beauty buzz: all about beauty oils

When the rabid trend for beauty oils began, I donned my usual skeptical expression (one eyebrow cocked in a way that I like to think makes me look both shrewd and brilliant, but will probably just result in uneven wrinkles when I’m 40 80). Oil? On my face? On purpose? But little by little, I’ve weakened, and they’ve started creeping into my daily beauty routine. Finally, I looked around my bathroom yesterday and realized I’ve become an oil addict.

Why, you ask? The beauty of beauty oils is a multi-faceted thing. They feel luxurious to use, like I’m Elizabeth Taylor or something. On a practical note, they seem more soothing to my skin, more natural than applying creams and gels and tonics. It feels closer to what my skin would actually want, if it could ask. Also, they’re a relative bargain – a very little bit of oil goes a very long way.

With that, a few of the oils I can’t get enough of these days:

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Cleansing oils: Though it seems counter-intuitive, oil-based cleansers are my new secret weapon for removing makeup and general daily grime. Generally speaking, you put the oil on dry, then add water and massage – the good ones turn into a milky semi-lather that then rinses away beautifully. But instead of leaving your skin all dry and taut like your usual cleanser, it leaves this nice, warm hint of moisture. Not at all greasy, just a perfect starting point for your evening serum and moisturizer. My favorites? Bobbi Brown (supersize bottle on supersale here) and Eve Lom, and this really just comes down to texture and use. Bobbi’s is more down-to-earth and straightforward, whereas Eve’s is more of an involved, luxurious process. Both are excellent.

Hair oils: This is the oil you’re most likely to be already using. They work wonder for dry, tired locks…but only if used sparingly. A few drops too many, and you’ll go from sleek to stringy. Strictly speaking, my pick for this category – Agave Hair Oil – is actually oil combined with silicone. But honestly, I’m not sure I care what’s in it – this potion has absolutely transformed my hair. It’s the hair I had 10 years ago, before it got all old and grouchy. The trade-off? I no longer get that third day out of a style before I have to wash it. Still, totally and completely worth it.

Body oils: Remember what I was saying about feeling like Elizabeth Taylor? It’s never more true than when I’m daubing out a dash of some luxurious body oil – the exotic fragrance, the way the oil warms on contact with your skin, and soaks in so much more elegantly than a schmear of lotion. (These are best applied fresh from the shower, in case you were wondering.) Counter-intuitive though it seems, I find oils soak in more quickly than lotion, meaning less pacing the room, waiting for your legs to dry so you can put on your pants. I’m quite enamored with both Clarins Huile Tonic – rich and highly-moisturizing, with a strong, herbaceous fragrance – and REN’s Moroccan Rose Otto oil, which is lighter and more mild, and smells almost nothing like rose. Both have banished the Lubriderm from my bathroom…possibly forever.

I haven’t found a perfect facial oil yet, so the testing continues. But in the meantime, what do you think…have you already been trying beauty oils? And if not, have I convinced you?

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7 comments on “beauty buzz: all about beauty oils

  1. Vanessa

    My skin has been staging a bit of a revolt since moving back from Seattle to Denver last fall, which surprised me since I grew up here and never really noticed the dryness before, at least not in my face. During last week’s frigid temperatures I finally caved and started adding a couple of drops of argan oil to my night time moisturizer and the transformation has been hard to believe. My skin is soft, never dry-feeling, glowy and my acne has even calmed down. I’m a total convert – my skin hasn’t looked this good in 10 years!

  2. shoppingsmycardio Post author

    Vanessa: It is SO interesting that you would say that, because I was *thisclose* to telling you in this post that I’ve been doing the exact same thing, but I hesitated because my new aesthetician was telling me that she doesn’t think argan molecules are small enough to really sink into the skin, so she was suggesting vegan squalane oil. But I’m with you – that’s exactly what I do when my skin’s looking extra parched. Josie Maran makes my favorite.

  3. A

    I love cleansing oils – even MAC makes a good one. I put jojoba oil into my moisturizer when I’m feeling extra parched – I’m too cheap for argan, I guess. 🙂

  4. shoppingsmycardio Post author

    A: Ooh, I’ve heard good things about jojoba too – it’s supposed to be very close to your skin’s natural oils? I should try it out when my argan oil runs out, as I too am pretty cheap 😉

  5. Vanessa

    Ooh, that’s interesting, I’ll have to try that out when I run out of my current stuff. I love the moisturizing but I have to say I’ve been most excited about the acne reduction so far (something I thought I’d be done with by the end of my 20s but it turns out no). I still can’t quite wrap my head around oily face + oil product = fewer zits but I don’t really need to know WHY it works to know that is does.

  6. Meagan

    One of my last purchases as a corporate attorney making a great salary was to splurge and buy the Rodin face oil everyone has been raving about. I can’t say that my skin is radically different BUT: it takes much less to moisturize my face. I’ve not noticed dry skin since I started, and I now live in Portland, ME, where it is dry and cold. And I love the scent. (Sadly for him, my husband hates it.) I’m not sure it’s the sort of thing that I’ll spend $150 for now that I’m earning a fraction of what I once was, BUT I have to say I love it right now. The ritual of putting on the oil and smelling amazing before I go to bed is something I have quite come to enjoy.

  7. shoppingsmycardio Post author

    Meagan: Ooh, I’ve been wanting to try the Rodin oil, but my hubs is so picky about scents, I’ve passed it up every time. And there really is something about the ritual with beauty oils, isn’t there? So luxe and indulgent!

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