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Av­o­cado oil

Rich in potas­sium, mag­ne­sium, linoleic acid (stud­ies have shown this acid re­pairs the skin’s bar­rier func­tion, and heals wounds by com­mu­ni­cat­ing with the skin’s im­mune sys­tem cells) and vi­ta­min D and E, av­o­cado oil has a nu­tri­ent-dense make-up. It seeps deep into the skin’s lay­ers where it aids col­la­gen pro­duc­tion and re­duces the ap­pear­ance of fine lines, age spots and scars.

Black­cur­rant oil

Rich in omega 3 fatty acids and an­tiox­i­dants such as vi­ta­min C and cryp­tox­an­thin, it has a wealth of anti-bacterial prop­er­ties, mak­ing it an ef­fec­tive treat­ment for skin con­di­tions such as acne, der­mati­tis, rosacea and couper­ose.

Co­conut oil

A study pub­lished in the In­ter­na­tional Jour­nal of Der­ma­tol­ogy showed that top­i­cal use of vir­gin co­conut oil de­creased wa­ter loss in the skin of peo­ple with atopic der­mati­tis – a con­di­tion where the skin’s mois­ture-lock­ing bar­rier isn’t work­ing prop­erly. It re­duced the sever­ity of the 117 suf­fer­ers’ con­di­tion by an av­er­age of 68 per cent. Even if you have com­par­a­tively healthy skin, the study proved the ex­tent of co­conut oil’s mois­ture-trap­ping prop­er­ties. Ad­di­tion­ally, it boasts an­tibac­te­rial ef­fects (so can aid the heal­ing of cuts or burns) and an­tiox­i­dant abil­i­ties.

Mead­ow­foam oil

The word “preser­va­tive” is enough to send shiv­ers down the spine of any eco purist. But not all preser­va­tives are cre­ated equal, as chem­i­cally stable mead­ow­foam oil proves. One of the hardi­est car­rier oils there is, it can ex­tend the shelf life of other oils by stop­ping them from ox­i­dis­ing when ex­posed to heat or air. For this rea­son, it’s fre­quently used as a nat­u­ral preser­va­tive in eco beauty prod­ucts – and it has its own an­tiox­i­dant and skin-soft­en­ing prop­er­ties to boot.

Not all preser­va­tives are cre­ated equal – as the chem­i­cally stable mead­ow­foam oil proves.

Chia seed oil

As well as be­ing in­cred­i­bly light­weight, chia seed oil has a 3:1 ra­tio of Omega 3 to Omega 6, mak­ing it in­tensely anti-in­flam­ma­tory. Omega 3 and Omega 6 are es­sen­tial fatty acids. While Omega 3 has strong anti-in­flam­ma­tory prop­er­ties, Omega 6 can have the op­po­site ef­fect. When bal­anced in the diet, the in­flam­ma­tory prop­er­ties of Omega 6 aren’t a prob­lem. How­ever, re­search has shown the Western diet can throw the bal­ance out to 10:1.

Kiwi seed oil

When the oil from the seeds in your ki­wifruit is ex­tracted, it’s one of the rich­est veg­e­tar­ian sources of linolenic acid. The oil is also crammed with Vi­ta­mins C and E (crit­i­cal in the skin’s an­tiox­i­dant de­fences) and it be­haves as a nat­u­ral skin softener.

Zinc ox­ide

A 1997 study pub­lished in the Jour­nal of the Amer­i­can Academy of Der­ma­tol­ogy found that zinc ox­ide sun­screen pro­vides broad spec­trum sun pro­tec­tion in a pho­to­stable man­ner – mean­ing it doesn’t al­ter in dan­ger­ous ways when ex­posed to UV rays (un­like some sun­screens).

Rose­hip oil

In 1988, two Kansas re­searchers em­barked on a two-year study in which rose­hip oil was ap­plied to 180 pa­tients with scars, as well as to a group suf­fer­ing from pre­ma­ture age­ing. The re­sults showed that con­tin­u­ous ap­pli­ca­tion of rose­hip oil sig­nif­i­cantly di­min­ished scars and wrin­kles and halted pre­ma­ture age­ing.

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