During this past fall/winter season many skin care companies have been promoting products consisting mainly of pure cold pressed oils in exotic blends. For example The Body Shop came out with a new product this fall: the Oil of Life Intensely Revitalizing Facial Oil. This product is a simple and pure liquid blend of cold pressed seed oils from several countries from across the globe. The three main seed oils featured in their product are the following; Rosehip oil, Black Cumin seed oil and Camellia oil. Although many of these seed oils have been used in skin care and for medicinal purposes for many years they are all relatively new to western skin care products and two are popular oils from eastern countries.
To begin with, black cumin seed oil comes from Egypt, or more specifically from the Egyptian Nile Valley. Black cumin seed oil has a rich history in the Egyptian culture and in other parts of the ancient world. One of the earliest testimonies of this oil can be found in the bible. In the book of Isaiah, the prophet Mohammad stated that the black seed was ” a remedy for every illness but death” (28: 25-27). Black cumin seed oil is said to be an immune booster, that helps cure indigestion and aides in liver problems while it builds bone marrow. It helps cure infections and colds and is very high in antioxidants. A bottle of black seed cumin oil was even found in the tomb of the famous Pharoh Tutankhamun(also known as King Tut). Black cumin seed oil was not just a powerful health elixir for the Egyptians, but also a powerful beauty aid that was used by two great Egyptian beauties: Queen Nefertiti and Cleopatra. While Queen Nefertiti was said to use the oil to strengthen her hair and nails Cleopatra was more famous for adding such oils to her baths and lotions. The oil is helpful in clearing up skin infections, while also soothing psoriasis, eczema and is also helpful for acne prone skin. What makes black cumin seed oil such a powerful healer and cure all is that it contains a large amount of antioxidants, Vitamins, minerals and fatty acids. As for fatty acids the oil contains: oleic acid, linoleic acid and linolenic acid or both Omega 3 and Omega 6 oils. It also contains protein, calcium, iron, copper, zinc, phosphorus, folic acid, B1. B2 and B3. Therefore, it is a great cold pressed oil to be added to any skin care oil blend as well as it being a beneficial oil to add to lotions or skin creams.
Camellia oil is produced in China and Japan. It is also sometimes called tea seed oil. It’s oil is extracted from the seeds of a tea seed evergreen tree(not to be confused with tea tree essential oil, produced in Australia).Tea seed oil trees are found in the foothills, forests and along the banks and streams in China. For many centuries the tea seed oil or Camellia oil was used as a cooking oil in Southern China. It made a tasty sweet seasoning and was said to help lower one’s LDL levels(the bad cholesterol levels) and believed also to reduce obesity. Although the oil was popular for cooking, the oil has also been found to have many skin care benefits including the fact that it is an emollient(moisturizing), an antioxidant(fights free radicals), anti-microbial(stops microbes or infections), it is anti-inflammatory(stops skin inflammation), and it also helps to suppress allergies. As for fatty acids it is high in both oleic acids and linoleic acids.
The third oil used in the Body Shops Oil of Life Intensely Revitalizing Facial Oil is rose hip seed oil. Rose hip seed oil has been used in western skin care products for more years than the others described above, but it’s benefits have become more well known in recent years, making it increasingly more popular since the millennium. Most rose hip seed oil is grown and produced in the South Andes, or more specifically in Chile. It is a little bit of a misconception that the oil is high in Vitamin C. In fact the fruit that is produced from the rose hip plant is very high in Vitamin C, but the oil itself has very little Vitamin C. However, rose hip oil is high in Vitamin A (mostly beta carotene) which contains tretinoin or trans relonic acid. This makes it effective as an anti-aging product that helps reduce photo-aging, sun spots, liver spots as well as discolouration of the skin from the sun. It is also helpful for reducing scars. Like other cold pressed oils it is a good source of several essential fatty acids. Rose hip oil contains both linoleic acid(Omega 6) and linoenic acid or omega 3. It is helpful for mature and aging skin as it can deeply moisturize and penetrate into the skin, and it helps heal both eczema and dermatitis.
From reading about these three seed oils above, one can see that combined together they would make a powerful skin healing and protecting product. There are some misconceptions about using pure and simple cold pressed oil blends for the skin. For example, many people would be right to assume that the cold pressed oils help to deeply hydrate and moisturize dry or aging skin. But some people might be misguided or misinformed to assume that adding a cold pressed oil product directly to the skin can cause the skin to break out or that people with acne or oily skin should not use the product as it could exaggerate their acne problem. This however is not the case with many cold pressed oils(although some are more suitable for oily skin than others). In the case of many of the oils mentioned above the cold pressed oil might actually help to dissolve the oil in one’s skin. This is particularly the case with the black cumin oil (and also true with jojoba oil and hemp seed oil). The other perhaps unexpected benefit for oily or dry skin alike with cold pressed oils is that many are anti microbial(which is particularly the case with Camellia oil) and it helps to stop or break down bacteria or microbes in the skin, which can stop and prevent breakouts.
Using a cold pressed oil to moisturize the skin is a little different than a regular cream moisturizer. A moisturizing cream or lotion often has some water and waxes mixed into it, so it is designed to absorb into the skin quicker and more or less sit on the top layer of the skin. While a cold pressed oil moisturizer will actually penetrate deeper and moisturize deeper into the layers of the skin. A little oil on the skin can also go a long way. The Body Shop is selling their Oil of Life Intensely Revitalizing Facial Oil product for $44 for a 30 ml bottle. The also have a gift set available that includes both the Oil of Life Revitalizing Facial Oil(30 ml.) and The Oils of Life Cream(50 ml.) for $65.00 As it seems to be a little bit of a new trend this season there are certainly other company’s coming out with their own blend of cold pressed oil products. For example L’Occitane recently featured a new cold pressed oil based skin care product called the “Divine Youth Oil”. It is part of their Immortelle line of anti-aging skin care products but also contains seven active and natural plant ingredients. The cost for this product is $106 for 30 ml. of the oil.
So if you are looking to go a little deeper with skin care moisturizing, or even if you are looking to deeply cleanse the skin with a non dehydrating skin care product the new cold pressed oil based moisturizers might be something you want to try this winter. The products work even better if they are massaged into the skin. If you are not sure how to give yourself an oil based facial massage both the Body Shop and L’Occitane offer You Tube videos on there websites. The Body Shop’s video can be found on it’s website and on You tube under the heading: How to use Facial Oils, the Body Shop Skin, and features Vanda Serrador and her dance facial workout. For L’Occitane look for: How to: Divine Oil.