Some people read romance novels. We read Beauty Huile blog. Written by Nav Kaur, a.k.a. N.K., Beauty Huile is the ultimate resource on oils in skincare. Her product reviews are expertly crafted and written like a juicy, steamy romance novel. A love story for oils, truly. Her insights are unparalleled. By day, N.K. works in strategic marketing and communications and by night, serves as feature beauty writer for a national publication in addition to blogging at Beauty Huile. Lucky for us, N.K. spared some time to share her knowledge here on Product Girl. We suggest you bookmark this and then head directly to Beauty Huile to read her salacious reviews!
PG: There’s a fear factor associated with using oil. What’s your advice for people who aren’t sure where to start?
NK: Yes, most women assume if it’s an oil, it’ll cause skin to break out. It’s a common misconception that face oils will exacerbate acenic conditions. But, really, it’s the exact opposite. Stripping away the oil sends your skin into overdrive, producing more of the spot-inducing shine. By using nutrient-rich oils on oily skin, you send it a message that there is sufficient hydration, so the sebaceous glands can relax and stop the cycle of overproducing oil. Acne-prone skin responds well to oils that boast essential fatty acids or are vitamin-rich. Did you know that acneic skin has naturally low levels of fatty acids or oils? For these skin types, they should be seeking out oils with a spiky freshness from omega-3 and omega-6 to make up for that deficiency.
Demonizing the ‘oil’ has long been a marketing myth, perpetuated in the media from the original intent of trying to educate consumers of crudely produced mineral oil. Since the 90s, we have seen the launch of some highly purified, pharmaceutical grade qualities of oils. And, some of today’s face and body oils are actually certified USDA, which is the strictest of organic standards because it is really a food standard. It actually requires 95% organic content to use the logo on the packaging and prevents synthetic preservatives from sneaking in and any chemical processing of those wholesome ingredients. Good enough to eat – try it!
PG: What are the benefits to using oil on our faces and body?
NK: Most women opt for face and body lotions, but don’t realize the true, effective ingredients are often found in least concentrations, usually lagging far behind the customary fluff of chemicals. A face and body oil will deliver highly desired plushy antioxidants, fatty acids, vitamins and minerals directly into skin without any potentially irritating chemical offenders getting in the way. Hailing from ancient cultures 5,000 years ago, the use of specific essential oils in precise ways has been well studied and thoroughly documented in the treatment of many skin conditions. Most oils are small in molecular size. Because of their small size, their volatility and lipid-liking characteristics, essential oils readily penetrate the skin to reach and affect the deeper layers of the skin. An interesting sci-fi fact: Rose Oil has the highest frequency (320 Hertz) of all the essential oils, which means its fragrant molecules, on inhalation or application, are able to quickly penetrate and travel the infinitesimal pathways of the body, quickly energizing skin and bringing balance, harmony and beauty to the body.
Some benefits of using oils include:
- Deep, Deep Moisture: For skin to maintain its suppleness, firmness and elasticity, it simply must be well-hydrated whenever possible. Face and body oils can help retain your skin’s natural moisture by locking it in. And, with cherry-picked, punchy essentials, you can target normal, oily, mature, or severely dry skins depending on the choice of oil.
- Anti-Aging Effects: As we get older, much to our dismay, the skin loses its ability to retain firmness and elasticity. Cell turnover slows to a halt and age spots may even pop up unexpectedly. Certain oils contain specialty blends containing pure, organic antioxidants (these are necessary to fight the free radicals that cause damage on the cellular level) to address your anti-aging and anti-pigmentation concerns help with bringing back luminescence lost over time.
- Natural Sun Protection: According to the National Institute on Aging, exposure to the sun contributes to several skin conditions, such as reddening, dryness, freckling, age spots, skin tags and breakdown of the elasticity of the skin. Many oils contain extraordinary high amounts of Vitamins A & E and Omegas, which help counteract the damage done by environmental aggressors by repairing free radical damage and regenerate happy, healthy skin cells.
PG: Labels can be a mystery. When it comes to oils, what ingredients should we be looking for? And on the flip, what should we be watching out for?
NK: Seek out face and body oils free from chemicals such as glycols, parabens, parrafins, petrolatum, phthalates, propylene glycol, silicones and synthetic dyes. Basically, any chemical sounding ingredient is your hint you’ve got a filler. But, also learn to research out some names, which is just oils under a different name. For example, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride is simply another way to list Fractionated Coconut Oil, which is highly refined and brings stability to the product, And, Linalool is really a naturally occurring fragrance substance produced by a wide variety of plants such as mint, cinnamon, citrus fruits and birch trees.
PG: When did you first start using oils? What product spurred your passion?
NK: I was working for Chanel in the 90s, when they first launched a line of Dry Oil Mists for each of their capsule fragrances. When I took home my supersized bottle of Coco Chanel Dry Oil Mist, I couldn’t believe how super smooth my legs felt after shaving! And, the scent? Forget about it – the spicy oriental lacings of Bulgarian Rose, Jasmine and Vanilla were seductive yet sweet. I came back to oils about a year ago when I covered Tammy Fender’s Bulgarian Lavender Body Oil in a feature story I wrote up in Upscale Magazine. Been hooked since then.
PG: Do you use lotion? Or are you all oils, all the time?
NK: I do use feathery oils and richer balms (which are oil-based) as the right ones do work nicely under sunscreens and mattifying primers when I need to primp up for work or play with foundation and powder.
PG: Tell us a few of your favorite products. What are you loving right now?
NK: Beauty wise, I’m so, so impressed with:
- Make Up Forever HD Invisible Cover Foundation: it leaves such the right about of sheen to highlight my cheeks
- Giorgio Armani Maestro Shadows: the muted luster & smooth finish when used wet lasts through all night without creasing
- Estée Lauder Signature 5-Tone Shimmer Powder for Eyes, Cheeks, Face: gives me a flushed look without the overt 80s streaked out glimmer
- In Fiore Veloutee: a wickedly delicious balm, which uses carrot seed, black currant, olive fruit and resveratol to plump up my pucker
- Black Tea-sing Rose Bud Body Oil: a late night [wink, wink] 100% organic playfully femme treatment, which is infused with pink rose buds for weeks
- Artist Brushes from Michael’s: since my fave eyeliner brush was discontinued by Chanel, I haven’t been able to find a suitable replacement to perfect my customary cat eye. Until I popped into Michael’s, where I snagged a $2.50 (after a coupon) impeccably crafted brush to use as a liner. Department store varieties now seem kind of second rate in quality.