Since going all-natural with my beauty routine, I’ve had to learn to love oil. This wasn’t easy, considering that I’ve been programmed like most women to believe that oil and greasiness is a bad thing. Stores carry products specially designed for oily skin and greasy hair, and are advertised as being non-greasy. Oil may seem plain by comparison, but it’s tremendously versatile and effective, not to mention cheaper and healthier. Whether you try sweet almond, jojoba, olive, coconut, grapeseed, or sesame oils, you’ll find that it does the following jobs really well.
1) Makeup remover: Wipe any of the above oils across your eye to dissolve makeup, or mix up a 1:1:1 ratio of castor oil, light olive oil, and sunflower/safflower oil for a homemade remover. You’ll avoid the many hazardous chemicals that are added to commercial makeup removers and should never be near the sensitive eye region.
2) Face washing: I’m a recent convert to the oil cleansing method, based on the idea that ‘good’ oil dissolves ‘bad’ oil without stripping the face of its natural oils. Spread 1 tbsp. grapeseed or jojoba oil all over your face. Wipe off with a hot steaming washcloth. Your face will feel clean, and you won’t have that taut dryness that comes with commercial facial cleansers.
3) Facial moisturizer: Rub in a small amount of coconut oil at the beginning of the day and your skin will eat it up. This might feel greasier than you’re used to, but it gets absorbed quickly.
4) Body moisturizer: Regular lotion is just oil emulsified in water, with some parabens, alcohol, and chemical emulsifiers added. Rub sweet almond oil all over your body after a shower, or soften some cocoa butter in the microwave (it smells like chocolate).
5) Body exfoliant: Mix 1 cup sweet almond oil with 1 cup salt (Epsom salts, fine or coarse sea salt, etc.). Add a few drops of essential oil. After a shower, rub some of it over your body for a stimulating exfoliation.
6) Scent: Perfume is full of scary phthalates and synthetic chemicals. (According to Gillian Deacon’s book There’s Lead in Your Lipstick, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences has grouped fragrances with insecticides, heavy metals, and solvents as categories of chemicals that should be given high priority for neurotoxicity testing.) Instead, mix sweet almond oil with a few drops of essential oil and rub all over your skin for a signature scent.
7) Conditioner: This is a good occasional treatment for soft, revitalized hair. Rub coconut oil or hot olive oil into hair and let it soak in, then shampoo thoroughly.
Recipes from There’s Lead in Your Lipstick by Gillian Deacon (Penguin Canada, 2011)