As consumers of a more chemical orientated world, it seems that we run into many products on a daily basis that is packed full of synthetic ingredients. This ranges from what we eat to what we put on our skins. However, we are becoming more conscious of man-made chemicals and are leaning towards a more caring and natural outlook for ourselves and our environment. Organic and natural are definitively two keywords we are searching for more as we roam the aisles for food and products.
I have always had sensitive skin and realised from very early on that a lot of skin and hair products just didn’t suit me. Those heavily advertised products, endorsed by celebrities, really pulled me. However, upon looking at the horrifyingly long list of ingredients (that I couldn’t understand in the slightest) my search for natural alternatives began.
Why we should be kinder to ourselves and our planet
Well, I think it’s pretty simple. Being aware of what we put inside us, on us, and around can help us stay healthy and save our planet. Also, reducing our carbon footprint is a big incentive too. Why use products that could potentially cause us health issues later in life as well as damage our environment?
The rise of the organic industry
The most recent Organic Market Report of this year reveals that the UK organic market continues to thrive. With this being the 8th year of steady growth, there has been a 5.3% increase. This whopping statistic shows that this industry is proving to be prosperous.
The scientific part
Did you know that your liver breaks down harmful toxins in your food but up to 60% of chemicals applied to your skin may pass directly into your bloodstream? Well, neither did I until I researched this about a decade ago. Some of these synthetic ingredients we should be avoiding include parabens, sodium lauryl sulfates, phthalates, and silicones.
It felt good to be in the know so I started telling my family and friends all about it. Most were pretty baffled and it fell on deaf ears all those years ago. But I am happy to say that most acknowledge the importance now, especially with the rise of leading supermarkets stocking a wide range of products that follow the natural ethos.
5 Superhero Oils For Skin And Hair
My hunt for natural skin and hair products has been going on for a long time but I truly underestimated what I had lying around in my own household. I had most oils already stashed away in my cupboard but never took the time to care about their presence. Sometimes something so awesome can be right under your nose and you don’t even notice!
I have five oils which I have been using as part of my daily routine for the past couple of years now. I like to call them my superhero oils:
1. Olive oil
This oil is bursting with vitamin A, B, E, and K. It consists of antioxidants which can help keep hair soft and shiny. It can also prevent free radicals (nasty little vermin) that can potentially damage cells contributing to cancer development. When applied to the skin, olive oil can help put off premature aging, psoriasis, and eczema. This one glides on skin and hair easily and isn’t greasy.
This yummy oil has been my best buddy for the past two years, full of nourishing goodness. It is rich in healthy saturated fats that can kill skin-related bacteria such as acne, cellulitis, and folliculitis. Its creamy texture is easily absorbed into the skin and hair, and it carries a gentle scent. I do love this one!
This flavorsome, nutty and crunchy oil is high in unsaturated fats, vitamin E and K, and rich in antioxidants. A YouTuber I used to follow recommended this oil for dark under-eye circles as it had worked really well for her. I naturally gravitated to purchasing a bottle for myself as soon as her video had come to an end!
Further to this, I read that almond oil is effective on sun-damaged skin and premature aging (extra bonus points!). I was pleasantly surprised by its effectiveness, as when I had run out of my other oils, I was applying it all over. My skin really enjoyed it as it is light, non-greasy and soaks well into the skin. I think it did help reduce the discolouration under my eyes too.
Extracted from the kernels of the argan tree in Morocco, comes argan oil. It sounds exotic and luscious, which it certainly is. It has been hyped about quite recently in the beauty industry but has been used for far longer! This oil is packed full of goodness; omega, fatty acids, vitamin E, and linoleic acids. It is non-greasy; not too heavy nor too light in texture, allowing it to be easily absorbed. This super oil is another one that helps fight the signs of ageing. A tad more expensive than the other oils but well worth it in the long run.
This vegetable oil is from the seeds of the Ricinus Communis plant found in Eastern Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, and other tropical regions. It is rich in fatty acids and vitamin E. This one has a high viscosity out of all of the oils mentioned, so it’s best to pat this one gently into the skin. This seriously intense moisturiser is great to nip those fine lines in the bud. It does not have a powerful scent and really sits on the skin, tucking itself into all the nooks and crannies. I find that applying it to the roots of my hair works for me instead of into my scalp. I worry that it could cause blocked pores due to its density, although this has never happened.
My top tips to using these oils
- Apply oils to skin whilst damp, or if on dry skin then pat gently in order to avoid tugging and pulling.
- Heat up the oil slightly in the microwave for a few seconds. This always feels a lot nicer than cold! (Be sure to not overheat though as increased risk of burns and damaging of the molecular structure of the oil can occur).
- Always use high-quality oils; organic and cold-pressed are best.
- Ensure you do do a patch test before using oils on larger surface areas to avoid allergic reactions.
In addition, I have found these superhero oils to be multi-purpose and versatile, whether that be for an evening out your skin tone, combatting dandruff, or as a makeup remover. What’s also great is that they are relatively cheap and readily available; in stores and online.
Personally, I have found that castor oil has been the most effective for my skin. I have been using this oil sporadically over a few years but now use it every day as part of my morning and night routine. It has helped with my fine lines that are now appearing and I use it as a base before applying makeup. However, as a treat for my hair, I use all the other oils mentioned as they are lighter in texture and don’t weigh down my super fine hair. They have all equally helped to restore my hair’s shine and help bring out my former softer texture I used to have.
I would definitely recommend trying these oils. Taking care of yourself and finding what is best for you is really important, for your health and overall well being. Your journey and outlook may be different from mine but I believe that searching for a more natural alternative is vital for us all.
Written by Mimi Zahid from Yes Gurl. Read more at Yes Gurl.