Oils That Benefit the Skin

Oils That Benefit the Skin | Dr. Ali Ghahary

When it comes to keeping your skin clear and radiant, you need two things: A good exfoliant and a good moisturizer. However, these aren’t the only products on the market that can benefit the skin. Certain oils that are sitting in your kitchen cupboard that you wouldn’t necessarily consider using on the skin can work just as well as some of the most expensive creams, gels and lotions sold by beauty stores and cosmetic companies…if not better! Not only do oils make the skin glow, but they can also help fight acne breakouts; and, unlike certain moisturizers, they won’t leave a grimy, nasty residue, and will very rarely cause an allergic reaction due to the fact that they are free of chemicals that so many of those other products contain. However, if you do happen to have sensitive skin, then Dr. Ghahary recommends doing a patch test before applying oil all over your face or body. As a bonus, certain oils can also help in other problematic areas of the body aside from just the skin, such as our hair.

The best types of oil include the following:

• Argan oil
• Avocado oil
• Coconut oil
• Flaxseed oil
• Jojoba oil
• Lavender oil
• Olive oil
• Rose hip seed oil
• Safflower oil
• Tea tree oil

ARGAN OIL

WHAT IS IT: Argan oil is extracted from the kernels found in the fruit of Moroccan argan trees and is high in Vitamin E, antioxidants, and omega-3 fatty acids which help to promote healthy collagen and healthy membranes, as well as reduce inflammation.

USE IF YOU HAVE: Dry skin or fine lines, dry hair.

AVOCADO OIL

WHAT IS IT: Avocado oil is a rich emollient and is high in both Vitamin E and omega-3 fatty acids. It promotes proper cell function and helps to reduce inflammation as well as slows down the effects of aging.

USE IF YOU HAVE: Dry skin, sensitive skin, or irritated skin.

COCONUT OIL

WHAT IS IT: Coconut oil is extracted from what’s known as the “meat” of a coconut. It’s high in saturated fat which makes it slow to oxidize and therefore can last for as long as 24 months (2 years.) It’s known for being soothing as well as providing the skin with flexibility and strength.

USE IF YOU HAVE: Sensitive skin, eczema, dry hair.

FLAXSEED OIL

WHAT IS IT: Flaxseed oil is packed with omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which benefit the heart as well as the skin’s complexion, and has anti-inflammatory properties. Flaxseeds and flaxseed oil can be implemented into many meals, such as salad or oatmeal and different baked goods; or, it can be used as a topical moisturizer.

USE IF YOU HAVE: Sensitive skin, irritated skin, eczema, dermatitis.

JOJOBA OIL

WHAT IS IT: Jojoba oil has chemicals that are quite similar to the natural oils found in our own skin, in addition to Vitamin B, Vitamin E, copper, and zinc, and is highly recommended by dermatologists.

USE IF YOU HAVE: Dry skin.

LAVENDER OIL

WHAT IS IT: Perhaps one of the best scented oils, lavender oil is collected from flowering lavender plants. It has soothing effects not just for the skin, but for the mind as well, and is commonly used by individuals looking to get a better night’s sleep aside from improving the skin. It’s also a natural disinfectant and antiseptic, and can improve the absorption of other skin products.

USE IF YOU HAVE: Dry skin, sleep problems.

OLIVE OIL

WHAT IS IT: Commonly used in cooking, olive oil (a liquid fat that is derived from olives and rich in fatty acids and Vitamin E) is also great for those who suffer from excessively or chronically dry, dehydrated skin, and is a great natural moisturizer to use in general. However, because it’s considered a heavier oil, those with acne or acne-prone skin should avoid the use of olive oil. Some research has also suggested that it may be effective in reducing the risk of skin cancer.

USE IF YOU HAVE: Dry skin.

ROSE HIP SEED OIL

WHAT IS IT: High in Vitamins A, C, and omega-6 essential fatty acids, rose hip seed oil is extracted from the seeds of the South American rosebush. It increases cell turnover as well as improves discolouration of skin.

USE IF YOU HAVE: Fine lines, scars, uneven pigment, acne-prone skin.

SAFFLOWER OIL

WHAT IS IT: Containing omega-6 fatty acid (also known as linoleic acid), safflower oil prevents hydration and reduces inflammation. Compared to some of the other oils mentioned, it’s also fairly inexpensive. It’s also edible and can be added to different foods.

USE IF YOU HAVE: Dry skin, irritated skin.

TEA TREE OIL

WHAT IS IT: Taken from the tree known as Melaleuca alternifolia, which is found in Australia, tea tree oil helps kill the bacteria that is known to cause blemishes and is often recommended by dermatologists due to its ability to quickly penetrate the skin and provide exceptional results, including prevent clogged pores.

USE IF YOU HAVE: Acne-prone skin.