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Thursday, June 19, 2014

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9 Great Oils and How To Use Them

HealthyAeon - 9:48 AM

by Katie Dalebout
MindBodyGreen

Oils don’t get enough credit for all the benefits they provide. How many items can be useful both internally and externally, in the kitchen and in the bathroom, in your salad and in your hair? Oils are magical and the these oils are going to blow your mind with their many different uses. While all these oils are stars, they have very specific roles making some better than others depending how you use them.

As with diet and exercise, some oils will work for you and your skin type better than others, so use this list as inspiration and play around with finding the best oils for your unique body, skin type, hair, tastes, and needs. Here are the top nine oils and what to use them for!

1. Hemp Oil


In my opinion, hemp oil is the best oil for your skin, especially if it's acne prone. I use it as my face wash every evening. It not only removes makeup, but deep cleans the skin. It’s dark green color is awesome for combating redness and scarring. Organic hemp seed oil as a cleanser and moisturizer works so well because it doesn't clog your pores. Hemp oil is 57% linoleic acid and adding linoleic acid to your skin (and to our diet) creates softer and smoother oil glands, so oil doesn’t get clogged.

Hemp oil also works wonders when added to your diet. It's awesome in salad dressings (just mix with apple cider vinegar, sea salt, oregano and garlic) or add to your smoothies. The only downside of this oil is that is must be kept in the fridge to stay fresh making it a bit difficult to travel with, but you can find it in any health food store once you arrive.

2. Neem Oil

This might be the wonder oil. It works like a charm for clearing up acne, scarring, cuts, and even cold scores. If I get a blemish I apply it at night and it is gone or visibly reduced by morning. It’s great to have in the house for healing any skin cuts or scrapes. This oil does have a pungent odor so don't get it in your mouth, and only use externally!

3. Castor Oil

This oil can be used for everything from constipation relief to labor induction. My favorite use for castor oil is hair growth. Each evening I rub a bit of castor oil on a Q-tip and apply it to my eyelashes. It makes them grow in super long and think by moisturizing them and generating new hair growth.

I also love to use castor oil to aid with digestion by rubbing it on my stomach a few hours after eating a meal. You can just apply it to your stomach and add a hot water bottle on top to help it absorb. Make sure you’re getting a high quality brand that is hexane free because this oil absorbs so deeply.

4. Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is a rockstar both in and out of the kitchen. Coconut oil is the best oil to cook with since it has a high smoke point meaning it won’t go rancid like other oils when heated. It has antibacterial and antifungal properties so taken internally it's even considered a superfood. It's awesome added to smoothies or even melted into coffee or tea making it creamy, delicious and more nutritional by bringing healthy fats to your brain.

Externally, coconut oil is excellent for both skin and hair. I use it on a cotton swab nightly to remove eye makeup and also use it as a moisturizing hair mask by applying it to my hair at night and washing it out in the morning. Coconut oil is the best oil to use for the Ayurvedic practice of oil pulling and it’s antibacterial and antifungal properties make it great for that and can even help with candida.

It can also be used as a body moisturizer and is even great to apply before sun exposure as it is approximately SPF 10. It also helps with thyroid function and can be applied externally right onto the thyroid gland, which is said to increase metabolism and energy. This oil is great as the main ingredient in natural DIY deodorant (simply mix it with equal parts arrowroot starch and baking soda).

Coconut oil is solid and room temperature so it may require melting for some uses.

5. Macadamia Nut Oil

Has a nutty sweet smell and taste and can be used in the kitchen and even heated since it has a slightly higher smoke point than many other oils. However, my favorite use for this oil is as a moisturizer for the tips of hair. Adding this oil to the tips of your hair both in and out of the shower locks in moisture without making hair greasy like other oils.

It can also be used as a body moisturizer, shaving gel or aftershave to prevent ingrown hairs or razor burn.

6. Avocado Oil

Like hemp oil, this oil is great for healing redness, blemishes, and scarring on the skin. It also works well as a gentle shaving gel and full body and hair moisturizer. Avocado oil is tasty on salads and can also be heated at low temperatures for cooking.

7. Jojoba Oil

This oil is amazing for skin but doesn’t have any uses internally, so keep it out of the kitchen. This oil tends to be a great option for a skin cleanser and moisturizer since it is very similar to our natural skin oil. It also has antibacterial properties making it great another option for acne prone skin types.

It's packed with vitamins including A, B and E which are all super nourishing. It can be used as a makeup remover and hair moisturizer as well as a crucial oil and lip conditioner.

8. Sesame Oil

This oil is another great option for oil pulling, especially if you don't like the taste of coconut. This oil is also great for cooking. It’s a nourishing healthy fat that is particularly high in zinc making it also beneficial for skin externally, so go ahead and slather some on! Sesame oil is high in vitamin E and also effective for mild sun protection.

9. Hazelnut Oil

Also, high in vitamin E, this oil is nourishing for all skin types and is particularly good for sensitive skin and those with oily skin since the moisturizing properties for hazelnut keep the skin from excessive oil production, which causes blemishes. It also has astringent properties and tightens the pores, limiting oil secretions.

This is my favorite oil for shaving and works well to prevent ingrown hairs or razor burn. It can also be great for making your hair color last longer by applying it before shampooing as a way to strengthen hair. It’s light, sweet, and nutty smell and flavor are great in the kitchen as well!

So there you go! My nine favorite oils and all of their incredible uses! Enjoy!


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