Close up shot of fresh cilantro leaves along with its tea, oil and essential oil in a different bottle on the black glossy surface. Horizontal shot.

Among the essential differences between conventional skincare and organic or natural skincare isn’t the “active” ingredients like green tea or vitamin c, which excluding water can constitute about 5 percent of any item, instead it lies with the base ingredients. In natural skincare, the foundation ingredients are often a mixture of vegetable oils and butters or waxes in comparison to the artificial ingredients often found in traditional skin care.

Natural Oils

Using oils has enormous benefit for skin. Rather than having an inert (non-active) synthetic carrier for the active ingredients, base oils include nutrients such as vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids which nourish and support the skin. I’d go so far as to rely on base oils as active ingredients in skin care. So, in actuality, in organic products up to 95 percent of any merchandise has a supportive “active” effect on the skin. In contrast, the artificial base ingredients in skin care by expand, lack significant therapeutic advantage.

Many Factors

There are several factors that influence the absorption of topical ingredients to the skin and in fact, many topical lotions just sit on the surface of the skin, effectively moisturizes the superficial skin cells but seldom with no impact on deeper layers. The skin is designed to be selectively absorbent, being relatively permeable to fat soluble substances and relatively impermeable to water and water soluble compounds. Fat soluble ingredients like oils are absorbed more effectively and have greater influence on the cell membrane and skin matrix, encouraging skin nourishment. As carriers, oils may also transport essential oils, phytonutrients, minerals and vitamins to the skin where they’re most effective, instead of simply having a “surface” effect. Additionally, oils also help prevent skin dehydration by offering an effective water reduction barrier which subsequently contributes to plumper, more hydrated skin.

Oil absorption is affected by the viscosity or thickness of the individual carrier oil with thicker oils tending to be absorbed more slowly through the skin. Generally fine light oils are preferable for use on the face as they consume quickly, easily penetrating the surface layer of skin without leaving a greasy feel. Heavier oils are acceptable for dry facial skinskin on the body, as bath oils and massage oils. The degree of unsaturation will also impact on oil absorption. Generally speaking, the more polyunsaturated fat content of the oil, the greater the absorption. For instance Rose Hip oil is high in polyunsaturates and contains quite low viscosity, which makes it perfect for use in face serums and lotions as it absorbs quickly into your skin.

It’s worth noting that cold-pressed oils generally have a larger amount of unsaturates than heat-extracted oils and for this reason are preferable. The procedure for cold-pressing requires the seed or nut being placed in an “expeller” which squeezes out the oil. There’s some heat created by friction however, it causes very little damage to the petroleum or its components. Heat-extraction utilizes temperatures around 200 degrees Celsius which dramatically increases the yield of oil, which makes it much more cost effective but at the same time damaging the nutrient content of the oil. Unsaturated fatty acids may be damaged by high temperatures and therefore heat-extracted oils will have significantly reduced levels. While these oils are generally used as cooking oils, they ought to be avoided for use in skin care and aromatherapy as they lack the therapeutic benefits of the cold-pressed versions.

Good to know

A frequent misconception in regards to using oils is that applying them to the skin is only going to worsen oily skin and additionally create congestion. Heavier oils can sit on the surface of the skin more before absorption, which isn’t great for oily skin. However, the milder, less viscous oils will be absorbed quite quickly and oftentimes help to balance skin oiliness instead of contribute to it.

Oils are absorbed into the skin as opposed to sitting on the surface and for that reason they are not likely to cause or aggravate congestion. However, lots of natural skincare products rely on waxes and butters as base ingredients. While enormously helpful for the skin, they’re more inclined to sit on the surface and so have a greater likelihood of contributing if congestion is currently a problem. They will probably not cause congestion that was not previously present and the skin reaction really does depend on individual skin type. The proportion of waxes to butters to oils will change in different products for different skin types. If you’re not certain about what product to use for your skin type, it might be worth asking the manufacturer or provider which of their specific products will be most beneficial for your skin type.

Carrier oils

There a quite a variety of nourishing carrier oils used in the skin lotions and serums and the assortment of organic products available that utilizing nutritional base oils is increasing. Different oils are acceptable for different skin types so understanding some basic facts about base oils can allow you to find the most appropriate product for your skin.

Sweet Almond Oil

A common used oil in skin care, it’s full of nutrition including vitamin E, unsaturated fats and essential fatty acids. It’s a softening action on the skin and is helpful for lubrication in massage as while not a heavy oil, it’s not absorbed rapidly.

Olive Oil

A heavier oil, rich in monounsaturates including ellagic acid. Extra virgin olive oil come from the first pressing of the olives and is dark green in colour indicating the presence of antioxidant polyphenol. It’s acceptable for use with dry skin as it helps stabilize the cell membrane increasing the skins ability to hold onto moisture. Olive oil also contains squalene, a hydrating and anti-inflammatory representative, perfect for skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema.

Tamanu Oil

Tamanu oil has strong healing properties in its distinctive ability to foster the creation of new skin tissue. Traditionally used by the Polynesians as first aid for skin and mucous membranes, the oil can help with scars, burns, skin cracks, cuts, dry skin and wounds. Used cosmetically, Tamanu includes recovery, mild antibiotic and anti-inflammatory action. For these reasons it’s used in both protective and regenerative products aimed at restoring skin look.

Evening Primrose Oil

Evening Primrose Oil (EPO) is a valuable source of gamma linoleic acid, an essential fatty acid with powerful anti-inflammatory consequences. Useful for dry, dry, sensitive skin EPO can help to keep the skin’s normal barrier functions. Additionally it is useful topically for psoriasis and eczema.

Rosehip Oil

With up to 80% essential fatty acid content, Rosehip oil is quite fine and rather readily absorbed by the skin. Rosehip promotes regeneration and repair of skin and is famous for its skin advantages, especially in the treatment of burns and scars. Additionally it is famous for its rehydrating effect in addition to improving dry, aged and wrinkled skin.

Jojoba Oil

Actually a fine wax as opposed to an oil, Jojoba oil is extremely fine in consistency and easily absorbed by the skin. It’s light and non-greasy and because of this it’s ideal in face serums and lotions. Jojoba closely resembles the sebum of skin and so is beneficial for skin and scalp problems such as psoriasis and eczema. With excellent emollient properties it’s moisturizing, healing and appropriate for all skin types.

Coconut Oil

One of the heaviest and most secure oils, coconut is perfect for hair and body use. With moisturizing and softening properties it’s great for rough and dry skin. Coconut oil also has cooling properties and so is useful for after sun care products 1.

Avocado Oil

Strong in colour and dour, avocado oil isn’t to everybody’s liking for skin care. However, in its unrefined form it’s full of lecithin, vitamin D, E and A that provide useful sun protection and skin nourishment. Avocado oil is beneficial to drier skins.

Sea Buckthorn Oil

Bright orange in colour, Sea Buckthorn oil is full of beta carotene and second only to Rose Hip in vitamin C content. Additionally it is very full of essential fatty acids. This rich mixture of nutrients mean it’s very valuable as a base oil in skin care. With moisturizing, anti inflammatory and curative properties, it’s readily absorbed and useful for all skin types.