Fancy Facial Oils, Deconstructed

Fancy Facial Oils, Deconstructed

The fruit of the argan tree.

Take a look at that expensive nighttime moisturizer you have on your bathroom shelf. Chances are it has one of the hip oils listed below as a main ingredient.

If you have trouble finding simple toiletry products that don’t irritate your skin or aggravate existing conditions, sometimes it’s good to go straight to the source: find out what the most important ingredient is, and use it straight!

Note: this really only works for oils.

Borage Oil

From the seeds of the starflower comes borage oil, the richest known source of the essential fatty acid gamma-linolenic acid. Borage oil contains a whopping 24% of this fatty acid, which is especially good news for people with eczema, psoriasis, and atopic dermatitis (conditions that show a decrease in gamma-linolenic acid). It’s a great oil for chronically dry, damaged skin.

Evening Primrose Oil

Now doesn’t that sound pretty? This is an oil that’s perfect for mature skin. It’s got about 7-10% gamma-linolenic acid, which makes it useful for the skin conditions mentioned under Borage Oil, but it’s also great for acne, fine wrinkles, tired eyes, and skin that needs a little rejuvenation.

Argan Oil

This is probably the most popular oil on the list right now; the argan tree is native to Morocco, but you can find argan oil everywhere these days, from Whole Foods to Sephora to designer brands like Josie Maran. It’s rich in essential fatty acids and vitamin E. Use it pure on your face as a daily moisturizer – it’s deeply hydrating, anti-aging, and may even help with acne. You can also rub it on your cuticles or smooth over flyaway hairs and split ends.

Emu Oil

Unlike the other oils on this list, emu oil comes from an animal – the emu itself. It’s composed of about 70% unsaturated fatty acids – mostly oleic acid – and it may be anti-inflammatory. Use it on acne scars to speed up healing. Please note: it contains oleic acid, which can clog pores. If you suffer from clog-prone skin, use one of the other oils here.

Camellia Oil

Beloved of Japanese women, camellia oil comes from the sweet-smelling seeds of the Camellia plant. Purchase this oil from a trusted vendor, as fake versions do exist. It’s a great moisturizer: high in fatty acids, very soothing, and beneficial for all skin types. Have an inner geisha? Give camellia oil a try.

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