Oils From Around The World To Make Hair & Skin Gleam
Though we American ladies are susceptible to international influence when it comes to beauty, oils took a long time to come stateside, despite their popularity in far-flung haunts for eons. And now? We can’t get enough of them! For hair, body and face, oils are a direct vehicle to take your driest winter-ravaged area from flaky and/or staticky to sleek, smooth and hydrated. Here, some of our favorite oils of all types, from all over the globe. Japan: Camellia Oil
The women of Japan are known for their incredible beauty and even for their beauty regimens. I like to apply a bit to my ends before blow-drying. A tip I picked up from hairstylists is to focus the heat on the ends while keeping your round brush moving will smooth the cuticle for a more professional blowout. Camellia oil isn’t even just good for your hair, it’s also known for fading stretch marks and acne scars, as treatment for dry cuticles, and as a facial moisturizer — even for oily skin. It wont clog pores, and it’s great for sensitive skin as it’s all natural and free of chemicals. Try Oshima Tsubaki Camellia Hair Cair Oil, $20 at amazon.com. Morocco: Argan
Perhaps the oil with the most current press is that of argan, indigenous to Morocco. I find when used on damp hair before blow-drying, it imparts a flexible, glossy finish I’ve yet to score with any other hair styling products in my ever-growing arsenal. Dove Hair Therapy Nourishing Oil Care Anti-Frizz Serum is inexpensive at $7 a pop at drugstore.com and boasts a blend of argan and almond oils.
Don’t get it twisted: Monoi is indigenous only to Tahiti. While distilling a flower in coconut oil is quite common, you’ll have a Champagne/sparkling wine counterfeit situation on your hands if you call its product monoi–unless that flower is the tiare flower, a blossom similar to a gardenia that grows only in French Polynesia. Parfumerie Tiki is a family-owned product manufacturer that started featuring the dried tiare flower in their packaging years ago. The founder’s son even designs the cute brightly hued packaging himself, while the founder’s daughter manages marketing and public relations for the Tahiti-based brand. Try their Monoi Tiare Tahiti Monoi Tiiki Tahiti Coconut Oil for just $7 at vitacost.com on arms and legs for subtle sheen and a soft, vacation-y fragrance. You’ll be monoical about it.
There’s a reason Amazon women have such long, lustrous locks. Women from the Quechua-Shuar tribes have obtained an oil they call rahua from deep in the Amazon rainforest. They believe it to be the secret to their thick, flowing, lustrous hair. In the 1990s, New York stylist and colorist Fabian Lliguin, a native Ecuadorian of Quechua descent met these women, who shared their lengthy-hair secret with him. Lliguin studied rahua’s revitalizing effects on his own clients’ hair and found that dry, damaged strands were restored to bouncy health, color remained bright and irritated scalps were calmed, thanks to Rahua. Whether you’re a hair farmer with dreams of achieving Rapunzel-level length or just want to strengthen your hair and maintain its existing length, give Rahua Finishing Treatment a go. Just a dime-sized amount applied to ends post-blow-dry is all you need to infuse strands with length and strength. It retails for $45 at rahua.com.
From Russia (with love for your FACE!) comes seaberry (or seabuckthorn, as it’s also known) oil, made from sea-buckthorn shrubs, which grow in Europe and Asia. This Seaberry Moisturizing Face Oil from Fresh is perfect for Siberian-severe snowy winters. It’s thick, but absorbs into skin quickly and keeps it hydrated for hours. It packs a powerful antioxidant punch, as well. Test it out either on its own, or layered underneath your regularly scheduled moisturizer. It retails for $50 at sephora.com.
What’s your favorite oil?