The Skinny on the Oils

October 8, 2013


The Skinny on the Oils


As you know I have been getting rid of chemicals in all aspects of my life, including face and body care. So recently I have started oil cleansing, read my article on oil cleansing here. I have also tried chemical free toner (Heritage rose water) and am really enjoying it. Since oil cleansing removes all the gunk from my skin I no longer need a stringent to keep my face from breaking out or getting too oily. It is amazing how oil cleansing balanced my T zone skin. The rose water is very gentle, very pleasantly smelling, all natural and hydrating.


There are many oils to consider for moisturizing both your face and your body. Here are a few that I have tried and how they have worked for me:

  1. Grapeseed – love it, very light but moisturizing. Use for both face and body, and both as a moisturizer and cleanser.
  2. Olive – started to use very recently. I do not care for the smell, its too foody for me, but mixing it with other oils and especially adding an essential oil (drop or two) takes away the smell but leaves the ultra moisturizing properties. 
  3. Jojoba – really like it for both cleansing and moisturizing and also my hair and nails. I also like to mix it with other oils but works by itself as well.
  4. Vitamin E – very rich and dense. A bit difficult to spread (so use with other lighter oils) but very nourishing and strengthening. I have heard it is really good for avoiding and treating stretch marks.
  5. Almond or Sweet Almond – very light and nice, I like it as a cleansing oil and mixed with something more hydrating such as hemp or olive for moisturizing.
  6. Castor – very dense and moisturizing. I do mix it with lighter oils to apply. It is really good for hair, nails and skin.
  7. Tamanu – I love it!! The ones I can find here in the U.S. are very good but I still have some from our honeymoon in Bora Bora and it is much better quality and the smell is so much more intense. The smell is something that some people dislike, but I love its earthy deep tones, they remind me of our honeymoon. It is pretty expensive, but it is worth it. It is wonderful. 
  8. Rosehip – very nice and pleasant smelling. Use it for my face, not as moisturizing as Tamanu, Olive, E, Castor or Hemp.
  9. Argan – I really like this oil, I use it on my nails and hair. It has pretty much eliminated any hair products I have used. Just a tiny bit on the ends is very moisturizing. I also use it with jojoba and coconut oils on my roots and the entire length of the hair for half an hour or more before washing it off with shampoo.
  10. Baobab – very nice for your face and eyes, but again it is not as hydrating as Tamanu, Olive, E, Castor or Hemp.
  11. Hemp oil - wonderful absorbency, hydrating and healing powers. I personally do not like the smell so I mix it with something else lighter and add a drop or two of essential oil. 
  12. Coconut – and last but not least, like many others I love coconut oil, however it does NOT work for me as a moisturizer, unless mixed with other oils. The one I like to mix it with is vitamin E oil as it is very rich and dense. Another option is olive, castor or hemp oil. However, by itself coconut oil is drying on my skin and hair.

I do however use coconut oil for many other purposes, including, but not limited to the following:

  • Mouth wash or oil pulling – by itself or with a bit of Thieves Oil – click here for a recipe.  
  • Toothpaste – by itself or with peppermint or lemon essential oil (just one drop). 
  • Shaving cream – by itself on my legs and underarms, on the bikini area, I sometimes use it as a base but still use a rich shaving cream to make sure there are no nicks.
  • Make up remover – by itself (do NOT add any essential oils).
  • And of course to cook, love it both raw and in my stir-fries. (There are many many more uses for coconut oil but these are my most common)



Overall, Tamanu, Olive, E, Castor and Hemp oils are most hydrating. Please note, it appears that the experience people have with various oils is highly individualistic. In other words, some love and gain a lot of benefit from certain oils while others do not. So you may want to try these oils for yourself before deciding which one(s) you like the best. Also, I live in the dessert climate so it is very very dry here which could contribute to why some of the oils are not as hydrating on my skin. So depending on your climate, your skin and personal taste some of the oils I like might be a little too “oily” or hydrating for you and the ones are too dry on me would be perfect for you.


Another thing I found is it is important to apply the oil on your face and body right after the shower so that your skin is still a bit moist and warm.


There are many oil I haven’t tried. I have heard good things about macadamia nut oil, but I do not macadamia nuts or their smell, so I haven’t tried it. There are more and more oils that are becoming known as more people start to try to use oils as a healthy and holistic alternative to their skin care. As I try more I will be updating this article with my experience.


Side note on essential oils. Be VERY careful. They are very powerful. Consult doctor before use, especially if pregnant, as many are toxic during pregnancy and may be harmful to your baby. If you are going to use internally make sure they are 100% pure and therapeutic grade. If you are going to use essential oils make sure to use carrier oil (any of the oils listed above) and use VERY LITTLE essential oil. If you are following a recipe make sure it is from a reputable source.


My favorite essential oils:

  • Lavender – so many uses for it! You can use a drop on your chapped lips before applying lip balm, use a bit on the corner of your pillow (make sure to avoid where your eyes are going to be) it is very relaxing and sleep inducing.
  • Neroli – orange blossom oil, it is my favorite smell, I would make everything smell like orange blossoms. It is so refreshing, yet relaxing and amazing.
  • Tea tree – great as anti bacterial and skin clearing. Can be used (1 drop) in oil you use for cleansing. Can be applied on small cuts and scrapes.
  • Sandalwood – exotic and dreamy (to me). Reminds me of my childhood and I love it in almost everything.


Please comment below with suggestions/recommendations of your favorite recipes.



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