I was a new esthetician working at a very high end day spa in L.A. I saw these little vials of very expensive oils, with the name Sonia Dakar on them. Sonia Dakar is a very well known esthetician in L.A. I was scared to use them on myself and my clients. I thought, if I used them, I would break out or make my already oily skin even oilier. So, I just looked at them on the shelf for a few months. The funny thing was that I wasn't using oils on my skin at all, but I still had breakouts. So, one day I decided what do I have to lose. What I was doing (using very drying acne products) for my skin wasn't working. I bought some of that very expensive beauty oil and tried it on my skin. Within days, my acne was less red, and seemed to be calming down. My makeup went on smoother and honestly my skin never felt or looked better. That is when my love affair started with oils!
Certain oils are great for acne prone and oily skin because oils break down oils. If your pores are clogged with oils and skin cells (that's what blackheads are) using oils to clear them out is the best way. Just be sure to use the proper oil for your skin, and it must have a small molecular structure to penetrate the skin. If you have dry skin, oils are great for obvious reasons but also as a barrier to keep the serums and moisturizers you put on your skin IN your skin. Think of the oil as a protective plastic wrap for your skin, used at night of course.
There are tons of oils on the market these days. In the beauty industry, we now know that oils are good for the skin. And that different oils, do different things. I am going to give you rundown of the popular oils that are big right now, and how they benefit the skin and who should be using them. I'm also going to tell you the oils I use and how I use them.
- Coconut Oil. CO is huge right now and has been huge for a long time. It can be used for cooking and beauty purposes. Coconut is great for the hair and body, but I do not like coconut oil for the face. Coconut oil has a larger molecule than other oils so, it’s not easily absorbed into the skin and can cause breakouts or it just sits on the skin giving a greasy feel to the skin. There are benefits to using Coconut Oil on the skin, though. CO naturally contains a wonderful ingredient called Lauric Acid. Lauric Acid is antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal. So, if you can use it CO as an all natural Neosporin, or if you have some sort of topical fungal or candida (yeast, sorry guys) infection. CO also has a natural SPF of about 4, but I wouldn't count on that alone for sun protection. It's also super beneficial to your health if ingested. I put about a tablespoon in my coffee, daily. Just make sure to buy Organic and Unrefined CO. I also put CO in my hair as an overnight deep conditioner. It really helps with itchy scalp.
- Argan Oil. Pure Argan Oil is derived from the Argan nut in Morocco. Argan Oil is one of the best oils for the skin and especially the face. It has a small molecular structure so it is easily absorbed by the skin and it won't cause breakouts. Argan Oil contains triterpenoids. Triterpenoids is an ingredient found in some plants, certain mushrooms and grape skin, that have anti-cancer properties and enhance the immune system. I use Argan Oil sparingly on my face and neck (sparingly because it's pricey) at night after I cleanse my face and use my serums. Everyone should be using Argan Oil. It is great for sun damaged skin, acne prone skin, dry skin, people with sensitive skin or eczema. If you have a family history of skin cancer...you need this oil in your life.
- Castor Oil. Yes, the same stuff you're told to drink, to induce labor (don't ever do that). I love Castor Oil. It’s super thick and rich. It is great mixed with a lighter oil for removing makeup, especially when you wear as much as I do. It's amazing as an eye cream or lip moisturizer. Castor Oil draws out impurities and toxins, that's why it is used as a natural laxative. So, if you do have acne, it can help, but beware, it might make it worse before it gets better. Castor Oil has a small molecular structure so it is easily absorbed by the skin. Just be careful because it helps the skin absorb other products, too. I mix organic, all natural lotion with a couple drops of castor oil and use that all over my body after I shower at night. It makes my skin feel like butter!
- Tea Tree Oil. This oil is antifungal, antibacterial and antimicrobial. You can put it on a pimple to dry it out and kill the bacteria. If you have a fungal infection (like toenail fungus, it happens to even the prettiest feet) rub a couple drops into the affected area. I like to mix in couple drops into my shampoo. It stimulates the scalp and I just love that tingly feeling. This oil is drying and can be irritating on sensitive skin, so be careful.
- Rosehip Oil. Another great oil for the face, body, everywhere. It is a natural source of Vitamin C, so it naturally lightens and brightens the skin and helps cell renewal. It's also a good source of essential fatty acids 3, 6 and 9 which help heal and regenerate skin...translation, great for scars. If Argan Oil is out of your price range, this oil is a great alternative. I mix a drop or two into my foundation to give me a glowy, dewy look and I use this on my boys if their skin looks dry, at all. It has a really short shelf life, so buy in small quantities.
- Sweet Almond Oil. This is my favorite body oil. I use this oil on a night out, when I want to channel my inner JLo. I apply a small amount to my legs, arms, shoulders, pretty much anywhere my skin is exposed. It’s like the best dry body oil on the market, plus it is full of Vitamin E and monounsaturated fats. So, you can look hot while reaping all of its benefits. If you have eczema on your body, this is your guy. This is also good for diaper rash because it is so mild, just be sure to buy sweet almond oil not bitter almond oil. Bitter almond oil can be toxic in large doses.
- Squalene Oil. Squalene Oil is an oil that naturally occurs in human skin. It is great for people who don't produce enough oil naturally. Squalene oil is derived from shark livers or other sea life, or olives, wheat germ, rice bran and other plants. Be sure to buy Vegan Squalene only. Squalene is a great oil for someone who is scared to jump on the oil train because we produce it naturally. The oil we produce contains about 10% squalene oil. This oil can be used on all skin types.
- Avocado Oil. Another amazing oil for people with really dry or sensitive skin. Avocado oil is rich in omega-3’s and Vitamin E. I use this oil on my hair as a deep conditioning treatment, for my super dry knees and elbows and as an overnight hand treatment (read below for treatment). You can use this oil as a vehicle for other essential oils to rub or massage onto sore muscles. I also use this as a lotion on my boys after their baths or showers.
- Olive Oil. Everyone here is familiar with olive oil. We all know it's full of antioxidants, fatty acids, and lots of good for you ingredients, if you ingest it. But all those super beneficial properties are just as great if applied to the skin, too. If you have dry skin, you can use this on your face but if you have oily or acne prone skin choose another oil for your face. Sometimes I use olive oil as an oil cleanser when I'm feeling especially dry or parched.
- Jojoba Oil. Jojoba oil is derived from the Jojoba Plant. It's been used in cosmetics and beauty products for years, and there is good reason. In fact, it isn't an oil at all, technically it's a wax. Jojoba oil is non-comedogenic and is a non-irritant. It's molecular structure is very close to sebum, the oil we produce naturally. If you have acne prone skin, this oil is a good choice for you because it will not clog your pores. Also, bacteria such as Staph die when it comes into contact with Jojoba oil. Why don't we use this instead of hand sanitizer???
- Grapeseed Oil. Grapeseed oil is a staple in my esthetician clinic. I use this oil to massage my clients. It's a non-irritant and it’s safe to use on all skin types, even the most sensitive. It’s great for oil cleansing because the molecular structure is small and it really penetrates the skin to deep clean. It's a great skin protector. You can use it with essential oils like peppermint oil as a massage oil for sore muscles. This is a universal oil that you can use on your face, body, hair, nails and teeth. It's not very expensive so you can use it liberally. Rub it in your cuticles before a mani to help soften them. If I could just one body oil, this would be it!
Now, I'm going to tell you how I use some of my favorite oils.
- My nighttime routine is really easy. I cleanse my face with my normal foaming face wash in the shower. I use glycolic toning pads if I feel my skin is dull, I use either a Retinol serum or Vitamin C serum and my last step is a light layer of Argan or Rosehip oil...done! If I am wearing heavier makeup, I oil cleanse before I use my face wash.
- I mix 1 or 2 drops of Rosehip Oil into my foundation at application to give my skin a healthy, dewy look.
- I slather castor, olive, avocado, grapeseed or almond oil all over my hands and feet before bed. I apply gloves to my hands and socks to my feet. I need to do this tonight!
- Oil pulling...say what?! Yes, oil pulling. This is not easy for me to do, and it’s not very pleasant while you're doing it but it makes the teeth look sparkly. Put a tablespoon of oil, I prefer warmed coconut oil or Grapeseed oil in your mouth and swish well for 15-20 minutes. And then spit it out. It makes your teeth super white and prevents gum disease. Other cultures do this and claim it pulls toxins from your body.
- Use as a hair mask. Use a couple tablespoons of oil and massage into hair and scalp. I braid my hair and sleep on an old pillowcase and wash my hair in the morning. Avocado, jojoba, almond, grapeseed, coconut or olive work best for this.
- Use castor oil as a lash growth serum. Apply a small amount of castor oil with a cotton swab to the base of your lashes and leave on overnight.
- Rub oil of your choice all over you body right after you shower. Your pores are open and the oil will seal in the hydration from your shower.
There are many more uses and many more amazing oils with beauty purposes. So, don't be scared of oils. Oils in the skin and applied topically prevent premature aging, help clean out the pores, keep away bacteria, protect the skin and keep moisture in the skin. Oils are everyone's friend! Find what oils you like. Do a test patch on your jawline to be sure you don't have an allergic reaction. These are just my opinions on oils. I am not a doctor, just an esthetician who loves oils!
Some of my favorite beauty oils and blends are listed down below!