Expert's Opinion

About Face: Skin Care Oils

By Suki Kramer, president, founder and formulator of suki clinically-proven natural solutions skin care | April 17, 2012

Suki Kramer explains how this facial trend is making waves.

In Italy, olive oil is used for shaving, as an impromptu lip balm, and an effective face and body moisturizer. Women swear by camellia oil in Japan for its renowned anti-aging benefits. In India, neem oil is espoused as an anti-acne cure. But here in the U.S., most women are positively oil-phobic and when the idea of using facial oil is even suggested, skepticism, even fear is the average response.

We are so overly concerned with being hyper-clean and excessively exfoliated, we wouldn’t dream of infecting our purified pores with “greasy” products we assume will clog. What we don’t realize is that botanical facial oils are actually sophisticated moisturizers that create smooth, soft, radiant complexions that often, expensive creams and lotions cannot.

How? Well, first off, our skin is constantly in a battle for balance.Let’s take oily skin and acne for instance. An important component in balancing this skin type is to apply a lightweight layer of the correct blend of 100% pure, premium botanical oils while damp from toning. Stripping the skin dry with oil-free products or the wrong ingredients like synthetics will cause the skin to overreact by overproducing oil in response. When the skin has the correct amount of oil, your sebaceous glands switch off knowing they have exactly what they need. The perfect oils for this skin type are oils that purify, exfoliate, reduce inflammation and soothe. Jojoba is the best choice for all skin types as a base as it most closely matches our own sebum and is easily absorbed.

Facial oil elixirs for dry skin and anti-aging on the flip side are loaded with antioxidants and can deliver powerfully nourishing, nutritive benefits. They can fight off cancer-causing free radicals with high quantities of essential fatty acids, vitamins, minerals and are high in phytonutrients. They enable skin cell regeneration, vitality and prevent early signs of aging, including fine line and wrinkle reduction, locking in moisture and promoting elasticity without clogging or giving off a greasy feel. The best oils for these skin types are the thicker and more luxurious antioxidant oils, rich in vitamins, beta carotene and omegas.

Facial oils can be used for day in place of a lotion, can be blended in to enrich or boost the effectiveness of a favorite cream or when skin is extra parched or in need of a little more TLC. But most importantly, oils are indicated at night instead of the more traditional heavy creams, leaving skin free of added weight and challenging ingredients. Overnight is the time when skin, and body, regenerates and toxins are eliminated. Choosing a high quality facial oil allows the skin to breathe properly and expel those toxins, maintaining optimum health and appearance.

This is a concept still difficult for many to grasp. Perhaps if more dermatologists got on board it would help, however, many (similarly to doctors receiving a semester of nutrition throughout medical school) are less informed about naturals and more familiar with pharmaceuticals like Accutane for acne treatment. I’ve even heard the quote, “you can get molds from facial oils…they, come from the rainforest.And, that, “botanical skincare is allergenic,” as if natural product formulators are picking rosemary from out back and sticking it in bottles to sell. Again, this simple lack of awareness of how sophisticated natural ingredient formulation chemistry has come, brings home the fact that consumers have to seek out their own information.

Nourishing and balancing botanical facial oils are certainly not the earthy crunchy products of the past. They often also contain the most prized of all plant oils – highly potent essential oils, rather than in many cases, inexpensive fragrances. Concentrated and quite expensive, especially if organic (costing up to $10,000 a pound), essential oils also contain a wealth of health benefits.

Remember, too, that fundamentally, a good cream is simply a combination of high quality oils and water. So, applying a facial oil correctly is very much like applying any cream. If you tone the skin, then while damp, massage in a small amount of oil, it is the same ingredient combination.

Getting back to basics is always the best way to treat a health challenge and skin issues are no different. The key is proper use and the right ingredients. Facial oils are not to be feared, on the contrary, they should be embraced for the complexion enhancers they are.

About the Author
Suki Kramer is founder, president and formulator of suki° clinically-proven natural solutions° skincare.She has dedicated herself to natural health and wellness. She also spends her time educating and writing in her blog, Sukiscoop, and making public appearances.

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