The beauty of oil
From beauty to stretch marks, and all the bits in between, oil is a good investment to maximise your skin health
Ancient Egyptians kept their skin vibrant and flawless using oil, and this old-school beauty secret has made a big comeback as an integral step in modern day beauty routines.
Oil is quick and easy to use, which is especially helpful for expectant or already mums – pop a capsule or take a teaspoon daily for ingested oils, and topical types can be used as a treatment step in your usual skincare regime, or patted onto makeup throughout the day for a quick radiance boost.
Experts say that oil can (and should) be used on all skin types – even oily skin. Often an oily skin surface is due to the body overproducing oil, because it is actually screaming out for it. We already know that our body is brilliant, and after you introduce oil to your regime the skin will regulate its production.
In saying that, those with acute or ongoing skin surface problems should consult a dermatologist before adding face oil to their beauty regime.
It's oil good
“Plant oils are holistic and are the purest form of nature and they provide nutritional health both internally and externally,” says natural cosmetic product designer Stacey Fraser.
The type of oil you choose to use depends on your skin type, climate conditions, and personal preference of course. It’s good to get up to speed on what each formulation offers.
“Oil-based skincare is all about nutrients and feeding the skin, like a daily dose or an instant ‘shot’ of goodness, the ultimate skin health nourishment,” says the Wellington-based expert who has created formulations for the likes of Essence of Humanity and Trilogy.
How it differs from cream
“A cream is a more complex formulation – it provides water/hydration, and they can transport and carry high-end actives to the skin to target specific skin concerns, and creams can provide a barrier to external aggressors like city pollution.
“I find in winter a superfine oil feeds the skin with nutrients. Then applying a protective cream seals in the goodness. In summer a light facial oil can be enough; facial oils can be mixed with mineral powders to provide a natural healthy glow.”
Dermo-nutrition expert and skin health educator Janine Tait is also a fan of plant-based oils, which are rich in the phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals essential for glowing skin. “Each oil boasting its own unique powers and properties, and good quality oils from within, are important for our skin,” she explains. “This is especially true for pregnant or breastfeeding women, who should be consuming enough oil for both themselves and their baby.”
Janine says Essential Fatty Acids (EFA) from good quality plant oils are key for overall health, but also skin health, because our skin secretes protective oils from our oil glands, and if we have a good supply of EFA our skin is more likely to protect us from environmental threats.
Stretch mark oils contain ingredients that help feed the skin with the vitamins and nutrients, promoting collagen (the fibre that allows skin to stretch) production and optimal skin health. Janine suggests looking into oils rich in vitamin A and E, and EFA.
She says the mineral zinc is a key ingredient in the production of collagen. Even mild deficiencies of zinc can lead to stretch marks. Pure Aloe Vera Gel is also beneficial for skin hydration and soothing for any itchiness that the stretching of the skin causes.
Regular massage during pregnancy between the anus and vulva with a purely natural oil can increase the skin’s elasticity, which may be beneficial to enhance skin’s stretch-ability during baby’s arrival, says Stacey. There’s no conclusive research on whether perineum massage reduces the chance of skin tears from a vaginal birth, but a bit of care down there will certainly aid in softening tissue. ′
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