Thanks to the now well known Oil Cleansing Method and the ever constant paleo love affair with coconut oil, lots of people have heard about what amazing things oils can do for your skin. And I couldn’t agree more! I’ve gotten significantly smoother, glow-ier, and more supple skin since I’ve switched over to using oils instead of store-bought moisturizers…and I definitely won’t be going back!
My favorite oils? I prefer to mix mine to get all the benefits of several oils at once. Examples include my Super Smooth Skin Serum and my DIY Skin Brightening Serum. I don’t go a day without using one or the other.
The problem is that it can be a bit of a tricky process to get switched over to using oils and finding one (or several!) that are a perfect fit for your needs. The good news? There are so many amazing oils out there and so many ways to use them!
Disclaimer: With oils, some experimentation will always be required. This is because two people with seemingly similar skin can still have different reactions to various oils…realizing this early on will save you frustration later. It’s also good to understand that because oils can be so individualized, a little experimentation will mean that you’re going to be able to find oils that are perfect for your skin type and needs.
How Oils Work
Here’s the deal with oils: Oils don’t impart moisture, per say, to the skin.
But I just said I use oils to moisturize! What’s the deal with that??
Oils function to seal in the moisture in your skin (or your hair, for that matter). This is a common stumbling block for people because they attempt to replace their store-bought creams with an oil without making some minor tweaks to their routine, thinking that the oil itself is actually moisturizing their skin.
It is true, however, that oils do provide nutrients to the skin.
That’s certainly a part of the benefits that come from using them…and the amount of fatty acids and micronutrients that absorb onto the skin ranges with all the different oils out there, an effect that can be used to your advantage. However, it’s important to realize that this is a slightly different topic than using the oils as a moisturizer.
Moisture Content of Skin
Based on the statement above, for oils to work as a moisturizer, you need to consider the moisture content of your skin.
Luckily, one of the best skin moisturizers is just plain ol’ water. Because of this, I will often leave my skin moist before putting any oils on it. This is pretty easy to do since I mostly use oils after washing my face or getting out of the shower; I simply just towel off lightly before slathering on my oil of choice. This makes sense because the oil is functioning to seal in the moisture already present in your skin.
When my skin gets really dry and I find that the water and oil combo isn’t moisturizing enough, I’ll use either a store-bought preservative free aloe vera gel/or juice or remove the pulp from an actual aloe vera plant (more time intensive but you’re guaranteed to have it be exactly what you want). I lightly apply the aloe vera before following it up with my oils of choice and find that it gives my skin mega-moisture, smoothness, and helps keep it supple.
Either way, the main takeaway to this point is that you have to make sure to provide a baseline of moisture from either water (easiest to do and perfectly effective the majority of the time) or aloe vera gel (if your skin is extra dry) before putting on any oil. This notion is true for all types of skin and for all parts of your body.
I recommend experimenting with your skin’s water content before playing around with the aloe vera; it’s important not to try too many things at once when it comes to skin because you really can do more damage than good that way.