03 October 2011

Not essential oils, but oil essentials!

When I wrote recently about Ojon’s oil based hair products, reader Roxy commented on the surge in oil based beauty products these days. And she’s right: while women around the world have used oil in their beauty routines for thousands of years, it’s only in the past few that these types of products have started to appear on shelves here in Ireland.  Oils are great at cleansing and nourishing and many oil-based products are seriously multi-tasking too, making them fantastic value for money.

There's a lot of confusion around the aul' oils, though. Lots of people like the idea of using natural products derived from plant oils, but if this important to you, read the ingredients list carefully: lots of oil products also contain large amounts of synthetically derived silicone. This is not necessarily a bad thing -- the Shu Uemura hair oil I use and love contains silicones, which does wonders for defrizzing my hair -- but it is something to keep in mind.

Likewise, many oil products contain mineral oil – which is a by-product of petroleum, and is sometimes said to clog pores. This isn’t something I’ve ever experienced despite using Johnson’s Baby Oil (a mineral oil product) liberally for all manner of purposes, including makeup removal and as a body moisturiser. 

The image above shows just some of the oil-based products in my collection - there's a good selection in that some are natural products and some are not, and some contain silicones and some don't. And I love them all. On the back row, from left to right, we have:

Kiehls’ Superbly Restorative Argan Oil: This multi-tasker is brilliant for those seeking an entirely natural product. I passed a long evening waiting for a delayed flight at the airport by googling the ingredients list for this and found no silicones, but plenty of natural emollients that do the same job of smoothing hair and skin, leaving a silky feel and an improved texture and appearance.

Shu Uemura Essence Absolue Nourishing Protective Oil: I mentioned this earlier and I’ve reviewed it here so I won’t go on other than to say I use this 2-3 times a week as a styling product, and have been delighted with its smoothing, defrizzing ways.

Roger & Gallet Bois d'Orange Huile Sublime: This perfumed dry oil smells absolutely delicious and can be used on your hair, face or body. It’s also fantastic in the bath, and the spray nozzle makes for easy application.

Johnson’s Baby Oil: I wrote about this here and am as enamoured of its hardworking ways as ever. I keep it in the shower and use it for shaving.

Front row, left to right:

Lush Tiny Hands Serum: I reviewed this solid hand serum here: it has a seriously nourishing ingredients list that includes oils of argan, marigold and chamomile along with shea butter, aloe vera and more.

Ojon Damage Reverse Hair Treatment: You can see what I thought of the shampoo and conditioner here and a full review of this hair treatment is coming up soon.

Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse: Probably my favourite of the lot, this is another multi-tasker that can be used on the face, body and hair. It smells wonderful but isn’t as strongly scented as the Roger & Gallet offering which is probably why it just pips it to the post for me. I’ve mostly been using it as a body moisturiser and it absorbs quickly leaving my skin feeling nourished, soft and smooth. The brand’s signature product, there is a huge celebrity following that includes Gwyneth Paltrow and Jennifer Aniston. Combines 6 plant oils - Borage, St. John's Wort, Sweet Almond, Camellia, Hazelnet Hazelnut and Macadamia) – with Vitamin E.

If you'd like more details on any of these products just let me know in the comments! And in the meantime tell me, what are your favourite oil based products?

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