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.

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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.