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A Good Oil – The Moisture Locker

March 23, 2010

When it comes to skin care moisturisers are way up there on my essential list. I would gladly ditch many products but leave me a good oil (and some toothpaste) and I’ll survive.  Being a life-long wearer of troublesome skin (prone to irritation, pimples, eczema and sun damage) I have spent many happy hours trying to peel off those flaky little bits  that turn up around my nose over night.  I’ve scratched myself through meetings and slathered on layer after layer of aqueous cream in a bid to find balance and I’m not alone.

Dry skin is something that I was quite literally born with (being a late baby) and my genetic predisposition for eczema and allergies hasn’t helped but even those more fortunate in the skin lottery than me will, from time to time need a bit of extra help in the moisture department.

And so I come to my product of the week – Beautiful Skin by Renee, a blend of natural oils and rose essence  to soothe, smooth and relax.

Beautiful Skin Oil

The skin oil consists of a number of beauty greats:

Rosehip Oil –  An excellent source of unsaturated  fatty acids such as (Oleic acid 20%, Linoleic Acid 41%  & Linolenic Acid 39%) which have been found to be useful at reducing the appearance of scar tissue and wrinkles.   It is also a good source of trans retinoic acid which has been used for many years as an acne treatment (although it can cause the skin to redden and flake in some cases).  Finally its beautiful red colour comes from the presence  of carotenoids  including lycopene which is an oil soluble anti-oxidant.

Next we have vitamin E which is another fat soluble antioxidant and one that plays an essential role in protecting cell membranes from oxidation. Super suff.

Then there is the Macadamia nut oil – has anyone been to the Macadamia nut castle up near Byron???  Fab for nut fans.

Macadamia nut oil is filled almost to the brim with Oleic Acid (60%)  a mono-unsaturated (just one double bond) omega-9 fatty acid that makes this a very stable and pleasant oil to use. It gives a cushioned skin feel that is light rather than greasy with a pleasantly nutty aroma.

Then we have Hemp and Carrot Oils which add yet more fatty acids to the skin. I am not sure where this carrot oil is from but carrot is quite often infused into a base oil such as sesame. The oil is rich in beta-carotene (Vitamin A)  and many other nourishing ingredients. Sounds tasty!

But what does Beautiful Skin feel like and why should we try it?

It pours out like an oil and has to be quickly worked into the skin before it slips through your fingers but so do all oils.  It feels a bit greasy to start with but quickly soaks in making an excellent base for make-up.   These oil-only moisturisers won’t be for everyone as they don’t give the invisible feel that emulsions can but environmentally they are a better bet – far less processing, far more active and less ingredients required. 

A Bit More Chemistry and  what do fatty acids do?

The “oil only” route does mean that some water soluble actives such as humectants (Hyaluronic acid, glycerine, sorbitol, Lactic Acid)  and some actives (panthenol and many more) can’t be used but that may not be an issue when you’ve got fatty acids in abundance! Fatty acids have been linked to skin health in numerous studies – this one is quite a good read  but even this study shows the benefits of fatty acids that have been eaten and NOT rubbed on the skin. So does that make all of this pointless?  NOOOOO  and luckily enough there have been some studies on the impact of topically applied fatty acids to back this up. 

In a nutshell skin that is lacking in fatty acids will have a poor barrier function. Applying a cream or oil rich in fatty acids does restore the skins barrier to normal levels making it happy and bright again! Lipids (fatty acids) are part of the barrier. Adding them to the outside of your skin can repair a damaged or holey barrier.  Worth a try!

Beautiful skin will not be right for everyone due to its oily nature and rose aroma but for those of you that do want to give it a go, I doubt that you will be disappointed.

An aside – some notes on natural oils.

With natural oils the quality of the oil is dependent on a number of factors:

  1. They are natural so you will get a much richer oil from plants that have grown in optimum conditions.
  2. Were your seeds genetically modified or compromised in any way?  Oil suppliers usually keep track of this and can tell you.
  3. How was the oil harvested – is it likely to have been contaminated during collection.
  4. How was the oil processed – natural oils can be cold pressed, extracted  using solvents or CO2 extracted (another natural alternative to cold pressing which is not suitable for all oils.

PS: No I haven’t seen the Hurt Locker yet but just felt like using the locker part in the title of this post as an ‘homage’ to an Oscar winner.

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