You'll Never Guess Which Beauty Oil Has Overtaken Coconut Oil
As much as we adore coconut oil, our love affair with the trendy superfood isn't a monogamous one. Known for it's ability to do just about everything ("removes makeup!" "nourishes skin!" "pays off your credit card!"), the truth is, it's not the best choice for all skin types. In fact, coconut oil is believed to be comedogenic, which means it is highly likely to clog pores. Many women swear by it's skin-boosting effects when used topically, but I know dozens who've had to make emergency trips to Priceline for a zit-zapper after using it on their face. So, in the interests of providing you with other, just as amazing, options, we've pulled together four oil alternatives you've probably never heard of. Some can be used both topically and internally for best results (looking at you flaxseed oil), and others are better suited as a topical cosmetic oil only. Whatever your skin type or issue, you're bound to find a new love below.
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Packed with protein and monounsaturated fatty acids (like oleic acid), avocado oil is beneficial for your skin when used both as a cooking oil and applied topically. While avo oil is good at hydrating (sufferers of dry skin and eczema swear by it), it's also used to keep breakouts and blackheads at bay. Go for an organic cold-pressed version for maximum nutritional benefit, and store in a cool place out of sunlight.
Flaxseed oil comes from the seeds of the flax plant and thanks to high levels of omega-3s is believed to have anti-inflammatory super powers when taken as a supplement. Rich in nourishing fatty acids and antioxidants, it's a common treatment for psoriasis and other chronic skin conditions, helping to plump skin from the inside out. You can also use it as a makeshift anti-ageing facial oil—split open a capsule and massage its contents over your face before bed.
Try: Solgar's Flaxseed Oil ($32)
Like all the oils in this lineup, hemp leaves a protective layer on skin when used topically, however you'll see maximum results if you also take it internally. Naturally rich in gamma-linolenic acid, a substance believed to help regulate hormone levels and associated hormonal breakouts, it's also packed with vitamins A and E (two well known skin-boosters), and contains trace amounts of beneficial minerals like magnesium and zinc. If you're prone to dryness, hemp oil is believed to improve blood flow to the skin, which can assist with healing, and it also thins the blood, helping to prevent varicose veins.
A great option for all skin types, almond oil (or sweet almond oil, as it is also known) is a great carrier oil for aromatherapy blends. Hypoallergenic, it's high in vitamin E and monounsaturated fatty acids, along with a number of other trace minerals. Externally, you can use it as makeup remover, an oil cleanser, a full body moisturiser, pre-shampoo hair treatment, or the base of a face or body scrub. Almond oil is also known for it's protective qualities, a study by the Departments of Pharmaceutics at Hamdard University in India found it to be useful in preventing UV damage.
Try: Now Foods Sweet Almond Oil ($4)