WHICH OILS FOR WHICH SKIN TYPE?
Now that Oil Cleansing and Facial + Body Oils have been fully accepted in the ‘beauty’ world and are becoming more common in skincare rituals (massive high five’s to that!) it is good for people to know WHICH oils are good for which skin types and what their strongest properties are. So a lil’ education on the matter if you find it helpful.
The great thing about natural oils (think nut, seed and fruit oils like almond, macadamia, coconut, argan, rosehip, olive, avocado, pumpkin seed, hemp, sunflower) is that they can regenerate, heal and rejuvenate the skin whilst nourishing and promoting elasticity and reversing sun damage. They are much more easily absorbed and won’t block the pores like lotions do!
Generally speaking all oils are high in Vitamin E, meaning they will be packed with antioxidants, and all your (essential) Fatty Acids & Omega Oils.
All of which are essential for anti-ageing, cell renewal, moisturisation and harmonizing the skin.
Look for good quality organic, cold / hand pressed, extra virgin and even better Co2 extracted oils.
It may seem downright crazy and foreign to put oil/fats on your skin but the skin naturally lubricates itself with oil/fats. It LIKES it…the skin epidermis and sebum) is made up of lipids, and oils/fats are made up of these lipids.
Lipids are composed of fatty acids. So if you want more lipids, you give it more fatty acids!
Oils are a rich source of fatty acids, which makes them highly nourishing for skin.
When you lack lipids, your skin loses strength and softness. Your barrier becomes more susceptible to damage and irritation.
It is the combination and percentages of these fatty acids in the composition of each oil that will make it suitable for one skin type over another.
The acids most similar to our skin’s lipids are Omega 3, 6 and 9 and these are the main acids within these chains.
Oleic acid – very moisturising, absorbs well, regenerative, anti-inflammatory (Richer and heavier)
Linoleic acid – helps reduce acne, retains moisture, strengthens skin’s barrier function, anti-inflammatory
Gamma linolenic acid – exceptional at improving skin’s barrier function, soothes itchy, dry skin, retains moisture, helps with acne-prone skin, absorbs quickly, improves skin suppleness and flexibility, anti-inflammatory
Palmitic acid – forms occlusive barrier on skin and protects it
Palmitoleic acid – prevents burns, wounds, scratches; anti-microbial, heals damaged skin
Stearic acid – improves moisture retention, increases skin flexibility, repairs skin damage
Oily skins will prefer lighter oils higher in Linoleic Acid such as Hemp, Safflower, Grape Seed, Pumpkin Seed Oil, Rosehip and Jojoba.
Dry skin will prefer oils higher in Oleic Acid such as Macadamia Nut, Sweet Almond, Avocado and Wheatgerm, Sunflower and Argan
The other thing to consider when using oils on the skin is their Comedogenic rating. Meaning how likely is it to CLOG your pores when using as a moisturiser. A ZERO rating equates to zero likelihood of it clogging the pores, and a higher rating equates to more of a chance that it will clog and possible irritate and inflame the skin.
So you will need to consider these TWO aspects of the oils composition when choosing an oil for your skin. I love the science and chemistry behind it all!!
Non-comedogenic (perfection for the face):
Hemp seed oil (0/5)
Sunflower oil (0/5)
Safflower oil (0/5)
FATTY ACID COMPOSITION:
Argan Oil: high in Vitamin E, linoleic acid which helps calm inflamed and acne prone skin. High levels of antioxidants making it one of the best anti-ageing oils.
Rice Bran Oil: reverses sun damage and slows down wrinkle formation, super high levels of antioxidants and Vitamin E.
Camellia Seed Oil: rich in antioxidants which are essential for anti-ageing. Known to be the secret of Japanese women’s youthfulness.
Coconut Oil: It is healing and cooling so great for sensitive / pitta skin, antibacterial, full of antioxidants & essential fatty acids, nourishing. Best for cleansing the skin, and moisturing the body. Not so much the face…
Carrot Seed Oil: light, regenerative, rich in vitamins B, C, D, and E and improves our complexions by strengthening our red blood cells.
Hemp Seed Oil: “Nature’s most perfectly balanced oil“, due to the fact that it contains all of the 21 known amino acids and offers the perfectly balanced 3:1 ratio of Omega 6 (Linoleic) to Omega 3 (alpha-Linolenic) essential fatty acids. Deliver potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties for treatment of acne, dermatitis and other skin inflammatory conditions. It has a bit of a funky smell though….which I quite like!
Jojoba oil: is technically a wax and not an oil, however it closely resembles human sebum and is therefore easily absorbed by skin. As a result, less sebum is produced, and oil levels are more balanced. Not comedogenic either, so an excellent choice for acne-prone skin.
Grape Seed oil: helps balance oil levels and acts as an astringent, good for acne-prone skin, also rich in polyphenols and proanthocyanidins
Apricot Kernel oil: absorbs easily, it is a light oil in both texture, colour and smell and has great moisturising properties.
Squalane oil: a skin-identical ingredient that combats over-active sebaceous glands
Pumpkin Seed Oil: will moisturise whilst regulating the skin sebum production. This is important for normalizing oily skin, and also for balancing dry skin. Pumpkin seeds also contain high amounts of zinc, which is essential for skin healing.
Black Cumin Seed Oil: It provides over 100 beneficial compounds, including vitamins A, B, and C, minerals including zinc, calcium, magnesium and potassium, and EFAs. It will fade scars and hyperpigmentation, along with calming redness and irritation. Being a powerful antibacterial, it’s strength is in treating acne and skin infections / irritations.
Borage Seed oil: excellent source of omega-6 fatty acids, in particular GLA (gamma linolenic acid), which provides anti-inflammatory relief to inflamed skin. One of the highest amounts of gamma-linolenic acid (omega-6). Borage has been shown to bring back skin’s suppleness and elasticity,
Evening Primrose oil – rich in linoleic acid and gamma linoleic acid (GMA), high in antioxidants and contains significant quantities of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) which is known to decrease inflammation, is necessary in maintaining normal activity and structure of skin cells, and has the ability to repair and maintain skin barrier function. A calming and moisturising oil for dry and inflamed skin, and has wonderful anti-aging benefits.
Sunflower oil – very high in Vitamin E, which protects the lipids in cell membranes from free radicals (lipid peroxidation)
Sea Buckthorn: high levels of vitamins A, C, E and K, folate, carotenoids and sterols, flavonoids and fatty acids. One such component of Seabuckthorn is Palmitoleic acid, an omega-7 fatty acid that is naturally present in the skin. As levels of Palmitoleic acid are optimized in the skin, a beautiful gleam is experienced. Seabuckthorn has also been shown to normalize sebum production, aiding in its ability to regulate many types of inflammation on the skin. It is very healing and anti-microbial.
Pomegranate Seed Oil: a powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-aging properties help to regenerate skin cells, repair skin and accelerate healing, increase skin circulation, reduce hyperpigmentation and age spots, protect from sun damage, heal acne, eczema, and other skin conditions, and reduce scarring. Pomegranate promotes collagen and elastin production and thus aids in wrinkle prevention and reduction, and helps to firm skin. It is rich in vitamins, antioxidants, and omega fatty acids.
Rosehip Oil: is rich with antioxidant vitamins A and C. It also has an impressive Essential Fatty Acid content, bringing deep nutrition to your skin. It is absorbed and utilized by the skin quickly and efficiently. Rosehip seed oil restores and protects, as it increases cell turnover rate and carries its many potencies into the tissues.
Just something to think about….
Image of the gorgeous Rasasara Ayurvedic Skinfood Pitta Oils.