Oily Magic

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I want to be one of those sixty year olds who doesn’t look a day over fifty. When people start guessing my age I want to be grinning smugly, shaking my head gently as they increase their estimate. I want dramatic gasps of disbelief as I announce my actual age.

I firmly believe that the secret to looking young is healthy skin, and you can never start too soon; to this end, I began searching for something simple to put on my skin, gentle enough to put on a baby’s skin, while doing everything a Clinique product claims to do – this is where natural oils fit the bill.

First, let’s banish a few myths. Carrier oils do not contain fatty acids and are actually well absorbed by the skin. In fact, carrier oils such as jojoba and argan oil are a similar consistency to the sebum produced by your own skin, and actually help maintain a healthy balance of oil on your skin.

Another reason to convert to natural oils is their multitasking abilities. Carrier oils can be used to cleanse and moisturise your skin. In addition to this, they increase shine and thickness in your hair. Carrier oils can also be used to soothe chapped lips, strengthen nails and soften cuticles. These oils can even soothe eczema and psoriasis.

Essential oils are also surprisingly cheap: having spent just under £7 on a 230ml bottle of sweet almond oil from Holland & Barrett in July, I’m only two thirds of the way through it. With these oils, a few drops go a long way.

It’s easy to use a carrier oil as a cleanser:

  1. Open your pores by applying a hot flannel to your face.
  2. Massage a 2p-sized amount into your skin in small circular motions
  3. Use the flannel to remove the oil from your face, and rinse with cold water to finish.

Or, you can use the oil as a moisturiser: simply work a few drops of it into your face and neck.

I do have a word of warning however; these oils can cause a purging period of 2-6 weeks. The oils push the deeper impurities in your skin to the surface, causing breakouts. While this thought horrifies most, I will happily testify that the benefits far outweigh the hindrances. My skin has never felt softer, dry patches have vanished and breakouts have been reduced. Natural oils have become my magic saviour.

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