By Diane Small
I remember my Corsican grandmother used to do something I thought was odd when I was a kid – she’d be preparing something with olive oil, and instead of washing her hands, she would rub the oil into them. She told me – always with a smile – that this was good for her skin and nails.
Personally, I never did it, believing it to be a bit ‘old world’ and strange – until now.
Skin oils – especially coconut – are all the rage. Not only are people using coconut oil for cooking, replacing it for butter and even putting it in coffees and smoothies, but they’re using it for for everything from makeup remover to anti-cellulite cream. There can be little doubt that coconut oil is a great multi-functional product, but it’s pretty basic.
Whilst you can use a simple, pure oil like coconut, or olive, as my nan did, there are some far more beneficial and perhaps slightly exotic oils with almost medicinal qualities for healing the skin, preventing ageing and even hydrating hair. Plus, modern formulations are crafted to intensify the properties of the oils used – and to smell amazing without the need for any fake perfumes, too.
Here are 9 luxurious beauty oils that work super hard – they can prevent ageing, cleanse your skin, prevent stretch marks, or even hydrate your hair!
Not keen on slathering yourself in cold cream during the winter? Warm up some of this luscious oil instead! Perfect as a hydrating body or massage oil, it comes in lemongrass or peppermint scents, or could also be unscented. Pure Moringa oil restores your body’s natural essential fatty acids and provides antioxidants to prevent damage and dryness. Use it post pregnancy to minimise stretch marks, as a cuticle oil, or to prevent scarring.
It’s a bit surprising how well this works! If you’ve never used a cleansing oil before, all you need to do is massage a bit into your skin, then remove it with warm, damp cloth. Oil is the key ingredient in popular micellar cleansers, and is added for its cleansing properties. So imagine how potent it is when it’s used alone! The Genesis Cleanser acts as a magnet for dirt, makeup and other impurities, and leaves the skin feeling hydrated even after you’ve completely stripped your face of the dirt of the day.
Oils of Heaven (a.k.a. Ooh Oils) have made it their mission to bring to us the most effective beauty oils from across the globe. They source them from small, local suppliers in a fair manner that helps women to establish a livelihood for both themselves and their community.
Their Cacay oil is cold pressed from wild Cacay nuts that have been harvested in the Colombian jungle. Cacay oil contains 50% more vitamin E and twice the amount of linoleic acid than argan oil, as well as three times more retinol than rosehip oil – all of which combine to help prevent the effects of ageing, like fine lines, dark spots and collagen loss.
Kigelia africana oil is a bit of a miracle ingredient. It acts as a natural anti-inflammatory, and has anti-microbial and DNA repairing qualities. This all-organic oil from Luxe Botanics is also formulated to pack in high levels of antioxidants that repair sun damage, brown spots, redness and also protect your skin from free radicals.
It may sound counter-intuitive to use an oil on acne prone skin, but the anti-bacterial properties of Kigelia africana oil make it perfect for those who tend to get breakouts, and did I mention that it gives any skin type a dewy glow that lasts all day? For those who are searching for an ethical as well as organic brand, you’ll be pleased to know that Luxe Botanics works with Buy1GIVE1, to give back to women in the African communities where their oils are sourced.
Due to its extremely high content of Vitamin E, Linoleic Acid and other beneficial fatty acids, argan oil has been used for centuries by women in Morocco as a beauty oil for the skin and hair. Moroccan Natural offers the oil in its pure, organic state at a very reasonable price, and it’s worth it – argan oil can do so much! For example, it’s renowned for helping reduce acne and stretch marks, but above all, this is an oil that can not only help condition the hair, it can even help it grow longer and thicker.
This highly concentrated serum contains only the purest extracts enriched with the bright, red flowers of prawn sage. Prawn sage flowers appear twice a year, in the summer and fall, and this unique blend is created from our limited October 2014 harvest. Cucumber and horse chestnut have well known revitalizing effects on the tissues around the eyes, and together with the soothing actions of high mallow, this formula generates the ultimate eye contour restoration.
The first thing you’ll notice about this exquisite oil is its divine scent: the main oil extract here is, after all, mogra – a species of delicate jasmine. Other oils in this precious blend include Indian rose, and Ashwagandha, all of which work in concert to tone, soothe and revitalise the skin.
Let’s get back to that scent, which was designed to stimulate the senses and uplift the spirit. You could practically use this as a perfume! But it’s much gentler than that. Using this oil daily will stimulate collagen and elastin production, keeping the skin firm and wrinkle-free.
It wouldn’t be a complete list without a great anti-cellulite oil! Massage this in regularly and dimples have been clinically proven to diminish, thanks to the rich Grape Seed, Eucalyptus, Citrus and other oils that work together to hydrate, soften and firm skin. The formula works especially well due to the d-limonene found in the citrus oils, which works as a metabolic stimulant, lymphatic system detox, and fat burner.
Palm Springs is famous for its luxurious lifestyles, vibrant colors and relaxing environment. This Body Deli created a whole Palm Springs collection, including the Las Palmas oil blend, inspired by the Californian hotspot. Made with locally grown Coachella Valley Medjool Dates, aromatic grapefruit, fresh citrus, ginger, and a hint of jasmine, this is a deliciously scented, highly nourishing body oil that absorbs quickly without leaving much greasy residue when applied directly.
Alternatively, the oils here can be applied to a running bath, which will scent not only your skin, but the entire room for hours, or for a massage. It’s full of rejuvenating cold pressed oils that have been soaked in dates for 30 days to infuse their vitality and add to the natural fragrance of the product.
Main image: Body Deli