The benefits of beauty oils for the face, body and hair
Check out these five miracle oils for face and body.
Decléor Aromessence Ylang Ylang Purifying Serum, $75, The Bay.
For years, oil was a dirty little three-letter word. But not anymore. Thanks to our rising interest in botanical and organic ingredients, oils are now in-demand skin savers (yes, we’re totally obsessed) — and for good reason. They’re supercharged with powerful anti-aging and healing properties. Not to mention that they can deliver amazing aromatherapy benefits. (Editor’s tip: Always take a minute to breathe them in before applying.)
“Beauty oils give us more bang for our buck,” says Nav Kaur, oil aficionado and founder of the New York City-based blog Beauty Huile. “Oils are like fine wine; each blend and variety brings its own character. And contrary to popular belief, they won’t leave your skin greasy, slimy, sticky or icky.”
Instead, these light, easily absorbed oils are setting the new standard for superior head-to-toe beautifying. Just ask Harper’s Bazaar‘s former fashion editor Linda Rodin, who took matters into her own hands seven years ago. Frustrated when she couldn’t find a simple, holistic, oil-based skincare option for herself, she created her own. “It was a matter of making my skin the best it could be, using natural oils—all known for their skin-enhancing properties,” says Rodin, whose eponymous brand, Rodin Olio Lusso, means “luxury oil” in Italian.
Her mix-mastery of 11 essential oils, including argan, almond, sunflower and apricot-seed, has produced a line of face, body, lip and hair oils that is now—after years of being doled out as samples to models on photo shoots — available to the masses.
Other oils of note include botanicals like jasmine, evening primrose and lavender (coveted for their hydrating, healing, calming and aromatherapy benefits); natural oils like those derived from avocado, rice bran and hazelnut (ideal for glowing hair and skin); and organic oils such as grape-seed, pomegranate and coconut (which deliver antioxidants and help fight wrinkles and dull skin).
And believe it or not, oils are safe for all skin types and conditions, even oily and acne-prone ones. “People with oily skin tend to wash with soap, but this can make the problem worse,” says Eric Gooris, head of Clarins Laboratories in France. “Soap removes the skin’s natural oils, triggering the production of more sebum, which leads to even oilier skin.”
The solution? Try a cleansing oil that won’t irritate the skin or remove its natural oils. After a few days, your skin will stop producing excess oil and become less greasy. For extra care, look for facial treatments and hydrators that contain geranium, lavender, rosemary and/or tea tree oils, to help balance acne-prone skin. Hair can also benefit: Try treatments with ingredients like peppermint, eucalyptus, orange and jojoba to revitalize greasy hair and restore moisture to the scalp.
It’s about time we rediscovered oil’s medicinal power. After all, the Australian Aboriginals reportedly healed all wounds, cuts and blemishes with a mere drop of tea tree oil. Egyptians have used neroli, mint, myrrh, cinnamon and rose oils for bathing, hydrating and perfuming since Cleopatra’s day. And in India, rose oil has been a tool for healing and seduction for 5,000 years.
Beyond its beauty benefits, oil can add a sense of real luxury to your everyday skincare routine. Just as beauty icon Cleopatra discovered: If you feel good, you’re going to look like a goddess.