3 Serums and Oils That Can Transform Your Skin
Chances are, you — like so many of us — have spent years believing that thick facial moisturizers are the key to locking in the hydration that gives skin its healthy glow.
But new research is finding that many of these creams do more harm than good, especially when used year after year.
This is because many of the best skin-healthy nutrients are larger in molecular size. When coupled with thick, waxy substances, it’s nearly impossible for them to penetrate delicate skin cells and be fully absorbed. This prevents these nutrients – the very ones you probably paid good money for – from being able to reach deep beneath the skin’s surface where they’re needed most to effectively support the skin’s structure and maintain the hydration that is the hallmark of healthy skin. Over time your skin realizes it’s being “faked out,” and it begins to produce oils of its own that merely clash with your cream. It’s a vicious cycle.
The Unlikely Solution: Nutrient-Rich Face Oils and Serums
Contrary to what we’ve been told our whole lives, our skin favors oils, so long as they’re the right oils carrying the right nutrients.
Your skin is protected by a layer called the stratum corneum, also known as the lipid barrier, which shields skin from external threats such as bacteria and pathogens and helps prevent water loss. After the age of 40, though, this layer begins to breakdown, which is why it becomes harder for the skin to retain moisture.
It is because of the lipid barrier that nutrients need an oil-based carrier such as a cream or an oil, but it is imperative the carrier molecule be small enough to penetrate deep beneath the skin’s surface to effectively nourish and protect skin. Otherwise, you’re not only throwing your money away, your damaging the outer layer of the skin risking moisture loss.
And this is exactly why facial oils have been skyrocketing in popularity.
“Oils protect the skin’s lipid barrier and are great at preventing moisture from evaporating from the skin,” says aesthetician and owner of Mint + Berry, Charmaine Leah. And while most people shy away from oils, fearing their skin will feel greasy, Leah confirms this isn’t the case. “The truth is, most natural oils are easily absorbed, not greasy, and noncomedogenic; that is, they have a low potential to clog pores, which makes oils perfect for all skin types,” she says.
3 Reasons to Add a Face Oils and Serums to Your Routine
1. Oils and Serums Repair Skin on a Deeper Level: They deliver concentrated doses of the nutrients your skin craves to stay hydrated and healthy. Better still, they don’t have other waxy compounds competing for absorption into your skin.
2. Face Oils Lock in Moisture: Oils penetrate the lipid barrier, rather than form a layer on top of it. This traps moisture in a way that is more natural for the skin, which means your subcutaneous cells are never “faked out” and triggered into the vicious cycle of producing more oil.
3. Face Oils Skip the Risky Ingredients: Because they are a combination of mostly waxy substances and water, most creams and lotions use unnatural preservatives. Oils, on the other hand, do not need to employ preservatives to maintain potency or freshness.
While the waxes and fillers that often accompany “velvety creams” sit on the surface of your skin, preventing the full absorption of skin-plumping and protective nutrients, facial oils quench thirsty skin, delivering nourishment and moisture to skin and tissue more efficiently.
Here are 3 Oils and Serums to Considering Adding to Your Daily Routine:
This powerful, plant-based lipid penetrates skin cells in a unique way to lubricate, regenerate and protect — and skin health chemists are finally catching on. A superior moisturizer with a non-greasy feel, squalane is best known for its ability to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and is an incredibly valuable skin health antioxidant. The naturally occurring compound can be found in human sebum, but by the time we’re in our late-thirties we no longer have the levels we need to maintain smooth, supple skin. In fact, the dramatic drop off of squalane levels is thought to be responsible for the development of age spots, as well as thinner, lack-luster skin.
Adding squalane (or a product that contains it) to your skin health regimen can:
- Boost cell regeneration
- Increase oxygenation and cellular turnover
- Prevent “age spots”
- Protect against UV damage
- Heal dry, cracked skin.
- Reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
2. Coconut Oil
Not only is coconut oil a fantastic, chemical-free way to remove your make up at night and it’s probably the best body moisturizer I’ve ever used (not to mention the least expensive). Keep in mind that a little goes a long way; you only need a pea-size amount for your face. It absorbs nicely and perfectly hydrates without leaving the skin oily. The one drawback: it smells a touch funny, so it helps to mix it with an essential oil of your choice.
Adding coconut oil to your skin health regimen can:
- Reduce inflammation of the skin
- Kill the bacteria and microorganisms that cause blemishes
- Moisturize the skin and provide long lasting hydration
- Reduce the chemical overload found in conventional bodylotions and skincare products
3. Vitamin C Serum
Vitamin C is one of the rare nutrients that both promotes the synthesis of proteins vital for healthy-looking skin and actively repairs damage to the skin by warding off the free radicals that harm skin cells. Studies have shown that topical vitamin C is a proven and effective way to boost collagen production later in life.
Furthermore, vitamin C exerts powerful UV-protective properties thanks to its ability to neutralize free radicals that occur when UV rays have penetrated the skin. Lab studies have shown that topical application of vitamin C can reduce sunburn cell formation by 40-60%.
And the best part about using a vitamin C serum is that the antioxidant powerhouse is concentrated for targeting and visable results. (But be careful. Some brands take shortcuts and use ingredients and carriers that prevent it from working well. Check this article to know what to look for in a topical vitamin C serum.)
Adding Vitamin C Serum to your skin health regimen can:
- Brighten the skin
- Support collagen production
- Even skin tone and help reduce the appearance of sunspots
- Help ward off everyday sun damage
Do you love any other serums or oils? Please share with us in the comments!