Oil, as a rule, gets a pretty bad rap in the world of skincare (and food for that matter). Pimple causer, pore blocker, shine creator, oil takes the blame for all these ailments. And yes, I can understand your desire to grab your pitchforks and angrily wave them at the sky, incensed with anger at the greasy film on your skin but before you do, holster your three pronged weapons and let me enlighten you.
The right kind of oil, i.e. not the one excreted by your sebaceous glands, is actually a godsend for all skin types, including oily (especially oily)., and can be used in so many different ways. ‘That makes no sense,’ I hear you cry as you un-sheath your pitchforks and prepare to get stabby. If you hold off the grievous bodily harm however, i’ll explain why this is so, and the different ways you can get a luscious smear of oil in your life (that sounds wrong on so many levels but it’s hard to come up with flattering adjectives to match with oil.)
First up, some basic facts. The oil you typically find in a bottle, jar, split coconut (maybe not the last one) is an altogether different beast to the the one on your face. Adding the oil from the bottle to your skincare routine will NOT result in the two falling passionately in love and multiplying all over your face. Now that we’ve got that straight, here’s how you can use this tricky little multitasker.
As a cleanser (or pre-cleanser AKA the step before cleansing to remove all the heavy junk) – ‘What madness is this?’ I hear you huff. Not madness at all my friend, pure genius in fact. The ‘good’ oil will actually bond with the ‘naughty’ oil, pretend to be it’s best friend, then (gently) drag that greasy so-and-so right outta your pores and down the sink. This will result in minimal irritation for sensitive or dry types, general cleansing awesomeness for those with a ‘normal’ visage and reduced congestion and clogged pores, leading to clearer skin with less pimples in those with a glistening dermis. Genius. A good cleansing oil is also a gun for removing every last spec of leftover sunscreen, foundation, moisturiser and lunch leftovers, hence it being touted as a pre-cleanser. This is great for the girl who wears a few layers on her face everyday (aka me) and struggles to get rid of it all, and is especially wonderful after an application of ‘party makeup’ (a rare and special breed of makeup which alludes to the fact that I am leaving the house to converse with other adults and drink white and red coloured beverages out of glasses with stems. Doesn’t happen very often). Get your mitts on: Bloom Organic Gentle Cleansing Oil, $38.00 and Planet Eve Certified Organic Facial Cleansing Oil, $49.00
As a moisturiser – Now don’t go get all huffy and sceptical on me again. I’ve explained the science so of course you know that using an oil to moisturise won’t double your shine factor. Oil is spectacularly good for repairing and soothing skin that’s exposed to the elements and, unless you refuse to leave the house, ever, you’ll be exposing yourself to those elements everyday; think sun, pollution, smog, the spit from small children etc etc. It’s also a great balancer in that it helps the skin realise that it has enough oil to keep it lubricated, therefore cutting down on oil production and eliminating congestion and acne. I imagine the conversation to go something like this; ‘Hey there sebaceous glands, you’ve really been putting the hard yards in lately, don’t think we haven’t noticed cos we have. But you can slow down now, take a break, kick back and tone things down a notch. We’re here now and we’ll keep everything smooth and sorted.’ For some reason, the sebaceous gland speaks in a jamaican accent, not sure why this is but it has to be a good thing. My favourite? Trilogy Certified Organic Rosehip Oil, $21.95 (so so good, I can’t even explain how good) and A’Kin Pure Radiance Rosehip Oil, $19.95
As a body wash (or in the bath) – Sounds like crazy talk but lathering on an oil based shower gel is the lazy girls guide to cleaning your skin AND moisturising it in one step. Join me in a round of fairy claps please. I hate post shower moistursing. It is a time consuming and lonely task, accompanied only by the strains of the Hamish & Andy podcasts I download. I still do it, under sufferance, but with a shower oil I can save my podcasts for the car and still have lovely, scale free skin. Goodies include: L’occitane Almond Harvest Shower Oil, $16* and Dermaveen Shower & Bath Oil, $13.99
As a body moisturiser – After dissing body moistursing I must repent slightly as oil is a damn fine skin smoother. It is also 65.2% faster than moistursing with a cream due to the spreadability of the oil (may not be a scientific fact). Applying to damp skin both speeds up the process, will require less product AND will enhance the results as the skin is more receptive to the product. It’s win, win, win. If you’re not keen on that silky feeling, try a dry oil which has much the same effect but without the silkiness. Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula Moistursing Body Oil, $10.60 (delicious, almost edible), Bio-Oil, $14.95 and Neutrogena Sesame Body Oil, $12.99
Now what are you waiting for? Oil up!
(As always, I have tried each of these products, many times as it were, except for the L’Occitane which I hear fabulous things about. I never recommend anything that I haven’t tried or heard evidence of it’s fabulosity from actual people who have actually used the product.)