Lip gloss, perfume, mascara — these are things typically placed on my vanity. But there's a new addition to my beauty routine: oil.
And I'm not the only one embracing oil as a beauty staple.
Beauty and wellness companies have launched a dizzying array of products that call on vast varieties of oils to do everything from hydrate hair to cleanse complexions. Celebrities and supermodels are publicly embracing the trend, too. Sales of coconut oil boomed when Miranda Kerr announced that she doesn't go a day without including coconut oil in her diet, up to 4 tablespoons daily in fact. Kerr reportedly credits coconut oil with helping her maintain great skin and locks.
My own mother has used oil as her secret beauty weapon of sorts for years, dabbing it in her hair and applying it to her hands to keep cuticles hydrated. And oil can be surprisingly effective for treating even problem- and blemish-prone skin.
I've rounded up a few of my favorite new oil-based beauty products and some DIY oil tips for those who prefer to get their beauty products from the pantry rather than the department store.
Melt away blemishes
Dermalogica's PreCleanse is exactly the type of product I'd normally eschew because my own skin is oily. Described as deep cleansing oil that melts away impurities, PreCleanse is designed to be used before a traditional cleanser to effectively melt away makeup residue and excess sebum. Think of it as fighting fire with fire. Thanks to an expansive ingredient list featuring everything from apricot kernel oil to grapefruit peel oil, PreCleanse helps oily-skinned women keep their complexions clear and clean. Get it for $37 for 5.1 ounces at local spas or at Dermalogica.com.
Nongreasy, green body hydration
Orico's Rush Hour Dry Body Oil not only nourishes skin while maintaining a high level of environmentally friendly standards, it delivers on its promise of dry hydration. Orico's Rush Hour Dry Body Oil is certified natural and organic by Ecocert. Plus, thanks to oils including sunflower, mandarin peel, macadamia seed and more, this richly moisturizing body oil leaves skin soft and supple without leaving a trace of greasiness behind. Get it for $40 at oricolondon.com.
Babies and pets, too
Better skin for the whole family? That's the promise of Norma Kamali Wellness Olive Calcium Liniment ($48), skin-care oil that's sold at the designer's Manhattan wellness outpost and online at thewellnesscafe.com. Tuscan-sourced Olive Calcium Liniment promises to soothe not only your skin, but that of your children and pets, too. Bravo!
One part oil, two parts beauty
There are certainly plenty of DIY oil-based beauty recipes online, but for an even easier way to incorporate the benefits of oil into your beauty routine, look no farther than your kitchen cabinet. Olive oil (cold-pressed, if available) can be added to your beauty routine without much fanfare and nary a recipe. For the smoothest hands and feet, simply apply olive oil directly to hands or feet, massage well and then cover with gloves or socks for as long as possible, bedtime is ideal.
Or try this: warm equal parts olive oil and your favorite hair conditioner, apply to tresses and leave in while you sleep for uber-soft locks. Wash and dry in the morning as usual. And, to keep legs soft despite the demands of daily shaving, try using olive oil with your favorite razor for a clean, tight shave without a hint of stubble.
— Carolyn Brundage is the founder of tampabay.prettycity.com, a guide to the best in local beauty. Need beauty advice? Tweet up with Carolyn at @tampabaypretty.