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How To Choose The Right Oils For Your Skin Care Routine

Posted Feb 24 2011 6:16pm

A big welcome to Lisa, our newest addition to High on Health. Lisa has a solid background in the natural skin care and spa industry so she’s going to help us out with natural skin care advice and product reviews. Lisa’s full bio is at the end of the article so make sure you check out her blog!


Life is a journey……. we all know that to be true…..but what if I said that “Perfect Skin is a journey not a destination” ( Lisa T!)

I put this into a quote because I have found myself using this phrase in my training to therapists and industry people a lot lately. Why?…. Because I really believe we can get stuck into thinking there will be one thing, one miracle cure, one right way that will bring us to our desire and then it will stop….the hard work, the routine, that place of reaching our ‘perfect’ flawless skin. It can almost feel as we are being punished somehow when we fall backwards into some of the habits or cycles or patterns that end up with the unwanted break outs, acne, dryness, flaking, scarring, wrinkles, dermatitis or any other amount of skin conditions we can suffer with throughout our life time.

Inside Out

What I know to be true is that our inner world reflects our outer world at all times and the kinds of challenges I have faced with my skin have often been played out very publicly on the ‘stage’ of my professional career – let me tell you it can be tough facing people when you have hormonal cystic acne all over your chin and you have try to teach them about how best to treat this condition with natural and organic skincare!!!!!!!!

What I hope to do over the coming weeks is empower you with the ability to choose good skincare and to authentically relate what’s going on in your inner world to your outer world (or outer skin!) wherever you are in the world and I will let you know exactly what has worked for me and for my clients and what to do when or if it stops working!

So let’s talk ingredients. It’s all very well and good your best friend telling you how great coconut oil is for her, or hearing your mum say how everyone in your family has used natural exfoliants like sea salt, or that stuff you hear about how great tea tree is for acne….. but how do you make these kinds of things work for you in your situation every time? How do you discern from all the info available to you and avoid making expensive skincare purchases that turn out to be horrible mistakes?

Ok so first up ALL skin types need regenerating. Skin renews itself every 4-6weeks approximately leaving you with a brand new layer to present to the world. This can’t happen without some key things.

The Low down on FAT

E….F…..A’s – Essential fatty acids……. these nutritious little guys are essential for life, essential for regeneration and your body can’t make them. It’s pretty clever your body, it can make lots of stuff, like vitamins – think of Vitamin D from sunshine – but not these guys, they must come from food or skin application. Pretty important because they are actually used in the creation of new cell membrane.

We get them from oils or fats, not the ones that are heat-treated or hydrogenated or processed but the ones that are cold-pressed and as natural as possible. So I am thinking of Coconut (the kind that goes runny with heat and hard with cold), Avocado, Apricot Kernel, Olive, Camellia, Sesame, Safflower, Hazenut, Hemp, Kukui, Pumpkin, Rosehip, Evening Primrose, Almond, Jojoba, Rice Bran, Canola, Sunflower, Soy …….you get the idea right? Any and all of these if they are extracted through cold –processing methods will retain these Essential fatty acids which are great for rejuvenating, repairing scarring or damage or ageing, healing, replicating, toning, and balancing the oil production of the skin.

Now let’s talk digestion……skin metabolism. It’s not only our stomachs that digest stuff but the skin too, but how easily can our skin digest the oil we are using? What suits OUR skin, not someone else’s skin, not your best friends or your mums or your sisters but YOURS!

Power of Choice

Here are some simple steps for choosing and implemeting the right oils for your skincare routine


  • Do use a high quality cold-pressed oil
  • Do use organic if possible
  • Do try to match the viscosity ( that’s means thickness!) of the oil relative to the type of skin you have e.g oily skin use a light oil like Jojoba or Camellia or Hazelnut
  • Do use at nighttime as this is when most healing and repair happens
  • Do use on DAMP skin – find a high quality floral water spritz or use purified/spring water
  • DO apply small amounts – like fat in the diet, little and often is better !!!
  • Do use a pressing or massaging technique to assist the oil to ‘digest’into the skin
  • Do test your skin’s digestion by applying the oil and after 3 mins blot skin with a tissue and see if there is still residue – if yes you may need to use a finer oil.


  • Apply to uncleansed skin – EVER!
  • Don’t apply directly under makeup if you don’t have at least 5 mins to leave the oil to digest
  • Don’t apply to dry skin
  • Don’t use hydrogenated/fractionated/processed or mineral oils on the skin ( they are not compatible have no EFA’s anyway!)
  • Don’t use a thick oil alone on your skin even if someone else tells you its good. You can always add to a thinner oil eg. A few drops of rosehip to some hazelnut oil as a base.
  • Don’t neglect to cleanse and exfoliate and other great practices that will help with EFA absorption

So please remember to include an oil for regeneration healing and repair and find one that suits your skin type. You can do the same test for oil/serum skincare products to find one that works for you but you need one in your skincare routine. Apply them to slightly damp skin for best digestion and enjoy those EFA’s !!! YUM ! ! until next ‘skin dinner’ time!!!

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