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All-Natural Skincare: Balance Skin Biome with Oil
Skin health is more than just a pretty face. Your skin is a clear indicator of how your gut biome is doing. Unfortunately, many of us look at skincare as a quick fix, turning to a litany of cosmetic products to mask our so-called imperfections. In the end, we dish out $3,756 every year on products laden with additives that compromise our skin health and disrupt our gut biome 1. That’s why an all-natural skincare regimen with plant-based oils might be the beauty routine you need.
Why All-Natural Skincare is Important
We buy cosmetics products to enhance our natural beauty. So, why do we end up covering up our natural glow? Sadly, a good portion of us don’t realize that our skincare products are causing more harm than good. Many mass-produced cosmetic items contain synthetic and potentially toxic ingredients.
Names to look out for on cosmetic labels include:
- Artificial Colors (D&C Red, D&C Yellow, etc.)
- Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) / Sodium laureth sulfate (SLES)
These are just some of the many FDA-approved items that can irritate your skin or worse. For example, many brands use SLS in foaming cleansers, including Dove, Pantene, and L’Oreal.
One meta-analysis of topical SLS use on mammals found,
“In absorption, metabolism, and excretion studies, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate had a degenerative effect on the cell membranes because of its protein denaturing properties. Low levels of skin penetration may occur at high use concentration 2.”– SAGE Journals
Meanwhile, products containing triclosan can open up another world of issues for beauty product users. A meta-analysis on this antifungal additive found that it actually makes some bacteria antibiotic-resistant 3. So, while triclosan is taking care of day-to-day pathogens, it’s also setting your system up for a bigger battle down the road.
Why Use Oils in All-Natural Skincare
It might sound counterproductive, but a wonderful alternative to these harsh cosmetic items is oil. Our ancestors used plant-based oils in all-natural skincare regimens for centuries.
It wasn’t until the Industrial Revolution and the growth of mass production that these harmful additives started creeping into our beauty routines.
Plant-based oils have amazing benefits for all-natural skincare followers. They are rich in healthy fats and Vitamin E. These nutrients are essential in repairing your skin barrier, rejuvenating skin cells, and ultimately, improving your gut health 4.
Furthermore, these oils act as a natural sealant. They help lock in moisture so that your skin doesn’t dry out. In addition, it also keeps pathogenic bacteria at the surface. That way, they can’t penetrate the skin and interrupt your gut biome.
How to Use Oils for All-Natural Skincare
Just like gut health, all-natural skincare isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach. Everyone’s skin is different. For instance, those with acne might not find adding plant-based oils to their all-natural skincare routine a success. That’s because these oils may trap in the irritants causing the breakout.
For people with dry skin, wrinkles, and conditions like eczema, oils can be helpful. They may bring balance back to the skin biome. Via the gut-skin-axis, your gut biome may feel less stressed. In turn, your body won’t trigger immune responses that may cause inflammation under the skin barrier.
To apply, place a drop of oil on your fingertips. Slowly work the oil into the skin. A little goes a long way, so don’t go overboard with the oil. Otherwise, you might look like a shiny mess.
Further enhance your all-natural skincare regimen by adding essential oils to the mix. Since essential oils are highly concentrated, they are potential skin irritants.
By mixing them with fattier oils, such as the ones on this list, your skin can handle the abrasiveness of the essential oils. Therefore, you can reap the benefits of essential oils without irritating your skin.
Which Oils are Best for All-Natural Skincare?
Between needs and individual tastes, one’s favorite oil might not be another’s. The fun part about adopting an all-natural skincare routine is to find which products work best for you. Here are some plant-based oils that may benefit your all-natural skincare regimen.
Coconut oil is an all-natural skincare powerhouse. 65% of coconut oil is comprised of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs).
You can find in coconut oil:
- Lauric Acid
- Myristic Acid
- Palmitic Acid
- Capric Acid
- Oleic Acid
- Linoleic Acid
- Stearic Acid
MCTs are efficient sources of healthy fats that our body uses to help repair damage caused by inflammation and pathogens. In addition, MCTs exhibit strong antifungal properties. One study found that these all-natural skincare sources reduce Candida overgrowth by 25% 5.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Wonder why Mediterranean people have such fair, healthy skin? A lot of these all-natural skincare benefits are thanks to their heavy consumption of olive oil.
Olive oil can accelerate the healing time of wounds. For one, it improves the appearance. However, a faster recovery also prevents the growth of opportunistic bacteria that may infiltrate and compromise the gut biome. Many of these all-natural skincare benefits are due to this fruit oil’s high level of oleuropein.
A study on wound care and oleuropein found,
“Oleuropein not only reduced cell infiltration in the wound site on days 3 and 7 post incision, but also a significant increase in collagen fiber deposition and more advanced re- epithelialization were observed in the experimental group as compared to the control group 6.”– Cell
As mentioned, olive oil increased collagen production. Many people inject this substance into their skin. Adding olive oil to your all-natural skin care regimen can be a safer and more cost-effective way to promote skin elasticity.
Grapeseed oil is the unsung hero of all-natural skincare. This is a very lightweight oil. It doesn’t feel as thick as olive oil or coconut oil. Therefore, a very little grapeseed oil will do the trick.
A meta-analysis on this burgeoning all-natural skincare staple stated,
“Grape seed oil has beneficial properties for health that are mainly detected by in vitro studies, such as anti-inflammatory, cardioprotective, antimicrobial, and anticancer properties, and may interact with cellular and molecular pathways 7. “– Nutr Metab Insights.
Scientists credit the following nutrients for these all-natural skincare benefits:
- Linolenic Acid
- Jojoba Oil
One of the most expensive oils for all-natural skincare, jojoba oil is worth the price. Believe it or not, putting this oil on your face can actually reduce the amount of oil your body produces. Therefore, once it gets absorbed into the skin, jojoba oil can help balance out your oil glands.
That’s because jojoba oil has a similar consistency to our natural sebum. Sebum is yellowish, viscous liquids our glands produce to bring moisture to our hair and skin. It’s also what gives our skin its unwanted shine.
Jojoba oil is also one of the few oils that might be beneficial for people with acne. That’s because this oil is rich in antioxidants that help repair skin cells and fight off free radical growth.
An analysis of plant-based oils and skincare found,
“The high content of wax esters makes jojoba oil a good repair option for dermatoses with altered skin barriers, such as seborrheic dermatitis, eczematous dermatitis, AD, and acne 8.”– Int J Mol Sci
The anti-inflammatory benefits of jojoba oil will help soothe the skin. As a result, your immune system can take a breather. In turn, you may actually be less susceptible to catching an illness, such as the cold.
Sunflower Seed Oil
If you’re looking to cut down on wrinkles, look no further than sunflower seed oil. This oil has an abundance of Vitamin E. Therefore, it’s packed with the minerals necessary to fight oxidative damage caused by ultraviolet rays.
Of the all-natural skincare oils, sunflower seed is the least likely to clog your pores. It goes on lightly and is easily absorbed by your skin. That’s what makes this potent anti-inflammatory so popular for people with psoriasis and rosacea 9.
All-Natural Skincare and ProbioticsWhile oils go the distance in improving your superficial beauty, your insides might need a little help, too. After all, the microbes outside of your skin are in constant contact with your stomach bacteria. This open line of communication is known as the gut-skin-axis.
- 1 Swns. “Vanity Costs American Women Nearly a Quarter of a Million Dollars.” New York Post, New York Post, 6 July 2017, nypost.com/2017/07/06/vanity-costs-american-women-nearly-a-quarter-of-a-million-dollars/.
- 2 7 Final Report on the Safety Assessment of Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate. (1983). Journal of the American College of Toxicology, 2(7), 127–181. https://doi.org/10.3109/10915818309142005.3 Yazdankhah, Siamak P, et al. “Triclosan and Antimicrobial Resistance in Bacteria: an Overview.” Microbial Drug Resistance (Larchmont, N.Y.), U.S. National Library of Medicine, 2006, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16922622.
- 4 Keen, M. A., & Hassan, I. (2016). Vitamin E in dermatology. Indian dermatology online journal, 7(4), 311–315. doi:10.4103/2229-5178.185494.
- 5 Ogbolu, D O, et al. “In Vitro Antimicrobial Properties of Coconut Oil on Candida Species in Ibadan, Nigeria.” Journal of Medicinal Food, U.S. National Library of Medicine, June 2007, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17651080.
- 6 Mehraein, F., Sarbishegi, M., & Aslani, A. (2014). Evaluation of effect of oleuropein on skin wound healing in aged male BALB/c mice. Cell journal, 16(1), 25–30.
- 7 Garavaglia, J., Markoski, M. M., Oliveira, A., & Marcadenti, A. (2016). Grape Seed Oil Compounds: Biological and Chemical Actions for Health. Nutrition and metabolic insights, 9, 59–64. doi:10.4137/NMI.S32910.
- 8 Lin, T. K., Zhong, L., & Santiago, J. L. (2017). Anti-Inflammatory and Skin Barrier Repair Effects of Topical Application of Some Plant Oils. International journal of molecular sciences, 19(1), 70. doi:10.3390/ijms19010070.
- 9 Levy, Jillian. “Rosacea Treatment: 6 Natural Remedies to Use .” Dr. Axe, 15 Feb. 2018, draxe.com/health/rosacea-treatment/.