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Oil is not a Moisturizer

In Covent Garden in London, there was a natural skin care shop that I used to frequent. They sold homemade natural facial oils and serums. Very minimalistic, yet highly specialized product line. The cost was GBP 90.00 for a 30 ml bottle. When it comes to skin care, cost is not usually a deterrent for me, as long as it works. The problem was that this concoction was so expensive and came only in a size that was too big for the length of time that it was good for and more than I could use within that period before expiration.

When I came home to the US, I couldn’t quite find something similar at the time before facial oil was popular, so I used some organic oils sold at the Whole Foods Market like argan oil, rosehip seed oil, and grape seed oil. Although they are all wonderful and healthy oils, my intent to use them as a skin moisturizer was actually flawed.

I studied skin and natural skincare product formulation to satisfy my curiosity for anything related to beauty and health. I learned from the course that oil is not a moisturizer. Oils are occlusive that creates a barrier to keep moisture in, but it has no properties to moisturize.

There are 4 elements needed for proper skin moisturization:

  1. Water components
    • First, you need water. Water is the element that creates hydration and moisture. This is why applying moisturizer right after shower is a best practice that capitalizes on the moisture that your skin already has.
    • Second, you need humectant to pull in water and draw them onto your skin.
  2. Oil components
    • Third, you need emollient. Emollient makes your skin smooth and soft.
    • Fourth, you need oil to create a seal on top and lock the moisture in.

Proper moisturizers have all these elements, so you don’t need to think about it. So next time you’re looking for skin moisturizer, oil should not be on your list as a stand-alone product. However, oil has its place in skincare.

II love facial oils for their healthy benefits. The baseline layering order is cleanser, toner, essence, serum, moisturizer, and oil. In the morning, the next layers are sunscreen, foundation, concealer, and makeup. I prefer to use plant-based skincare products because they are structured to be effective in getting absorbed by the skin rather than sitting on top of the skin like a film, which is usually what conventional skincare does. The highly nutritive value of plants creates a profound transformation on overall skin health and appearance. Watch out for my upcoming blogs about decoding the ingredients in your skincare bottle.

Oils like jojoba oil, coconut oil, black cumin seed oil, castor oil, avocado oil, evening primrose oil, rosehip seed oil, and grapeseed oil are all great carrier oils. “Carrier” means that it is a great base for diluting essential oils so they can be applied to skin. You would almost never want to apply essential oils directly onto your skin due to potential sensitivity effects. Facial oils formulated with carrier oils and other botanical extracts are a great way to rejuvenate skin and address targeted skin concerns like fine lines and wrinkles, acne, blemishes, hyperpigmentation, or uneven skin tone.

If you already love facial oils, then I suggest you try Skin Beautiful Organics skincare line that uses healthy oils for all of its cleansers, toners, essence, serums, creams, scrubs and make. Specifically the Superfood Phyto-Actives Serum is based on pure oil that is easily absorbed, non-greasy, and great for morning or evening.