There is an endless number of natural oils designed for body, hair and skin care. We know that they are extremely popular and often replace numerous cosmetics. We usually choose the ones recommended by a friend or ones that have attractive online reviews. However, we should follow other criteria while choosing an oil. Improperly chosen oil won’t bring any benefits for your hair or skin.
One of the basic criteria, which determines the properties of an oil, is the division into: drying, semi-drying and non-drying oils. This criterion informs about the amount of polyunsaturated fatty acids included in a particular oil.
Polyunsaturated fatty acids are omega-3 (alfa-linoleic acid) and omega-6 (linoleic and gamma-linoleic acids). These acids may be found in oils in various concentrations. The larger the amount of the acids in the oil, the better absorption of the oil. Consequently, they leave no greasy film on the skin surface. This is a useful piece of information if you have oily skin – you must choose oils which contain over 50% of polyunsaturated fatty acids. Dry skin needs smaller amount of the acids and also has to be protected outside. Therefore, ladies with dry skin type should pick oils that offer lower concentration of the above-mentioned acids. To sum up:
1. Drying oils (wild rose oil, linseed oil, wheat oil) contain more than 50% of polyunsaturated acids. They are quickly absorbed and leave no greasy layer on oily skin. Their light consistency makes them a good make-up primer.
2. Semi-drying oils contain 20%-50% of polyunsaturated acids. They include: sweet almond oil, apricot seed oil. These natural oils are suitable for normal and combination skin but may clog the pores in oily skin.
3. Non-drying oils contain less than 20% of polyunsaturated fatty acids. These are: avocado oil, peach seed oil olive oil, macadamia oil. Non-drying oils are recommended for dry and mature skin which has lost firmness but is free from blackheads.
This feature of oils is also vital in hair and scalp care. If your hair tends to get oily, you should rub drying or semi-drying oils in the scalp. Women with dry scalp should reach out for non-drying oils.