Looking after your skin means more than applying sunscreen and limiting exposure to the sun’s harmful rays. As well as regular skin checks, keeping an eye on melanoma symptoms and being aware of skin cancer detection techniques, you can feed your skin from the inside and limit your skin’s exposure to potentially harmful chemicals that are found in a number of cosmetics. Here are some of the most powerful, natural oils that we can use to improve the health of our skin.
Argan Oil & skin health
Argan oil is a powerful oil that is most renowned for its anti-ageing properties. It is a natural antioxidant that is packed full of omega-6 and omega-9, as well as vitamins A and E. To boost your complexion and benefit from the antioxidant elements of the oil, simply apply 1-2 drops to your palms and rub the oil between them to warm it before applying to the face in a circular motion.
In Morocco, where argan oil is most widely grown. They add argan oil to couscous and pasta and dip freshly baked bread into the oil for a delicious and healthy breakfast. Culinary argan oil has been linked to fighting prostate cancer, lowering cholesterol and preventing a number of physical diseases.
Cosmetic grade argan oil has been used to reduce stretch marks, to fight skin infections and to nourish the skin.
As with most oils, it is important to buy both culinary and cosmetic versions. Most of the cosmetic grade oils are inedible. Be sure to shop wisely, and buy the best quality oil that you can afford. Diluted versions will simply have diluted qualities.
Flaxseed oil & skin health
Flaxseed (or linseed oil as it is also known) is wonderful for rough, dry skin conditions. It can help to turn flaky, irritated skin into smooth, hydrated, healthy skin. Although the seeds themselves can easily be added to yoghurt, salads, breakfast cereals and smoothies. The actual cold-pressed oil has a delicate nutty taste that makes it very appealing.
Some people enjoy the flavour so much that they will happily take the oil straight off the spoon. Positive results have been seen within weeks of just ingesting one teaspoon a day. Some products ask suggest that you take a tablespoon 3 times a day, it is best to adhere to the instructions on the bottle as each brand varies. If you’re not a fan of consuming neat oil, then the subtle flavour of flaxseed can easily be incorporated into your diet. You can also take the capsules. If you are taking statins, medicine for diabetes or blood-thinners then it is vital that you talk to your doctor first, as flaxseed oil can interfere with certain medicines.
Flaxseed oil is rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, as well as alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). Making it great for a healthy heart, to lower cholesterol and to aid with concentration and memory. All this as well as the many skin benefits!
The oil can be mixed in with green tea, fruit tea or fruit juice. Heating flaxseed will reduce some of the nutritional benefits, so it is better to pour some of the oil over your food after cooking instead. Alternatively, dip crusty bread into the oil, or pour some over a salad. To make your own salad dressing combine ¼ cup of flaxseed oil, ¼ cup freshly squeezed orange juice, 2 cloves of garlic (crushed), 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar and 2 tablespoons of honey in a clean, empty jam jar. Shake and serve immediately.
Coconut Oil & skin health
Coconut oil is delicious, beautifully fragrant and fantastic for a number of health concerns.
Ingesting coconut oil is great for fighting infections, viruses and fungi. It can also reduce appetite, cholesterol and fight against heart disease. You can add it to curries or smoothies, to add flavour.
Coconut oil can also be applied to the skin, it can improve the moisture and lipid content of skin. Always opt for extra virgin organic coconut oil. It can also soothe dry hands. Whether you are a passionate gardener, an artist or simply suffer from too much washing up or cold weather, coconut oil can give immediate relief, as well as making skin supple. The antimicrobial effects of coconut oil can make it great for skin conditions. It also serves as a fabulous alternative to shaving foam, leaving you with nourished skin that smells divine. If you are looking for a natural, chemical-free cleanser then coconut oil is antibacterial as well as moisturising, and it can even remove make-up. It’s safe to use on the eyes and will leave your skin soft, with a subtle non-greasy glow. You can apply it to your whole body to feed your skin and keep everything smooth and soft.
Sesame Oil & skin health
Sesame oil is rich and nourishing and is widely used in Ayurvedic medicine. Sesame oil is rich in Vitamin E which makes it a powerful antioxidant, fighting against free-radicals and oxidation that come with sun exposure. Sesame oil is highly moisturising and can be used as a full body moisturiser or applied to dry areas such as knees and elbows to provide immediate relief. It is rich in palmitic acids, stearic acids and linoleic acids. Sesame oil is quite a thick oil, it also has a strong fragrance. You may want to combine it with a lighter oil such as sweet almond. Applying it to damp skin after a bath or shower can make it absorb quicker. If you suffer from dry skin conditions, you may like to add a few drops of sesame oil to your bath water. Take care, as it will make the tub slippy!
As well as Vitamin E, sesame oil contains another antioxidant sesamol. This has been shown to be very effective against the signs of ageing and can reduce fine lines and wrinkles. Using a natural oil instead of chemicals is a great way to improve the health of your skin.
Sesame oil can be ingested too. It contains zinc, which is responsible for producing collagen, keeping your skin elastic and firm. It is also great for repairing skin cells. A range of East Asian dishes use sesame oil (from toasted or non-toasted seeds), as it brings a beautiful and distinct flavour to a dish.
Jojoba Oil & skin health
Rich in vitamins E and B and full of microelements such as zinc, copper, silicon, iodine and chromium, jojoba oil is fantastic for nourishing and feeding the skin. Jojoba oil closely resembles the sebum that our skin naturally produces, making it ideal for adding moisture and hydration. It also is great for oily skin, as it ‘tricks’ your skin into releasing less sebum, resulting in a clearer complexion. Jojoba oil does not clog the pores and is a lightweight oil that is easily absorbed. It has been shown to reduce early signs of ageing and is a renowned beautifying oil that is used in many commercial cosmetic products.
Jojoba oil can be quite rich and so is best applied to the skin before bed. Simply cleanse your skin as usual, and then apply the oil to your face and neck. Acne sufferers have reported that it has significantly improved their skin.
Jojoba oil can be used to moisturise the whole body, to hydrate dry lips and heal chapped lips, as an alternative to shaving foam, as a hair oil, to soften cuticles and to banish specific dry patches.
Jojoba oil is not ingested but is a great way to balance out oily skin and to beautify ageing skin. Natural alternatives mean your body is saved from parabens and unwelcome chemicals that have been linked to cancer and ill health.
When it comes to keeping healthy, looking after the largest organ you have is vital. Protect your skin by eating properly, ingesting nourishing oils and applying natural oils to beautify and enhance your skin’s natural properties. Skin cancer is linked to free radicals, and antioxidants are a powerful way to combat the cell damage caused. As well as feeding your skin, be sure to carry out regular skin checks, to keep an eye out for skin cancer symptoms and to be vigilant when it comes to melanoma detection.