My skin has my friend Meghan to thank for its appreciation of natural botanical oils for face and body. Years ago, Meg gave me a bottle of so-wonderful Dr. Hauschka Rose Body Oil (75 mL, $29, saffronrouge.com); Skin fell in love instantly. It sighed in happiness, admired itself when I passed reflective surfaces, and couldn't resist breaking into song on occasion: I feel pretty, oh so pretty, I feel pretty, and witty and briiiiight... So in the interests of keeping Skin in a good mood (this is what happens when I make it mad), I feed it nourishing, lipid-and-antioxidant-loaded oil for face and body on a regular basis, preferably soon after a warm shower -- oils are a bazillion times more effective on damp skin. Some favourites:
Rodial Stemcell Super-Food Facial Oil (30 mL, $80, murale.ca in September) practically makes Skin blush with its elixir of marula oil + omega 3-6-9 complex + multivitamin complex (A, C, E, B5) + rose stem cells. The delicate texture, light floral scent and near-instant almost-matte finish makes it a delight for even oily complexions (always, always apply on damp skin -- oily faces need water more than they need oil). I waffle on stem-cell stuff. The idea is that plant stem cells protect and thus prolong the life of human stem cells via topical application; more clinical corroborration required. But Skin is happy to try stem-cell enriched skincare, and this oil really is lovely. If you have a dry complexion looking for glow, this is one to try. Mark your calendar.
A little while back, Skin engaged in a long-term body oil affair with Pangea Organics Italian White Sage & Geranium(120 mL, $26, beautymark.ca) a gorgeous blend of organic sunflower seed, jojoba, sesame seed, extra virgin olive, geranium, citrus and sage oils. It made skin feel silky, supple, toned and soul-satisfyingly content, but the divine scent was everything. That relationship lasted through several bottles, until I forced Skin to try something else (after all, trying new things is Skin's job). But it still pines for Italian White Sage & Geranium; I'm not sure how much longer I can keep them apart. Truth be told, the scent made me so very happy that I quite miss it too.
Right now, Skin has a Very Big Crush on an oil I've been talking up on The Shopping Channel. It met Violet Oasis Organic Moroccan Argan Oil for hair, face and body (60 mL, $29.99, theshoppingchannel.com) when founder Rachelle Copeland got in touch to see if I'd be interested in filling in for her on camera. The attraction was immediate. First, argan oil is high in essential fatty acids and antioxidants, which Skin needs to retain moisture and dodge free radicals. This one is cold-pressed, so its nutrients are in as pure a state as possible. Second, Skin adores the scent of this particular argan oil -- so many brands smell distinctly earthy and nutty, which can be a bit challenging. This argan oil smells pretty!Third, Skin digs that this oil sinks in quickly without feeling heavy or greasy. More in this little video. (And no, I don't get a commission on sales; I really like the line.)
Oddly, Skin is amused by Live Clean Baby Bath & Massage Oil(125 mL, $6.99 at drugstores, grocery stores and mass retailers). Potent conditioning ingredients include safflower seed oil and soothing oat kernel oil, cocoa-seed butter, aloe extract and vitamin E. And it smells softly of baby powder. Baby powder! Makes me want an adult-sized onesie. With feet.
From a fairly new natural skincare line based in Toronto, Shoosha Rejuvenate Stretch Mark Oil (59.2 mL, $29.99, shooshatrue.com) is flirting with Skin. Jammed with natural fatty acids, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatories, it includes organic borage, grapeseed, rose hip, rosemary and tamanu oils, an extra dose of Vitamin E, and neroli, sweet orange and tangerine to add aroma-therapeutic de-stressing notes. Skin is enjoying that such a rich oil feels lighter than expected and smells so pleasant, too.
I sometimes think Skin is unlikely to meet a botanical oil it doesn't like. It loves the silky finish, the firming boost, the softness, the glow, and the comfort botanical oils for face and body deliver. In fact, several of Skin's favourites didn't make it into this post simply because I ran out of time; more to come.
Do you have a favourite oil blend that Skin should get to know? If you don't use oils, at least on your body, why not?