However, deciphering which oils to use for which skin type can be confusing. Aimee Masi of the Loyola Center for Aesthetics works with her patients to tailor a beauty regimen that is appropriate for their skin. She recommends both common and essential oils that repair the skin and restore the body without clogging pores.
“Oils have been used for centuries for their beauty and healing properties,” Masi said. “There are numerous advantages to incorporating oils into a skin-care and health regimen.”
Masi recommends that patients consult a medical aesthetician to determine which oil-based products are beneficial for their skin type or health condition. She also provides the following general advice on which oils can be harmful or helpful for various conditions:
Acne and oily skin – Coconut oil is best for oily skin and acne because it is high in lauric acid and has antibacterial and antimicrobial components. However, overuse with normal skin can dry out the face and body.
Breastfeeding – Almond oil, cocoa butter and shea butter are beneficial for women who are breastfeeding because they are rich and water-repellent, repairing dry, chapped and cracked skin.
Bruising and scars – Shea butter is an effective option for bruising and scarring because it aids in cell and capillary circulation. This option diminishes wrinkles and also works well as a hair and scalp conditioner due to its extreme moisturizing effects.
Cellulite – Grapeseed and avocado oils mixed with sea salt and a few drops of grapefruit essential oil can combat cellulite. This combination is high in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. It also is hypoallergenic and works on sensitive and oily skin.
Clogged pores – Jojoba oil dissolves clogged pores and mimics collagen. It also restores natural pH balance in the skin, which strengthens the body’s largest organ.
Eczema – Avocado oil accelerates the healing of chronic eczema and other skin disorders. It is one of the most moisturizing oils, making it beneficial for mature, dry skin.
Fine lines and wrinkles – Cocoa butter is helpful in moisturizing aging skin because it smoothes and softens the skin. This oil also works well for skin irritations and has slight sun protection properties.
Infant skin care – Olive oil and grapeseed oil work well for all skin types, especially young and sensitive skin. These oils gently moisturize the skin and are effective in treating cradle cap in infants.
Premenstrual syndrome – Evening primrose oil mixed with clary sage oil can alleviate PMS symptoms when applied to the skin. Clary sage oil also can be mixed with a base oil, such as primrose, and can be used as an antidepressant, a sedative and an aphrodisiac. These oils should not be used in pregnant women because they can cause contractions.
Rosacea – Hazelnut oil is high in essential fatty acids and vitamin E, which strengthens capillaries and reduces the redness associated with this condition. Evening primrose oil also works well for rosacea because it calms redness and irritation while killing bacteria on the skin surface.
Stretch marks – Cocoa butter, shea butter and wheat germ oil make the skin more firm, elastic and resistant to stretch marks. These oils also have healing properties, which promote the repair of stretch marks.
Sun-damaged skin – Grapeseed oil repairs damaged cells and protects the skin from free radicals, which cause premature aging.
Certain oils may not be appropriate for pregnant women because they can thin the blood or cause cramping and contractions. Masi recommends that expectant mothers consult with their doctor before starting a new skin-care regimen to know which oils to avoid.
Complementary skin analyses and consultations are available at the Loyola Center for Aesthetics. This facility combines the expertise and resources of a major academic medical center with the conveniences and comfort of an outpatient setting. Loyola offers a full range of services from anti-aging procedures, laser-hair removal and eyelash-enhancing treatments to cosmetic facial and body surgeries. For more information, call (888) LUHS-888, (888-584-7888) or visit www.loyolamedicine.org.
Based in the western suburbs of Chicago, Loyola University Health System is a quaternary care system with a 61-acre main medical center campus, the 36-acre Gottlieb Memorial Hospital campus and 22 primary and specialty care facilities in Cook, Will and DuPage counties. The medical center campus is conveniently located in Maywood, 13 miles west of the Chicago Loop and 8 miles east of Oak Brook, Ill. The heart of the medical center campus, Loyola Hospital, is a 569-licensed-bed facility. It houses a Level 1 Trauma Center, a Burn Center and the Ronald McDonald® Children’s Hospital of Loyola University Medical Center. Also on campus are the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, Loyola Outpatient Center, Center for Heart & Vascular Medicine and Loyola Oral Health Center as well as the LUC Stritch School of Medicine, the LUC Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing and the Loyola Center for Fitness. Loyola’s Gottlieb Memorial Hospital campus in Melrose Park includes the 264-bed community hospital, the Gottlieb Center for Fitness and the Marjorie G. Weinberg Cancer Care Center.