Too often these days makeup and beauty products excitedly advertise that they are oil-free. This zealous marketing has perhaps given oil an undeserved bad reputation.
There seems to be a misconception that oil will cause breakouts or greasy hair. However, what many don’t realize is that certain oils are great natural moisturizers for your skin and make excellent deep-conditioning hair masks.
An added bonus? These oils are easily accessible at most local grocery stores and are usually inexpensive. Who in their right mind, then, would spend upwards of $200 for a couple ounces of hyped-up moisturizer (La Mer, I’m looking at you) without at least trying a more natural, easy-on-the-wallet remedy?
Here are a few outstanding options to kick off your foray into non-oil-free beauty:
1. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is unique for the fact that in oil form, it’s seemingly more solid than liquid. When applied to the skin, this protein-rich oil is a natural anti-ager and a superb moisturizer. Its acidic components tighten skin and fight against wrinkles all the while locking in moisture, making this super oil ideal for those with dry or aging skin. It’s easy to wear, too, as it absorbs quickly while it continues to hydrate skin. An organic version is best and the safest bet for a topical facial application. Here are some more great ways to use coconut oil.
2. Olive Oil
We all know that olive oil is great nutritionally, but those omega-3’s are useful for more than our diet. While I find this particular oil a bit too heavy to use on the face, it’s the perfect oil for a hair mask. It works to moisturize your scalp – key to having a healthy head of hair – and make hair look shiny and rich. The best way to apply olive oil to hair is to heat up a ¼-½ a cup of oil, depending on hair length. Work the oil into your scalp first, then coat hair with the remaining oil. A word of warning: Make sure to confine this process to the bathtub, as it can get messy! Cover hair with a shower cap and let sit coated in the oil for about a half hour. When the time is completed, rinse oil out of hair with a light shampoo in a hot shower. For the next few days, hair will likely look glossy and feel bouncier than usual. This mask should be done once every week to maintain results.
3. Grapeseed Oil
This oil is a light one and a great option for a nervous first-timer. A personal favorite of mine, grapeseed oil reportedly aids in collagen production, leaving skin not only moisturized, but plump. Additionally, its antioxidants actually help to unclog pores; shame on those who started the rumor that all oil is comedogenic! With this particular oil, a little goes a long way. Splash a little into the palm of your hand a spread over freshly cleansed skin.
4. Macadamia Nut Oil
Macadamia oil is another light oil, packed with vitamins and omega acids. It’s known to soothe skin – helping to heal everything from acne to sunburn to scars – all the while providing easily absorbed moisture. While this oil may appear to evaporate from skin, it simply absorbs quickly, making it an easy daytime option to wear under makeup, if desired.
5. Argan Oil
This oil – often touted as “Moroccan oil” thanks to its place of origin – is the latest craze in hair care, with infused shampoos, conditioners, and serums now available on most beauty retailers’ shelves. This miracle oil not only adds shine to hair, but guards against split ends. Argan oil without additives is also a great option for skin, boasting the same moisturizing effects; akin to preventing hair breakage, this oil combats flakiness of the skin.
Try one, a few, or all of these oils to see the effects firsthand.
But, please – don’t restrict yourself to an oil-free beauty routine. Extend an olive branch to olive oil, so to speak, and make your peace with a healthy, cheap, and effective new skin and hair care regime.