Are Exotic Oils the Next Little Black Dress?
Natural skin care has roots that stretch as far back as ancient Egypt. Without having access to the scientific advancements available today, they realized the pro-youth, nourishing and hydrating benefits of certain botanical ingredients and oils in skin care.
Although some natural healers have carried on the practice of using botanical oils, somewhere along the way, oils fell out of common use. Today, a great deal is known about extracting and refining these oils in order to unlock their powerful potential—and demand for exotic oils is growing. These, however, aren’t your average oils—they are light, silky, able to be absorbed and refined to deeply nourish the skin; and they should be a staple in every client’s regimen—just like the little black dress in every client’s closet.
Specialty oils are highly moisturizing; however, they also have a host of other active properties and have beneficial emollients, humectants, carriers and barrier-protectors. There are also a number of new varieties with promising pro-youth capabilities. Not an average oil
Not all oils are created equal. Some are heavy and greasy, leaving an oily residue on the skin, while others will actually dehydrate the skin. Exotic oils are quite the contrary—they are food for the skin. They are refined, light, noncomedogenic, able to be absorbed and sustainable.
Oils have been used throughout history for beauty, massage and aromatherapy, as well as in food preparation. Although still used in many of these applications, today it is known that exotic oils may also be used as a primer under makeup; to hydrate; and for treating certain skin challenges, including aging, scarring, acne and age spots. Don’t let the fact that they’re oils fool you though; they are actually highly beneficial to those with oily skin. Many are also multipurpose—some oils not only deliver benefits to the skin, hair and nails, but also provide aromatherapeutic properties for mood-enhancement.
The natural molecular composition of exotic oils enables them to be easily absorbed by the skin, delivering potent antifungal, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory benefits from various plants, fruits, vegetables and fats. Primary benefits of specialty exotic oils include the following.
Pro-youth—With a high content of essential fatty acids (EFAs), vitamins and antioxidants, exotic oils are effective pro-youth ingredients. Several varieties contain a high level of vitamin A, which stimulates cell turnover and collagen production. Vitamin E, another common property, neutralizes free radicals that can damage collagen.
Hydration—Most varieties of exotic oils prevent transepidermal water loss (TEWL) by locking moisture in the skin without being greasy or heavy. They are also beneficial in regulating and balancing oil production.
Nourish, repair and protect—Vitamins and antioxidants are key to repairing free-radical damage, and building the skin’s protective barrier and immunity. Exotic oils are rich in vitamins and antioxidants, as well as palmitic acid, gamma linolenic acid (GLA) and EFAs, which all work together to nourish, repair and protect the skin. Many have also proven beneficial in the treatment of skin conditions, such as psoriasis, eczema and acne.
Types of exotic oils
Oil from grape seeds, pumpkin seeds, soybeans and rose hips have long been used for hydration, antioxidants and exfoliation. Although these are still relevant and extremely beneficial to the skin, there are a number of new, promising exotic oil varieties finding their way into cosmeceuticals. Following is a glance at some of the tried-and-true and interesting exotic oils to watch for—and the powerful skin benefits they deliver. By: Rhonda Allison - Skin Inc.
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