At the beginning of the week, I was still wearing hats and slathering on sunscreen. And today, I’m pulling out my winter clothes and skincare oils! It’s probably not the end of warm weather yet (hopefully, but you never know when living in Toronto), but now’s a good time as any to take out your winter skincare favourites!
And while you can go to your nearest Sephora for the newest and most innovative skincare products, they are often full of preservatives, alcohols, synthetic chemicals and parabens. Many of these ingredients are things we do not want in our diet, and can be absorbed even quicker into our bodies through our skin. Using oils as moisturizers is an easy way to make sure you are reducing the amount of toxic chemicals in your everyday life. Luckily, oil has become more popular as a moisturizing ingredient, and there are plenty of face oils on the market. If you want to keep your skincare as simple as possible, you can choose to buy the individual oils in dark glass bottles. Usually, the quality is much better because the company will focus on the extraction and integrity of the oil rather than the appearance and marketing. Plus, you can get large quantities for cheap! As long as you keep the oils in a dark environment (if the bottle is not tinted) and distribute the oil into smaller bottles as needed (to reduce exposure to air, which can also damage the oils), they will last for a very long time. Here are the Top 3 most Hydrating Oils: Argan oil Argan oil is the perfect oil - not too heavy, not too light. It is full of antioxidants, omega fatty acids and vitamin E which moisturizes your skin while soothing scars and eczema. Argan oil’s nutrients help it repair damaged skin and prevent irritation and inflammation. It has a zero rating on the comedogenicity rating scale (does not clog the skin!) and sinks into the skin quickly. Plus, you can also use it as a leave in hair conditioner to make your hair smooth and shiny! Many expensive hair masks have argan oil as their main ingredient. Jojoba oil This oil is the most similar to the oil that our skin naturally produces and is known to add moisture without feeling greasy, even if you have oily skin. It absorbs easily into the skin and is good for all types of skin. Jojoba oil is antiinflammatory, antifungal and can speed up cell regeneration to heal acne scars. It’s a great everyday oil that contains a high amount of vitamins and minerals to support healthy skin - vitamin E, B complex, zinc, and selenium. Olive oil Now this one may be surprising because it’s typically only in your kitchen cabinets, but it also has many skin benefits. Olive oil contains antioxidants (prevents premature aging!) and natural acids that help strengthen your skin’s natural barriers. You can also get benefits from its fat soluble vitamins - A, D, E and K - perfect for treating skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. Just make sure to use this moisturizer at night rather than during the day, because the smell is quite strong! How to use Oils Effectively as a Moisturizer Naturally, our skin will produce its own oil called sebum. This oil prevents moisture from escaping our skin barrier. When we put oils on our face, we are nourishing the oil we already have. If you want to hydrate your skin, it is helpful to mix the oil with a hydrosol such as rose water, to help the oil absorb better into the skin. To do this, you can either spray your face with rose water before applying the oil, or you can mix the two in your hand before you apply. This is similar to what lotions do, but you don’t need the additional emulsifier or preservatives!