Using Natural Oils to Care for Your Face and Hair
Natural oil is the only cosmetic ingredient that can help you achieve glowing skin, gorgeously glossy hair, strong nails, and smooth body in only one step. Most oils can be used on face, body, hair, hands, and feet. Oils have been used for skincare, hair care, and massage for centuries, and new oils from exotic locations are easily available today for you to use in your natural beauty creations.
The greenest way to obtain good quality oil from seeds, nuts, and fruits is cold pressing during which plants are crushed and pressed. Another, more sophisticated and costly method is supercritical CO2 extraction which produces more concentrated and pure extracts than cold pressing. This method is used to extract oils from delicate, rare plants.
Among the less preferred methods of oil extraction are solvent extraction which involves use of environmentally unfriendly petrochemical solvents and hot pressing during which many vitamins and antioxidants are rendered useless after being exposed to high temperatures.
For long time oil has been a skin foe rather than ally. We would avoid anything that resembled oil believing that anything that has oil in it would clog pores and cause pimples. We would prefer so-called “oil-free” chemical brews or mineral oils which for some mysterious reason seemed to be harmless. However, when you get used to natural oils, you will be surprised to notice that most oils penetrate easier than lotions and leave no greasy residue. Some oils are better suited to oily skin, some are great for body care, and others are indispensable for hair and nail care. Here’s a quick guide to choosing the most suitable oils for your beauty needs:
FOR BODY CARE: olive, canola, grape seed, rice bran, evening primrose, wheat germ oils
These super-nutritious oils are rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids that strengthen the lipid barrier in the skin and prevent moisture loss. In chapter 4 you will learn how to prepare a simple herbal body infusion to moisturize your body head to toe. All oils are rich in natural vitamin E which acts as an antioxidant and helps smooth out scars and stretch marks.
FOR MASSAGE: grape seed, olive, sesame, peanut, sunflower, canola oils
These oils glide easily over the skin and create a warming effect because they do not evaporate off the skin surface like lotions do thus creating a “greenhouse” effect. Just a few drops of oil is enough to warm up or relax the muscles and tone up the skin. In chapter 3 you will learn how to create a lifting facial massage oil, and after reading chapter 4 you will be able to make an anti-cellulite massage oil for problem areas.
FOR HAIR NOURISHMENT: coconut, sweet almond, jojoba, avocado, argan oils
Cold-pressed nut oils are rich in vitamins A, D, E, B group, as well as lecithin and palmitic acid. They can be used for weekly warm hair packs and daily care for dry, frizzy locks.
FOR HAIR GROWTH: linseed (flaxseed), burdock, sesame oils
These vitamin-rich oils will not make your hair greasy but instead will help establish healthy sebum production in the scalp and nourish hair follicles. Stronger follicles begin providing the hair shaft with more nutrients, so the hair becomes stronger and shinier. For best results, these oils must be warmed up before use.
FOR FACE MOISTURIZING: peach kernel, apricot kernel, jojoba, grape seed, pomegranate seed, black currant seed, acai, thistle oils
These lightweight oils penetrate quickly without oily residue. If you have dry skin you can use lightweight facial oil blends or pure oils twice daily, in the morning under the sun protecting product and in the evening alone.
You can also use facial oils for massage and to enrich your existing moisturizers. Most facial oils can be used around eyes but not too close to the lash line. Exception to this rule is castor oil which may help improve lash and eyebrow growth. Simple recipes in chapter 3 will explain how to prepare antiseptic oil blends for oily skin with acne and energizing oil blends for dry, tired skin.
No matter which oil you choose for your cosmetic products, please keep in mind that vegetable oils must be stored in dark cool places. Thin, liquid oils such as jojoba, thistle, evening primrose, and rosehip must be refrigerated to prolong their shelf life. Fatty, heavy oils can be stored for up to four years, while lightweight liquid oils will keep fresh for two years.