Despite the fact my own complexion is oily and I’m no stranger to a breakout, the most effective beauty product I’ve ever used to both moisturize my skin and control congestion is a $19.95 jar of pure jojoba oil. Many dermatologists have warned me about using oil on my skin, but expensive creams and serums often cause my 26-year-old skin to break out (using one well-known expensive tub of moisturizer spurred the worst chronic cystic acne breakout of my life!). Meanwhile this humble—and cheap—face oil keeps my skin glowing, hydrated, and relatively blemish-free.
Since making this discovery a few years ago, I’ve broadened my regimen to include more oils. Some nights I’ll layer rosehip or passionfruit seed oils on top of jojoba for their powerful antiaging properties, and I rarely get on a plane without a small tub of tea tree oil to address any spots that pop up while traveling. I’m not the only person who swears by this natural elixir, either—before Tazorac became the topical anti-acne cream of choice, and we started shilling out hundreds of dollars for retinol creams; natural, plant-based oils were the ointments of choice. In fact, some cultures still use the holistic skin-care treatment to fix all kinds of issues, and it’s only relatively recently that Western beauty brands and dermatologists have started catching on.
However, not every oil is created equal, and you should be looking at different types to address various issues. Some are antiseptic and will help stave off an acne, while others are both hydrating and have aromatherapeutic qualities that can help you manage stress.
Amazingly, jojoba oil closely resembles human sebum, which means it has the unique ability to penetrate deep into your skin—more so than other plant-based oils. It also helps kill germs; contains vitamins A, D, and E; and creates a protective barrier for locking in moisture. "Jojoba is a liquid wax that is most like your own natural oils—is why it is such a great oil for your skin in addition," explained Believe Organics founders, Valerie Levine and Lawrence Levine.
Australian Jojoba Oil, $19.95; at The Jojoba Company
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