Natural oils applied topically used to have a bad reputation -– they tended to be associated with greasiness, clogged pores and unsightly spots. Fast forward and natural oils have flooded the beauty scene, and for good reason. Botanical oils have the ability to hydrate, moisturize, rejuvenate and purify while leaving your skin glowing and supple. If you’re patient enough, some of them even have the ability to repair damaged skin, soothe irritated skin and fade scars.
If you’re worried about applying oil to oily skin, don’t be. Certain oils are perfect for oily skin as they work to reduce sebum production (the sebaceous gland secretes oily matter) and help to rebalance your skin. The more good oil you put on your skin, the less your face will be inclined to produce its own.
For aging skin, the most important features to look for in natural oils are protection against free radical damage, firming, plumping and tightening of the skin, reducing the appearance of dark circles and age spots and stimulating cell regeneration and renewal. It’s also important to find which oil suits you best.
Don’t forget, quality is queen when it comes to natural oils. Look for products labeled as “100% pure,”“organic,”“cold-pressed” and “unrefined.” This ensures that you’re using the best, least refined oils that have all their natural goodness without any chemical toxins such as parabens, synthetic colors and fragrances, sulphates and unnatural preservatives.
Here are 11 oils to keep your eyes on.
Avocado Oil: If you can get past its thick consistency, avocado oil can do a world of good for your skin. The oil contains sterolins, which are known to help reduce the appearance of age spots and facilitate the softening of the skin. Studies have also found that unrefined avocado oil can increase the amount of collagen in the skin.
Product pick: Antipodes Divine Face Oil Organic Avocado Oil & Rosehip, Diptyque Satin Oil for Body and Hair
Pomegranate Seed Oil: Pomegranate is incredibly fast-absorbing and is a known source of antioxidants that tackle free radicals and promote cell regeneration. For mature skin, pomegranate oil is great at preventing signs of aging and reducing wrinkles by promoting elasticity. Another bonus: it’s great for dry and irritated skin types.
Product pick: John Masters Pomegranate Facial Nourishing Oil
Rosehip Seed Oil: This oil, which is extracted from the seeds of the rose plant, is popular for a number of reasons. For one, it contains high amounts of Vitamin A, which aids scar reduction, and Vitamin C, a powerful, concentrated source of antioxidants which tackle skin dryness, fine lines and wrinkles. Victoria Secret’s Angel Mirander Kerr credits rose hip oil as the magic behind her glowing complexion.
Product picks: Trilogy Rose Hip Oil, Pai Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil
Evening Primrose oil: Evening Primrose oil can be taken orally in capsule form to help with PMS, menopause and other related issues. Applied topically, Evening Primrose is a great nutrient for the skin and has plenty of essential fatty acids, mainly an Omega 6 fatty acid called GLA (gamma-linoleic acid). GLA helps improve the skin’s barrier function and can also decrease inflammation, which is useful for aging skin because inflammation can accelerate signs of aging, and often causes age spots, scarring and discoloration. The oil can also help with firmness and elasticity.
Sea Buckthorn Oil: This is a relatively unknown oil, even though it has a bunch of impressive nutritional qualities that can benefit your skin. For example, its Vitamin C content is twelve times higher than that of an orange, it has three times the amount of Vitamin A than carrots and its Omega 6 and Omega 7 content give the oil skin regeneration and repair properties. On top of that, Sea Buckthorn oil contains an important enzyme that works to prevent free radical damage, which is good news for aging skin.
Raspberry Seed Oil: High in Vitamin E and Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, Raspberry Seed Oil has properties that can condition and protect skin from environmental damage. The natural fruit oil also works as a broad spectrum UV protectant, which is great for protection against sun damage.
Product pick: Cowshed Raspberry Seed Anti-Oxidant Facial Oil
Argan Oil: Argan oil is no stranger to the beauty scene ― a 2015 study revealed that long-term use of this oil has anti-aging effect on postmenopausal skin, so its popularity comes as no surprise. The oil, which is extracted from a unique tree found only in Morocco, is packed with a lot of good stuff that your skin will love, including antioxidants, Vitamin E and 80% essential fatty acids. This makes it great for anti-aging because it works to protect your skin’s elasticity while promoting healthy collagen.
Product picks: Facetheory Calming Argan Oil O1, The Ordinary 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Moroccan Argan Oil, Meraki Pure Oil
Marula Oil: Native to the southern region of Africa, Marula oil has similar properties to Moroccan Argan oil but this exotic oil contains 60% more antioxidants than its North African counterpart. Marula has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties meaning it can help heal acne and related blemishes. Being rich in Vitamin C, Vitamin E and Omega 9 fatty acids, Marula oil is great at improving the skin’s elasticity and helping to renew cells.
Prickly Pear Seed Oil: This is a somewhat new oil that has fabulous anti-aging properties. It’s ideal for dry and mature skin types because of its concentration of Vitamins E and K, Omegas 6 and 9 and essential fatty acids , all of which helps to soften skin, restore elasticity, tackle free radicals and help to brighten dark circles.
Product Picks: Akhal Organic Prickly Pear Seed Oil, MUN Ayour Body Toning Serum, La Bella Figura Organic Barbary Fig Seed Oil/Prickly Pear Seed Oil.
Wheat Germ Oil: Wheat Germ oil contains excellent amounts of Vitamin E as well as other vitamins, proteins and essential fatty acids. Topically, it helps to form new skin cells and improve circulation, which is great for mature skin because it nourishes and revives dehydrated, dry skin. The only caveat is that you should avoid this oil if you are gluten-intolerant or allergic to wheat–make sure you do a test patch before using products containing this oil.
Grapeseed Oil: This is in everything from face oils to body moisturizers. It’s an incredibly lightweight oil that doesn’t clog pores and it also works to firm and tighten skin.
Product pick: Fushi Grapeseed Organic Oil