OILS 101 - THE BASICS

Before jumping right into the wonderful world of oils, it might be best to have a heads up about oils. Here is an outline of a few basic tips to enhance your experience :




A LITTLE GOES A LONG WAY


Oils are concentrated versions of the ingredient itself, and are made to be used in small amounts. When using oils, its best to remember that a few drops is almost always enough. If you are uncertain about how to use oils, try starting with one drop, and adding more if needed. Try adding a drop or two to your moisturizer, or regular skincare regime. When using oils in the hair, its best to start at the ends, and work your way up. Refrain from putting oils directly on scalp, unless you are doing a treatment, and will be washing it out.





LISTEN TO YOUR SKIN


We all have different skin types, and we all react to products differently. Its a good idea to look for oils and ingredients which will enhance your natural skin type. Listen to your body, or your skin rather, because it can be telling you something. Many products on the market today are damaging with harsh chemicals, and they may be more harmful than helpful. Rashes, pimples, redness and itching are all signs of allergic reactions. Your skin is your biggest organ, and by listening, and paying attention to changes in your skin, you can determine if something is working for you, or not. 





TRY IT FOR TWO WEEKS


When trying new skincare products, its important to be persistent. Sometimes, you can see overnight results, but most of the time, your body will need time to adjust. Natural products will help your skin detox, and removing chemicals from your body will take time. Sometimes, your skin will need to get worse, before getting better. Its important to be persistent, and give yourself a minimum two-week trial period. After two weeks, decide for yourself if the product is working for you, or against you. 





WEAR LESS MAKEUP


Simple, when you get home, take off your makeup. Wearing excess makeup clogs pores, and can inhibit your skin from breathing. Its no secret - makeup is dirty. Bacteria loves it. Keeping your skin clear of makeup, especially during a breakout will help speed the healing process. Try to refrain from all-over-face makeup, and focus on eyes, brows, and under eyes, leaving the majority of your skin able to breathe. And, most importantly, wash your face before bed. Always.





GOOD OILS VS. BAD OILS


It is important to understand that there are both good and bad oils for your skin. Your skin naturally produces oil called sebum, to keep your skin hydrated and healthy. Sebum helps your skin to retain moisture, and protects from harmful environmental damages. Hormonal imbalances (such as stress, or puberty) can cause excess sebum production, the excess buildup clogs pores, creates acne, and leaves the skin feeling oily. Oils from organic sources can mimic the skin's sebum, while enhancing our nutrient intake. The skin is completely porous (and usually quite thirsty), so it absorbs what you put on it. 





BE MINDFUL OF YOUR PILLOWCASE


Its where you rest your head at night, the comfiest place in the world. But its also a place where bacteria can live, and can be transferred to your face.  We recommend using oil products before going to bed, so to avoid skin problems due to dirty pillowcases by changing them every few days (especially for acne-prone skin and oily skin types). Also, choose a natural fibre pillowcase such as cotton, linen, hemp or bamboo, organic if possible, so your skin can breathe against the pillow. I choose to use light colours so you can easily see if they need changing.





OILS ARE OILY


Sounds obvious enough, but until you've used oils, its hard to imagine exactly what you are dealing with. When using oils, use only a few drops at at time, and be sure to be 100% prepared to be oily. This means consider your clothing and accessories, your space and environment, and even your flooring (nothing like slippery bathroom tiles). Be prepared with extra towels, and clean up any spills, immediately.





PROTECT YOUR CLOTHING


Some oils can stain clothing, not all, but some do. We recommend wearing a cotton robe when applying oils. Preferably from an organic source, and made from terry cloth, or towel material. We recommend applying oils to the body after showering, and allowing about 5-10 minutes for your skin to absorb the oils, then continue to get dressed. You may want to pat down excess oils before putting on delicate, or expensive clothing. The terry cloth robe will help absorb excess oil. 




PROTECT FLOORING


Using oils can be slippery business. Be aware of your space and environment before applying body oils., and consider the floor on which you stand on while spraying your hair and body products containing oils. We recommend laying an old towel down on the floor, or standing on a cotton rag rug, something that can easily be replaced and washed. Also, consider putting cotton socks on immediately after putting oils on your feet. It holds in the moisture, and protects the flooring as well. 




REALISTIC RESULTS


Its important to remember that using oils, while extremely beneficial for your skin and your overall health, will not guarentee the results you may be looking for. It is not magic, it is simple vitamins and minerals. It cannot rewind time, but it can help reverse damages made over time. It may not completely remove wrinkles, but it will lessen the appearance, and it will, however, encourage new cell generation. The skin has the most moisture at birth, and it loses the moisture over the years. Keeping your skin hydrated is key to younger looking skin.




SIGNS ITS WORKING


How do you know oils are working for you? Its simple, take a look at the condition of your skin - is it dull, or glowy? Oils enhance the brightness of your skin, leaving it feeling soft with a dewy glow. Is your hair shiny with less breakage? Oils strengthen not only the strands of your hair, but the roots as well. One way to tell if oils are working for your hair, is to take a closer look at your ends, are they rough and split at the ends? One definite way to know if oils are working for you, is to take a close look at the strength of your nails. By using oils on a daily basis, your nails will benefit immensely, grow faster, and stronger.

© 2019 John Addison Organic Apothecary