Coconut oil is the hype lady of facial oils. Recently touted as a sort of Holy Grail of oils, it can be used for many purposes. I like it for taking off makeup (works really well for pesky eye liner). I put it on dry cuticles and slather it on my face to prevent wrinkles and get that dewy “I’m really a model when I’m not a mommy” look. Plenty of moms know this, but coconut oil’s lesser-known secret is that it does wonders for diaper rash. Plus, it has a sweet aroma.
Who it’s best for: Almost anyone, but if you’re predisposed to pimples, you’ll want to keep it off your mug.
Try this: Nutiva Virgin Coconut Oil ($10--30)
This oil---made from tea tree leaves---is a miracle worker. It helps heal cuts and scrapes with its natural antibacterial properties, and it can zap zits, too. I love to put a smidge on my temples on those early mornings when my kids didn’t get the “Sleep in, it’s Saturday!” memo. A whiff of this awakens the senses.
Who it’s best for: Anyone who is acne prone or needs a wakeup call to the face.
Try this: The Body Shop's Tea Tree Oil Facial Serum ($10)
A beauty editor friend first recommended argan oil to me. The name itself sounds like a goddess. Too good to be true, right? I admit, this nectar stacks up. I like to smooth it on my face and neck at bedtime for a more soothed, vibrant---and less ruddy---appearance come morning (and because it can be greasy if worn during the day). It can also make your hair super shiny.
Who it’s best for: Again, like coconut oil, this one can feel greasy. Use sparingly if your skin already tends toward the oilier side.
Try this: Divine Oil by Caudelie Paris ($49)
I started using rosehip oil to battle redness and puffiness. It’s uber-calming and also a brilliant anti-aging tool. Rosehip oil is packed with vitamins and nutrients, my skin devours the oil, and I love its gorgeous scent.
Who it’s best for: This one is pretty great for everyone.
Try this: Neal’s Yard Rosehip Oil
I drop a dab of vitamin E oil into my daily moisturizer to combat aging and free radicals. But this all-purpose stuff can be used on just-shaved legs and dry scalp. But go easy. This one is fairly oily, as oils go, and it can leave annoying stains behind.
Who it’s best for: Anyone!
Try this: I love the bare bones Trader Joe’s brand for my scalp, body, and face. ($7.99)
I can’t really bring up vitamin E without giving a nod to her sister, vitamin C. Think about it. When you get a cold, you reach for your jar of this vitamin. If your skin is damaged from the sun and needs a pick-me-up, C’s your go-to. It does wonders on dry, tired skin and can help prevent new sun damage. Vitamin C acts as an anti-aging tool, too. Plus, it’s lightweight, smells inspiring, and doesn’t leave a residue like vitamin E.
Who it’s best for: Everyone!
Try this: Obagi Professional-C serum ($50--100)
As long as you’re not allergic, nut oils are where it’s at. Once you’ve stocked up on coconut oil, think about adding in some almond or macadamia nut, too.
Who it’s best for: These tend to be richer and thicker, so again, not the best if you suffer from oily, zit-prone skin. For all the benefits but less of the residue, add a few drops to your face moisturizer or hair conditioner.
Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse: This mix of almond, macadamia, and hazelnut is a must-have among Parisian women. ($29)
Frankincense is pricier because it’s harder to find, but the good news is that a little bit goes a very long way. Add a few drops to your favorite moisturizer to smooth wrinkles and fine lines and to maintain an overall glow. Its scent promotes serenity, too. Who couldn’t use a little bit of that these days?
Who it’s best for: Anyone, but if you’re over thirty and feeling like your skin needs a boost, you’ll see results quickly.
Try this: Young Living Frankincense oil ($97)
Jojoba does an amazing job at sponging up oily skin and treating blemishes and cuts. Use it when you spot a breakout, or incorporate it daily into your skincare routine. This anti-inflammatory is packed full of vitamin E and has a long shelf life. Like tea tree oil, it can also act as an antibacterial.
Who it’s best for: All skin types
Try this: Art Naturals Organic Jojoba Oil ($14)
Ahhh. The fruit oils. It’s hard to choose just one, or even a few. I could go on and on about lemon oil, and then there’s grapeseed. But have you tried raspberry oil? This powerhouse evens out complexion with its anti-inflammatory properties while building skin cells so that elasticity improves. Did I mention the smell? Basically amazing. Other benefits? It can work as a barrier against UVB rays (but you should still use sunscreen) and has a high vitamin E and vitamin A content.
Who it’s best for: Anyone hoping to turn back time on fine lines or ease red, splotchy skin
Try this: Raw Is Everything Antioxidant Treatment ($45)
You eat flax seeds because they are the superheroes of nutrition and revitalization. They do the same for your skin. ‘Nuff said. (Side note: The same can be said here for other seed oils. Think carrot, chia, sesame, and milk thistle seeds.)
Who it’s best for: Everyone, but especially if you want to improve skin’s snap-back-from-it quality!
Try this: Sunday Riley’s Hydroactive Cellular Face Oil ($75)