Natural Oils for Health & Beauty
We’ve talked a lot about the use of natural oils for skin and beauty a lot recently on the blog, not only because they are great for your skin, your hair, for cleansing, nourishing, even healing, but mainly because they are a 100% natural product (if bought from a legitimate company/manufacturer) that you can easily get your hands on for relatively cheap. Natural oils are also easy-to-find and incredible miracle workers that have the power to transform dull skin, damaged hair and fight even acne. So far so good, but do you know how to get the best of them and use them properly? Let’s go through some important things related to oil usage, so we can enjoy their benefits to the fullest.
An important characteristic of all oils is the so called “oxidative stability” which represents how susceptible they are to oxidation. Oxidation of lipids changes their color, smell and taste; it leads to loss of their nutritional properties and in some cases can even result in formation of toxins. The easiest way to detect if an oil has undergone changes and its overall qualities have been lowered is via a simple organoleptic analysis which means determining whether the color, the smell and the taste of the oils in question have changed. As oxidation is catalyzed by high temperature, direct light, water and acid exposure it is very important to store your oils properly. If you haven’t initially bought the oil you are using in a good-sealed dark packaging, it’s good to put it in one and also keep it away from direct sunlight and high temperatures.
Though it is true that manufacturers add natural antioxidants (like vitamin E, for example) to slow down the oxidation process, the antioxidants themselves have certain stability, so this should not be considered as a 100% guarantee that your oils will not go bad if not stored in the right way.
How Do I Use Oils On My Skin?
Apply on exfoliated skin – To begin, it is important to understand that in order to ensure good absorption, it is essential to apply oils on exfoliated skin. Regular exfoliation doesn’t mean exfoliating on a daily basis (even if you are using the gentlest product on the market), as this might lead to irritation, excess dryness and extreme thinning of the protective layer of the skin (the epidermis). However, it is good to exfoliate at least 2-3 times weekly, not only to allow better penetration of the active ingredients present in natural oils for skin that you are using, but also to obtain glowing, smooth and healthy looking complexion.
Apply after taking a bath – Skin care experts also recommend applying natural oils for skin after you have taken a bath – heat opens your pores and thus allows your cells to literally “drink” the oil which guarantees full absorption and nourishment in depth.
Do not apply after cream – Last but not least, if you are using products that are not natural/organic and they contain mineral oil or other petroleum byproducts, there is no point in applying oils after the cream, because these synthetic compounds form a protective layer, which will make it impossible for the oil, to actually get to your skin and do any good.
When Is The Best Time To Apply Oils To My Skin?
Though some people say it is a matter of personal preference and it depends on the overall condition of your skin, it is preferable that you apply oils before bed, so they can “work their wonders” while you sleep, when your entire body is resting. Applying during the day is not recommended mainly because even the best absorbing oils leave a residue on the skin surface, that can, later on, during the day, act as attractant for pollutants, dirt and dust, which may result in clogged pores, irritation or even infection.
What About Mixing Oils With Other Substances?
Many of the DIY beauty recipes propose mixing oils with essential oils, water-based plant extracts (like rose water), ground coffee, oats, etc. Such mixtures can be used in a variety of ways and we strongly encourage you to try and experiment, because this way you can find your own little miraculous homemade skin care solution. However you should keep in mind that in most cases such mixtures have shorter “life” and once prepared should be stored at low temperatures and used in a matter of days (months in rare cases, when it comes to toners/cleansers). The reason for this is that as you prepare the mixtures at home, you can not provide sterile environment and there is a risk of contamination with bacteria, that overtime may result in the product becoming unsafe and even unusable.
Have you already incorporated natural oils for skin in your beauty routine? If yes, tell us which ones and a bit more about the way you use them in the comments below (and be automatically entered to win a free gift!). Let’s share experience!
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