March 31, 2012

The History of Oil

Some call it liquid gold. I happen to think this is an accurate description. Facial oils have made my list of best discoveries in 2012, and the year is still in it's infancy. But it gets a bad rap in some circles. So why the disagreement?

I read an interview at Fig+Sage recently, which clarified this discord within the beauty community that I wanted to share. They interviewed Navdeep Mundi, founder of Beauty Huile, a blog dedicated to pure, natural oils for face and body.

Mundi starts at the very beginning:

Essential, botanical, and carrier oils are one of the world’s oldest forms of beauty used religiously by the Egyptians, Chinese, Indians, Greeks and Romans. In fact, their history dates back to 3,500 BC, where distillation methods were documented with a triumphant circularity. Whatever coast the oils were sold off to, whichever Royal Queen used them to ward of the signs of aging, whoever figured out their medicinal workings, the bottom line was that they worked & were in demand.

However, at one point, plants oils were traded for mineral oil. It was the industry's money saving secret. Mineral oil is the cheap alternative to plant oils. It was derived from petroleum; it was thick, impure and pore clogging. It caused skin irritation, allergic reactions and its occlusive nature commonly lead to breakouts.

As a result, the phrase "oil-free" began to be touted and plastered on product labels far and wide. Oil became synonymous with blemishes and irritations. However, consumers, marketers and chemists forgot the first rule of chemistry: like dissolves like. This means that nurturing oils can effortlessly penetrate and cleanse sebum deep within your pores, unlike waxy, chemical-filled creams.

But times are changing. We have finally begun to rediscover the benefits of nutrient and antioxidant-rich oils. Mundi revels in this renaissance:

Benefits run wide and deep when using oils to prettify skin. Specially created oils will address acne, eczema, scars, rosacea, blackheads, cracked/dry/scaly skin, inflammations, fine lines, sensitivity, age spots, or just prime up plain ole’ normal skin. Hair oils will reduce split or frayed ends and eliminate itchy scalps.

Have you tried a face oil yet?

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Image courtesy of: 
1. Getty Images



  1. Thank you, Charlotte, for bringing face oils to the attention of your readers! I often call them the 'bastard beauty child' of the as face and even body oils get passed over far too often.

    Great blog!

  2. I'm so excited to have found a fellow oil convert! What are some of your favorite facial oils that you have used? And I haven't tried body oil yet, what do you think of it?

    1. Eek, Charlotte, too many to count. Why? Cos I loved mine scented. So, Jasmine, Rose, and Vanilla are always hits for me. Even a light Neroli gets me tickled with glee. In Fiore, Aftelier Perfumes, Olie Biologique, even Etsy brands are fab, fab.

      I only use body oils cos' most of the stuff in a lotion is chemical fluff. Don't you love when the marketing copy says a body oil is made from "Jojoba Oil." Well, then use Jojoba straight on your skin! And, the essentials give you your scent. And, they are so versatile! You can use a body oil on hands, cuticles, hair, feet, knees, and even way down there where the sun don't shine (if you shave or wax).

    2. I adore jasmine and vanilla scents too. It's always amazing when a product feels AND smells incredible. I still need to try In Fiore, I've heard great things!

      I can't wait to try body oils. I really think they will be so much more nourishing for my skin as compared to waxy creams. Great idea for using it on your cuticles!