Beauty news flash: “oil free” is on its way out. What’s been long feared as a pore clogger and pimple trigger is now being slathered on, soaked up and raved about for surprisingly opposite effects. Oil hasn’t always been considered the bad guy. In fact, women throughout history have relied on it to soften skin and smooth hair–long before little bottles of the stuff conveniently started showing up on store shelves.
What worked for Cleopatra can certainly work for you–just be sure to choose pure, natural oils, as they deliver the most potent plant nutrients to provide real beauty benefits. Here are some of your most exquisite options, as well as ways to easily add them to your routine:
Jump for jojoba!
Flaky scalp? Rough heels? Brittle hair? There’s an oil for that. It’s called jojoba, and it comes from the seeds of the jojoba plant, a tough, thick-leafed shrub that thrives in dry desert climates. Apply jojoba oil directly to problematic patches–it penetrates quickly and delivers skin-supporting essential fatty acids, vitamin E and minerals. My top pick: Desert Essence 100% Pure Jojoba Oil. A little goes a long way, and it’s free of pore-clogging preservatives.
Ask me about argan oil
You’ll get nothing but rave reviews. Known as “liquid gold,” this lightweight, amber-colored oil is extracted from the nut of a fruit dangling from thorny trees in southwest Morocco. Finger-comb a small amount through damp hair or smooth into freshly cleansed skin for intense moisturizing effects. But buyers beware: products labeled “Morrocan Oil” may not be 100% pure and will pour out thick, gooey and yellow. I count on Acure Organics Argan Oil, which is certified organic, luxuriously silky and de-frizzes my hair even on the most humid of days.
Catch the coconut oil craze
A true tropical treasure, coconut oil is an aromatic waxy substance pressed from the white “meat” of fresh coconuts. It’s loaded with beneficial fatty acids and antioxidants, making it a popular cooking oil for everything from popping popcorn to baking brownies. Beyond the kitchen, it’s a magical moisturizer that’s been used by women around the world for centuries to nourish skin and hair. Try Monoi Tiare Vanilla Tahiti Coconut Oil, formulated specifically for beauty uses with a unique, vanilla bean scent.
Almonds are a smart snack choice, but they’re brilliant when added to your skincare routine. With a rich, velvety texture and naturally sweet scent, almond oil glides on great for massages, or swirl a few drops into your bath for a skin-softening soak. I like NOW Foods Solutions Sweet Almond Oil because it’s expeller pressed to extend freshness. Bonus use: Almond oil makes a great “carrier” for your favorite essential oils, which are too potent to apply directly to skin. Just mix a few drops with about two tablespoons of oil and use on skin, scalp or hair.