Nourishing, repairing, enhancing and soothing, this fantastic skin oil and hair oil has conquered our hearts and become a staple product in our bathrooms, for both winter and summer. Overlooked for a long time because of their greasy texture, these days cosmetic oils are enjoying a real comeback. Whatever your skin type or age, you’ll find something to love about them, you just need to know which one is most suitable for you!
AN OIL FOR EACH ONE OF US
When it comes to oils, there is one out there for all of us, no matter what your needs are: if you like organic products go for a natural vegetable oil, the purest you can find, preferably one which is obtained from crushing fruits or seeds (almond, argan, sesame, apricot). These retain all their fatty acids and their nourishing powers, unlike modified oils which are altered when they are processed. If you’re very busy, opt for a mixture of several different vegetable oils, or vegetable oils and essential oils. Those of us who need the anti-age effect should use more complex skin oil containing antioxidants or anti-wrinkle ingredients. If you’re just curious, go for a formula that won’t transform into an oil-like consistency until you massage it into your skin.
A DIFFERENT USE FOR EACH ONE OF US
Whether vegetable, essential, processed or hybrid, skin oils are completely customisable. They have restoring and nourishing properties which are ideal for dry skin types, they're hydrating for normal skin types, soothing for sensitive skin, beautifying thanks to their satin-like finish as well as providing protection from the sun…These oils are truly multi-use and can be used daily, both day and night: they are particularly sensory and both easy and enjoyable to apply. When applying onto a clean face that is free of make-up, you should first warm the oil up between your hands and massage it in using your fingertips, starting with your forehead and chin and then smoothing it out to cover your whole face and neck. You could also add a few drops to your day cream to make it extra hydrating.
SKIN OILS FOR YOUR BODY
We love skin oils because of their anti-crocodile skin effect. When used every day, you’ll find that your skin regains its elasticity and softness: on top of their nourishing properties, the fatty acids also replenish the skin’s hydrolipidic film, which therefore helps to give it an intense boost of hydration. But the main reason we love oils so much is that they are a pleasure to the senses! The secret? Apply the oil when you are in the shower onto wet skin before rinsing it under water to make your skin super soft. By combining the oil with the water, you create an emulsion which helps the ingredients to be absorbed and rebuilds the skin’s protective barrier. Beside their nourishing and beautifying properties, body skin oils can also be used in slimming products, thanks to their draining ability on the orange peel effect of cellulite.
WHAT ESSENTIAL OILS CAN DO FOR YOU
Creams, personal hygiene products, shampoos... Essential oils are everywhere and it's with good reason. With a high concentration of active ingredients, they're able to treat a multitude of minor imperfections. Zoom in on how to use EOs and discover what they can do for you.
ESSENTIAL OIL FOR SKIN: THE GO-TO PRODUCT FOR KEEPING YOUR BODY IN BEAUTIFUL CONDITION.
So what exactly is an essential oil? Aromatic plants containing volatile aroma compounds in their flowers, bark or leaves secrete a substance that can be purified into an essential oil using a process of steam distillation. The reason they're used in so many modern cosmetic products is simply because they are the most powerful form of aromatic plant extract, it's as simple as that.
The molecules contained within essential oils are extremely small. This means they're able to pass through the dermal barrier more easily and go deeper into the skin's tissue in order to work more effectively.
THE BENEFITS OF ESSENTIAL OIL TO MAKE YOU BEAUTIFUL.
Fighting back against cellulite. Cellulite caused by poor lymph and blood circulation causes water and fat retention in the tissues. To treat this, we recommend using bay laurel and cypress oil for their excellent draining properties.
Getting that firmer figure. Use lemongrass oil for its positive impact on cutaneous microcirculation and say goodbye to saggy hips, thighs and buttocks.
Tackling dry skin: If you suffer from tight, uncomfortable skin on your arms, legs and back during the winter months, use geranium oil to target the effects of dehydration and palmarosa oil to renourish your skin.
Achieving soft, smooth skin. Wish you had skin like a baby's bottom? Add a few drops of carrot oil to a nice warm bath and soak up its soothing properties for silky, smooth skin top to toe.
Tackling sunburn. To relieve pain and inflammation caused by prolonged sun exposure, mix 2-3 drops of real lavender oil to your after-sun lotion for its soothing, healing properties.
Suffering from rough, dry hands? It's not uncommon for hands to become very dry, especially in Winter, and because the skin is so thin in this area, they are particularly susceptible to chapping. To keep your hands hydrated and protected, use ylang-ylang oil, an excellent source of nourishment.LOUSY WEATHER = LOUSY COMPLEXION
Who hasn't looked in the mirror on a winter morning only to be met with a tired, dull, sallow complexion ? We all tend to blame the gloomy weather. And yes, the cold can harm our skin, making it super-sensitive, tight and dull. However, stress, smoking, pollution and other external factors have a huge impact on the state of our skin, as it can't properly breathe or repair itself. The result? Dead cells that cling to its surface combined with poor circulation leave us looking worn out and pasty. But don't panic or wait for summer - there's plenty we can do to get back our flawless finish!
THE BEAUTY-ENHANCING POWER OF ESSENTIAL OILS
Essential oils are powerful plant extracts. You only need to blend a few drops of an essential oil with your cream, mask or shampoo to clean, soothe and enhance your hair and give you glowing skin. That said, each one has specific molecular properties that target particular problems, so brush up on your essential oil knowledge and don't turn your kitchen into a make-shift chemistry lab! Essential oils are highly concentrated and if misused can do more harm than good. To set you on the right track, rose oil regenerates skin, chamomile is soothing, geranium moisturises, lavender purifies and tea tree oil zaps acne and blackheads.
ESSENTIAL OILS FOR A GLOWING COMPLEXION
Essential oils are great if your complexion needs a pick-me-up. Carrot oil, for example, regenerates skin and gives it a natural sun-kissed look. Simply warm up and massage 3 to 4 drops of macerated carrot oil on to your face. And once a week, treat your face to a cistus oil steam. It'll tone up your skin and kick-start your circulation. If you're after a regenerating oil, try rose hydrolat to lighten and brighten your complexion. As for chamomile, it calms and soothes skin left blotchy or chapped by harsh winter weather.
BEAUTY TIPS FOR USING ESSENTIAL OILS ON SKIN
Only a few essential oils can be directly applied to our skin. Most need to be blended with an oil - argan, olive, jojoba - to avoid irritating or burning our skin. Insect bites/stings and headaches can be treated with essential oils that come in roller form, so you can apply them to specific zones. However, make sure they don't come into contact with your eyes, mucous membranes, your nose or ear canal.
TAKING ESSENTIAL OILS BY MOUTH
Ease indigestion, boost your immune system, deal with travel sickness... Taking essential oils by mouth can work a treat. But once again be warned that some are toxic and should never be ingested - check with your GP if you're unsure. For ones that can be taken by mouth, simply mix them with a teaspoon of honey or pop a couple of drops on a slice of bread or sugar cube.
USING ESSENTIAL OILS IN YOUR BATH
Some essential oils are relaxing and soothing - orange, chamomile, lavander, marjoram... They help us uwind at the end of a long day, after a gym session or whenever we've reached the end of our tether! The downside? Essential oils don't dissolve in water, so any drops will stay on the surface and could irritate your skin. They need to be blended with a neutral base (available at chemists or essential oil suppliers) that can be then poured under your running bath water.
INHALING OR DIFFUSING ESSENTIAL OILS
Inhaling essential oils can treat bronchitis, conjunctivitis and colds, whilst using an oil burner will purify and perfume the air in a room. But don't use any old oil, as some irritate our airways. Don't inhale cinnamon, tarragon, clove, menthol eucalyptus, sage, peppermint, artemisia or cedar oils.
Pregnant or nursing women and children under 7 should not use essentail oils, nor should they be applied if you're planning to go out in the sun. If you're prone to allergies, ask your chemist or GP for advice.
Article supplied & written by Marie Claire, part of Hearst Communications, Inc.