nature’s moisturizers

i am often asked in massage sessions for my opinion regarding the best moisturizers and or products for the skin. my answer is simple: oil. yes, oil! as in sesame oil, olive oil, coconut oil, etc…..even for the face! my reasoning follows: the skin can and will absorb into the body most things that you put on it, so it makes sense that what you are putting on your skin not only adds moisture and emolience, but does not in turn put chemicals into your system, right? oil is also often a more cost-effective alternative to store-bought moisturizers. with the summer winding down, i would like to give you a peek into the benefits of oils for the skin to perhaps give you an alternative for taking care of that summer-weary skin!

almond oil is a good oil for all skin types. it is quite lubricating and stays on the skin for awhile, making it a good consideration for drier climates as well as for the winter months.
coconut oil is a heavier oil and is solid at room temperature (just scoop it into your hands to melt!). this oil is not only a great emollient for skin, but a wonderful oil for hair treatments as well.
olive oil is another great oil for both skin and hair. choose extra virgin olive oil if you choose to use it. this is a great facial oil for all skin types.
sesame oil (make sure it is not the toasted kind!) is yet another good choice for for all skin types, and being a lighter oil, is great for facial use.
jojoba oil is another oil i am asked about often. jojoba oil has many therapeutic properties and it chemically similar to sebum, the oil the body secrets. i find jojoba oil to have a waxier consistency after being put on the skin by itself, however, so i usually mix it with another of the above oils (about 10% jojoba, 90% other) for use.

keep in mind that not all oils are created equal, particularly with regard to how they are processed. whenever possible, look for cold pressed, organic oils. this essentially means the properties of the oils have not been altered by high temperature, and that the exposure of the oils to chemicals is minimal.
i find that massaging your oil of choice into the body before heading into the shower, and then standing in warm water for about 10 minutes works well. pat your skin dry with a towel, and enjoy how lovely your skin feels! (please note that your shower will be extremely slippery afterwards, so take care to clean it out or warn other unsuspecting shower users!)

oil info source: aromatherapy: essential oils for vibrant health and beauty by roberta wilson avery. this is also a great source for information on a host of essential oils and their various uses-one of my favorites!!

2 thoughts on “nature’s moisturizers

  1. Anonymous

    August 28, 2009 at 10:32pm

    super useful info. thanks, brooke! any recommendations on where to get cold-pressed, organic coconut oil?

  2. brooke hafner

    September 2, 2009 at 6:21pm

    Wilderness Family Naturals and Nutiva both offer good products. You will probably have luck browsing the aisles of your local natural food store as well. Be sure to look in the body products section as well as the cooking oil section, as many stores stock the oils mentioned in my post as skin care products!

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