Just because the days are brighter and warmer doesn't mean you can skip moisturizing your skin. Fortunately, there are plenty of lightweight face oils that won't leave you feeling all greasy — perfect for summer, IMO. Personally, I've found heavier oils that work for my skin in the winter can be smothering when I'm sweating in the sun. But dry skin occurs in all skin types, at all ages, all year long; the sun, wind, and sweating actually make us more vulnerable and challenge our skin's ability to stay hydrated. If you're suffering from dry summer skin, I'd recommend sifting through the many types of vegetable oils, fixed oils, or base oils available. They have their own unique, skin-benefitting properties, as long as you pick an organic, unrefined version. If you're trying to protect your skin from external factors the last thing you want is any leftover chemicals from extraction or pesticides creeping into your pores.
With the help of Charlynn Avery, Aura Cacia's Aromatherapist and Educator, I've put together some helpful info to help you make your next moisturizer extra effective. According to Avery, "It’s all in the lipid profile of the oils and how our skin absorbs them. Oils that absorb very easily and have more linoleic acid in their profile tend to be considered 'light' or 'dry' oils. Oils that absorb slowly, feel thick and have more oleic acid are considered 'heavy” or “slow-drying'." I'll give you one guess as to which type is best for summer. Let this guide serve lead you to make an informed decision about your moisturizer, but remember: No one oil fits all, so do some at-home experimentation before you settle on your perfect match.
1. Moringa Oil
Recently, it seems moringa oil is making more headlines than Kanye after an award show. According to the owner of True Moringa, a high-quality brand of Moringa oil, the oil goes on smooth while deeply hydrating the skin. Derived from moringa seeds, moringa oil is rich in nutrients and packed with antioxidants and unique moisturizing agents. After using the oil for a week, I found my complexion still glowing without any greasy build-up.
2. Tamanu Oil
While the consistency is thick, tamanu oil penetrates quickly and deeply providing a full day of moisture when I apply it to my own damp skin. Tamanu oil contains moisturizing omega fatty acids and it’s known to promote new, healthy cell growth. The antioxidant properties are able to prevent sun damage and wrinkles and that's only the beginning of why I'm sticking with this oil — no matta the weatha.
3. Baobab Oil
Baobab oil is extracted from the seeds and fruit of the baobab tree and it has one of the highest levels of antioxidants of any fruit in the world. Since the tree is native to Australia, Africa, and Madagascar, only blooming once a year, it's one of the more costly fixed oils on the market. However, the oil is very similar to the oil our skin creates and it's rich in vitamins A, D, E, and F, making it well worth the extra cost. For me, personally, baobab oil has saved my skin from looking oily AND dry.
4. Jojoba Oil
Jojoba is well known for being the closest thing to the oil our skin creates, which makes it a great lightweight formula for all skin types. However, according to Avery, jojoba is actually not an oil. "Jojoba oil is not actually an oil, but a liquid wax, and it is considered universal in application," she explains. "[This means] many different skin types can benefit [from jojoba.]" It may seem pricy, but I can attest that a little bit of this oil goes a long, long way.
5. Argan Oil
Argan oil is highly recommended for people with oily skin because of the vitamin E and unsaturated fatty acids that is found in the oil when pure. According to sources at the Dermatology Review, argan oil controls sebum production and contains antioxidants that can help remove damaged skin cells while improving elasticity. One caution note: Anyone with nut allergies may find the oil irritating as argan oil comes from the nuts of the Argania spinosa tree.
6. Rosehip Oil
This is a good time to remind you that just because we all have the same goal (controlling oily skin in the summer) we are not all working with the same skin. While I've used rosehip oil as a fixed oil for scar removal on my body, I rarely use it on my face and that's because it feels slightly heavier than the above fixed oils and the smell is similar to heavier oils like flaxseed. Still, it had to make the list because of the overwhelming amount of faces it has helped to control oil on. Rosehip oil contains antioxidants and essential fatty acids and it has a high amount of linoleic acid which is something acne sufferers tend to be lacking.
7. Apricot Kernel Oil
This lightly fragrant oil is packed with fatty acids, vitamins A, C, and E, and a crapload of antioxidants. It's one of my fave hair oils and Avery's favorite lightweight moisturizer. "It is considered a light to medium weight skin care oil," she says. "While there are a few that would be considered more on the light end, for summer use and my own particular skins needs, apricot kernel oil is the way to go."
While these oils are specifically for moisturizing, but they can be blended with other ingredients to add UV protection for sun-sensitive skin. One last piece of information to remember is that the time of year, general condition of the skin, medical treatments, general nutrition, and all sorts of other variables can affect the feel and appearance of our skin. According to Avery, "In the summer, most skin types prefer something that absorbs quickly as we are generally not feeling the need for moisture — especially in humid climates. However, heavy weight oils do have their place even in the summer time when our skin gets over-dry from exposure to elements." Keep your skin clean and you may even be able to stick with your favorite heavier oil with less frequency. Coconut oil, I'm coming for you.
Image: Kristin Collins Jackson (7); Fotolia (1)