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The second subject in our series on skincare and health is oil. Sebum, the oil that our own body produces, is very beneficial and instrumental in keeping our skin, hair and scalp healthy and protected from the sun and environment. Although over the decades our advertising media convinced us that keeping our hair and bodies free of oil was the most beneficial to our skin and hair health, for the most part it's not true. Soaps and shampoos can remove our natural oils and even irritate or exasperate your skin and cause inflammation. But the good news is that there are a lot of other natural ways to supplement our own production of oil and many of them are already in your kitchen cabinet or pantry!

Oils are lipophilic -- they can penetrate deep into the skin, adding moisture while keeping toxins and other bad stuff out of the acid mantle, which is the top layer of skin. Using simple vegetable and natural oils like avocado, grapeseed, rose hip and of course coconut oil can greatly benefit your skin, hair and scalp. Interested in growing longer eyelashes or replacing eyebrows that have been over tweezed? Apply a small amount of coconut or grape seed oil onto a cotton Q-tip and apply lightly to the target areas before going to bed each night. Do you want more shine to your hair or need help relieving dryness of your scalp? Try adding coconut or Castrol oil to your scalp before your shower or allowing it to soak in overnight once a week.

Here are some of the benefits of different oils: for reducing wrinkles use primrose oil with a Vitamin E base, such as in Argan or grape seed oils because they’re anti-aging, non-greasy, and light. For dry skin, apply a pea-sized amount of coconut oil to your driest areas. Oils like pumpkin seed help open up the top layer of skin in areas that need the most hydration. Jojoba is great for pulling out dirt and contributing fats into pores, making them appear smaller. Many oils have anti-inflammatory properties as well, helping to quell irritated skin commonly seen as redness and irritation from eczema, psoriasis & rosacea. Tea tree and coconut oil can work wonders in helping combat acne. Coconut Oil has been reported to work in a variety of ways by killing fungus and yeast infections. Some people even use oils in helping with sun protection.

There are many types of oils to try and everyone’s skin is different so results may vary. No matter what your choice is, it is always best to start in moderation and utilize information from professionals, manufacturers and other trusted sources. Check with your doctor if you have special needs or questions and make sure to read the labels carefully. Don’t forget to ask questions to determine the best fit for your skin type. Enjoy!

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