Oils for the skin. Are they important? How do they work and how to divide them?

For the proper functioning of the skin, the hydrolipid barrier is extremely important. To prevent damage, you must use appropriate protective cosmetics. Some of them may be oils. How do you choose the best and the most effective ones?

Oils in skin care 

A healthy skin has an unimpaired hydro-lipid layer. The loss of water is prevented by two types of this layer: external and internal (located in the stratum corneum). Their task is also to protect the skin against harmful external factors and microorganisms. For this protection to be effective, the outer layer must be covered with the appropriate cosmetic.

Types of oils

They can be divided into several groups. Due to the method of extraction, we can distinguish:

  • cold-pressed and hot pressed oils – the first ones contain a lot more nutrients than the ones obtained under the influence of high temperature;
  • refined and unrefined – they differ in regard to the method of purification. Unrefined oils are not subjected to additional purification. Thanks to this, they retain many beneficial ingredients. Unfortunately, they are not recommended for allergy sufferers, they are not very resistant to temperature and cannot be heated. Refined oils lose vitamins and microelements, smell and colour during the purification processes.

There is also a division of oils due to the content of polyunsaturated fatty acids (EFA). These are the omega 3 (alpha-linolenic) and omega 6 (linolenic and gamma-linolenic) acids. We can distinguish:

  • drying oils – they contain more than 50% fatty acids; they include wild rose oil, hemp oil, borage oil, wheat germ oil, flaxseed oil, jojoba oil, tamanu oil. Drying oils are quickly absorbed and do not leave a sticky layer on the skin. They are suitable as a makeup primer. They are great for oily skin, with wrinkles or with blackheads;
  • semi-drying oils – they comprise from 20% to 50% of fatty acids. They are suitable for combination, dehydrated skin that does not have the tendency to clog. Semi-dry oils are: sweet almond oil, apricot kernel oil or plum seed oil;
  • non-drying oils – they include less than 20% of fatty acids. They are mostly recommended for dry, mature skin with no tendency to blackhead formation. Non-dry oils include: peach seed oil, macadamia oil, olive oil, rice oil.

How to use and store oils?

Always remember to buy oils in dark packaging with a convenient applicator. Store them in a dry, dark place in the fridge. During the application, use a few drops of oil and massage them thoroughly into your skin. Remember that the drying oils have the shortest expiration dates and the non-drying oils – the longest (like refined oils). For better skin care effects, you can combine oils with hyaluronic acid or a cream matched to the particular skin type.

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