Many women still have reservations about applying oils to the face. Well, it’s time to re-evaluate. These are not just any oils. Unlike petroleum-based mineral oil, which sits on the skin’s surface and can clog pores, pure botanical oils smell gorgeous, absorb neatly and leave skin plump and glowing. You probably apply lotion or cream to your face, every day, and those are wonderful products. But consider alternating with an oil. Think about it: When you take away the emulsifiers, preservatives, water and filler ingredients that exist in a cream or lotion simply to hold the formulation together, what are you left with? Pure oil, rich in vitamins and minerals and the therapeutic benefits that come directly from plants. For dry, normal or sensitive skin—especially in high-altitude or desert climates—it is a great way to hydrate.
ARGAN– Indigenous to Morocco, Argan oil is extracted from the seed of the fruit of the Argan tree. It delivers antioxidants and essential fatty acids (EFAs), which protect and nourish the skin. The plant sterols in Argan oil help clear up acne, soothe eczema and plump up dehydrated skin. TRY: Kahina Giving Beauty 100% Organic Argan Oil, $36, kahina-givingbeauty.com; Josie Maran Argan Oil, $48, josiemarancosmetics.com; Olie Biologique 100% USDA Certified Organic Argan Oil, $40, oliebiologique.com
MARULA– The Marula fruit is indigenous to southern Africa, and its seed oil is extremely high in antioxidants and omega 9s. It is exceptionally moisturizing, soothes inflammation and irritation, and can help improve skin elasticity. TRY: Lina Hanson Face Serum Global, a blend with argan, baobab and marula $85, linahanson.com; Omega Rich Pure Marula Oil the Leakey Collection, $78, marula.com
BAOBAB– Extracted from the nut of the Baobab tree, indigenous to Africa, this oil is high in vitamins A and F and rich in omegas 3, 6 and 9. It is a regenerating anti-aging moisturizer, and leaves the skin glowing. TRY: Aura Cacia Organic Baobab Oil, $14.99, auracacia.com; Shea Terra Organics African Baobab Oil, $18, sheaterraorganics.com
ROSE– Rose hip seed oil not only has a lovely natural fragrance, it is high in omega 3 and 6. Rose helps soothe irritation, calms eczema or dermatitis and is especially reparative for aging, sun-damaged skin. It can also help reduce scarring. TRY: Bodhichitta Botanicals Face Elixir, $20.99, bodhichittabotanicals.com; Pangea Organics Balancing Oil Himalayan Geranium & Pomegranate, $50, spiritbeautylounge.com; Alteya Organics Bio Damascena Nourishing Face Serum USDA Organic, $54, alteyaorganics.com