When I first started making moisturizers, I valued essential oils and hydrosols (floral waters), spending little time thinking about carrier oils except to make sure they matched the three doshas (Vata, Pitta, Kapha constitutions). Things changed when I first discovered the power and delightful comfort provided by pumpkin seed oil. Since then, every time I hear about a new oil, I get excited and research them. The more exotic, the better. This was the case with argan oil.
During the process of finding a name for Face to Grace’s newest product, Rosed’argan, I came across an article about three oils I never heard about: pomegranate, prickly pear and açai oils. India had taught me the delicious cooling properties of the pomegranate fruit, but not that oil could be extracted from its seeds. Similarly, I had seen dried açai fruit in health food stores, but did no know oil could be derived from it. And with such an exotic name as prickly pear, it took but a few seconds to look for a picture on the Internet and find out about its benefits. Read on to see how impressive they are!
Pomegranate seed oil
You already know the benefits of pomegranate to calm the Pitta dosha from articles about India that I posted in this blog. It is not surprising that this oil is rich in vitamin C. Used both for skin and hair, it helps channel nutrients directly into the cells, accelerating the process of cellular regeneration and rejuvenation. It is described as an oil that absorbs deeply into the skin without leaving any greasy residue. It is recommended for all skin types, including oily and acne prone skin, and to reduce scarring. Those with eczema, psoriasis and sunburned skin will find relief thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties. Some even claim that it can cure these last two conditions in the scalp.
Pomegranate oil also contains a human compatible form of pro-estrogen, which supports hormonal balance in both men and women. This helps to improve the texture of the skin, alleviates itchiness and fights scalp bacteria. Because it stimulates blood flow to the root of the hair, the hair follicles receive proper nourishment, accelerating hair growth. It also balances the pH level of the scalp, reducing oiliness and stimulating the follicles for soft, strong and free from detrimental bacteria.
Prickly pear oil
Prickly pear comes from Morocco, and likely other dry equatorial countries as they are the fruit of a round, flat type of cactus. Thanks to its high concentrations of Vitamin E and essential fatty acids and some vitamin K, the oil it has strong antioxidant and free radical scavenging properties. A blogger wrote that daily use over several months not only reduced hyper-pigmented spots in her face but erased them completely after a few months. Another one mentioned that and vitamin K to reduce dark circles
In addition to its regenerative properties for skin and hair health, an article mentioned that the fruit contains flavonoids that prevent macular degeneration and fight cataracts. Quite a feat in itself!
The acai berry, grown in Central and South America, is one of the planets highest sources of antioxidants, with ten times more antioxidants than grapes and twice as much as blueberries. Eating the fruit or using its oil slows or reverses the typical aging because it limits the damage caused by oxydization in the body and gives your skin a healthy glow.
On a general level, the anthocyanins (red, violet or blue pigment) found in açai play a role in the protection of the human cell against the invasion of free radicals. They also protect the plant cells against damage caused by UV radiation, which may be beneficial for humans as well. This natural emollient oil has long been appreciated because it absorbs quickly, is highly moisturizing, restores the elasticity of the skin, is a powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial.
The only downside to those oils is their price, which is the case for any specialty oils. Like argan oil, they are among the most expensive oils in the world. Of course, they are rarely used as carrier oils in products unless you are aiming for something quite specific, as is the case for Rosed’Argan.