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   Oct 04

Natural oil qualities to consider when choosing a facial oil

Grooming your skin with natural carrier oils can be a very beneficial skincare regiment – it’s a healthy and less costly alternative to many popular, brand-name skin creams. Natural oils, extracted from nature’s most nutritious nuts, seeds and plant fibers, often contain many more benefits to our skin’s health and vibrancy than some of the most expensive factory-produced, processed and synthetic skin creams. But choosing the right facial can be very confusing, and often people decide against using pure oils to moisturize their skin, after one acne breakout or sensitive skin reaction – when perhaps they were not using the right oil for their skin type in the first place. Just because many people adore coconut oil or sweet almond oil, for instance, it does not mean that coconut oil or sweet almond oil is right everyone’s facial skin. Facial skin is also a lot more porous, contains more sebaceous glands and is thinner than body skin. Thus, facial skin is more prone to acne breakouts, which is a way for our body to release toxins and bacteria. For those who are prone to acne breakouts, carrier oils that are higher in linoleic acids (versus oleic acids) are the safer choice.

Here are a few qualities to consider when choosing a natural facial oil:


Natural oils have a comedogenic rating (a rating describing how likely a substance is to clog your pores) from 1 to 5. Oils that have a rating of 0, for example, will not clog your pores. Those oils with a rating of 5, on the other hand, will clog your pores. People with dry skin have smaller pores than people with oily skin. The larger your pores are (oily skin types), the more likely you are to get clogged pores and develop pimples; therefore, the comedogenic rating of your facial oil is extremely important. Those with sensitive, acne-prone skin should not use oils with a comedogenic rating higher than 2. The best comedogenic rating option for very acne-prone skin would be 0 or 1 (such as maracuja oi or castor oil). For those with extremely dry, thirsty skin, some of the more comedonegic oils (such as coconut oil) work wonderfully because small pores are less likely to clog. For combination skin, that also need some extra moisturization, oils like argan oil, sweet almond oil and avocado oil are usually a fantastic choice (those three oils mentioned all have a comedogenic rating of 2). Here is a great article with a chart showing comedogeic ratings for popular natural oil choices:



Once you have determined an oil’s comedogenic rating, it’s vital to know the linoleic acid and oleic acid chemical composition of the natural oil. Linoleic and oleic acids are fatty acids naturally present in carrier oils. They are both healthy for the skin, but the trick with finding the right oil for your skin is to be aware of the ratio of linoleic to oleic acids. For those with acne-prone skin, for example, a higher ratio of oleic acid can trigger major breakouts. Oils suitable for acne-prone skin are maracuja oil, hemp seed oil, red raspberry seed oil and watermelon seed oil. For dry skin, oils higher in oleic acid content are usually the better choice, and some of those oils are avocado oil, sweet almond oil and olive oil. If your skin falls somewhere in between or is a combination skin type, oils with a more even ratio of linoleic to oleic acids should be experimented with. Some of those oils with a balanced ratio of oleic and linoleic acids are kukui nut oil, argan oil and jojoba oil. Here is an article with a little more information about fatty acids in your facial oil:



Some oils are very sensitive to light and changes in temperature, so it may be a good idea to choose an oil that is less finicky, for those of us who don’t feel like remembering to put our facial oil into the fridge. Oils such as hemp seed oil and kukui nut oil can go rancid quickly, and are better kept in the fridge. If you don’t have the patience for that, choose an oil that has a long shelf life and that is relatively stable. There are many oils that will keep for at least a year on the bathroom shelf as long as they are kept in dark, glass bottles. Maracuja oil and argan oil are safe bets as stable oils with a good shelf life.

Source: The Examiner

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