Appendix II – Choosing Oils

Tips for choosing and combining oils for face and body

Containers for Your Natural Oils

Use one oil for daytime and another for night, or combine different oils with unique properties to create a nighttime and/or daytime cream that’s kept in a small jar of mixed oils. With exception of butters and coconut oil, which appear to keep fine inside a plastic container, it’s best to keep your oils in a glass or ceramic jar. Most oils do not keep well inside a plastic container because plastics are made from oil. The plastic content does not interact well with the natural oils that you’re storing, causing it to spoil faster and altering its purity.  Furthermore, if you add an oil into a body whip, use a glass or ceramic container to store your whip. A plastic container may cause the oil to separate from your whip, creating a puddle of oil at the bottom of your container. Conversely, if you keep a container of coconut oil in the shower, it may be prudent to use a plastic container, one that is less likely to break if it slips off a soapy shelf.

Choosing Oils for Daytime vs. Nighttime

Look for oils to apply in the morning with the following benefits:

  • quick to absorb into your skin (so your face doesn’t look shiny or oily at work, you can dress quickly without leaving an oily residue on your clothing (if it’s used for the body) and/or you can apply your make-up soon after)
  • some examples of absorbent oils: Apricot, Argan, Baobab (on wet skin), Bueberry Seed, Brazil Nut, Camellia, Cherry Kernel, Cranberry Seed, Jojoba, Macadamia Nut, Marula, Red Raspberry, Tomato Seed and Watermelon Seed
  • You might also choose an oil with natural SPF, such as Raspberry Seed (contains natural SPF 28 sunscreen)
  • If you incorporate an oil that does not absorb quickly, and your face looks oily when it needs to look matte, leave it on as long as you can (giving your skin time to absorb) then lightly dab up the excess oil with a tissue

Your nighttime oil can be less absorbent because your skin will absorb the oils while you sleep. By morning your face should look smooth and matte. Nighttime oils offer  an opportunity to choose from other benefits that are unique to your skin type. For example, you might choose an oil that heals acne scars, soothes skin problems, has intense anti-aging properties or offers more intense moisture, in lieu of choosing an absorbent oil.

  • be wary of a higher comedogenic rating when you choose an oil that offers more intense moisture (for your face, especially) or you could end up breaking out in zits after a week or so
  • be mindful that some oils that contain a deep natural colour, like Seabuckthorn Berry, might stain your white pillow cases yellow

Other Tips to Keep in Mind

  • Keep an eye on the comedogenic rating for both day and night oils. The highest you might want to try for face is 2.
  • Different parts of the body react and absorb oils differently than the face.  For example, your bum cheeks, knees and elbows might handle a comedogenic rating up to 4 (such as straight coconut oil after a shower), while your chest and tummy area can only handle a rating of  2 or 3 before clogging pores and causing zits. The face may also be sensitive, or allergic to beeswax, while your tummy area does not adversely react to the beeswax, at all. By trying different oils and mixes, you’ll know what works and what doesn’t for your body.
  • If you break-out from an oil, don’t discard it! Try it on a different part of your body. Your feet may welcome an oil your face discarded; the oil may work beautifully to sooth cracked heals or soften your soles. Through trial and error, you may discover that an oil discarded elsewhere becomes a prized staple of your beauty routine.
  • If you buy a large container of oil, transfer some to a smaller jar and put the rest in the fridge or freezer to keep it fresh. Some oils, like coconut oil, will keep for a long time in your pantry.
  • A carrier oil “carries” oils deeper into your skin, such as essential oils (which require a carrier oil) or natural oils that are not carrier oils.
  • If you choose to use essential oils, or an oil that is not a carrier oil but has other needed benefits, always combine it (mix it) with a carrier oil.