Best Oils for Skin
Coconut Oil: Coconut oil is a powerful moisturizer that is beneficial to restoring dry or flaking skin. Unlike your average moisturizer that contains a lot of water and likely synthetic ingredients, coconut oil helps to strengthen skin tissue more deeply and eliminate dead skin cells while absorbing quickly into your skin. Coconut oil also helps to delay the occurrence of wrinkles because it contains antioxidant Vitamin E, known to protect skin cells from damage over time. The Vitamin E found in coconut oil soothes eczema, sunburn and psoriasis, and its antiviral and antifungal benefits even help to treat bug bites. Coconut oil contains 3 fatty acids: capric acid, lauric acid and caprylic acid. Each of these acids kill candida, a common cause of fungal infection on your skin.
Vitamin E Oil: As indicated by its vitamin classification, vitamin E is a nutrient to the skin. The National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS) explains that it is an antioxidant that helps neutralize free radicals, which damage cells and might contribute to cardiovascular disease and cancer, reactive oxygen species (ROS) formed in the body when it converts food to energy, and environmental exposures such as pollution and ultraviolet radiation. Although it is often debated in the wellness community whether or not vitamin E is truly is effective for your skin, the ODS says some of its functions can be beneficial. “The mechanisms by which vitamin E might provide this protection include its function as an antioxidant and its roles in anti-inflammatory processes, inhibition of platelet aggregation and immune enhancement.”
Extra Virgin Olive Oil: Olive oil's antioxidants--vitamins A and E--can help repair skin damage from sun exposure, cigarette smoke and pollutants. Olive oil, when massaged gently into your face, helps to promote your skin’s elasticity. When you buy olive oil, whether you want to use it on your skin or in your diet, make sure you purchase the extra virgin formulation. Extra virgin olive oil has the highest nutritional value because it has undergone the least amount of processing.
Raw Unrefined Shea Butter: Shea butter comes from the nut of the karite shea tree that is indigenous to Africa. Raw, unrefined shea butter contains vitamins and minerals such as vitamins A and E, as well as essential fatty acids. It has a creamy color and a very distinct smell. It has been used for centuries for its moisturizing, anti-inflammatory and antiaging properties. Shea butter has the ability to soothe, hydrate and balance your skin. It is used as a moisturizer for dry skin and eczema, as a dry scalp treatment, for chapped lips and to help soften cracked dry skin on heels, elbows and knees. It is important, according to the American Shea Butter Institute, to make sure unrefined shea butter is used. Raw shea butter maintains its therapeutic qualities and will keep your skin moist and supple, whereas refined, processed shea butter loses almost all of its healing properties. Dr. Robyn Tisdale Scott, a clinical pharmacist, concurs with the American Shea Butter Institute, supporting the claim that unrefined shea butter reverses dry skin in about three days.
Castor Oil: Castor oil comes from the castor plant, Ricinus communis, which commonly grows in tropical regions. Castor oil is often used as a laxative, but it is also beneficial for delicate facial skin. It can be an effective emollient for dry skin and can even help to detoxify and cleanse skin. According to Organic Facts, castor oil can be very moisturizing and can even soften dry skin and rough age spots. According to Palomar Community College, it is an excellent skin emollient and even helps with skin conditions like dermatitis, which can cause severely rough, dry skin. Using castor oil on a nightly basis can be especially helpful in the winter months when skin is at its driest. According to North Carolina State University, castor oil can also help to cleanse the skin of dead skin cells that are clogging the sebaceous glands. Rubbing castor oil on your face helps to pull out impurities in the pores. This can help to decrease breakouts on the skin that are often caused by these clogged glands. For this method, massage castor oil into the skin and then wash it off with warm, soapy water.
Jojoba Oil: A large shrub that may grow up to 15 feet in height, the jojoba plant grows in North America, specifically northern Mexico and the southwestern United States. Contrary to its name, jojoba oil is actually a liquid wax distilled from the seeds of the jojoba plant and used extensively in the cosmetic industry as an ingredient in shampoos and lotions. While it helps your body in various ways, jojoba oil’s most prominent abilities and features benefit your skin. A natural emollient, jojoba oil’s similarity to sebum allows it to absorb easily and readily into your skin, making it a gentle, skin-softening moisturizer for all skin types. In addition to acne, jojoba oil provides a treatment for various other skin infections and health ailments, mainly due to its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. According to Shirley Price, a renowned aromatherapist and co-author of the book “Aromatherapy for Health Professionals,” jojoba oil may improve and relieve an assortment of skin conditions, including psoriasis, chapped skin, sunburn and eczema.
Almond Oil: Almond oil is acquired from the almond seed, which contains protein, vitamin E and B vitamins, as well as essential minerals, healthy fats and protein. The sun can be damaging to the skin, as its harmful UV rays cause sunburn, wrinkling and other signs of damage associated with aging, as well as skin cancer. You may already protect yourself from the sun with sunblocks and sunscreens, but almond oil is another tool you can use. The March 2007 issue of the "Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology" reports a study that states that applying almond oil to the skin will not only protect it but can also reverse damage that may have already occurred. The study, performed by researchers at Hamdard University in New Delhi, India, explains that mice were exposed to 12 weeks of sun exposure (a typical summer), and at the end of that 12 weeks there were noticeable skin changes. However, mice that were treated with almond oil during exposure had fewer signs of skin aging and damage. The researchers, led by Y. Sultana, concluded that applying almond oil to your skin not only protects you from the sun's harmful rays, but it also slows down the skin's aging process.
Avocado Oil: An excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins A, D and E, avocados can provide skin with deep moisture. The oil of an avocado penetrates the skin but is also thick enough to serve as a protective barrier. Avocado oil also contains sterolins, natural steroids that do not have the negative effects often associated with pharmaceutical steroids. They may be effective in boosting collagen production and in treating age spots. Sterolin "softens the skin and reduces the appearance of age spots,” Shrankhla Holecek, founder of organic oils company Uma, told Refinery29. It is also high in lecithin, “a lipid that helps deliver nutrients directly to the bloodstream and deeper layers of the skin." With its high level of vitamin E, avocado oil may reduce itching and skin inflammation and is also beneficial in softening rough and cracked patches. "A woman with dry skin needs soothing foods like avocados to stay hydrated," beauty specialist Narine Nikogosian wrote in the introduction to her book "Return to Beauty: Old-World Recipes for Great Radiant Skin." In addition to providing the skin with moisture, the antioxidants found in avocado oil can help soothe sunburned skin. "Antioxidants such as vitamins (vitamin C, vitamin E), flavonoids, and phenolic acids play the main role in fighting against free radical species that are the main cause of numerous negative skin changes," according to a 2011 study published in the journal Pharmacognosy Research.
Apricot Kernel Oil: Apricot kernel oil acts as a non-greasy emollient (1). Its high amounts of essential fatty acids maintain the balance of moisture and fill in gaps between skin cells to leave skin silky and hydrated (4). Slather this salve over your body to revitalize your rind; oleic, linoleic and linolenic acids (11) are friendly fats that fight off acne, inflammation and dryness while locking in moisture. Count on the oil’s linoleic acid to strengthen the skin’s barrier function and oleic acid -- a common emollient and emulsifier in cosmetics (5) -- to soften for a satin-like feel and downreaching heal (14). This carrier oil quickly absorbs into the body (1). As an occlusive (12), it seals in moisture to reveal soft, dewy skin (1). Its vitamin-A content helps lubricate and heal skin (13), leaving it supple and silky. Apricot kernel oil passes deep into the skin to restore skin cell membranes (13, page 35) and provide long-lasting hydration and relief. Its flock of fatty acids nourishes dry, sensitive and scaly skin (1) and easily removes oil-based cosmetics: Instead of scrubbing skin with water, use apricot kernel oil to dissolve dirt, oils and makeup residue while continuing to soften (10, page 59). Think C for collagen; the oil’s antioxidant vitamin C promotes collagen production, which gives skin extra stability and suppleness (9). Vitamin C, alongside vitamin E, also masks aging marks by reducing fine lines and wrinkles (13). Similarly, the vitamin A in apricot kernel oil repairs UV-related skin damage and smooths skin to reduce wrinkles, fine lines and rough skin (12).