What you need to know about beauty oils

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Beauty oils are one of the fastest growing categories of skin care. They are not as new as some people think. The ancients used exotic oils to beautify skin. French skin care lines, such as Clarins, have offered them for years. I believe that beauty oils have become so popular because they make skin glow, seal in moisture, and also because many women over-exfoliate with chemical or manual exfoliants.  Too much of a good thing – such as retinol, glycolic acid, scrubs, or even Vitamin C – can leave skin red, raw, and dry. 

Aging and dry winter weather can also leave skin looking and feeling like parchment. The right oil can replenish skin and help to seal in moisture. Applying a little oil under a primer or on top of moisturizer can help keep make from looking cakey or pasty. bio-oildolce.jpg

Some experts even advocate oil to balance oily skin. This is a practice I do not endorse. I swear by beauty oils but I have found it best to reserve their use for very dry skin or risk clogged pores. 

Finding the right oil is a matter of trial and error. These days you can find beauty oils at all price points. For your face it is best to select light oil. I prefer one with anti-aging botanicals added. I use ready-mixed oils and also often mix my own. If you have dry skin, an oil is a must. You will be delighted with the instant improvement. 

Here a just a few to try: 

Environ intensive hydrating oil capsules

These individual oil capsules are made by one of my favourite skin care lines. Environ Intensive Hydrating Capsules contain a combination of Retinol and Vitamins C and E.  The oil is easily absorbed so skin looks moist and rejuvenated. The capsules also contain two powerful antioxidants in the form of green tea extract and Lipochromalin to target Nitrogen-free radicals. According to Environ skin care, “the hydrating oil capsules also inhibit lipid peroxidation and help to prevent skin cell damage.” 30 capsules cost about $80. 

Clarins Sandalwood Oil for dry skin is a classic

This light oil contains pure plant extracts in the form of essential oils of sandalwood, cardamom and lavender tone. It is designed to soothe dry, irritate or red skin.  It will also help to prevent moisture loss. It costs $52 for a one-ounce bottle. 

Bio-Oil is popular but controversial beauty oil that is well priced at four ounces for about $14

Bio-Oil was launched in 2002. It quickly gained popularity and a reputation for helping everything including dry skin, itchy scalp, stretch marks, dry elbows, botchy skin, and acne.  The oil is controversial; it contains mineral oil which some people claim is harmful even though there appear to be no studies to support that claim. Mineral oil is widely used in pharmacies and is still the main ingredient in baby oil. Another problem naysayers have is the” breakthrough” ingredient “Pur-Cellin,” which is not actually listed in the ingredients. Pur-Cellin is an oil ducks product. The press release I received says, “Bio-Oil” was “inspired by Pur-Cellin.” So what is in actually in Bio-Oil? The label says: Mineral oil, sunflower seed oil, Retinal Palmitate and botanicals. These are effective and accepted ingredients for a beauty oil. That being said, Bio-Oil feels great and leaves dry skin looking great. It is not a miracle cure, but it is an effective and lightweight moisturizer. And while moisturizing is recommended to prevent stretch marks nothing can promise to prevent them and nothing will cure them. And, I will repeat, I would not use any oil to treat acne. Avoiding mineral oil is a preference however if you like baby oil or most body lotions you may love Bio-Oil. It is also very cost effective.

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