essential oils

Body Oils

Sound Consumer | May 2014

People who switch from lotion to body and face oils often say it's one of the best changes they've made in their beauty regimens. Lotion-to-oil converts report their skin is clearer, has a more even tone, and is beautifully soft.

They love the purity -- unlike lotion, there are no emulsifiers or preservatives, so oils can be good especially for people with allergies or skin sensitivities. Oils such as coconut, jojoba, olive, avocado and rosehip contain important vitamins and minerals, essential fatty acids, antioxidants and enzymes. They can increase collagen, are naturally anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial, and regenerate skin cells. Add a few drops of your favorite essential oils for fragrance if desired.

How to use

For the body: Plain oils have been used as moisturizers for thousands of years and can be very economical -- a small squirt goes a long way. Apply all over your body just after getting out of the shower. Your damp skin will work to absorb the oil. You'll want to wait a few minutes before getting dressed to avoid getting oil marks on your clothes. Oils also are great for cuticles, fingernails and as a shaving cream.

To moisturize face, warm a small amount of oil (such as argan) in your hands, add a toner such as rosewater if desired, then rub gently over skin. For the hair: Oils can smooth fly-away, unruly hair, helping make it more manageable and shiny. Rub a bit in your palm and work through hair.

PCC FAVORITES

Face oils

Acure 100% Certified Organic Moroccan Argan Oil -- A true skin superfood! Argan oil helps fight lines, repair imperfections, and minimize scars and stretch marks, all while restoring skin texture, elasticity and tone. It's wonderful on hair and scalp, too. Lightweight and easily absorbed, this oil is often is referred to as "liquid gold." Acure's argan is from a woman's cooperative in Morocco and is sustainably harvested.

Sibu Beauty Sea Buckthorn Seed Oil -- Long used as a traditional beauty treatment to preserve youthful skin tone and texture, sea buckthorn fights wrinkles and age spots. It's also clinically shown to help minor burns and wounds. Sibu's oil is sourced through fair trade agreements with local harvesters in Tibet.

Body oils

Coconut oil -- Rich in skin-friendly saturated fats, making it perfect for use on all complexions, this oil goes on smooth to leave skin feeling silky. It also is high in lauric acid, which has some antimicrobial activity, and may be useful in treating breakouts. You'll notice some body and massage oils at PCC list fractionated coconut oil on the label, which is liquid at room temperature and absorbs into skin beautifully.

Jojoba oil -- Not a true oil, jojoba actually is made up of liquid wax esters similar to the sebum our skin creates in its own sebaceous glands. That makes it an effective hair softener and all-purpose moisturizer. Particularly good for scenting with essential oils. Sweet almond oil -- Perfect for nourishing and reviving any skin type and the entire body, almond oil is absorbed easily and won't clog pores. The texture is thicker than other lighter body oils, contributing to the residual velvety feeling of the skin hours after applying.

Avocado oil -- Avocado oil contains collagen-supporting amino acids and proteins, as well as vitamins A, D and E, and a small amount of omega-3s. Heavy in texture, avocado oil increases skin's elasticity, while thoroughly moisturizing and softening dry or cracked skin.

Weleda Arnica Massage Oil -- The herb arnica long has been used to soothe strains, sprains and bruises. This oil is ideal for use before or after sports.

Bodyceuticals Organic Calendula Body Oil -- This certified organic oil from a local company provides relief for skin that's dry, cracked, sensitive and has eczema or psoriasis-like symptoms. Use it on sunburned skin, apply after a wax or shave, soothe minor burns or cuts, or even just use it as an eye-makeup remover. It's scent-free.

Acure Pure Wildcrafted Marula Oil -- This easily absorbed oil works wonders on dry, chapped skin, cuticles, stretch marks, scars and fine lines; reduces skin redness; relieves split ends for hair; or is great as a massage oil. Acure's is wildcrafted without pesticides.

Make your own body care products

1. Choose a base oil (jojoba, almond, avocado, coconut, etc.).
2. Choose an essential oil to complement your skin needs
(if you're not sensitive to aromas), and add 5 or 6 drops to the base oil.
3. Use on the body, as a massage oil, in the hair or in the bath. It can be used to dampen a bowl of bath salts or sea salts for a body scrub.

Mix them up Using a profile of oils is like "eating a rainbow." Oils have different wax esters and fatty acid mixtures, different vitamins, and different "weights" (light, heavy, etc.). Mix them up for best results.

Storage Keep body oils stored in a cool, dry place. To extend their life, don't store them in a steamy bathroom.

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