Oil is finally having its moment in skincare and no one is happier about it than me. I've written posts professing my love for olive oil and had articles written about my penchant for slathering myself in olive oil. So you can only imagine how happy I am to have gone from a very oily beauty outsider to a still very oily beauty insider now that the beauty industry is finally catching on to the benefits of oil. Below is a breakdown of all things facial oil as well as a recipe for my go to blend.
Let's start by addressing the most obvious first question, why oil? The short answer is that our skin is either dry or oily so oil is the easiest thing for our pores to absorb. The longer answer has to do with the anatomy and physiology of our skin. Without getting too scientific here, our pores and hair follicles secrete sebum, an oily substance that is created by the sebaceous glands to lubricate the skin and hair. Our pores are designed to secrete and absorb sebum to stay hydrated, which is why the best moisturizers are ones that are closest in consistency to sebum.
The closest oil to sebum is jojoba oil meaning that it will penetrate the skin fastest for optimal absorption and will be good for all skin types. Olive oil, grapeseed oil, and avocado oil are great for dry skin that needs some additional hydration. Olive oil contains squalene, which is one of the components of sebum making it a wonderful moisturizer for dry skin. Almond oil is good for oily skin since it can actually help to dissolve the excess sebum that is making the skin oily. Argan oil can help to balance your body's production of sebum making it a great for all skin types. It is also high in free radical fighting vitamin E, which is amazing for the skin.
An important consideration when selecting an oil is the comedogenicity of the oil. A comedogenic oil is one that is too dense for the pores to absorb, which can cause clogged pores and blackheads. Coconut oil and cocoa butter are both comedogenic so the best thing is to only use these in the shower on damp skin when the pores are wide open. Keep in mind though that not everyone's skin will react the same way to the same oils so this is very much an individuated response that will necessitate some trial and error on your part.
Far and Wild Oil Blend
-Sweet almond oil/jojoba oil/olive oil/grapeseed oil/argan oil: the base oil really depends on my mood and the season. I will tend to go for a heavier oil in the winter and a lighter oil in the summer. I love sweet almond oil in the summer since I'm sweating more and it helps to break down sebum.
-Vitamin E oil: this antioxidant rich oil is a wonderful addition to any topical skincare regimen. It helps to fight free radicals in the body and prevent free radical damage such as wrinkles and fine lines.
-Seabuckthorn berry oil: a vitamin C rich oil that has been used in Ayurveda for centuries. It is extremely rich in vitamin C and vitamin A and can help promote healthy circulation and deep tissue nourishment.
-Tea tree oil: an amazing antiseptic toner, I like to add a few drops to all of my oil blends for its healing benefits.
The exact blend will depend on your skin's individual needs. I like to do 3/4 of my base oil to 1/4 vitamin E with a dropper full of seabuckthorn berry oil and 3-4 drops of tea tree oil. For drier skin use more vitamin E oil and less tea tree oil, for oilier skin use less vitamin E oil and more tea tree oil. Seabuckthorn berry oil is a deep orange color because of its high beta carotene content so I usually stop at a dropper full to avoid staining everything I own.