Why Natural Skincare? part 1, vegetable oils
Did you know that vegetable oils, hidden in the inside of plant seeds, contain the potential to help develop the next generation of a plant? As stored energy from the sunlight, they provide nourishment for germination to take place while the seeds are still under the soil.
Natural oils and butters have compounds that nourish and protect skin epidermal cells. In most regions of the Earth, there is a very wide range of plants that are capable of producing oil: edible, sensual and protective natural fat. And they have been used for SO long by humans for cooking, beauty and health!
From the very well-known olive or sunflower till the less common poppy or elderberry, the list is huge.
Oils are mainly composed of lipids, a combination of fatty acids ( for example the omega 3, 6 or 9 that you probably already heard of). There are certain similarities between different oils, so they can be grouped in "families": richer in omega 3 (like flax or blackcurrant seed oil), omega 6 (hemp, walnut, evening primrose), omega 5 (pomegranate, cherry), omega 9 (olive, macadamia, peanut), etc.
There is another minor but important part that reinforces the oils individuality - its color, taste, and scent. This uniqueness comes from compounds like vitamins, proteins, waxes, plant sterols, and antioxidants - all plant features that have great benefits on human health and skin. This minor part is called, in scientific terms, the unsaponifiable portion of an oil.
And how to benefit from them?
It is great to have a skincare regimen where these omegas and rich compounds are present: they provide nutrients that will protect and nourish your skin. To benefit from the oils power, your skin should be a little bit wet (you can spray an hydrosol first, for example, or put them just after the shower), as water helps fatty ingredients to penetrate into the epidermis.
It is also very important to ingest them. We should search for and eat food that provide us with essential fatty acids, as the body can't produce them on its own. They help with the formation of cell membranes, proper development and functioning of the brain and nervous system, hormone production, and, of course, healthy skin and air, among other benefits.
And can you use the oils you use in your kitchen in your face and body? Sure! However, there are some oils more specific and rare that are difficult to find in groceries and/or organic shops.
Sources: "Power of the seed", Susan M. Parker