I have been using botanical oils on my skin for many years. I was introduced to the concept when I received my first “stress-relieving treatment”—consisting of my scalp being massaged with an essential oil blend to balance my sensitive skin and jojoba oil being applied to my hair to condition it. I have to admit, I was a little freaked out; thoughts of greasy stringy ‘70s hair swirled through my head. Would I need to quickly throw on my hat and make a dash for the car? What actually happened was my hair looked great and I was sold! Shortly thereafter I went to work for Horst Rechelbacher and I have been using botanical oils on my scalp, hair, face, and body ever since.
The idea of using botanical oils on the skin has been around for thousands of years. Ancient Egyptians used them for their fragrance, as well as medicinal properties. So what’s with all the recent hype?
Maybe we have just realized what many ancient cultures already knew: botanical oils are really good for the skin. Typically plant-based oils have a small molecular structure, are non-comedogenic, and absorb quickly into the epidermal layer of the skin (unlike mineral oils, which are occlusive and sit on the surface). What this means is a beautiful glow is imparted to the skin—not a greasy, oily face—and there can be other added benefits, depending on the blend.
I know most of you reading this, especially those of you with oily skin, are shaking your heads and saying, “You’ll never get me to put oil on my face.” But consider this: Many products for oily skin overstrip the skin of oil, making it dry. This signals the skin to produce more oil (creating a vicious cycle). Some botanical oils are similar to our body’s natural oils when they are applied (especially on oily skin) and can help balance and slow down oil production—reason enough to give them a try.
Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- First of all, there are as many oils and oil combinations on the market as there are skin types, so do your homework to find one that fulfills your specific skin care needs.
- Next, follow directions, especially the recommended amount to use. You really only need a few drops and I always apply on damp skin for a more even application.
- Finally, remember there is no substitute for exercise, eating right, drinking water, and controlling stress if you want your skin to really look amazing.
Here are a few of my favorite botanical oils:
Josie Maran 100% Pure Argan Oil
Argan—more commonly referred to as Moroccan oil—reinforced my love of botanicals. It’s lightweight, rich in Vitamin E and essential fatty acids, and is incredibly fast absorbing. Plus it can be used from head to toe—literally: hair, face, cuticles, body. One product does it all. It makes the prefect travel companion. This is my pick for dry skin.
Nude ProGenius Treatment Oil
This treatment oil is rich in all the omegas (3, 6, 7 & 9) from a blend of 10 plant oils. These fatty acids deeply hydrate and have anti-aging properties. I have been using this as my moisturizer for the past four weeks and my insanely dry winter skin is showing some signs of life! I have to admit the price tag is a little hefty, but it feels wonderful and you only need a few drops a day, so the return is well worth the investment. Great for more mature skin.
Sundari Essential Oil For Oily Skin
This line is based on an ancient eastern philosophy called Ayurveda. Sundari products are a combination of these principles with the finest quality ingredients from nature. The Essential Oil for oily skin contains Peppermint and Rosemary Oils to balance oil production without clogging pores. This blend contains vitamins A and E, replenishes moisture, and smells wonderful.
Body Deli’s Tahitian Vanilla Oil
Yummy! That’s the best way to describe this body oil. I was introduced to it while having the most amazing massage at Corepower Yoga & Spa in Maple Grove. Body Deli creates fresh, raw, organic skin and body care. They use cold-pressed plant oils which retain more of the natural nutrients contained in the living plant. These highly nutritious oils give the skin a beautiful, healthy glow. I use this right out of the shower while my skin is still damp.
Give oil a chance! You might find your skin has a new BFF.