Skincare: Oils & Their Benefits: A Comprehensive Guide.

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As someone with dry hair and skin, using oils as a main source of moisture has always come second nature to me. I’ve tried all sorts of oils, from as many different plants and vegetables possible, and so have gained a bit of knowledge on the different types of oils and their benefits to our skin and hair. I thought I would do a comprehensive guide of some of the most popular oils and their uses in a hopes that some of you guys may find it useful!

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Coconut Oil – The ‘Moisturizing’ Oil
A light textured oil that is refined by fractination from coconuts. Can be refined or unrefined. 
Country of Origin – Africa and South-East Asia
Shelf Life – 12-15 months
Natural Contents – Vitamins A, B and E as well as phosphorus, calcium, iron and magnesium. A rich source of Omega 3, 6, 9 and Polyphenols. 
Coconut oil helps the skin to naturally control its’ oil secretions and helps to restore the skin’s natural pH balance to 5.5 when used after bathing without blocking pores. Coconut oil is extremely light and because of this, it absorbs into the skin slowly rather than quickly, allowing for the skin to stay supple and moisturised for longer.
Coconut oil is also useful as a deep cleanser as it contains Lauric Acid, an anti-microbial compound which works to deep-cleanse pores. The Lauric Acid also keeps the coconut oil fresher for longer and is packed with anti-biotics that help rebuild cells, which is great for anti-ageing. 
Coconut oil is also popular for use with hair- especially dry hair as it works to rebuild the hair follicles and moisturises the scalp and root. Because it is so light, it doesn’t weigh down hair.
Best Known For: Moisturing skin and hair.
Use this oil if: you have dry skin and hair; would prefer a healthier alternative to using olive and sunflower oil while cooking.
Suitable For: All skin and hair types.
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Sweet Almond Oil – The ‘Growth’ Oil
A general purpose, light cold-pressed oil made from the Almond kernel. A conditioning oil for all skin types.
Country of Origin: Spain
Shelf Life: 12-14 months
Natural Contents: Vitamin A, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B6, Vitamin D, Rich in proteins.

Known as the “miracle hair and nail oil”, Sweet Almond Oil is extremely rich in Vitamin B, which is the main vitamin that is responsible for the rapid growth of keratin, the protein that our hair and nails are made of. It’s gentleness makes it a particularly useful oil to use on babies and those with sensitive skin in general. It has a soft, sweet smell which can be attributed to the light scent of the almond and can also be used as a massage oil. 

Sweet Almond oil is especially popular for those with drier and curlier hair as it helps lock in moisture, as well as untangle hair and get rid of dandruff. It can also be used as a shaving oil for legs, underarms and bikini line and an eye-makeup remover.

Best Known For: use as a cuticle and nail oil, a conditioning hair oil.
Use this oil if: you have damaged or brittle nails, if you suffer from eczema or psoriasis, or if you have dry, irritated or sensitive skin.
Suitable for: All skin types, specially dry and sensitive skin. Dry and damaged hair.

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Avocado Oil – The ‘Healing’ Oil
A beautifully rich and pure oil made from the fleshy pulp surrounding the avocado pit.

Country of Origin: Mexico
Shelf Life: 10-12 months
Natural Contents: Vitamin A, B1, B2, D and E.

Have you ever wondered why most deep hair conditioners use Avocado Oil as it’s base? Because it’s so wonderfully rich and FULL of protein! Avocado Oil has one of the highest sources of protein out of all the oils and because of this, is known for its’ healing properties for damaged hair and skin. It contains high amounts of Amino acids, sterols and essential fatty acids that feed the skin and provide tons of moisture.
Avocado oil is known to have amazing healing and regenerative properties and is very useful when healing sunburn or damaged skin that is undernourished.

Best Known For: Treating damaged hair and skin, by way of facial and hair masks.
Use this Oil If: Your hair is damaged or your skin is feeling extremely dry.
Suitable for: Damaged hair. Dry hair, irritable and dry skin.

Grapeseed Oil – The ‘Absorbant ‘ Oil
A light green cold-pressed oil which is pressed from  the seeds of various varieties of Italian grapes – the by-product of winemaking.

Country of Origin: Italy
Shelf Life: 14-16 months
Natural Contents: Vitamins A through E.

Due to Grapeseed Oils’ high lanoleic acid value (which is greater than most oils), the oil is highly moisturising and is light for use in skincare. The oil absorbs very quickly into skin’s pores, making this an excellent base carrier oil for essential oil fragrances. Grapeseed is especially good for people whose skin does not absorb oil very well and does not leave a greasy residue.
It is also used very frequently within the aromatherapy sector as a massage oil, due to its’ absorbent properties. For those who like to make their own natural products, adding grapeseed oil will help preserve the ingredients as it’s a natural preservative.

Best Known For: Use as a massage oil; natural preservative
Use this oil if: you love mixing your own massage oils and body butters.
Suitable for: All skin types.

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Glycerine – Prison for moisture
Vegetable glycerin is moisturising for the skin and helps to seal or lock in moisture. A must for dry, curly or kinky hair!

Country of Origin: Worldwide
Shelf Life: 18-24 months
Natural Contents: As vegetable glycerin is a by-product of coconut, it contains mostly fatty acids.

Completely Vegetable derived (extracted from coconut), Vegetable Glycerin can be found in a variety of skincare products and is often used as an alternative to alcohol to extract botanicals. Glycerin is used in moisturisers to stop skin drying out and in the formulation of skincare products to deal with psoriasis, rashes, burns, bedsores and cuts.

Glycerine is perfect for adding to your blends or existing products to give them that silky smooth texture and feel, leaving skin feeling silky soft and glossy.
Use in very small amounts in your blends for maximum effect, it can also aid the bonding of oils and blends so that they combine in your ingredients.
Glycerine is most effective used in floral waters (1 cap full per 100ml). Blend your floral waters together and then add a cap of glycerine!

Best Known For: locking in moisture
Use this Oil If: Your hair and skin are damaged and are in need of serious hydration.
Suitable for: All skin types; dry and normal hair.

Argan Oil – The ‘Hair’ Oil.
Argan oil is cold-pressed and is very rich in anti-oxidants, historically being used in anti-ageing products. Produced from the kernels of the Argan tree in Morocco.

Country of Origin: Morocco
Shelf Life: 12-18 months
Natural Contents: Vitamin A, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Proteins and Minerals.

Argan, or “Moroccan” oil is widely known as being a ‘hair’ oil, mostly due to the fact that in contains an incredible amount of vitamin B and protein content which is essential for hair and nail maintenance and growth. In fact, Argan oil is also amazing for the skin and having used it a few times myself, my skin has always felt incredibly soft, supple and smooth.

Argans’ anti-ageing properties, due to high levels of Vitamin E and saponins (which soften the skin) are well documented. It helps to reduce wrinkles by restoring the skin’s water lipid layer and it also cools and soothes inflammation. Its ant-oxidant properties contribute to the neutralization of free radicals, particularly useful in our polluted Western hemisphere. It helps cool skin that has been exposed to wind and the sun and also protects it in cold weather.
Argan is not greasy, only a few drops warmed on the fingertips are needed to moisturise and protect the complexion including the delicate skin under the eyes.
Best Known For: it’s inclusion in hair products
Use this oil if: Your skin lacks vatality, want to achieve supple skin and smoother hair.
Suitable For: Mature skin, lacklustre hair.

Castor Oil – The ‘Magic Growth’ Elixr
A thick, vegetable oil that derives from the Castor bean. Used predominantly to treat burns and scars. Also widely used as a hair growth oil.

Country of Origin: Jamaica
Shelf Life: 12-18 months
Natural Contents: Vitamins A-E as well as a HELLUVA lot of protein

Folk healers around the world have used castor oil to treat a wide variety of ailments.You are probably aware that castor oil is regarded by some as a remedy for constipation remedy and as a labour inducer.
But you may not be aware of its reported use as an antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal, or that it has been used topically to treat a variety of skin conditions, reduce pain, and stimulate your immune system.
Castor oil has a low molecular weight, which means it is absorbed readily into skin and hair, providing nourishment and moisturizing effects. When applied to the ends of dry hair, it moisturizes and prevents split ends.  It has been used for years as a face cream to reduce the risk of dark under-eye circles and to aid in the prevention and treatment of wrinkles.  Castor oil is commonly added to natural lip balms and glosses to add shine and moisture to dry lips and it’s also frequently added to natural mascaras to encourage lash growth.
Because of its low molecular weight, when applied to the skin, castor oil has the ability to not only penetrate the skin, but to reach the deeper organs of the body.  According to Ayurveda, the ancient Indian healing art, castor oil has the ability to warm the body, which can decrease the stagnation of excess bodily fluids and lymph. This stagnation can cause blockages in the body’s tissues, leading to water retention and weight gain. In Ayurvedic medicine, it is common to apply a mixture of castor oil and powdered turmeric to masses and lumps found under the skin in order to dissolve them.  

These are all the oils for now. I hope this information proves helpful for anyone who is looking to use more oil based products for the upcoming winter months and if you would like a part 2, please let me know as I have a whole ton of other oils that I could talk about! 

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