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What Essential and Fixed Oils in Beauty Products Do

Oils in Your Beauty Products: What Do They Do?

Take a walk down the beauty aisle of your local drugstore and you're bound to find countless products toting the names of various oils on their containers. And while many of these ingredients sound like things you might have in your kitchen, it's easy to just pick up a product with one of these fancy oils in it without really knowing what it does for you. On top of that, not everyone will reap the benefits of every type of oil out there. So how do you crack the code? Discover the uses and benefits of seven oils after the jump.

Fixed oils do not evaporate. They are often called carrier oils and can be blended with essential oils. Some common ones include:

  • Coconut oil: Is a natural antioxidant, meaning it helps shield skin from environmental aggressors. When it comes to your hair, coconut oil assists in protecting it from the elements and gives it a healthy dose of shine. Coconut oil has also been linked to nixing dry skin.
  • Olive oil: This oil helps to regulate the skin by toning and firming it. Olive oil is also beneficial in hair products because it improves the strength and elasticity of your strands. And if you're in a pinch, you can use extra virgin olive oil to remove your makeup — especially stubborn waterproof mascara.
  • Argan oil: Lately, people have been buzzing about the benefits of argan oil in the cosmetics industry. But this miracle oil has been used in Morocco for centuries. Besides removing frizz and adding shine to your hair, argan oil has been used as a moisturizer for the skin. It also helps skin fight aging by preventing cell degeneration.
  • Jojoba oil: Penetrates the roots of your hair to clear out buildup, whether from products or dead skin cells, all while softening the scalp. In addition, jojoba oil is used in a lot of beauty products because of its minuscule rate of causing allergic reactions.

Essential oils are volatile oils that evaporate. But take heed before you put an essential oil directly on the skin. They should be diluted first — as in with a carrier oil, for instance — to help prevent irritation and possible allergic reaction. Some common essential oils include:

  • Tea tree oil: Extracted from the leaves of tea trees, this essential oil is often used in acne treatments because it is naturally antibacterial.
  • Rosemary oil: This oil can typically be found in hair care products like shampoos and conditioners; rosemary has been seen to help stimulate hair follicles, promoting growth and strength. Like tea tree oil, rosemary oil helps to remove dandruff and cure dry scalp. On top of all that, rosemary is often tapped by beauty brands because of its energizing scent.
  • Peppermint oil: Ever had a lip balm that gave your lips a cooling feeling? It probably had peppermint oil in it. This oil is used in balms, glosses, and lipsticks because of its ability to nourish lips while curing cracked skin. A product with peppermint oil is also useful if you have sunburn. Its natural cooling effect can provide relief while helping ease inflammation.

Sources: Flickr users John Tann, Arthur40A, Yim Haviz, and tonrulkens

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