As part of the Ambassador Program I received product samples and compensation from NOW Foods to thank me for my participation, but the product selection and all opinions are genuinely my own. #NOWWellness
Natural oils have been used for cosmetic purposes for millennia by different cultures around the world, and recently gained even more popularity thanks to celebrities, beauty, and fitness gurus embracing the green lifestyle. Before jumping on board with the trend, I did some research to find the best beauty oils and figure out how to properly use them to get the most benefits.
With so many companies constantly releasing different oil mixes, blends, serums, and potions it’s easy to get lost. I know I did! Unsurprisingly though, the best beauty oils are the ones created by nature, in their purest form. After all, nothing can trump perfection. I was thrilled to find out that one of my favorite companies – NOW Foods – sells a nice variety of beauty oils. The bottles come in different sizes, and the prices are very competitive! Before I tell you about my top picks, here’s some info on the oils that you probably never knew about.
Ever used an oil your favorite blogger raved about and it broke you out/didn’t moisturize enough? You’ll be surprised to find out that the real reason behind that discrepancy is the balance of two omegas! Oleic vs Linoleic content in the oil is what really determines its purpose.
The oil in your pores is made up of mostly Oleic Acid, but people with dry skin don’t produce enough of it naturally, which makes it harder for them to retain moisture. That is why Natural oils rich in Oleic Acid are recommended for dry skin conditions. They help rebalance the oil production, helping the skin seal in the water and leading to healthy moisture levels in the epidermis.
Oleic Acid rich oils are not recommended for people with oily and acne-prone skin, because they will most likely make the situation even worse. While there are certain benefits from Vitamins in those oils, the cons will outweigh the pros in the end.
Linoleic Acid is on the other end of the spectrum. One of the causes for clogged up pores is the low production of Linoleic Acid, which makes the consistency of your sebum thinner. Since clogged pores go hand in hand with acne and irritation, incorporating oils with high concentration of Linoleic Acid into your routine might actually help clear up the skin, because it will rebalance the oil production and prevent further pore clogging.
Linoleic Acid rich oils are not recommended for people with dry skin, because they will make their already thin sebum even thinner, increasing moisture loss and promoting further dryness. An oil that actually makes your skin less oily! And that’s why we love science 🙂
Now that you know a little bit about the differences between various natural oils, let’s talk about my NOW Solutions picks. I selected a few oils to try, some of which I was already familiar with, and a couple others that I really wanted to see in action.
Apricot Oil – This little-known miracle oil is actually a hidden gem that you absolutely need to put on your radar, especially if you suffer from dry skin. NOW Solutions also recommends Apricot Oil for mature and irritated skin. It contains high amounts of Oleic [approx. 64%] and Linoleic Acids [approx. 28%], as well as Vitamins B17 [known to attack cancer cells and actively used as a holistic treatment for cancer patients], A, C and E that provide additional skincare benefits and act as natural preservatives, extending the oil’s shelf life.
Apricot Oil is deceptively lightweight. It sinks right into the skin without leaving oily or sticky residue, so it’s easy to over-apply. This quality also makes it a great base for other skincare products and makeup. If you often experience dry, itchy, or flaky skin after the shower, try massaging some oil into wet skin and wipe with a towel like you normally would. The result is unbelievable!
Expeller-pressed and hexane-free, NOW Solutions Apricot Oil is food-grade, so you can use it for cooking as well as for personal care. Tip: Use it as a replacement for Almond Oil in your favorite dishes for a nuttier and richer flavor!
Avocado Oil – This oil is often recommended as a nourishing treatment for extra dry hair, and rightfully so! It contains a high concentration of Oleic Acid [approx. 63%] and very low concentration of Linoleic Acid [approx. 9%], making it the perfect treat for extra-dry skin or hair. The oil is also rich in phytosterols, Vitamin E, magnesium, potassium, and lecithin that are good for your health in general, not just the skin. Unlike Apricot Oil, Avocado Oil is thick and will not absorb right away, creating a temporary occlusive layer on the surface to nourish and protect the skin underneath. Because of this quality, Avocado Oil is often used as a home remedy for small wounds.
Avocado Oil is especially great for over-processed hair, which can result from harsh hair coloring or bleaching. Massage a generous amount of oil into the strands, and leave on for 30 minutes [ideally for several hours, or even overnight], then wash off with sulfate-free shampoo and dry as usual. No conditioner needed! Rub a couple drops between your palms and run them through the hair for extra shine and frizz control. Note: If you have dry hair and oily scalp, make sure to only massage the oil into your strands, avoiding the skin to prevent potential scalp breakouts and clogged pores.
Expeller-pressed and hexane-free, NOW Solutions Avocado Oil is food-grade, so you can use it for cooking as well as for personal care. Tip: I added a teaspoon into my morning smoothie for a heart-healthy omega boost!
Grapeseed Oil – This oil is generally recommended as a treatment for oily, acne-prone, and inflamed skin. Rich in Linoleic Acid [approx. 70%] and low in Oleic Acid [approx. 16%], Grapeseed Oil works as an astringent and sebum-thinner for people struggling with problem skin, helping the pores naturally flush out pore-clogging grime and bacteria. Additionally, it contains high concentration of Stearic, Palmitic, Myristic, and Lauric Acids that nourish and gently exfoliate the skin, improving natural cell turnover.
This is the perfect example of an oil that can be used by someone with extra oily skin without the fear of clogging the pores. It’s a fantastic face and body moisturizer as well as a great makeup remover [that GLA will help effectively melt the makeup off your face without leaving sticky residue]. Saturate a cotton pad with Grapeseed Oil and gently swipe across your face including eyes and lips to tackle even waterproof makeup. If you struggle with oily roots, massage Grapeseed Oil straight into your scalp every day before going to bed, and you will notice the difference in less than a week!
Expeller-pressed and hexane-free, NOW Solutions Grapeseed Oil is food-grade, so you can use it for cooking as well as for personal care. Tip: Grapeseed Oil is flavorless and has a high smoke point [421°F], so you can use it as a healthier alternative to your usual cooking oil for stir-frying and broiling.
Jojoba Oil – This is a balanced oil with Oleic Acid [approx. 8%] and Linoleic Acid [approx. 5%] composition close to the skin’s optimal sebum level. Rich in Vitamins E and B-complex, as well as Copper, Zinc, Selenium, Iodine, and Chromium, it’s the perfect jack-of-all-trades oil for beginners. It moisturizes the hair and any skin type without clogging pores, and can be used as a gentle makeup remover [although Grapeseed Oil works a lot better for that, naturally].
Jojoba Oil is very versatile and is recommended for people of all skin types. Experiment by mixing it with your current skincare, bodycare, and even haircare products including shampoos and conditioners for a boost of nourishment!
Expeller-pressed and hexane-free, NOW Solutions Jojoba Oil is not food-grade, and is not recommended for human consumption.
Castor Oil – This is another example of an oil with a balanced amounts of Oleic [approx. 3.5%] and Linoleic Acids [approx. 4.5%]. It’s also rich in skin-soothing Vitamin E, and recinolein, a type of triglyceride not found in anything other than Castor Oil. What makes it unique is the ability to restore the optimal moisture balance to both dry and oily skin types.
The use of Castor Oil dates back to biblical times, which is why this oil is also known by another name – Palma Christi [the palm of Christ]. My own great grandma gave me advice to use this oil for hair and lashes to promote growth and thickness of the strands, just like her own mother and grandmother taught her. Castor Oil is also widely used for the treatment of wrinkles, scars, and stretch marks, making them thinner, more elastic, and less visible over time.
Expeller-pressed and hexane-free, NOW Solutions Castor Oil is not food-grade, and is not recommended for human consumption.
All of the oils mentioned in this article can also work for massages, as long as you know the skin type of the person they’re being applied to.
I hope I inspired you to incorporate one or more of these into your routine. As for myself, I can say with certainty that NOW Foods natural beauty oils are definitely high quality, and all of them did a superb job at keeping my face, body, and hair soft, smooth, and hydrated, which is so hard to achieve during the Winter months here in Michigan.
And now the part you’ve been waiting for – THE GIVEAWAY! One of my lucky readers will have an opportunity to win all five of these oils, courtesy of NOW Foods! Here are some basic rules [more T&Cs in the widget]:
- The Giveaway is open to US addresses only.
- Prize must be claimed within 48hrs or another winner will be selected.
- Shipping/receipt time of all prizes is dependent on how quickly prize is claimed.
- Glamorable is hosting the giveaway on behalf of NOW Foods and is not responsible for prize fulfillment. In the event that the prize is damaged, lost, or stolen, the winner shall not hold Glamorable liable or responsible for replacement.
Did you know about the difference between Oleic and Linoleic-rich oils? Have you tried using pure natural oils for cosmetic purposes? What are some of your favorite oils to use? Let me know in the comments below!
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