If you’ve ventured down the realm of skin care, then odds are you’ve probably experimented with one or two natural oils just to see what the hype was about. Rest assured, the hype of skin and body oil is well deserved, especially when witnessing the wonders of their effects first-hand. Natural oils are a great introduction into providing your skin with the TLC it deserves; most can be applied with simple ease and in nearly no time at all, you’ll be transfixed by your skin’s transformation. From the intimidatingly potent tea-tree oil to the angelic rosehip oil, we’ve got the run-down on what skin products should be in your Amazon shopping cart immediately.
Josie Maran Argan Oil
"I came across Argan oil when I was secretly rummaging through my sister's makeup drawer (sorry, Casey) -- she had a bottle of the Josie Maran one, and I started sneaking in her room every day to wear some. It was the first oil I used and I still love it. It has a pretty neutral smell on it's own and it's moisturizing enough to see an immediate glow, but it's not so thick that it lingers on the outside of the skin. It soaks right in! I put a drop or two in my hair when it's feeling dry and two drops on my skin every night after washing/toning and it's one of the first things in my bag when I pack for a night out.
The Josie Maran oil is very pricey, maybe because it's cold pressed, which means it's pure, and produced very ethically (the bottle is recyclable and Sephora's site promises the company works with women cooperatives to ‘ensure the protection and reforestation of Argan trees’), but Amazon offers supplements. Kate Blanc sells one on Amazon starting at 7.99 that's also cold pressed with no supplements, so when I run out of my sister's gifted oil, I may try that next.”
- Em Odesser (Editor-in-chief)
Tea Tree Oil
"If you’re prone to the type of acne that magically pops up overnight out of nowhere, then you’re prayers have finally been answered. While this one is particularly potent, seriously- beware of watering eyes, it does work miracles in time frames that shouldn’t even be possible. You don’t need a lot for visible results, just dab one or two drops on your problem spots and watch your pimples disappear by the time morning comes. It does come in a diluted form, mixed with other essential oils, but if you happen to get your hands on 100% pure tea tree oil, you may want to dilute it yourself with some water. Or you can always just be brave and tough it out in the name of clear skin, whatever works for you.”
- Nyah Hardmon (Web Editor)
Retinol is essentially just a fancy term for Vitamin A, which does wonders for the skin and body. It’s generally used as a dietary supplement (in its capsule form), but it’s become a staple topical treatment for anti-aging and skincare. Because this vitamin’s basic function is to assist cell growth, it’s perfect for quickly healing acne scars and other stubborn blemishes (if you’ve ever had a cystic pimple, you’d know “stubborn” is quite the understatement). It’s also perfect for those with oily skin who want to hop aboard the face oil train, but don’t want to risk the breakouts. While the compound does ~technically~ derive from food products (fish, dairy and meat), the synthesized version is perfectly safe for oily skin types.
If you’re really itching to try your hand with face oils, but don’t quite know which is for you, I’d definitely recommend starting with Retinol. It is one of the cheaper ones on this list (I got my bottle for $6). So give it a go. Maybe it’ll become the holy grail in your 3-step skincare routine like it has for my lazy-girl self.”
-Téa Lindsey, Art Editor
"As I dove deeper and deeper into the skin care black hole with no regrets and a gaping wallet, I started hearing everyone praise Rosehip oil incessantly. Rich in omega-3, omega-6, and fatty acids, the oil is exalted for it's ability to reduce spots and scars as well as add an overall ~ glow ~. Amazon had one for like seven or eight dollars so I decided to try it for myself. The smell is a little funky (sort of hay-like), but I'm still in love. I use it every other day because it's heavier than Argan oil, but two drops at night give my skin a visible and major boost of moisture!”
In the midst of my Sophomore (Skin) Slump, I was desperate for salvation from the perils of combination skin. I’ve always had an oily forehead and chin, while my upper lip was perpetually dry and irritated from the constant waxing as well as my cheeks because, yes, I used to wax those too (having the “thick hair gene” is a blessing and a curse). My mom, being the patron saint of natural beauty products, was trying to help me find the right product to help my acne prone skin without the ingredients being a long list of words ending in “methyl”. One afternoon, she came back from Trader Joe’s with a little bottle labeled “Jojoba Oil”. After about a week of applying it to my face every night after I cleansed (which I do at the end of my shower so my pores have had optimal steam exposure), I noticed a big difference in my skin.
Jojoba oil had not only reduced the size and amount of my pimples but also quenched my dry areas too. I was so happy with my results that I started using it as moisturizer for my whole body too. I really slathered the oil on, and I mean really. I’m a moisturizer fiend, it runs in my family. If my grandmother had a catchphrase it would be, “Us girls with Mediterranean skin need moisture, moisture and more moisture!” And she is very correct. Mediterranean skin needs lots of moisture even if the skin does not appear dry. Oil production is often a result of parched skin trying to make up for it’s lack of hydration making jojoba the perfect remedy for the ever-troublesome combination complexion as well. However, there is just one quid pro quo. Jojoba oil definitely leaves a shiny finish on my face, so I always apply it before bed. Aside from that one little hiccup, I have nothing but good things to say about jojoba oil. If I could, I would take my jojoba bottle to a nice Italian dinner and a movie just to thank it for everything it’s done for me. I’ve since started college and I still use it nightly. Needless to say, I will not be stopping anytime soon.
-Jessie Gilles, Social Media Editor
Not a consistent user of oils, but I swear by castor oil, specifically for growing out my brows and lashes. If I’m ever feeling fancy, I’ll coat my lashes with it as it’s much healthier and won’t dry your lashes up like traditional mascara. Aside from the fact that it’s a cheaper alternative to growth serums, it will leave the skin around your hair suuuuper smooth. Castor oil is rich in fatty acids, antioxidants and proteins that help strengthen eyebrow and lash hairs. You can apply it with an old mascara wand to help you or simply use a Q tip. You can grab this wonder oil from your local grocery market, and only a little bit is required so a bottle should last you forever. Results should appear in 2 to 4 weeks, but be patient!
-Furqan Mohamed, Web Editor
"My third yet equally beloved oil is the Mad Hippie Antioxidant Facial Oil, a gift from my sister after the Josie Maran success. Unlike most other items on the list, it smells delicious -- very fruity. Also unlike other items on the list, it consists of a medley of ingredients including Organic Argan Oil, Hemp Seed Extract (Cannabis Sativa) (!), Goji Berry, Camu Camu Berry, and Broccoli Extract. The Mad Hippie provides a detailed list with reasons for the combination with jargon that I'm not fully acquainted with -- sulforaphane! non-comedogenic! triterpenoids! etc -- and maybe this isn't fully responsible, but I trust it regardless. It. Works. Every time I open the bottle I'm excited by that amazing smell. It's heavy, so I stick with small drops, but it plumps my skin up. The results are instant, but long term."
What are your favorite oils? Drop us a comment below.
Banner image from Issue 6 editorial "The Magical World of VFILES" by Sophia Wilson.