The right plant oil can work miracles on your skin more than an other skincare products combined. Here is everything you should know before you start. By Ms. Gloria Yuan MIFA, B. Sc. Chemistry
In recent years, more and more beauty brands have begun to launch oil-based products and bring forth a new trend of “oil skin care”. However, many people still remain doubtful about “oil skin care”, worrying that oil products may clog the pores and cause even more serious skin problems. So does it work for everyone? How to choose the right oil-based product for your skin?
The Benefits of Oil to Skin
Our skin secretes oil to prevent the loss of moisture and maintain the skin’s softness and smoothness. This naturally produced oil (also called the sebum) builds up an important barrier known as “hydrolipidic film” which keeps our skin healthy. We may compare skin cells to bricks in a wall. Then the sebum is the mortar tightly filling the space between the bricks. The quality of the bricks and the fullness of the mortar both have a great impact on the sturdiness of the wall.
Many factors in everyday life directly affect the amount and speed of sebum secretion. If the skin barrier is damaged, many skin problems will arise. Natural plant-based oil contains various essential fatty acids (such as oleic acid, linoleic acid, etc.) and trace elements (such as vitamin E, carotenoids, minerals, etc.), which have antioxidative and anti-free-radical properties, and provide nutrients that can repair the skin barrier. As a result, skin inflammation and discomfort are effectively relieved. Plant-based oil is especially desirable by sensitive and fragile skin. Many European and American dermatologists have confirmed the protective and strengthening effects of plant-based oil for the skin.
Some plant oil even features antibacterial effects and therefore stabilizes the microbiome on the skin. Calendula macerated oil and neem oil are both widely recognized for their ability to rescue acne-prone skin.
In addition, oil sometimes cleanses more thoroughly than ordinary cleansing products. Most of the impurities clogging the pores are a mixture of skin debris and sebum, and cleansing products with surfactants can only clean the dust and dirt on the surface of the skin, not being able to go “deep” into the clogged pores. But the sebum are easily softened and “soluble” in oil. Oil can penetrate deep into the pores and dissolve the skin debris and dirt stuck in the pores.
How to Choose the Right Oil for Your Skin
For the best oil skin care effect, the key is to choose the right oil that meets the needs of your skin. The secret lies in the ratio between linoleic acid and oleic acid. Linoleic acid is an essential fatty acid that the human body cannot produce on its own. It helps repair cell membranes, plays anti-inflammatory functions, strongly heals the skin barrier, and fundamentally solves skin problems such as dehydration and dryness. Plant oil with a high linoleic acid ratio is light in texture and easy to be absorbed by the skin. Such oil include rosehip seed oil, black cumin seed oil, and cactus seed oil.
How to Carry Out an Effective Skin Care Routine with Oil
As a beginner in oil skin care, you can use the oil as the “serum”. After cleansing the face and spritzing the toner, drip a few drops of the oil on the palm. Warm up the oil between your palms, and apply it gently and evenly on the face and neck. Then massage the skin in circular motions with your fingertips until absorbed. Apply the moisturizer afterwards if you like. Remember to always pay attention to the changes of your skin conditions every time when you apply the oil and adjust your dosage accordingly. As you become comfortable with the amount, you can be more creative. Blend one drop of the oil with the liquid foundation to give radiance to the skin, remove the makeup directly with it, or do a few more firm presses with the oil after the moisturizer is applied to give extra protection and lock-in effect to the skin.
Plant oil is truly a valuable skin care option. Numerous people have testified as to how they use plant oil to soothe and support fragile, inflamed, and troubled skin. Just learn more about your skin conditions and take some extra miles on research for the right oil that meets your needs, then a little bottle of organic plant oil can do magic for you. Sometimes the results are way better than the totality of several kinds of other products!
Over the past two decades, Gloria has been committed to aromatherapy education, and has trained more than 100 international aromatherapy practitioners and lecturers in Taiwan and Canada. Gloria has introduced many famous books on aromatherapy to Taiwan as well as translating, examining and revising their contents. She is a regular IFA lecturer and a high-level certified aromatherapist. She often gives lectures in hospitals, universities and enterprises.v