Every pore on our body releases oil as our natural defense against the elements. We are able to remove that oil with the use of sulfate based soaps, aka most most foaming shampoos and cleansers. If the oil is not replenished, on normal or dry skin, the cells will usually stay dry and flake off to reveal new, more moisturized cells. On combination-oily skin, the follicles will overproduce oil, causing a shiny/greasy appearance. If dead skin cells, makeup, and dirt are present on the skin's surface, this excess oil can get trapped in the pores, causing blemishes. In this post I will outline various oils that can be used all over the body to combat over-production of oil and balance out the skin's natural oil barrier.
Note: Comedogenicity refers to the oil's likelihood to "clog pores" therefore inhibiting the pores from releasing their own oils. If you have dry skin, which wouldn't produce much oil on its own, you could use moderately comedogenic oil and not have to worry about breakouts.
Argan - Non Comedogenic (not pictured)
This oil was made wildly popular by Josie Maran, who sells her bottle of argan oil for $60. The hype around this oil played a huge role in the resurrection of my damaged skin, after wrongly using a plethora of harsh, drying chemicals to try and cure some moderate acne. I've never actually purchased her oil, seeing as how the exact same (cold pressed) product can be found at Rexall Pharma Plus or any nutrition store for under $20. Unless your skin is quite dry, I wouldn't recommend using this oil as a daytime moisturizer since it could leave quite the shine, and inhibit makeup from staying put. At nighttime rather, just a few drops of argan massaged thinly over the skin feels absolutely incredible, reduces inflammation, redness, dry patches and more. Most oils are packaged in glass, but some are specifically bottled in amber coloured glass to block out the harsh UV rays which turn some oil rancid. Be wary of this when rebottling oils into something like plastic, since most should be kept in their original packaging.
Jojoba - Non Comedogenic (not pictured)
Jojoba oil is one of the most popular "carrier oils" used in aromatherapy. It is the base to which a few drops of very potent essential oil (lavender, eucalyptus, peppermint, etc.) can be added for diluted use on the skin. It is less expensive than argan and is proven to very closely mimic the composition of our skin's natural oil. I would highly recommend picking some up if you are interested in experimenting with oil as a moisturizer.
P.S. I love using frankincense in jojoba oil for a face massage at night. Here is the video I follow:
Coconut - Moderately Comedogenic (not pictured)
Ahhh coconut oil. The trendiest of them all. I find that this one is best for moisturizing the body since it could cause breakouts on sensitive or oily skin. This is a rather challenging oil to use especially in the winter since it is solid at temperatures below 23°C. Regardless, you can find oodles of uses for this oil online if you want to know more. Here is an amazing video by one of my fave youtube girls: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k5zaQhNAsdc. I personally love it on toast.
Grapeseed - Moderately Comedogenic (not pictured)
I absolutely adore this oil for the skin, especially in the winter. I haven't had it on hand for a while since I've been busy trying other products, and the massive grocery store bottle isn't too convenient or appealing. This oil is just as wonderful on your salad as it is on your legs. It's much cheaper than something like argan, and could only pose a problem to the most sensitive and finicky skin. Overall, this is a great alternative to a basic oil like jojoba and even has very mild antiseptic properties since it is derived from the seeds of acidic grapes. Not too shabby for the face, that's for sure.
Sweet Almond - Moderately Comedogenic
Almond oil is a cheaper alternative to jojoba, and a pricier alternative to grapeseed. These are the top three choices for most massage therapists and the decision between them is mainly based off personal preference. The majority will prefer sweet almond since it doesn't have much of an odor at all. The only drawback with sweet almond is the fact that it is derived from a nut, so those with a nut allergy should steer clear. Again, this works for the skin just as efficiently as grapeseed. I purchased this cute spray bottle, l'amande douce in the image above, from Monoprix in France.
Nuxe Huile Prodigeuse - Moderately Comedogenic
"Huile Prodigieuse is France's leading beauty oil. This multi-usage dry oil, made using six Precious Plant Oils (Macadamia, Hazelnut, Borrage, Almond, Camellia and St. John's Wort), nourishes, repairs and softens skin and hair. It has a unique, non-greasy feel and a captivating fragrance." -Nuxe website. Gaaahhh this gorgeous gold liquid is the definition of divine. Not only is it offered in a convenient spray bottle, it also smells so fancy and absorbs very quickly. It is a total luxury product at $50 but lasts quite some time. It is amazing for the entire body and hair, but I avoid the face since the fragrance is pretty strong and I have sensitive skin. #princessproduct
Weleda Sea Buckthorn Body Oil - Moderately Comedogenic
"Sea buckthorn berry and seed oil is packed with essential fatty acids that replenish vital moisture, while pro-vitamin A and vitamin E soften and protect your skin. Formulated with organic sesame seed oil that delivers antioxidants, it’s a nutrient-rich power duo that absorbs easily to intensely nourish your skin, produce lavish moisture, protects your skin from free radical damage, and saturates your body in the aroma of sun-drenched essential oils from mandarins, oranges and grapefruits." -Weleda site. Well, that is quite the selling point. But the product does in fact live up to its claims. This is a deliciously smelling, bright orange oil which is amazing as a post-shower body treatment. Massaging oil onto damp skin can really lock in that moisture and dry down to a slick-free feel. At $30, this is a pricy option but comes along with a great experience and long-lasting, visible results.
Bio Oil - Moderately Comedogenic
I wanted to mention this product since I'm nearly done my first (and last) bottle of it. I initially purchased it to treat scars on my face and body, and this is exactly what it is marketed for. Well, that and preventing stretch marks. It definitely did improve my minimal scarring, but wasn't very pleasant to use. I don't love the fragrance and it left a pretty slippery feel to my skin. This is one of the most popular oils out there since many expectant mothers use it to help decrease their chances of developing stretch marks throughout pregnancy. I can't speak for that, but I do know that any other oil will probably do the exact same thing. Stretch marks will happen regardless if they are genetic, but constant use of oil will help reduce their severity. Bio oil does mention to use their product for at least three months to get results. The main ingredient is mineral oil- this isn't comedogenic, so instead it sits on top of the skin instead of getting absorbed. Hence the nasty slippery feeling. This also includes some natural oils, including rosemary and lavender, which could be irritating to sensitive skin. Take note.
Palmer's Cocoa Butter Skin Therapy - Moderately Comedogenic
This is a recent discovery of mine, and is the perfect replacement for Bio Oil. It is marketed as the same type of oil blend but has better, less greasy ingredients such as canola oil, sesame seed oil, and cocoa seed butter. It is a bit more emollient than something like jojoba, but it comes in a convenient plastic bottle and smells quite nice.
Note: Cocoa Butter is also highly comedogenic and really shouldn't be used on your skin in full concentration- unless on the lips or soles of the feet. Petrolatum (Petroleum Jelly, Vaseline) on the other hand isn't comedogenic, and could be a better fit for locking in moisture. I looove putting some Vaseline on my feet after a warm bath, then slipping some cotton socks on and hopping into bed. It is the cheapest and most effective way to get baby soft feet in no time!
If you don't already moisturize with oils, don't be scared. Start off with something simple and use it in careful moderation. I'm sure you'll love the results.