The good guys
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.