important to distinguish between oils that we can use for which part of the body. Of course, whichever oil you choose, it is very important that it is naturally and 100% pure (I saw some beautiful coconut oil bottles in the shops but then I read the ingredients: it was sunflower oil with artificial coconut smell).
To make your search for perfect oil for your skin easier, here are 3 most important things you should know before choosing a beauty oil.
1. Essential oil vs Carrier oil
Essential oils are made from a variety of plant and tree parts (leaves, roots, flowers, wood, fruit) obtained through steam distillation or cold pressing (citrus oils). They have intense aromas.
Carrier oils are made from seeds, nuts, or kernels and can be obtained through cold pressing, expeller pressing, oil maceration, and solvent extraction. They are rich in vitamins A, D, E, K and ussualy have no aroma.
Carrier oils can be applied liberally to the skin, they protect, nourish and moisturize the skin. On the other hand, the essential oils are very strong and should be diluted with carrier oils to allow the skin to absorb more easily. So carrier oils carry essential oils into the skin.
Essential oils: Lavender essential oil, Patchouli essential oil, Lemongrass essential oil, Orange oil, Peppermint oil, Tea tree oil, Bitter almond oil, Basil oil, Rosemary oil
Carrier oils: Jojoba oil, Sweet Almond oil, Coconut oil, Rosehip oil, Grapeseed oil, Apricot kernel oil, Olive oil, Argan oil, Avocado oil
2. Comedogenic & non-comedogenic oil
The understanding of comedogenic scale could help you decide which oil is the best for you and of which you can benefit the most. Every oil & butter has a comedogenic rating. The scale of comedogenic rating begins with 0 (non-comedogenic oils) up to 5 (comedogenic oils).
The oils with comedogenic ranking 0, 1 or 2 (non-comedogenic oils) do not clog pores and contribute significantly to the fresh, healthy appearance of the skin. They moisturize and nourish and should be an essential ingredient in skincare for all skin types.
Comedogenic oils ranking 3,4 and 5 clog pores and can lead to blackheads, acne and other skin irregularities, and very few people can tolerate this oils.
This is especially important to pay attention to if you plan to use an oil for your face – the best choice would be an oil with comedogenic number 0,1 (sensitive skin) or 2 (normal skin).
The Comedogenic Scale
0 – Argan Oil, Hemp Seed Oil, Pistachio Oil, Safflower Oil, Poppy Seed Oil
1 – Calendula Oil, Grape Seed Oil, Walnut Oil, Rosehip Oil, Hazelnut Oil, Kiwi Seed Oil
2 – Sweet Almond Oil, Apricot Kernel Oil, Brazil Nut Oil, Cherry Kernel Oil, Fractionated Coconut Oil, Jojoba Oil, Mango Butter, Mango Seed Oil, Olive Oil, Peanut Oil, Pumpkin Seed Oil
3 – Avocado Oil, Chia Seed Oil, Cottonseed Oil, Date Seed Oil, Sesame Seed Oil
4 – Carrot Seed Oil, Cocoa Butter, Coconut Butter, Coconut Oil, Palm Oil
5 – Soybean Oil
3. Fatty acids: Linoleic & Oleic Acid
Both fatty acids play an equally important role in skin health.
Linoleic acid helps reduce acne breakouts and is very efficient as an antioxidant and as a skin-soothing agent. This acid is suitable for all skin types, but those who have acne issues will find it most helpful.
Oleic acid is very rich in antioxidant compounds and therefore excellent for dry or aging skin.
Generally speaking, non-comedogenic oils have higher concentration of linoleic acid (Argan oil, Grape seed oil, Safflower oil, Pumpkin seed oil, Sweet almond oil, Hemp seed oil) and comedogenic oils are rich in oleic acid (Avocado oil, Coconut oil).