Nine botanical beauty oils for a healthy summer glow
Director of Formula Botanica, Lorraine Dallmeier shares her top nine natural beauty oils to help you achieve radiant and healthy, glowing skin this summer
Botanical oils are some of the most underrated beauty ingredients. Lots of people are scared of applying oil to their face, because they think it will make their skin feel greasy.
The skin produces its own natural moisturiser called sebum, which prevents it from drying out. Because the outer layer of our skin contains natural oils, this makes it easier for oil-based beauty products to penetrate into your skin’s top barrier where they lock in moisture.
If you are looking for a healthy summer glow, I recommend adding one of these nine botanical oils to your beauty regime. You don’t even need to purchase a blended facial oil, you can simply buy one of these carrier oils by itself and apply it neat.
1. Prickly pear seed oil (Opuntia ficus-indica). Otherwise known as barbary fig seed oil, this beauty oil is extracted from the tiny black seeds of the prickly pear fruit. It is extremely high in antioxidants such as tocopherol (Vitamin E). Its rich anti-ageing properties make it ideal for dry and mature skin.
2. Marula oil (Sclerocarya birrea). This African oil is particularly rich in oleic acid, which is known to exert good antioxidant activity. Marula oil has been shown to improve skin hydration and smoothness. It absorbs easily on the skin, helps lock in moisture and improves smoothness and hydration.
3. Argan oil (Argania spinosa). This well-known cosmetic anti-ageing oil is prepared by pressing the slightly roasted kernels of the argan tree. It is very high in Oleic (omega 9) and Linoleic (omega-6) fatty acids, which revitalise and nourish dry skin. Argan is known all around the world as an anti-ageing oil and is deeply moisturising for mature skin and dry hair - a good option for use as a hair oil in the summertime.
4. Andiroba oil (Carapa guianensis). This golden, Central American oil has attracted great interest from the cosmetic industry in recent years for its potentially anti-inflammatory properties. It has been found to have good emolliency, helping moisturise and heal your skin. This oil will nourish your dry and sensitive skin and as an added bonus, it will also repel insects, which makes it an ideal choice for packing when you go on your summer holiday!
5. Avocado oil (Persea gratissima). Unlike most commonly known botanical oils, dark green unrefined avocado oil is pressed from the fruit and not from the seed. It contains a high level of vitamin E and is softening and soothing on the skin. Avocado oil is an excellent hair, skin and nail oil. It provides barrier repair for the skin and has a fresh smell. It is slow to penetrate the skin’s outer layers, which means it provides longer lasting moisture.
6. Pomegranate seed oil (Punica granatum). This superfruit produces an oil rich in fatty acids, including punicic acid. The oil has anti-inflammatory properties which means it can help soothe dry cracked sun-exposed skin. Pomegranate seed oil is also heralded as an antioxidant-rich beauty oil. One study found it to regenerate the skin’s outer layers, making it great for mature skin and a good option for supporting skin through the summer when we are exposed to stronger levels of UV.
7. Babassu oil (Orbignya oleifera). Derived from the tallest palm in Brazil, babassu oil is chemically very similar to coconut oil in that it’s high in antioxidants, but won’t feel quite as greasy. It is a rich emollient that can be solid at room temperature depending on where you live. This oil is excellent for treating dryness of the skin, hair and scalp.
8. Moringa oil (Moringa olifera). High in oleic acid and similar in chemical composition to olive oil, moringa oil is cold-pressed from the seeds of the moringa tree. The oil is light and spreads easily over the skin. It’s an effective moisturiser and softens chapped lips and dry skin, but is also great for treating a dry or itchy scalp.
9. Sacha Inchi oil (Plukenetia volubilis). This oil is cold-pressed from the small nuts of a tree in the Peruvian rainforest. Sacha inchi oil contains high levels of antioxidants, as well as fatty acids like omega-3 and omega-6. It can help reduce facial redness and is great for sensitive skin owing to its ability to protect the skin’s natural barrier.