Why we use oil in our skincare products

Fat free? Oil free? Lite? Low fat? Fat reduced? Consider a life without oil; a fat free diet and oil free skincare.

I struggle to understand how not using oil became popular? I don’t know when exactly oil received its terrifying reputation, but this fat phobic scenario has only one mortifying outcome… Premature Ageing! Not exactly the Holy Grail of youth we are all so keenly chasing.

Strip oil from your skincare and skin becomes sensitive and unhealthy. It very quickly deteriorates and ages. Remove the good oils from your diet and see what happens to joints, pain, brain function, immunity, hormones, nerve function, heart function, sex drive, cognition, memory, not to mention weight gain, and long term disease.

Let’s take a quick snapshot of some basic physiology. The walls of each body cell are made up of a double layer of oil, fats and lipids.  They require essential fatty acids to proliferate, repair and replenish. Fats are a necessary ingredient for building hormones (the ones that keep us young) also essential for host of vital daily functions. And that beautifully protective layer on our skin, the acid mantle (pH), is actually a super fine layer of sebaceous oil.

In truth the requirements for effective skincare pivots around one unwavering and eternal principle. Here it is… the secret…Very simply, our skin is water proof. What does that mean? Our skin is unable to absorb anything effectively that is not oil soluble. For a product to penetrate active ingredients to the layers which stimulate and assist newly forming skin cells, it needs to be rich in oil.

Plant oils are liquid nutrition. Long golden chains of fatty acids. Cold pressed at room temperature these oils offer a nutrient smorgasbord of anti-ageing vitamins, amino acids, enzymes, minerals, carotenes, antioxidants, and last but not at all least, essential fatty acids. These are ‘essential’ for a reason. They are the building blocks of life, and as the body is unable to create them we need to source them daily from our diet and skincare.

Cold pressed at room temperature these oils offer a nutrient smorgasbord of anti-ageing vitamins, amino acids, enzymes, minerals, carotenes, antioxidants, and last but not at all least, essential fatty acids.

But let’s be clear. Not all oils are created equally. Many products are based on mineral oils, petrochemicals or highly refined oils. These chemical oils have really large synthetic compounds that just sit on the skin. The jury is out as to whether these are dangerous, cancer forming or toxic. For me, it’s about value. These ingredients are just plain lazy. Innocuous and inert, they hang out depriving the skin of any nutritional benefit.  Mineral oil is chemically way too big to penetrate, so it covers the skin like glad wrap, feeling greasy and congesting the outer layers.

For a skincare product to be effective cold pressed plant oils must represent the base of the formulation. Why? These nutrient rich oils are super food for the skin! Stunning, ultra-fine serums that penetrate effortlessly through the skin to effect newly forming skin cells. They are charged with essential fatty acids and anti-ageing phytonutrients to transform condition and vitality. Omega rich elixirs which melt through the layers of the skin to build collagen, combat acne, calms inflammation, even skin tone, fight sun damage, reduce scarring and fine lines, speed up cell renewal and boost hydration. Best of all, oil balances oil, leaving the skin with a beautiful protective satin sheen. The complexion is left youthful, dewy and luminous, no matter the age.

Me? I cleanse with oil, I use it as a serum, I layer it under and over my moisturiser. I use it as a body oil, hair treatment and bath soak. It’s what cleared my acne during my 30’s, and continues to keep my skin in great shape today. If I could dip the world in oil- I would!

It’s the foundation of all Waterlily formulations, and the cornerstone of great health.



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