Last week I shared my personal toxin-free cosmetics listicle. In the past I’ve also covered off safe sunscreens, toxin-free nail polish and safe fake tan. An update from my ablutions front: Slowly, slowly I’ve been reducing what I use to a very small kit. And it pretty much comes down to…oil. Even my mascara. And cleanser.

Image by Lissy Elle Laricchia

I follow Ayurvedic thinking when it comes to oils. This style of healing uses oils to heal a number of ailments, particularly those that stem from a vata disposition. Vata is a personality tendency characterised by flightiness, agitation, an inability to focus, excitement, sleep problems, digestion issues. I’m VERY vata. But even those of us who aren’t vata-dominant experience the craziness of out of control vata because our culture is very vata. Fast food, fast traffic, fast timetables, chaotic schedules… it’s knocking our vata about. And one some of the best ways to calm vata is to use oils. Oils are heavy and grounding. They coax vata back down to earth, like Miss Jane pulling Mr Squiggle back down to the ground.

If you’re interested in learning more about the Ayurvedic take on oils and vata behaviour, Deepak Chopra’s Perfect Health is a good start.

So why oils? Know this…

1. Oil is a single ingredient. And clean.

Beauty can be simple. It can be one ingredient. No need for added hydro-proxy-double-enzyme-whatevers. It’s like whole food: Eat the complete product (the egg yolk and white together, full fat milk etc) and you get all the bits you need to digest it. Whole, un-mucked-with oil works better than the stuff with lots of ingredients on the box. So, for example:

* Pure rosehip oil: by far the most effective and complete moisuriser you can slap on your mug.

* Pure jojoba oil: by far the most effective makeup remover on the planet. Just ask a TV anchor.

* Pure coconut oil: by far the most effective body moisturiser you can use. You can read about how and why here.

2. Oil cleans oil

How so? Oil dissolves oil. That’s how life works. Or at least chemistry does. “Like dissolves like.” Get rid of greasy sticker smudges with Tea Tree Oil. Ditto on your skin. When you massage your skin with oil, it dissolves the oil that’s hardened with gunk from your day or from sweating and become embedded in your pores. Add some steam to open your pores and the sumpy, gunky oil can be removed with a cloth. That’s how.

3. Oils ain’t oily

I’ve kind of explained this (oil dissolves oil). But I know some of us have a hard time trusting the concept.

Like our issues with whole food – full cream milk and the like – I think we have a hang up about beauty oils, too.

Fat doesn’t make us fat. Oils don’t make us oily.

Oils also prevent you from getting oily after cleansing by replenishing your face and body with nice clean oil, so you don’t overcompensate. It keeps things nicely balanced.

4. Oils are cheap and sustainable.

I reckon my oily beauty regime would cost about $200/year. Not $200/product.

* You only need to use a drop or three of rosehip oil on moist skin. A bottle can last months.

* You can extend the life of an almond oil mascara by… adding some more almond oil.

Plus, most oils are available organic and produced locally.

Next week, I”ll be sharing what oils I specifically use. Stay tuned.

What do you do with your oils? 

Have your say, leave a comment.

  • MrsBucket

    My dear friend Sarah out me onto this site…and for that I am soooo grateful. I am in the midst of the oil cleanse method (4 months into this)…mix my own oils: castor 20%, pure argan 40%,grapeseed 40%…still getting some congestion and will really have to think about adjusting: also I did use avocado oil as a moisturiser last week…could be the culprit. I am in my 50’s with oily/combination skin. Also one week into no ‘poo….really keen to hear anyones experiences and recommendations. 2014….will also tackle the no sugar I think. Great great site. Thanks, Rosie

  • Emily

    I add evoo to dr bronners in a bowl to use as body wash . Makes it thicker and last longer. (Small budget here)

  • samantha

    as a makeup remover using oil from the Jojoba Company do you recommend using their normal jojoba oil or the one they specify for makeup removal?

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  • christine rona

    Be careful of argan oil and coconut oil. If you use it too much a perioral or periocular dermatitis could form. You need to give your skin some time to breath. That is what happened to me. I would use this day and night then put my Bare Minerals foundation on. It took about 1 year and then whamo. Full blown dermatitis. I was out of work for 3 weeks with puffy eyes and small red bumps. Oil blocks the top layer of the skin, the horney layer’. Bacteria burrows underneath.
    Nurse Rona

  • pamela

    On February 10th 2002 I brought my husband to the emergency room with a splitting headache and projectile vomiting. We thought it was a bad migraine but later found out that it was a brain tumor. On February 12th he had surgery and the surgeon told us and the lab work later confirmed that he had a Glioblastoma Multiforme IV. It is the most deadly and fast moving brain tumor you can have. The surgeon removed all of the tumor he could see. The doctor told our family that Tom had about 26 weeks to live if he didn’t take any radiation and if he did take radiation it might give him a year, we were told about RSH oil so we decided to try it, we got the oil on line through [email protected], am glad to say that Tom is doing fine and healthy.

  • Meredith

    What brand of coconut oil do you use? I want to use it to moisturize full body, but it would probably be pretty expensive. Is there a place to buy it in bulk and it’s still good stuff? Thank you!

  • Melissa

    I love Rosehip oil, I use it morning and night – but Coconut oil made the skin on my legs scaly and dry. Has this happened to anyone else?

  • Chris

    I swapped over a few years ago now! My skin is just so much happier. I now buy all my products from Cleanse Skincare cause they road test everything, and have a really strong ingredient policy so it takes the guess work out of it all. Hope that helps. x

  • Jillian

    Hi Sarah – great post. I’m a big oil user. Vata dominate. For shiz. Have you used oil for cleansing ? Ie no face wash ever just oil and a flannel? Thanks Jillian

  • Heidi

    I love this post! I’ve been using rosehip oil on my face for the last couple of years and receive many compliments about how young I look – at 44 that’s something I like to hear! I am really interested in reading your next post about the particular products you use! Particularly interested in the mascara – sounds great!

  • Hannah

    Can anyone recommend any organic oil / beauty products available in the UK? Currently using Liz Earle. Anyone any idea how natural their ingredients are? Thanks

  • Laura King

    Beauty Apothecary Edible Beauty might be another good pick for people wanting really natural skincare. I’ve just started using their serum and my skin is noticeably more healthy looking. I love it and am going back for the rest of the range.

  • Harper

    I had the same problem – if it rained or I got a little sweaty I could smell the vinegar. Someone recommended using white vinegar instead of ACV and that has worked for me.

  • Wadz

    Hi guys, I use avocado oil for my hair (coily), skin and body and its super moisturising I cant believe i got into the game this late

  • Lisa Hecht

    Anyone know of a chemical free hair colour?? Brand ect….

  • Kirstie – The Nutritionista

    Love oils 🙂 I use olive oil as a cleanser and jojoba oil as a moisturiser. I buy in bulk so it’s super cheap!

  • I love using Rose hip oil on my face and i use coconut oil in my hair as a mask.

  • Celia Ready

    So out of all the different Coconut oils you can purchase from Thailand, Phillippines, Fiji etc . How do you know for e.g. Frozen berries hygiene issues !! How do you know if the Coconut product you are using on your body and in your cooking is going through strict hygiene regulations !! That you are actually eating real coconut in those jars bought from health food stores. Really that goes for all Cosmetics there seems to be alot more emphasis on using oils more now. Really how strict are we in Australia even when it comes to Rosehip oil Jojoba oil how does one know that is definitely what is in the bottles and not some substitute to cost less in production? ? ☺

  • eleventh beauty

    I couldn’t agree more Sarah – thank you for sharing. I only use oils now on my skin. Coconut oil is my go to for almost everything (including cooking). I use it to cleanse and moisturise skin and hair. It is also the only sun protection I use (unless I am going to be out in the sun for an extended time, and then I will use Scratch Mommy’s Skin Shade Lotion). The best beauty advice I can give is one drop of frankincense essential oil and a teaspoon of coconut oil rubbed onto skin day and night – so easy and simple!

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