Plant-based oils are usually the foundation of natural skin care. They can hydrate, smooth, and soften skin and provide the base ingredient for many different products.
Our skin undergoes quite a few changes as we grow and get older. For women, pregnancy can cause even more skin changes and not all of them good. While some women get a pregnancy "glow," others deal with dry skin, rashes, or hormonal acne breakouts.
Using natural oils for your skin is a great way to go chemical-free with body care. There's a good oil for almost every skin type, and keeping your skin moisturized during pregnancy may even help prevent stretch marks.
Here's a closer look at the top naturals oils to use and what they can do for your skin.
Best Natural Oils for Skin
It's no surprise that coconut oil is showing up at the top of the list given how popular it is. It's full of fatty acids and vitamin E that can moisturize and calm skin. Coconut oil has also shown antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. (1)
While you might hear coconut oil recommended for everything and everybody, it's best for those with dry skin. It can also be helpful for normal skin types that dry out and get irritated during the winter. You can use as is to lock in moisture after a shower or combine with other oils.
Coconut oil is typically a good choice for those with sensitive skin and makes a great base for creams, salves, and balms.
Jojoba is a much lighter-weight oil than coconut. Technically, it's not an oil at all but a liquid plant wax. Jojoba is great for practically all skin types because it's makeup is very similar to the oil your skin naturally produces.
Jojoba oil is thought to balance out oil production in your skin and also has anti-inflammatory properties. (2) If you have acne and still want to try oils for your skin, jojoba would be one of the best to go with.
Argan is a popular oil extracted from the nuts of argan trees. It's great for your skin because of the omega-6 fatty acids, antioxidants, vitamin A, and vitamin E it contains. Argan is a good non-greasy moisturizer and has shown anti-aging effects. (3)
You can use argan oil to lock in moisture after a shower or to make a serum with essential oils. Because it tends to be more expensive, you may wish to reserve this one as a face oil only.
Flaxseed is more known for it's positive health benefits for your digestion, but the oil is also great for your skin. It's packed with omega-3 fatty acids and alpha-linoleic acid that can help to calm skin inflammation and improve elasticity. (4)
Though most of the oils in this list are good for sensitive skin, flaxseed oil is especially so. It's very gentle and can be used on its own or to make a calming cream for soothing skin.
Rosehip Seed Oil
Rosehips, which are the "fruit" of the rose plant, have tons of benefits for skin. The cold-pressed oil contains vitamin C as well as vitamin E and fatty acids for hydrating skin. Rosehip is thought to be one of the best oils to fight signs of aging and reduce the appearance of dark spots and scars. (5)
Rosehip seed oil is considered a "dry" oil, which means it will absorb easily into your skin without leaving behind a greasy feeling. You may wish to use this one especially for your face.
Sweet Almond Oil
Almond oil is a lightweight choice that can soften and soothe skin. It's full of vitamin E and easily absorbs into skin, making it a good choice for a face oil.
Sweet almond is also a popular carrier oil if you have essential oils at home. Combine it with something like lavender essential oil for a relaxing skin blend. Or soothe aching muscles with this salve containing almond and olive oils.
Olive oil is a rich and moisturizing oil that can be particularly helpful if you have dry skin. It's one of the best base ingredients for making soaps, salves, and other natural skincare products.
Olive oil is high in three different fatty acids (oleic, palmitic, and linoleic) that are known to be beneficial for skin. If you find that using it alone leaves your skin feeling greasy, try mixing it with other oils like jojoba or almond to create a blend.
Grapeseed oil is a by-product of the wine making process and is pressed from the seeds of grapes. It's a nice, lightweight oil that's high in vitamin E and contains antioxidants.
Grapeseed has shown an ability to improve the elasticity of your skin (something that can help prevent stretch marks) along with softening and moisturizing skin. (6) It feels light on the skin and should absorb easily.
Avocados make a great ingredient for DIY skin masks, and the oil also has lots of benefits for your skin. Avocado oil is thick, rich, and packed with antioxidants, fatty acids, beta carotene, and vitamins D and E.
This oil is very good if you have extremely dry or rough skin and can also be used to remove makeup. Avocado oil shouldn't leave a greasy feeling behind, but you can mix it with a lighter weight oil if it feel too thick for your skin.
Other Top Oils for Your Skin
Here are a few other plant-based oils that are too good not to mention.
Sunflower oil used to be thought of mainly for cooking, but its high content of linoleic acid and other fatty acids makes it great for hydrating and protecting skin. Evening primrose is not as well-known as many of these oils but has a high omega-6 content and a smooth feel that makes it a great face oil.
Pomegranate seed oil contains a unique fatty acid known as punicic acid that is proving to have incredible skin and health benefits. (7) Marula oil comes from the nut of an African fruit and contains an especially high amount of antioxidants that can help fight signs of aging.
Finding the Best Oils for Your Skin
With all the choices out there, you can likely find a natural oil that your skin will love. Depending on your skin type, you can choose between richer or more lightweight oils, each with their own benefits.
You can also enjoy the benefits of plant-based oils by going with natural skincare options that are made with oils on this list. Either way, using oils in your skincare is a natural way to nourish, protect, and make your skin happy!