The good oil

I decided to make a face oil because so many people have asked me to do it.Because a face oil wasn’t part of my own skincare routine – I keep things pretty simple – I had to do a lot of investigation into the benefits; basically I didn’t want to put something on the market unless I knew it would work.

After six months’ of research and lots of trials with different ingredients and using a group of lovely testers, I’ve finally created an oil that I’m rapt to be selling.

The main thing I’ve learned along the way are the huge benefits of using a face oil – as long as the oils are top-quality.

There’s so much scientific research showing face oils work to repair and maintain damaged skin, limiting the signs of aging – in fact a good face oil is a powerful tool in your beauty kit – so if you’re going to put something powerful on your skin you have to make sure it’s the right thing.

 Testing some oils
Some oils being tested during the development stage.

One of the most important aspects is to use cold-pressed oils – and it should be all plant-based, which goes without saying. By plant-based I mean an oil that comes from the plants themselves, the seeds or the nuts. By using cold-pressed oils  you’re getting the best of the oils and ensuring they’re not damaged by heat or solvents.

Cold-pressed oils are more expensive to buy because there’s more effort gone into producing them – but it’s worth it.

The Agnes&Me face oil is totally organic and made only use cold-pressed oils – I wouldn’t do anything less for myself and that’s my ethos for all my products: I make the best I can for myself.

So, what are these benefits?

What you want from an oil is for it to protect and repair your skin (and if you do that it will remain soft, moist and fresh). To protect and repair, you want something full of antioxidants. People have heard the word “antioxidants” bandied around for a long time and maybe they are immune to what it means. We hear about antioxidant-rich foods that are fighting off free radicals but what does it mean when we talk about free radicals and antioxidants in the context of the skin?

All the research shows free radicals – and another bunch of baddies called reactive oxygen species (ROS) – conspire to prematurely age your skin. The activity of these ageing agents is increased with alcohol intake, smoking, poor nutrition, overeating, environmental pollution, severe physical and psychological stress, and exposure to UV radiation – which is by far the biggest culprit.

Exposure to all these elements brings free radicals into play and they break down the skin starting with the outer layer. The only way to fight them is with antioxidants. Naturally, our skin is packed full of natural antioxidants, but they are concentrated deeper in the skin layers and are less available at the top layers where we see most damage. And while the body produces enough antioxidants to counter free radicals when we’re young, our levels start to fall away from the age of about 25, leading to an increase in free radicals and thus also an increase in skin damage.

You can do plenty to boost your antioxidant levels through diet and lifestyle but it’s very hard to get them to that outer layer of your skin. And that’s where certain oils come in – they literally deliver antioxidants as well as beneficial fatty acids to your outer layer to fight off the free radicals that will otherwise age your skin more quickly.

Skin researchers are learning more and more all the time, but the science is irrefutable – if you apply a dose of antioxidants to the skin it definitely works to help the repair damage – and may even prevent future damage, especially from UV radiation.

So potent is the hit of oils for your skin you only need a few drops to protect and nourish the skin on your face. And guess what, an oil has the added benefit of stopping your skin losing moisture by acting as what we call an occlusive, literally putting up a barrier to lock in moisture.

For all these reasons, a face oil is super-useful for people with dry skin.

The big question: when & how to use your face oil?

I hate complicated skincare regimes – there’s no way you need 11 steps as so many experts recommend – but from my trials I’ve had people using face oil by itself without a face cream, some people who put it under their face cream, people who put it over their face cream, people who use at different times of the day …  And there are dozens of blogs and tips out there with a myriad of ways to use a face oil and they are all different, just like my testers. All I can say is find the way that suits you – but adding a face oil will certainly produce benefits.

For me, I would never be without my face cream, I love it too much and it works so well for me. But I’m now using the face oil to supplement the benefits. And if you want to know-my choice is over my face cream at night and I have tried all options and oils in the last six months.

Here’s a quick summary of what’s in the Agnes&Me face oil and why it works so well:

Camellia oil: Super rich in antioxidants, vitamins and omega oils 3, 6 and 9. It absorbs quickly, penetrates to the deepest tissues, has outstanding moisture retaining ability and anti-inflammatory properties so it’s great for mature, dry, sensitive and damaged skin.  It is the “beauty secret” of the geishas of Japan and has been used for centuries in Eastern Asia for its highly regenerative and restorative effects in the skin. 

Camellia oil with a camellia flower.
Camellia Oil is amazing.

 Macadamia oil: a velvet smooth, healing and moisturising oil. It’s rich in rare Omega 7 oils that help repair skin damage. High in regenerative antioxidants as well as anti-bacterial. A quick word here on the benefits of omegas, which are truly remarkable ingredients for skin. They serve as the essential building blocks of skin’s surface layers, creating a smoother, more even, younger-looking, and healthier complexion, no matter your age or skin type.

 Safflower oil: one of the richest sources of linoleic acid and it helps in production of ceramides – if you imagine your skins cells are like bricks, then ceramides are the mortar, so are integral to maintaining the skin’s integrity.

Avocado oil: is renowned for its nourishing and healing properties and is great for inflamed or irritated skin.

 Evening primrose oil: rich in omega 6, high in antioxidants, extraordinary anti-inflammatory properties. Works superbly alongside macadamia oil for anti-ageing effects.

 Vitamin E: a great antioxidant

 Frankincense essential oil: smells amazing and has a rejuvenating effect on the skin as well as helping smooth out facial lines

Wow, there’s a lot for your brain to take in – but luckily your skin doesn’t need to know why things work, it just takes it all in without thinking!

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