A mysterious urban legend has perpetuated the idea that oil only makes skin greasier, clogging pores and causing nasty blackheads. Believe it or not, plant oil just may become your new skincare BFF, as long as you choose the one that is right for you. Of course, you may be wondering what the story is behind all these oils. Let us explain.
The ecosystem of the skin
Sebum is an essential and natural component of healthy skin. It is made up of lipids that vary from person to person. Sometimes the skin produces an excess of sebum due to stress, pollution, hormones, or any other of life’s variables, which can make the skin look shiny. Conversely, a lack of sebum production can make the skin fragile and dry.
A mini science lesson: for oily skin, the best vegetable oils to use are ones with a high percentage of linoleic acid. This fatty acid brings the skin the hydration it needs without clogging pores and is self-regulating. Oils that contain this acid are light, dry, and do not leave behind a greasy film. Oils that contain a lot of oleic acid, on the other hand, will be heavier and greasier, but also more hydrating. They help reduce inflammation, which is better for those of us with dry skin.
Vegetable oils versus mineral oils
Mineral oils are neutral, odourless, colourless petrochemicals containing no active ingredients. They hydrate by creating a plastic film on the surface of your skin, which blocks the release of sebum, but also prevents toxins from leaving the skin, which can lead to break outs. In contrast, vegetable oils contain vitamins, fatty acids and essential minerals that improve the overall health of the skin. They are equally effective on your body, face and hair. What more could you ask for? Below is a quick overview of the most commonly used vegetable oils and their superpowers.
Made from the seeds of the Argan, a tree native to the arid regions of southwest Morocco, Argan oil is used both in skincare products and in cooking. It can be applied to your skin, hair, nails and beard.
Superpowers: Its high concentration of vitamin E can help diminish scars and eliminate dry scalp. Argan oil contains a high level of both oleic acid and linoleic acid, making it well-suited to many different uses and types of skin.
Yes, the avocado is the trendy fruit of Millennial culture. It’s your friend who is too-cool-for-school and stylish to the point of becoming annoying. But avocado oil is even better. Ultra-rich, it penetrates the skin while also leaving behind a protective layer, which is the perfect remedy for dry skin.
Superpowers: Its ultra-generous composition boasts no less than 75% oleic acid. It is one of the richest oils out there. It also contains carotenoids, along with vitamins C and E, which prevent aging and fight against free radicals. It is also great for repairing damaged hair.
Derived from plum kernels, this oil is a delightful trifecta of antioxidants, polyphenols and fatty acids.
Superpowers: Plum oil contains more linoleic acid than Argan oil, plus Vitamin A and E, and 13 types of fatty acids. This makes it an excellent deep moisturizer that protects and repairs. When used regularly, expect a brighter, smoother complexion. The best part is, when applied, it feels very light on the skin.
Prickly pear oil
This cactus fruit is a real survivor. It is resistant to dry climates and can go without water in the Moroccan desert for long periods without being affected. The fruit contains tiny black seeds, which are then extracted, dried and cold pressed to make prickly pear oil.
Superpowers: Bringing together omega 6 and 9, vitamin E, zinc, linoleic acid, and amino acids, this oil stimulates collagen production, which encourages faster cell regeneration and increases skin elasticity. That’s why we picked it for our rich and mattifying moisturisers!
The Kukui tree is the official symbol of the island of Hawaii. The oil has been used in Hawaii for thousands of years to soothe skin after exposure to the sun, wind, and saltwater. Fortunately, the oil is also beneficial for skin exposed to urban plights like pollution and the underground.
Superpowers: Kukui oil contains 42% linoleic acid and 29% oleic acid, which heals inflammation and helps maintain a healthy, nourished complexion. It is also perfect for razor burn!
Last but not least, Jojoba is one of the most universal skincare oils. Everyone can benefit from Jobjoba, without exception. Rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, it is wonderful for your skin – but also for your hair, beard and nails.
Superpowers: The molecular composition of Jojoba is similar to sebum, in the sense that it protects the skin without taking away its natural moisture.
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