A new champion is spilling into the beauty world. Lisa Haynes reveals the instant benefits of oils for face, body and hair
There’s a new recruit on the beauty shelves that’s rapidly ousting other products. You’ll find it in the hair section, on face counters, and glowing among the body moisturisers…
Oils are the industry’s current obsession. They’ve long been used in professional spa treatments but now they’re a product that you can apply in your own bathroom. Choose an oil geared for face, body or hair, or go for a multi-tasking marvel you can use just about anywhere.
“Oils can be much more easily absorbed than a cream, as they soak directly into the top layer of the dermis,” explains Abigail James, Liz Earle global treatment ambassador.
“As we age, our bodies produce less oil so we need to replace these to keep the skin looking and feeling healthy. Oils can balance oily skin, stabilising our natural oil production as well as providing equilibrium to excessively dry skin.”
Embrace the revolution and don’t let oils slip through your fingers.
Banish visions of a greasy face from your mind. An oil’s speedy absorption rate means you won’t end up with a shiny face, but if in doubt, experiment by using a facial oil before bed to optimise your overnight skin regeneration.
“At home, the best way to use oils on your face and body is to apply to damp skin,” James advises. “When the skin is already damp, oils are able to penetrate deeper, so try spritzing your face with an alcohol-free toner, then massage a small amount of oil into the skin.”
The action of massaging heightens the overall benefits of using an oil-based product. James suggests applying a small amount of oil to your face moisturiser for an added boost. As for leftover product on your hands? Savour every drop by massaging the oil into your cuticles to help soften and smooth the skin around your nails.
It’s a common misconception that oils are best reserved for super-dry skin. Not so, according to Geraldine Howard, co-founder of Aromatherapy Associates: “Oils can be used on every skin type to deliver benefits, and just need to be chosen according to the needs of the individual.
“For people with very dry skin, oils are best used under a body cream, which acts as a barrier to both lock in the oil as well as protect from external conditions. When used regularly, you will really notice a difference to the tone and texture of the skin.”
Try applying oil when you’ve just stepped out of the shower or bath. Start from the ankles and work your way up the body. Howard recommends an evening ritual of product layering to achieve a spa-like glow: “Layer on a body serum to hydrate and replenish lost moisture, an oil to nourish, and then body moisturiser to seal in the goodness and protect.”
Those with parched, dry hair may already be converts to oil, but the new wave of hair oils have lightweight formulations that leave even fine hair nourished and healthy.
“Hair and oil might sound like a daunting combination but don’t dismiss these hard-working products from your beauty regime,” says Armin Morbach, Schwarzkopf ambassador. “Oils are vital for healthy hair as they reinforce and strengthen from deep within, while boosting your colour and preventing split ends.”
Hair oils can be applied to dry or wet hair – but use sparingly, unless you want to achieve a wet-look finish. It’s versatile too, cleaning and conditioning your hair as a pre-shampoo treatment, or moisturising and restoring the hair’s natural lustre after shampooing.
On dry hair, Morbach advises: “Distribute a small amount of oil in the palms of your hands and gently stroke your palms over your hair for a perfect finish.”
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