Winter Skin Solution: Natural Oil-Based Products

Using oil to clean your face? You’d have to be nuts.

But believe it or not, many of the most popular facial cleansing oils today are derived from just that: nuts.

Kathy Pappas, principal at Evanston’s Egea Spa, says that she has always used only the highest quality hazelnut oil in all of her facial massages since she opened the spa more than a decade ago.

“Because of its molecular structure, […] the skin can easily absorb it and [the oil] helps moisturize and retain moisture in the skin,” Pappas says. “Our facial massage includes the décolleté and is a wonderful treat for an area most often neglected.”

But do these oils actually clean your skin? 

Yes, according to Kari Gran, co-founder of Seattle-based natural skin care company Kari Gran, which incorporates sunflower, avocado, lavender and rose oil in its products. “Cleansing oils are great as they are designed to deep clean the skin while balancing the skin’s natural oil production,” she says. “I like to think of it as a modern-day version of the cold cream my grandmother swore by, which was a non-foaming cleanser. It doesn’t leave your face feeling tight and parched, either.”

Gran adds that a common misconception about cleansing oils is that they promote breakouts. In fact, she says, many conventional skin care products contain mineral oil and other petroleum-based products, which are the types of oil that actually clog pores, as they interfere with the body’s own natural moisturizing process. “Mineral oil molecules are large and sit on top of the skin, clogging pores and preventing skin from absorbing water and oxygen, and not allowing it to eliminate toxins.”

Plant oils, on the other hand, which are used in Gran’s facial cleanser and many others, are designed to clean, hydrate and nourish the skin.

“We love the fact that it feels like a little trip to the spa every evening,” she says.

Try these facial oils for smooth, radiant skin: 

Hair-care companies are also jumping on the natural oil bandwagon to promote healthy hair. Try: 

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