The word has been out on oils for a few years now, and this is a great set of recommendations from Dr Trevor Cates. The skin knows what it needs and will not let natural oils build up and cause problems – it takes what it needs, and lets the rest fall away.
“In the past, we steered away from applying oils to skin because we thought they all clogged pores and caused breakouts. Similar to the passing of the “low fat” diet phase, we now know not all oils are bad. Just like there are good fats for our inner nourishment, there are good oils to use externally for our skin health.
Not all oils are the same, so you want to choose the right ones. And, please be sure to only use extra virgin cold pressed oils and ensure they are clean, pure and not rancid.
Here are my favorite 10 oils to use topically on your skin:
- Argania Spinosa (Argan) Kernel Oil is extracted from the kernels of the Moroccan Argan Tree. Argan oil is rich in vitamin E, fatty acids (vitamin F), carotenoids like beta-carotene and phytosterols. Thanks to its antioxidant content, it can ward off aging signs such as wrinkles and sagging. It supports the natural mild acidity of the skin, imparts softness, and protects your skin against dryness. Argan oil is a non-comedogenic, anti-inflammatory and regenerative agent, so it can also be used with oily and acne-prone skin types. It is often recommended for various skin irritations, scars, stretch marks and sunburns. Argan oil is also known to protect and heal dry, brittle hair and is great for nails too.
- Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil is one of nature ́s best moisturizers and emollients thanks to its medium chain triglycerides that keep the skin smooth, protected and hydrated. It works well to remove makeup and surface build-up. Coconut oil is rich in capric, caprylic and lauric fatty acids, which have strong disinfectant and antimicrobial properties. This oil is good for several skin disorders such as acne, psoriasis, and eczema. Some keys for using coconut oil on acne-prone skin are using a pure, extra virgin source and combining with other ingredients designed to diminish breakouts. Unlike other oils, coconut oil does not easily become rancid so it can stay fresh for a longer time.
- Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil is a light colored oil, native to Eastern Europe, the Mediterranean region and North and Central America, and comes from the seeds of the sunflower plant. The oil provides a rich source of unsaturated linoleic and oleic fatty acids and Vitamin E. Sunflower Seed Oil is soothing, calming and caring to the skin. It is thinner than some of the other oils so it works well in combination to make other oils easier to apply to the skin.
- Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Almond) Oil is pressed from the nut kernels of the Sweet Almond tree. This fine, nearly colorless and odorless oil is especially mild and gentle. It is extremely well tolerated by the skin and is easily absorbed. Due to its high content of essential fatty acids, it protects the skin from drying and improves the skin’s barrier function, keeping it smooth and supple. This is another great oil to use in blending.
- Vaccinum Macrocarpon (Cranberry) Seed Oil is extremely light weight, non-comedogenic oil and is able to readily penetrate the skin without clogging it. It is rich in antioxidants, vitamin E (tocotrienols and tocopherols), vitamin A, phytosterols and phospholipids. It is the only available carrier oil with a natural ratio of Omega 6 (linoleic), Omega 3 (alpha-linolenic), and Omega 9 (oleic) fatty acids. It also aids in the absorption and utilization of the essential fatty acids in the skin, contributes to the lipid barrier protection of the skin and assists in moisture retention. Cranberry seed oil has anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, emollient, itch-relieving as well as broad-spectrum UV protection properties and can help to extend the shelf life of more fragile oils.
- Punica Granatum (Pomegranate) Seed Oil is from the ancient fruit found in Western Asia, China and Japan packed with ellagic acid, anthocyanins (antioxidants) and the rare omega 5 essential fatty acid. Its regenerative effects include boosting repair of skin, evening skin tone, cleaning up free radicals and helping with collagen production which, in turn, smoothes out wrinkles and improves skin elasticity.
- Rubus Idaeus (Raspberry) Seed Oil is high in tocotrienols and offers the skin broad-spectrum protection from the effects of damaging UVA and UVB rays. The SPF of red raspberry seed oil has been found to be equal to that of titanium dioxide and has been rated to have an SPF as high as 28-50 (Oomah et al 2000). The use of red raspberry oil on the skin is not however the equivalent of using a properly formulated SPF product. Many factors are involved in how a product works as a sunscreen including absorption rate and viscosity of the formulation.
- Rosa Canina (Rosehip) Fruit Oil is high in essential fatty acids (Omegas 3, 6 and 9) and vitamin A (beta-carotene and lycopene). It helps repair damaged skin tissue (burns, stretch marks) as well as protects against sun damage, scarring and wrinkle formation. This oil helps quench dry skin and keep premature aging at bay.
- Prunus Armeniaca (Apricol) Kernel Oil is rich in vitamins A, C and E, minerals as well as omega 6 and 9 fatty acids. Due to its light weight texture, it absorbs fast without leaving a greasy after-feel. Suitable for even the most sensitive skin types, including that of babies, its soothing and anti-inflammatory properties assist in providing relief to conditions such as acne, eczema and dermatitis. It is an excellent repairing, revitalizing, nourishing and softening agent that restores smoothness, suppleness and clarity to dry, frazzled, hyper pigmented, and prematurely aged complexions.
- Hippophae Rhamnoides (Sea Buckthorn) Fruit Oil helps to stimulate micro-circulation, cell regeneration and has an effective anti-inflammatory effect. Sea buckthorn seed oil is the only plant known to contain Omega’s 3,6,9 – and the rare 7 – altogether. It also contains a vitamin C concentration ten times greater than oranges. It’s also great to take internally in a supplement pill form.”
-Dr. Trevor Cates is a licensed Naturopathic Physician. Dr. Cates is passionate about helping others to live balanced and fulfilled lives.