If I could go back in time share some words of wisdom with my tween self, I’d say, “Little G, eat whole foods and less sugar both for health and vanity, Noxema is not the answer to all your skin woes, just one dab of Electric Youth will do ‘ya, and a big one: middle school really sucks, but hang in there – nerds rule the world and you’re of royal lineage.” Still working my way up…
Discovering beauty oils changed my life, and I doubt I’ll ever again buy another conventional moisturizer. These are the reasons, for me, there’s no going back:
- Customization: I love having the ability to customize my oil/serum combination each day to environment and what my skin needs most – calming the redness, addressing dryness, squashing flare-ups. On particularly dry days or at night when I don’t mind (and quite enjoy) being greasy, I may choose Marula oil, or on a hot, sweaty day, I’ll opt for Argan. I can also customize based on scent and superpower of the particular oil.
- Versatility: Use them on your face, lips, ends of your hair, cuticles, give yourself a double dose around the eyes, put ’em on your baby, suggest them to your husband as an alternative to aftershave, and then spend the next few months trying to get him to put your cherished oils down. Point is, most are safe for your whole body and family.
- Purity: Oils are often one ingredient, and even on the more complex formulations, any of the brands’ founders could tell you exactly where each ingredient comes from and the crucial role it plays in the blend.
- My skin loves it: The oils I recommend below gave me (granted, not quite a scientific sample size) noticeable glow quickly – my litmus for all things skincare.
If you’re concerned about clogged pores, check out Argan Republic’s fantastic Comprehensive Guide to Natural Beauty Oils, featuring specific oil properties and benefits and comedogenic rating, and read this short interview with Beauty Heroes founder Mary Bemis.
There are so many amazing oils on the market, and I use and relish many other brands (I’m loving the hypercustomization and purity [and as a marketer, the rad branding] of Odacité right now), but the oils to follow are the ones that I run out of and buy again, give to the people I love, and recommend to anyone who inquires. They’ve earned a permanent spot in my treasure trove and on my face.
- Kahina Giving Beauty Argan Oil (1oz, $36): Kahina’s argan oil is ethically-sourced in small batches from Morocco (high-five for beauty with a conscience), and claims to minimize lines, restore elasticity, improve tone, and soothe irritation. I’ve been using this consistently for about 5 years, and enjoy looking at myself in the mirror afterwards a little too much, to be honest. The clear droplets fall in my hand like diamonds, and the oil immediately disappears into my skin. Because of this, it works great before SPF and foundation in the morning.
- True Moringa Lavender Facial Oil (1oz, $26): I got a sample of this product on the first of three days at the Natural Products Expo West a few years back, and by the time I went home, my skin had a definite glow. It’s cold-pressed, claims to reduce redness, damage, dry skin, and signs of aging, and is sustainably-sourced in Ghana with a network of 700 smallholder farms, giving access to credit, agricultural training, nutrition programs, and fair wages. Good for you, good for the planet – what’s holding you back? This oil is very moisturizing and the aromatherapeutic lavender makes this my go-to nighttime relax-time oil…and the price-point is very attractive.
- Kypris Mini Beauty Elixir I : 1000 Roses Facial Serum (o.47oz, $90): When life gets hectic and I’m rougher on myself than I ought to be (or others are, for that matter), I end the evening with 1000 Roses. I imagine I’m thanking myself for a magnificent day of work, handing myself a bouquet of fragrant roses, and shamelessly stuffing my face in it. Standing ovation, the crowd goes wild! I spread the oil across my face, hold my cupped hands over my eyes, nose, and mouth, inhale deeply and give thanks. Kypris founder Chase Polan explains that 3-4 Bulgarian roses are needed to extract one drop of oil, and each bottle contains 1000, give or take. Plus, she painstakingly sources wildcrafted, fair trade ingredients for her potions like CoQ10, vitamins C and E, Baobab and pomegranate. The smell is sweet and earthy, more like a rose bush than your grandma’s sachet. 1000 Roses is a powerful cocktail of self-care for your body and soul.