I’ve been going on about the importance of splashing on plenty of toner and essences so much that by now everyone around me should be glowing like a boiled, peeled egg thanks to the 7 Skin Method!
Along with hydration, oiling the skin is at least as important and mustn’t be forgotten. The Korean skincare method doesn’t emphasize oils, so I guess they’re not geniuses in all things skincare, although it’s probably to do with the humidity levels over there. But the climate here in the Northern hemisphere is so extreme that if you manage to keep your skin soft and glowing throughout the year, I’ll hand you your very own Genuine Beauty Guru medal.
Along with a good essence, a premium-quality facial oil is skincare product number one. Cold-pressed plant oils are packed with omega fatty acids, antioxidants and minerals. Omega fatty acids boost the cell membranes in the outermost layer of the epidermis, preventing moisture evaporating from the skin. They are anti-inflammatory, balance sebum secretion, nourish good bacteria in the skin, smooth and soften the skin and protect skin for external factors like cold air and wind.
How to spot a good-quality facial oil:
– As many ingredients as possible are organically cultivated
– Only includes genuine, whole cold-pressed plant oils (rather than e.g. ester oils created by decomposing plant oils, such as Dicaprylyl Ether, Coco-Caprylate, Decyl Cocoate and Isoamyl Laurate.)
– The product is fragrance-free or contains whole essential oils, which along with the fragrance come with skin-caring properties. In this case, the fragrance substances in the essential oils classified among the list of 26 most common allergenic fragrance substances must be marked on the label (such as linalool, geraniol and citronellol).
– The product does not contain strong preservatives (oil-based products are more resistant to microbes than products containing water), but oil oxidation can be prevented e.g. with vitamin E (Tocopherol), which has skin-boosting effects.
– The product comes in a dark glass bottle to improve storage life.
A high-quality facial oil is rarely a bargain because organically cultivated, first-rate ingredients come with a price. Cheaper products often include ester oils mentioned in the list above, and some even come with synthetic fats. Depending on the plant, organically farmed plant oils can be more than ten times more expensive than silicon or mineral oil.
Neal’s Yard Remedies facial oils deserve all the praise for fulfilling the quality criteria above, yet are reasonably priced.
The selection ranges from individual cold-pressed plant oils to cocktails of several oils blended with essential oils. Single cold-pressed oils can be used as they are, mixed in with your moisturizer or body cream, as a base for a DIY facial oil, or blended with your favourite essential oils. The big price difference between single oils and cocktails is down to price differences in essential oils and plant oils.
How to choose the right oil for you:
Avocado Oil is suitable for dry, thin and atopic skin. Rosehip Oil works well for treating scars, rosacea, aging skin and a lacklustre complexion. Argan Oil is good for aging skin, scarring and dry skin.
Neal’s Yard Remedies facial oil cocktails:
The Orange Flower Facial Oil is suitable for dry, dull, lacklustre and sun-parched skin. The oil base incorporates macadamia, jojoba, evening primrose, hemp, olive and pomegranate oils. Precious sea buckthorn oil provides some extra boost. Neroli, mandarin and ylang ylang essential oils create an aromatherapeutic impact.
Rehydrating Rose Facial Oil is suitable for normal and sensitive skin, skin that feels dry and for treating the first signs of aging. The oil base incorporates grape seed, hazelnut and evening primrose oils. Rosa damascena flower, patchouli and geranium create an extra boost. This is the most popular oil in the Neal’s Yard range.
Rejuvenating Frankincense Facial Oil is suitable for aging skin and treating pigment spots. The super-nourishing oil base includes macadamia, baobab, apricot kernel, resin, evening primrose, hemp and grape seed oils. Turmeric extract and frankincense, mandarin, bergamot and myrrh essential oils provide an extra boost. The Neal’s Yard Frankincense Facial Oil is my personal favourite.
What are your favourite facial oils?
Photos Katja Kokko
Translated by Rebecca Watson