I’ve been wanting to write more about natural beauty and my favorite tips and products, especially after your feedback from past posts like this. And I’d been brainstorming different ways to present a variety of information — product reviews, natural beauty education, brand interviews — and have finally landed on it: A fun column I’m calling Beauty A to Z! I’m hoping I can write about this topic (one of my faves!) a lot more frequently by breaking down little beauty tidbits and categorizing them into single letters from the alphabet (P is for Paraben, anyone?).
For our first Beauty A to Z, I want to talk about one of my favorite beauty products: oils. Why? Because every girl should have a multitasking wonder like this in her arsenal. Seriously, I am always finding new ways to integrate beauty oils into my routine, and it amazes me just how versatile they are. To wit:
1. YOU CAN USE IT AS A MOISTURIZER (OBVI).
A high end oil, like Dr. Alkaitis or Kahina is great as a moisturizing facial treatment, but sometimes, I’ll splurge and mix a few drops in with a cream moisturizer (at night, I love mixing MUN’s Nighttime Youth Serum in with Weleda’s Skin Food. Your skin will GLOW the next morning!). The same goes for a less expensive body oil, like jojoba or almond oil. These are great as light moisturizers on their own, but you can also blend them with your regular lotion — face or body — for double the moisturizing power. This is especially effective after a shower or bath, when the oils will just sink right in to your skin.
2. THEY TAME FRIZZ.
Yes, really. If you have unruly, wavy hair like mine that is perpetually frizzy and dry, pump a drop or two of oil — regardless of whether it’s for face, body, whatever — into your palms and rub together, just like it’s regular hair product. I then gently run it through my hair and focus on the ends to reduce frizz. I’ve also noticed that this increases shine!
3. IT’S A FANTASTIC HAIR TREATMENT.
If you want to go beyond frizz taming, you can create your own hair mask. I’ll sometimes comb lots of oil through my hair and scalp and let it soak for a few hours before showering. You can also create a DIY mask and mix in things like avocado to boost moisturizing power. I figured out the oil hair mask thing after looking at ingredients of other masks and realizing that they were primarily oil based, but with tons of added fragrances and preservatives — so why not just make your own, and make sure it’s truly natural?
4. IT MAKES A GREAT FRAGRANCE.
So many face oils have the most amazing scent. Dr. Alkaitis and MUN are two that come to mind — they smell so divine and exotic. I’ll sometimes dab a drop or two on pulse points, just to get the aromatic benefits of them, at least for a few hours. Want to create your own scent? Try using a low fragrance oil (like almond), and add in a few drops of essential oils, like lavender, grapefruit, or rose geranium. Insta-natural perfume!
5. CREATE A SPA BATH.
I’ve been known to add oil to my baths a time or two. If you’re using a scented oil, the hot water and steam make the bath very spa like, and of course, it helps to moisturize your skin. I’ll often shave my legs in the bath if I’ve added oil, because the oil creates a natural ‘shaving cream’ on my skin. And shaving with oil, in my experience, leads to a lot less irritation!
6. IT TAKES THE DAY OFF.
This is one of my favorite (and daily) uses. I’ll always use a pump or two of oil on a cotton ball to remove eye makeup. Oil will remove all traces of shadow, mascara, eyeliner, you name it. And I’d much rather put an organic oil up near my eye (which also moisturizes the skin around it!) versus some makeup remover formula that has a hundred ingredients in it. Blech.
EXTRA TIP: FINDING TRULY NATURAL OILS
Not sure which oil to try first? You’ll find that each oil type and brand soaks into your skin differently, as each has a slightly different size of lipid structure (which accounts for why argan oil might feel one way on your skin whereas jojoba might feel differently). In my opinion, most important is that you use something that is pure oil, with no additives like dyes, preservatives, synthetic perfumes (usually listed as ‘parfum’ or ‘fragrance’), or petroleum based oils (avoid anything that has ingredients like ‘mineral oil’, ‘phenoxyethanol’, and anything with ‘polyethylene glycol’ or ‘PEG’ and a number following it, like ‘PEG-20′). And of course, if you can swing it, depending on the type of oil you’re buying, purchasing a certified organic oil is always a good idea too. (Psst! For a little more info on the ingredient side, check out this post and this article)
Do you use facial or beauty oil? What’s your favorite way to incorporate it into your routine?
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