We love oils. Can virtually hear our skins slurping them up, from top to toe. Oils provide serious skin nourishment – which healthy skin needs, alongside moisture. (For which we turn to our old friend hyaluronic acid, among other ingredients.) They tend to be wonderfully skin-compatible, too – so no wonder the Beauty Bible team has a veritable arsenal of them on our bedside tables and bathroom shelves.
But the Indiana Joneses of the beauty world have been out there with their machetes and their GPS devices, tracking down ‘new’ oils. Of course, they’re not really new – but they’re new as beauty ingredients… Remember all that fuss about argan oil, a few years back? (And now argan’s a mainstay of the beauty industry.) And then coconut…?
We still love, love, love those oils. But here are some lesser-known discoveries on the oil front, which you’ll want to keep your eyes peeled for.
Marula oil. Marula is packed with antioxidants (60% more than argan!), vitamins and omegas and is regarded as a ‘cure-all’ by the Ovambo women in Namibia, where it hails from. It’s a great multi-tasker – soothing and smoothing every skintype, even greasy. One of these days we might persuade oily-skinned women to use oils – we’re still hoping, but they would do well to start here – because marula oil is actually good for blemishes and scarring (as well as stretch marks). Personally, we really like this oil for ‘locking in’ moisture, applying a couple of drops or so over night cream (in particular). It leaves it silky, but traps the dewiness inside, too. Also good, we’re finding, for smoothing through hair – add just a drop or two to the palms, then rub these and your fingers together and skim through hair, for instant ‘texture’ but also gleam and nourishment. (And no, it won’t leave your hair looking greasy. Promise.)
Moringa oil. Moringa is extracted from the seeds of Moringa oleifera, also known as the Drumstick tree. Nutrient-dense, it’s chosen for its anti-ageing properties, packed with free radicals. Interestingly, as well as helping to boost glow and fight skin fatigue by combating the effects of pollution, moringa (like marula) is also great for fighting acne and blackheads. It makes a wonderful scalp massage oil, ideal for dry scalp, delivering minerals and vitamins to hair follicles. We also take moringa as a supplement, by the way, blending it into delicious smoothies and juices. Find it in de Mamiel Botaniques Restorative Cleansing Balm, and (for those drinks) Aduna Moringa Green Superleaf Powder.
Cacay oil. File under ‘one to watch’: this South American oil is also very lightweight and swiftly-absorbed (this seems to be the trend in oils) – one for people who don’t like any feeling of greasiness that an oil can give. Cacay nuts are the size of a small orange, and contain kernels from which an oil is extracted that delivers three times more retinol than rosehip (so we’re told), 50% more vitamin E and twice the vitamin F (Essential Fatty Acids) of argan oil. Great for skin irritations and for soothing and healing minor burns, its fans attest.
Maracuja oil. Shabir was one of the first people we know to write about this (read his in-depth article here), but maracuja is now quite a ‘buzz’ in beauty circles. Derived from the seeds of the passion fruit plants, this non-fragrant oil is a rich source of antioxidants and helps reduce inflammation; in medical tests, it was found to stimulate production of the cells that create collagen. We suggest using a drop or two as a serum, or mixed it with your regular moisturiser or serum. It’s also great for nails, hair and scalp: another one-bottle-wonder for the bedside table (albeit not in the sexiest packaging you’re ever going to get your hands on…) Pure Maracuja Oil.
Rosehip oil. Not so new – but it’s gaining so many fans and making its way into so many different products, now, that rosehip is worth reminding ourselves about. This oil is actually one of nature’s wonder-healers: great for redness, wrinkles, pigmentation and for balancing complexions. (It’s another of those oils that is good for oily/problem skins – and is also effective at alleviating post-acne pigmentation.) Many people we know have reported improvements in scar tissue (and indeed stretchmarks) via regular application of rosehip oil. We’ve heard good first-hand reports, too, from sufferers of rosacea – one of beauty’s toughest challenges.
Striking oils, every one…