Natural, unrefined oils have been used for centuries for beauty aesthetics. Today, the products we use on our bodies are more damaging than we know. What better way to avoid harsh products than to avoid them altogether? Here are some of the top oils we found that can be used for hair, skin and nails.
Jojoba (pronounced ho-ho-buh) oil comes from the Jojoba plant in southern parts of the United States and Mexico. It is hypoallergenic (meaning highly unlikely to cause an allergic reaction), and one of the most widely available oils across North America. Jojoba is an interesting oil: it is extremely lubricant, but not greasy. In fact, it’s so light it slips off your fingers!
It can withstand thermal heat for all hair types, making it ideal as a form of “heat protectant” when straightening, curling or even blow drying hair. It contains Vitamin E and various other antioxidants.
It’s also been said that jojoba bears the closest resemblance to our skin’s natural sebum, making it okay to use on the face as a light night serum. Jojoba is rumoured to also be bacteria resistant and effective with lemon and sweet almond to hydrate nails and dry nail beds.
Fun fact: It produces chemicals very similar to oils found in sperm whales, replacing whale oil in various products during the ban on whaling in the 1970s.
Another hypoallergenic essential oil, peppermint can be used on the scalp, too. It is anti-septic and anti-inflammatory, especially helpful for those who have itchy scalps. It also keeps dandruff and head lice away.
This oil is usually directed to the scalp to simulate growth and hair follicles. However, it is extremely potent, and if used should be mixed with a carrier oil, such as olive or castor.
While we wouldn’t recommend using peppermint oil directly on your face on a daily basis, its cooling effects can be used to soothe skin irritations, like mosquito bites or rashes.
Similar to its uses for skin, peppermint can also be used to heal nail infections.
As with peppermint oil, rosemary is another stimulating essential oil. It can be used to increase blood circulation to the scalp. Many believe it can delay grey hairs and premature hair loss (wouldn’t that be amazing?!).
A little softer than peppermint, rosemary can also help prevent the growth of disease-causing organisms, making it ideal to fight eczema, oily skin and acne. It can be used as a facial toner, as well.
Rosemary also helps with restoring a nails natural colour, and getting rid of nail fungus.
Argan oil (or more popularly known as Moroccan oil) has come to be a commercial favourite.
Originalting from the Berber women of Morocco, North Africa, the practise of carefully extracting oil from the nuts of the Argan tree are finally being recognized worldwide. It is able to penetrate the hair shaft, increasing elasticity and shine to dull, lacklustre hair.
Argan oil is also praised for revitalizing skin cells (Vitamin F), tightening skin and reducing wrinkles. It can be used to treat brittle nails.
A natural Jack-of-all-trades, Coconut oil can be used for virtually anything – cooking, moisturizing scalp and hair, moisturizing skin, removing facial makeup – you name it.
Many will swear by coconut oil’s moisture, while others reject. Nonetheless, coconut oil (in theory) is the most hydrating oil there is. Unlike other oils that are used to simply “lock in” moisture, its natural emollients often soften hair by mimicking hair moisturizers and sealing as well. During dry, winter months, coconut oil might just save your hard foot bottoms and parched skin.
Not only does this oil moisturize nails – it helps them grow! On average, finger nails grow one tenth of an inch each month. Coconut oil can accelerate the growth process while softening the cuticle.
Fun fact: Coconut oil often solidifies to a white colour just below room temperature. Be sure to rub in between fingers to melt it to a liquid.
Pretty light in nature, grape seed oil is known most for being odourless, relatively cheap, and widely available.This oil contains a high level of linoleic acid, a type of omega-6 fatty acid that can fight moisture loss.
The pressed grape seeds allow it to be soft enough to also use on one’s skin. Its astringent properties also allow it to tighten skin by closing pores, and if used daily can lighten dark under-eye circles.
It can also be applied as “cuticle oil”, as it is soft and supple on the nail.
For those who suffer from itchy scalp or thin hair strands, castor oil may be your saving grace. It’s an extremely thick carrier oil, that, like its texture, is also used to thicken and strengthen.
But not all castor is made equal. Many vouch for its purest form: the Jamaican black castor oil (JBCO), because of the way it is pressed. JBCO is more effective because of the amount of ash produced when castor beans are roasted. The more ash content produced, the stronger the effect.
It can be applied to scalp and strands to seal and lock in moisture. It also thickens eyebrows and eyelashes when applied over time.
Surprisingly, this thick oil has a lot of skin uses, such as skin cleansing (removing impurities like blackheads), nourishment and treatment (such as dermatitis and eczema).
The jury is still out on just how JBCO affects nail care.
Lastly, we have olive oil: the good old faithful household staple. She’s been used for centuries for anything from cooking, to a skin moisturizer to a deep conditioner. It is pressed from olives and contains a huge amount of fatty acids and vitamins E, D, K and A.
Olive oil is an incredibly deep penetrating moisturizer that hydrates the hair shaft. It may be a little too heavy to apply to an entire face (unless, of course, you have incredibly dry skin) but it is an excellent eye makeup remover.
For a strong nail bed you can mix olive oil with lemon juice.
Which oils will you be using?
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