“Fats or oils” are the major component of cell walls and intracellular membranes so it is only natural that oils or “carrier oils” are good for the skin. My philosophy is if oils are good for you internally, why not use them on the skin. We have lipids in the skin and oils are lipids that contains carbon, hydrogen and oxygen.
Which oils are best? Some oils absorb faster than others and some are thicker because of their chemical composition. Just because an oil is lighter or thinner does not mean it will absorb quicker. Thicker oils may absorb quicker when topically applied to warm skin. When the skin is dry, oil will penetrate slower and as we age, the skin breaks down and becomes drier due to a lack of lipids making oils absorb slower.
Sweet Almond Oil
Sweet almond oil is closest to our natural skin oil and can be used all year round. It is highly nutritious, a good source of trace minerals, linoleic acid and polyunsaturated fatty acid. It is very emollient, good for chapped hands, and a standard in aromatherapy and cosmetics. It gives good slippage and does not absorb very quickly.
It is used widely in cosmetics and pharmaceutical industries. It acts as a free radical scavenger and has Vitamin E, carotenes and phytosterols. It prevents dryness and slows down aging.
Avocado oil is extracted from the peel of the fruit which contains 30% of pure oil. It contains more Vitamin D than eggs and great for maturing skin. The viscosity is thicker and can be used with other oils for better application. It is highly moisturizing, promotes cellular rejuvenation and boosts elasticity.
High in anti-inflammatory properties and is soothing to the skin for such conditions like eczema and psoriasis. When used on a regular basis, calendula oil helps to decrease the symptoms of varicose veins and venous congestion.
Hazelnut oil is similar to almond oil. Because of its penetration properties and the way it is diffused, it penetrates into the epidermis without leaving the skin greasy. It has good regenerative properties and prevents dehydration. It is a great oil to use after sunbathing when combined with calendula or sesame oil.
Hypericum (St. John’s Wort)
St. John’s Wort is known for its properties as an antidepressant due to its chemical component Hypericin. Topically, St. John’s Wort oil can be used for mild burns, bruises, hemorrhoids, varicose veins, wounds, sores and ulcers. Be sure wounds are cleansed well before applying the oil. This oil also has analgesic properties which would benefit those with nerve pain from neuralgia, sciatica and rheumatic pain. This oil can cause photosensitivity.
Jojoba is very compatible with our natural skin oil. It not only benefits the skin, but can also be found in a number of hair care products. It has esters and fatty alcohols which are moisturizing and healing.
This is a Hawaiian oil that is high in palmitoleic acid that is not found in other oils. It is recommended for mature skin.
High in Vitamin C and beneficial in tissue regeneration for burns, scars and wrinkles. It can be used to counter the effects of sun damage, hyperpigmentation and reduction of redness. It is a fragile oil with a short shelf life.
Soybean oil is high in polyunsaturated fatty acids and a good source of Vitamin E. It is suitable for all skin types and has regenerative effects on cutaneous tissue.
Wheat germ oil is the best source of Vitamin E and fatty acids for the skin. It has antioxidant properties, promotes the formation of skin cells, improves circulation and relieves dermatitis. It does, however, have a strong, pungent odor.
Green, T. (2013). Les Nouvelles Esthetiques & Spa, “Benefits of whole oils”, p. 66-70. Retrieved September 5, 2014.