Spas' & Aestheticians' Favorite Facial Oils Tested

Many of us love treating ourselves to a facial or spa treatment, but the cost quickly adds up. We spoke with a few of our favorite spas and aestheticians to find out what their favorite oils were, including the ones they use personally, for facial quality results you can get at home. Then we tested their favorites and selected our top oils for beautiful, healthy skin.

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The Most Common Chemicals Lurking in Your Skincare Products

Many of the creams and lotions that people apply everyday are loaded with toxic chemicals and they don’t even know it. This, in part, is why we are such fans of clean oils. We take the stance of, “if we wouldn’t eat it, then we wouldn’t put it on our largest organ, our skin.” That said, we don’t recommend eating any beauty products, even the ones without the toxins.

We rounded up some of the most common chemicals that should be avoided, but there are many, many more.

Propylene Glycol:  It’s a by-product of petroleum that is also used as anti-freeze that may cause allergic reactions and possibly liver and kidney damage if it gets into the bloodstream.

Parabens:  These are most commonly used as preservatives in beauty products that inhibit bacteria growth. However, there is concern surrounding parabens and breast cancer as parabens have estrogen-mimicking properties.

Fragrance:  While this term was created to protect a company’s “secret formula” it is usually some combination of the 200 cheapest synthetic scents that can cause headaches, dizziness, rashes and general skin irritation.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) / Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES): These are foaming products that can, when combined with other chemicals, create carcinogens such as nitrosamines. They are also thought to irritate the skin.

Formaldehyde / Formaldehyde-Releasing Preservatives (FRP’s):  Use to inihibit bacteria growth in beauty products, it is a known human carcinogen by The International Agency for Research on Carcinogens (IARC) and can also cause allergic skin reactions.

Synthetic Colors: Lookout for FD&C or D&C as they signify artificial colors. They precede colors and numbers, e.g. FD&C Red 6. They are toxic substances are made from coal ta, are suspected of being a human carcinogen and many are banned in the European Union.

Ditch the chemicals and look for natural or organic brands that stick quality ingredients that are safe!

5 Sulfate Free Shampoos That Are Awesome

The short of it is that sulfate free shampoos wash your hair without washing away all of the moisture and healthy oils in that occur in the hair naturally. Beauty companies use shampoo with sulfates in them because they allow for a great lather, however, these are powerful, abrasive chemicals that can remove grease from pretty much any surface.

We tested a bunch of sulfate free shampoos to find great ones that actually work.

 

Acure Organics Lemongrass and Argan Stem Cell Shampoo

Verb Volume Shampoo

dpHUE Clarifying Shampoo

The Power of Essential Oils

Essential oils can work wonders, literally. From helping you relax and reduce anxiety to energy boosting to improving emotional health. Simply applying a small dab to your skin or your pillow at night is all you need. But don’t go out in the sun after applying, or be sure to use SPF as they can increase sensitivity to the sun. Below are a few of our favorite essential oils.

 

REDUCE ANXIETY

Lavender

Rose

Ylang Ylang

Frankincense

 

INCREASE ENERGY

Orange

Eucalyptus

Lemon

Peppermint

Grapefruit

 

IMPROVE EMOTIONAL HEALTH

Orange

Rose

Rosemary

Juniper

 

REDUCE HEADACHES

Peppermint

Lavender

Eucalyptus

Rosemary

 

The Best Clean Body Oils

There is something exquisitely decadent about using a body oil. They are luxurious to the touch, provide skin with incredible moisture, a healthy glow, and leave skin soft and supple. Even the best oils that absorb quickly take a minute to sink in and it is in this luxurious moment that we can appreciate taking care of ourselves.

A conventional body oil can be as full of toxins, artificial fragrances and chemicals as a conventional body lotion. We tried a few dozen clean body oils over the last several months and narrowed down our favorites, just in time for winter. These oils left our skin feeling and looking amazing.

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3 Natural Deodorants & How They Stood Up

Natural deodorants are all the craze these days and there are plenty to choose from. We decided to try three this month to see how they stood up to the sweat of everyday life and how they handled under more extreme circumstances like the Barry's Bootcamp class we took (what were we thinking?!)

Native Deodorant

Native was our favorite for a few reasons. First, the scent! We tried the Lavender & Rose and it is one of the most pleasant smells, can they make it as a body spray?? Also, it was able to stand up to a tough workout. We sweat a little, which is normal since these are not antiperspirants, but did not smell at all! And Native lasted a solid 24 hours without reapplying.

 

Agent Nateur N 3

The scent of Agent Nateur we found to be pleasant and slightly masculine because of the strong eucalyptus. And while the deodorant did stand up to regular wear and tear of going to work, dinner, etc., we found that it did not work as well during our workouts. It's also a bit more expensive, $21.

 

Soapwalla Deodorant Cream

Admittedly, the group was slightly hesitant to try Soapwalla given the hand to armpit application. First, it did work well and stand up to our workouts. Second, it has a sweet, citrus-y scent that we loved. Third, we couldn't really get over the hand application, it's fine after a shower, but applying midday or on the go is a bit less ideal.

The Top Clean Facial Oils for Healthy, Radiant Skin.

As we age our skin naturally produces less oil. Using a clean oil helps provide much needed nutrients to skin and provide healthy, glowing skin. Plus plant botanicals provide some of the best protection against signs of aging including reducing fine lines, evening skin tone and tightening skin.

Not to mention that traditional creams and oils are loaded with harmful chemicals such as parabens, sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), synthetic colors & fragrances, and even formaldehyde to name a few. Many of these chemicals irritate skin and can cause allergic reactions and breakouts. So, if you're not already using a clean facial oil, it's time.  But won't oil make me break out? Quite the contrary. Many plant oils actually help your skin regulate oil production so you can kiss breakouts goodbye.

We tested dozens of facial oils over the last few months to find our top picks. We were looking for oils that produced tangible results (super smooth + even skin tone + feels great!), are made from plants (not chemicals), and are a great value for the price. If you have dry skin, try putting on a clean water-based serum on before applying the oil.

Naked + Thriving’s Rejuvenate Restorative Facial Oil

By far and away, Naked + Thriving's REJUVENATE Restorative Facial Oil was the favorite among the group. Aside from the brand's cheeky name (which we love) this oil had the most visible results. We saw a reduction in facial lines, more even skin tone and we literally could not stopping touching our faces (so soft!) They say one bottle should last a 3-4 months, but we guess longer. Naked + Thriving plants a tree for every bottle sold and are made from 99% certified organic ingredients. REJUVENATE uses some of our favorite and most active oils such as Argan, Sea Buckthorn, Chia Seed & Pomegranate. And they have a great body oil as well.

Post Update:  Naked + Thriving is currently offering 10% off full-size products using code ORGANIC2019 at checkout. As always we love to pass along sales when we see them!

Vintner’s Daughter Active Botanical Serum

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Our second selection is the ever popular, and even more expensive, Vintner’s Daughter. Coming in at $185 we found this oil to be one of the most expensive we tried. The oil has a pleasant, earthy fragrance and is mainly comprised of Grape Seed Oil, Hazelnut and Bergamot. The reason this oil was not our favorite is that we found it slightly greasy, which was surprising given it’s popularity and price point.

Beautycounter Brightening Oil

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Our next pick is Beautycounter’s Brightening Facial Oil. This oil applies easily to the skin and consists of Avocado, Grape and Meadowfoam oils .  These are heavier oils so if you are looking for a light oil we would not recommend this one. It made our skin softer with a pleasant orange scent. Full disclosure, this oil is very expensive at $69 for 0.67 oz. so it is not the best bang for your buck.

Josie Maran Argan Oil

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Next in line is Josie Maran’s Argan Oil. This oil has grown quite popular over the last few years and for good reason, it’s hydrating and not too heavy. However, it comes in third on our list because we did not find that it absorbed as well as others and aside from the hydration did not see many other benefits.

SK-II Facial Treatment Oil

Our next pick is SK-II's Facial Treatment Oil. This oil is heavier than the others consisting of olive and avocado oils that are fattier, heavier oils. We would only recommend this oil for those who have extremely dry skin. That said, it does quite a nice job at moisturizing the skin and smells delightful. A bottle will run approximately $150.

Odacite

Odacite's An Autumn on The World, is a great albeit expensive oil. We loved the way it felt on our skin, however, it is half the size of Naked + Thriving and more than double the cost ($149). Our other qualm is that while this is touted as a "clean" oil, it does not have certified organic or natural ingredients. 

 

goop

It was only a matter of time before Gwyneth released her own facial oil and here it is. While we love the clean packaging and the oil is pretty great we did not love the scent.  We did struggle to understand a price point of $110 when the first ingredient is sunflower oil (one of the cheaper oils out there).

 

Origins Plantscription Youth-Renewing Face Oil

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While we love many products from Origins we were a bit disappointed by this one. The scent of the oil is great we will admit. However, this oil is greasier than others we tried and does not sink into the skin well, even after a good ten minutes. The greasy feeling continued well after use. Our other complaint about this oil is that the bottle is oddly shaped with a wide opening that makes it top heavy and easy to topple over. We would only recommend this oil for those with extremely dry skin and would say to use it at night to avoid looking greasy during the day.

 

ila

Bringing up the rear of our top facial oils is ila's face oil for glowing radiance. This facial oil also touts Argan as a key ingredient and produced some great results. We noticed a more even skin tone, however, we did not see line reduction as with some of the others. Also, the dropper on this bottle was unlike most others and not as easy to use, which, at the end of the day if our beauty routine can be made easier, it's always a plus in our book.