Stretchmarks. Cellulite. Sagging. Thoughts so terrifying, it sends chills down our spine. Woe is us! (Okay, we kid – it’s not that bad!) The good news is there are options. Not only can applying certain plant oils help with preventing the signs of premature facial aging inclusive of wrinkles and sunspots but they also have rejuvenating properties when used on the body.
THE ROLE OF OILS IN ANTI-AGING
Studies have shown that the application of oils on the skin plays an important role in preventative anti-aging, as they create a protective layer on the skin that keeps moisture from escaping, which helps to maintain hydration levels and is a preventative measure against wrinkles. There is also research that links the anti-oxidants in these oils to protect against environmental damage from the likes of pollution and the sun’s UV rays.
OILS VS MOISTURIZERS
Ah, the long aged debate of oils versus moisturizers…but did you know that they actually do very different things to combat aging? Moisturizers are intended to penetrate the skin and provide hydration while oils, on the other hand, help seal that moisture and protect the skin’s natural lipid properties. So what does this mean in terms of usage? Well, consider layering an oil over your moisturizer during times when your skin needs a hydration boost.
Oils work best when applied right after a shower. Remember a little goes a long way, so after toweling dry start with a little oil on the palm of your hand for your whole body. By starting small you avoid over-application and the chance of becoming a greasy mess – you can always add more if you need to.
The idea of putting oil on your skin may seem counter-intuitive when it comes to solving problems. The first thing that comes to mind is a breakout or a clogged pore situation, but this isn’t necessarily how things will go down. It really comes down to figuring out the right oil for your skin type and concerns.
THE JOYS OF SQUALANE
For those of you hesitant about using oil in its traditional form – especially those with body acne or sensitive conditions like eczema – look out for plant-based Squalene, which when purified is known as Squalane. It’s not technically an oil and is extracted from sources like Amaranth Seed, Rice Bran, and Olives. This type of moisturizer is known for its non-irritating properties as well as for its rejuvenating properties. Read our guide on the benefits of Squalane for the skin to learn more about what makes it special and to explore some of our favorite Squalane based products.
Here are some general guidelines that you should consider when picking out a body oil.
- Read the formula thoroughly to ensure natural oils are used in a bid to avoid or minimize synthetic ones like mineral oil and paraffin, which has been linked to being carcinogenic and can irritate the skin.
- Some kinds of body oils may use filler ingredients (like silicones) that are used for fragrance or texture and can be a major irritant. Keep in mind that less is generally more.
- Processing is important in terms of how nutrient-rich the oil is, with cold pressed and secondly cold extracted being the best ways to go.
- Minimize the use of essential oils, especially lavender and citrus oils particularly for daily wear. Not only are they known irritants, but can also be photo-toxic (have a negative interaction when exposed to light exposure).
ON THE LIGHTER SIDE
Generally speaking, oils with higher levels of linoleic acid are lighter and are known for their healing properties when it comes to scarring and skin damage. You may not see the moisture locking effects that you would get from oils with high levels of oleic acid, but they work well for normal to oily skin types.
Noodles and Boo Elasticity Oil $18
Created with mothers (or those who are expecting) in mind, Noodle and Boo’s oil packs in the skin-beneficial ingredients while also helping combat signs of aging like the loss of firmness and weakened elasticity. Through a blend of lighter oils like Sunflower (Oleic–13.9%, Linoleic–44.1%), Grape Seed ( Linoleic–70%, Oleic -16%) and Borage (Linoleic–38.8%,Oleic–17.91%) as well as the rich Olive oil (Oleic – 55-85%, Linoleic- 20%) the formula hydrates without leaving the skin feeling greasy. Other key ingredients such as Vitamin E help soften the skin’s texture and Calendula minimizes irritation as it calms the skin.
InstaNatural Organic RoseHip Oil $21.97
InstaNatural’s 100% cold-pressed Rose Hip oil (Oleic–13.9%, Linoleic–44.1%) is not only known for having anti-inflammatory benefits but also its abilities to help prevent stretch marks from forming, healing scar tissue that is already present and evening out skin tone damaged from the likes of the sun. Other key benefits of the organic formula are that it is made without alcohol, fragrance, and parabens.
Peet Rivco Body Oil $80
Peet Rivco’s lightweight body oil blends Jojoba Oil (technically a wax that is similar to the skin’s oil, sebum) with the likes of anti-inflammatory Sunflower (Oleic – 20%, Linoleic-68%), nourishing Avocado Oil (Oleic–63%, Linoleic–9.8%) as well. The formula is perfect for those with sensitive skin as it avoids any form of fragrance as well as known skin irritants like parabens and phthalates.
Eden’s Garden Evening Primrose Oil $16.97
Eden’s Garden’s cold-pressed Evening Primrose oil (8.4% Oleic Acid, 74% linoleic) works for more drier skin and has regenerative properties that help improve the skin’s texture as well as elasticity. The formula is of therapeutic grade quality and since this kind of oil is prone to air and light degradation it comes housed in an amber glass bottle.
Majestic Pure Extra Virgin Tamanu Oil $18.50
Majestic Pure’s Tamanu oil (linoleic – 38%, Oleic-34%) not only helps the skin regenerate but also penetrates quickly leaving a smooth and silky finish. The body oil works wonders on sun damaged skin and scars that need some help with regeneration.
Osmia Naked Body Oil $20
Osmia’s Naked Body fragrance-free formula blends Coconut Oil that has gone through a series of processes called fractionation allowing it to maintain its liquid state at room temperature, be lightweight as well as easily absorbent into the skin with a number of other skin-beneficial oils. These include Jojoba Oil (technically a wax similar to sebum the skin’s oil), antioxidant-rich Rosehip Oil (Oleic–13.9%, Linoleic–44.1%) as well as the healing Evening Primrose Oil 8.4% Oleic Acid, 74% linoleic). The easily absorbent body oil is also made without skin irritants like sulfates, parabens, and phthalates.
ON THE RICHER SIDE
High levels of oleic acid make oils richer and heavier, which allow the skin to seal in more moisture. These antioxidant-rich oils generally work well for dry or more mature skin types as well as during the colder months of the year.
Eminence Apricot Body Oil $29
This cult favorite body oil is organic and contains a mixture of oils inclusive of those extracted Apricot Kernels (Oleic – 62-76%, Linoleic 19-33%) as well as Jojoba seeds (Oleic – 5–15%, Linoleic – 5–8%). The formula also contains powerful Seabuckthorn and Pomegranate oils that are known for there regenerative benefits as well as Vitamin E to nourish.
Now Foods Sweet Almond Oil $11.50
Rich in Vitamin E, this Sweet Almond Oil (Oleic–66.6%, Linoleic–24.8%) helps combat stretch marks and skin damage. With a slower absorption rate, sweet almond oil may take some time to be absorbed into the skin.
African Botanics Marula Firming Botanical Body Oil $90
Although a bit of a splurge, African Botanics formula combines the likes of Marula Seed Oil (Oleic–70%, Linoleic–5%) with the lighter Grape Seed Oil ( Linoleic–70%, Oleic -16%) to create a well-balanced body oil. Although the body oil has minimal levels of essential oils including Rose and Neroli it avoids the ones that are the most concerning (like Citrus or Lavender) in terms of irritation.
Maple Holistics 100% Avocado Oil $12.70
Maple Holistic’s Avocado oil (Oleic–63%, Linoleic–9.8%) helps quench dry skin while combatting signs of aging like wrinkles. Although rich, the formula still manages to absorb relatively quickly into the skin and won’t leave the skin with a greasy feeling. Should you not be satisfied the brand offers a 100% money back guarantee.
French Girl Organics Luminiere Body Oil $41
French Girl’s Organics Body Oil blends the likes of the well balanced Argan Oil (Oleic – 43%, Linoleic – 37%) with a number of other ones that have a high nutrient value inclusive of the softening Camellia Oil (Oleic – 85%, Linoleic – 10%) as well as antioxidant-rich Pomegranate Oil (Oleic – 4%, Linoleic – 10%). Other benefits of the vegan formula are it is made without known skin irritants like parabens and is never tested on animals.
Best of Nature 100% Olive Body Oil $10.50
Best of Nature’s cold-pressed body oil (Oleic – 55-85%, Linoleic-20%) not only helps to soothe inflamed skin but also to restore smoothness. The formula contains the rare antioxidant, Hydroxytyrosol found in Olives that is known for its abilities to help fight free radical damage to the skin.
Herbivore Jasmine Body OIl $49
Herbivore’s antioxidant-rich body oil mixes fractionated Coconut Oil (processed in a way to make it lightweight and easily absorbent into the skin) with the likes of soothing Apricot Kernel Oil (Oleic – 62-76%, Linoleic 19-33%) , anti-inflammatory Grape Seed Oil (Linoleic–70%, Oleic -16%) and softening Camellia Seed Oil (Oleic – 85%, Linoleic – 10%). Other key benefits of the 100% vegan formula include that is free of known skin irritants like parabens and phthalates as well as all of the high-quality oils included are either cold-pressed or steam distilled.
Check out our in-depth guide if you’re interested in learning more about the benefits of facial oils that covers best practices, recommendations and more.
Body oils are a great way to seal in moisture as well as boost your skin’s hydration levels in general. Although they do have reparative properties, for more advanced rejuvenation consider including other skin care products like body lotions as well as anti-aging treatments into your self-care regime.