Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Oil is oil.. and so much more

Fats and oils in cosmetics have multiple functions -  one of which is to serve as a carrier of active ingredients into the deeper layers of the skin. (Function 1: a means of transportation).  Plant-based oils are ideal as carriers because the molecules in plant-based oils are tiny enough to penetrate the skin. This is the direct opposite of mineral-based oils which have annoyingly large molecules - too big to penetrate the skin. Mineral oil molecules basically just sit around on top of the skin, clogging the pores until the poor old things can't handle any more and enlarge, resulting in visibly larger pores and sagging skin. Guess what: changing to plant-based oils will actually reverse the enlarged pore condition - apparantly no matter how old you are. I speak from personal experience as well as feedback from folks that have tested my products. Among them: my mom (who is over 80 years).


One of my favorite things about working with plant-based oils is that every one offers something that is beneficial to the skin in one way or the other. (Function 2: bringing a veritable treasure trove of skin-loving goodies). For example, walnut oil contains up to 14% omega 3 fatty acids, giving it regenerative properties. Rosehip oil boasts natural retinoic acid (vitamin A acid), making it ideal for oily, sensitive and scarred skin. Pumpkin seed oil is high in vitamins, minerals and omega 3, 6 and 9 - great for firming and lifting the skin. Did you know that you don't need to take vitamins orally? They work just the same if they are applied and allowed to enter your body through the skin. 

Vegetable and plant-based oils are categorized as 'very dry', 'dry', 'semi-dry','semi-fatty', or 'fatty'. Odd as it may sound, a dry oil really doesn't feel oily on the skin. This is due to its quick absorption rate. Hempseed is among the drier oils, while the classic sweet almond is classified as a semi-fatty oil. 


More and more organic plant-based oils are coming onto the market these days, and it is incredibly exciting to get to know such oils as pumpkin seed, red raspberry seed and broccoli seed - oils that weren't available a mere 2 years ago.  


Because my face-and-body oils are composed of a mixture of different types of carrier oils combined with a selected mix of (oil-soluble) vitamins and essential oils, it's a constant labor of love to research these raw materials. At present, I am testing and learning about the following oils: Amaranth, Pomegranate and Blueberry seed.

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