What it is: Found in, you guessed it, coconuts, this sweet-smelling, edible oil is used in everything from skin care to smoothie recipes. Made by pressing the fat from coconut meat, this oil has gained considerable popularity in recent years due to its therapeutic properties.
Why it works: Chock-full of vitamin E, coconut oil can be used as a traditional moisturizer. Because it is full of fatty acids, coconut oil acts as a sort of barrier on the skin, keeping moisture locked in. It’s naturally antibacterial and antifungal, helping to protect skin and hair from the elements (especially helpful during those harsh winter months). Bonus: It smells delicious!
How to use: Solid at room temperature, coconut oil has a melting point of about 75°F. This means that while it may have a similar texture to petroleum jelly at room temperature, it melts into skin as soon as you apply it. However, coconut oil may be a bit on the heavy side for those with oilier complexions. Use it in the shower as a moisturizing shaving cream and hair conditioner, or slather on afterward as an all-natural replacement for lotion or leave-in conditioner.
What it is: Extracted from nuts of the Moroccan argan tree, this oil is a soothing and powerful moisturizer for all skin types.
Why it works: Argan oil is packed with vitamin E, antioxidants, and essential fatty acids. It’s light enough to use as an everyday, nongreasy moisturizer, but it can also be used to treat those with more severe skin conditions, such as eczema or rosacea. Thanks to its antioxidant properties, argan oil works to improve skin’s elasticity by fending off free radical damage, leaving skin radiant.
How to use: This oil is not just for dry skin — it can also help control oil production by reducing sebum for those with oilier skin. This nourishing oil can be used daily under makeup or at night for a more restorative skin conditioning treatment. It’s also suitable for use on dry hair and nails.
What it is: This powerful skin nourisher is one of the top antiaging oils. It’s extracted via a cold-press method from the seeds of a specific rose variety, predominantly grown in Chile.
Why it works: This oil is rich in essential fatty acids and contains vitamins E, C, D, and beta carotene. Chock-full of goodness, it helps to protect and hydrate skin, fight free radical damage, and reduce wrinkles. But that’s not all! The vitamins and antioxidants rejuvenate the skin to restore elasticity, help to correct dark spots, and reduce the appearance of scars.
How to use: Because it is considered a “dry” oil, rosehip seed oil soaks easily into the skin. It can be used in conjunction with other oils or lotions as an intensive moisturizing and antiaging treatment.
What it is: Harvested from the nut of the African marula fruit, this oil is bound to be the next big thing due to its versatility, light texture, and beautifying benefits. Thanks to its health properties, the oil can reduce not only dryness, but also irritation and inflammation.
Why it works: Marula oil is rich in fatty acids and is purported to contain 60 percent more antioxidants than most other oils, meaning it packs a powerful punch against aging and sun damage. The oil also has antimicrobial properties, making it ideal for irritated or acne-prone skin.
How to use: This multipurpose oil can be used on skin, hair, and nails. Because it does not leave a greasy finish on skin, it’s ideal to use under makeup or even mix with foundation for a luminous sheen.
What it is: Extracted from plants indigenous to North America, jojoba oil is used for everything from acne to psoriasis to sunburn. But it isn’t really an oil at all, but a botanical extract actually comprised of liquid wax esters. This is important because out of all compounds found in nature, jojoba oil is structurally and chemically the most similar to human sebum, meaning it mimics the structure of the skin.
Why it works: Because jojoba oil is similar to our skin’s structure, it can replicate or dissolve oil, depending if your skin overproduces or underproduces. Thus, it can help balance out sebum production and eliminate acne. Comprised of beneficial minerals and nutrients, jojoba oil also works as an emollient to soothe skin and provide all-day moisture.
How to use: A few drops can be used for those with oily complexions in the morning or at night, to moisturize and help balance out skin tone. It’s also a great alternative to body lotion for those who have sensitive skin. When used as a hair treatment, jojoba oil may help with dandruff and promote a healthy scalp.