If you're looking for an alternative to conventional moisturizers, you may want to try natural moisturizing oils. There are a variety of natural oils that can be used to moisturize the skin! Each oil works a little differently on the skin depending on that particular oils' properties.
In general, natural oils are an excellent too for preventing water loss from the skin and many have great anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antifungal and antimicrobial properties to protect the skin. Natural oils have also been touted for their anti-aging properties and are simple, often budget friendly alternatives to moisturizers and creams (although they work a bit differently).
Which Layer of Skin is Responsible for Water Retention?
The stratum corneum is the outermost layer of the skin and is responsible for water retention. Natural moisturizing oils can be used to help keep this layer of skin hydrated and healthy as they aid the body's natural oils in preventing water loss from this layer of the skin.
The body's natural moisturizing oils are produced by the sebaceous glands. These oil glands are located in the dermis, which is another layer of skin responsible for water retention and skin hydration. The oils produced by the sebaceous glands help to keep the skin hydrated and prevent it from drying out. However, sometimes these oils can be contaminated by environmental factors or can be produced excessively to compensate for moisture loss and can plug up hair follicles and pores; cause acne or inflammation.
When using natural oils on damp skin you help to trap moisture in the stratum corneum while leveraging the natural anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties of the oils to support healthy skin. The primary difference between natural oils and moisturizers is that oils are single ingredients and need to be used on damp skin to be effective, as they don't contain moisture of their own.
Basic Tips: How to Apply Oils
When shopping for oils always opt for organic options and once you bring your oils home try to keep them in room temperature or below cabinets to lengthen the life of the oil and the antioxidants within it.
There are a few different ways that you can use natural moisturizing oils to keep your skin hydrated. One way is to apply the oil directly to your skin. Another way is to add a few drops of oil to your bathwater. You can also add a few drops of oil to your lotion or cream. If you are adding oils to lotions or creams its best to start with a product that has very few ingredients and doesn't already contain the oil you are adding.
To use natural oils as a moisturizer, simply apply a small amount to clean, damp skin and massage in a circular motion. You can also add a few drops of certain essential oils to your natural oil moisturizer for a refreshing scent (always be cautious of allergic reactions and sensitive skin when using essential oils and consult and aromatherapy practitioner). Whichever method you choose, be sure to use a gentle, circular motion or gentle dapping motion when applying the oil to your skin. Avoid scrubbing or rubbing the skin too hard, as this can irritate the skin and cause further dryness.
Rules to Follow When Applying Natural Oils to Your Skin:
Apply Based on Your Skin’s Needs - do trial runs on less sensitive skin areas
Dab or Pat Oils Into Your Skin - be gentle when you apply the oils
A Couple Drops is All You Need - a little goes a long way, don't use too much and clog your pores!
Which Oils are Good for Your Skin and Hair?
To use coconut oil as a natural moisturizer, start by heating up a small amount of the oil in your hands. Then, apply it to your face and massage it in for a minute or two. Finally, rinse it off with warm water. You can also add a few drops of essential oil to the coconut oil before applying it to your skin for an extra boost of moisture.
To use olive oil as a natural moisturizer, pour a small amount into the palm of your hand and rub it into your skin in a circular motion. You can also add a few drops to your bathtub for a relaxing, moisturizing soak. For best results, use olive oil a few times a week or as needed.
Jojoba oil is a natural oil that can be used to moisturize the skin. It is similar to the sebum that is produced by the skin, so it can help to balance the skin's natural oils and is excellent for acne prone skin. Jojoba oil is non-greasy, lightweight and absorbed quickly by the skin.
Argan oil is a natural oil that is made from the kernels of the argan tree, which is native to Morocco. Argan oil is rich in Vitamin E and essential fatty acids, which makes it an excellent choice for moisturizing your skin.
Grapeseed oil is a natural moisturizer that can be used on the face and body. It is light and non-greasy, making it a good choice for people with oily or combination skin. Grapeseed oil can be found in most health food stores.
Sunflower Seed Oil
Sunflower seed oil is a natural moisturizing oil that can be used on your skin. It is high in linoleic acid, which is an essential fatty acid that helps to keep your skin hydrated. The oil is also rich in vitamin E, which is a powerful antioxidant that can help to protect your skin from damage. To use sunflower seed oil, simply apply it to your skin after cleansing. You can also add a few drops to your favorite moisturizer or face cream.
If you’re looking for a natural way to moisturize your skin, almond oil is a good option. You can find it at most health food stores. Almond oil is light and non-greasy, so it’s easily absorbed into the skin. It’s also packed with vitamin E, which is good for the skin. To use almond oil, just apply it to your skin after you shower or bathe. You can also add a few drops to your bathtub.
Rose Hip Seed Oil
Rose hip seed oil is a natural oil that comes from the rosehip seed and fruit and can be used to moisturize the skin. It is rich in fatty acids and antioxidants, which make it an excellent choice for dry or damaged skin. Rose hip oil is also a non-comedogenic oil so it works well generally for folks struggling with acne. To use, apply a few drops of rose hip seed oil to the skin and massage in gently. You can also add a few drops to your favorite lotion or cream to boost its moisturizing power.
Avocado oil is a natural oil that can be used to moisturize your skin. To use avocado oil, simply apply it to your skin after showering or bathing. When shopping for avocado oil look for cold-pressed and organic options to get the best product. Avocado oil is non-greasy and won’t clog pores, making it a great choice for all skin types.
Carrot oil is high in vitamin A and beta carotene, which makes it an excellent choice for natural moisturizing. It is also non-greasy and absorbs quickly, so it won't leave your skin feeling oily.
* Shea Butter (not an oil but worthy of mention)
Shea butter is a natural moisturizer that can be used on the face and body. It is a thick, creamy butter that is rich in nutrients and has a high fatty acid content, which makes it an excellent emollient.