One of the benefits of switching to natural beauty products– besides cutting out chemicals and toxins– is the need for less. The more natural I go, the fewer products I have crowding my bathroom.
Now, one giant bottle of organic unrefined sesame oil has taken the place of about 5 commercial and toxic beauty potions. I not only feel better knowing exactly what I’m slathering on my body, but I also spend less money since overcoming the consumerist delusion that I need a separate spray, lotion, or cream for every aspect of my beauty regimen.
You can do the same– all it takes is one bottle of a high quality sesame or coconut oil. I suggest using sesame oil in the cooler months (because of its heating action), and coconut oil in the warmer months (due to its cooling action). If you know that your Ayurvedic constitution is vata or kapha, opt for sesame. If you know that your constitution is pitta, go for coconut.
Here are 5 ways to use oil in your natural beauty care regimen:
1. Use oil instead of body lotion.
Oil makes an excellent moisturizer.
Giving yourself a daily rubdown with warm oil not only combats dry skin, but also boosts immunity, removes toxins, reduces stress, and slows down aging. It won’t leave you feeling greasy, because you’ll be washing it off after 10 to 20 minutes, which is just long enough for the oil to absorb and work its magic.
In Ayurveda this oil massage practice is called abhyanga, and you can learn more benefits here.
2. Use oil instead of face lotion.
Giving your face a daily massage too works its own wonders. It reduces wrinkles, sinus problems, and skin discoloration.
Gently massage your entire face with warm oil, leave on for 5 minutes, and wash off. This gives the oil just enough time to penetrate and moisturize your skin. If you don’t wash it off, the combination of oil with pollution and makeup could clog your pores.
3. Use oil as a mouthwash.
This practice is called oil pulling. It’s recently become very popular amongst natural beauty fans, but it’s been practiced in Ayurveda for ages under the name gandusha.
Swish a few teaspoons of oil in your mouth for about 10 minutes, ideally before breakfast. Spit it into a trashcan when you’re done and rinse with warm water. Oil pulling draws out toxins, cleanses the mouth, and whitens teeth.
4. Use oil to remove eye makeup.
Dab a cotton ball in oil and gently wipe it over your eyes to remove mascara and eye makeup. It works very well, without the all the weird and unpronounceable ingredients in commercial eye makeup removers.
5. Use oil instead of conditioner.
Massage your scalp with warm oil for a few minutes and wash out with shampoo– your hair will be so soft that you won’t even need conditioner. Not only that, but head massage prevents early graying and balding, reduces stress, calms the mind, and can relieve headaches.