Luxe for Less: Slick Oils for Skin and Hair
The word “oil” is not typically something we want to hear when it comes to our appearance. (“She has fantastically oily hair” just does not have a ring to it.) But ironically, the beauty product that’s everywhere right now is, in fact, oil.
Argan oil, to be specific. The ultimate in multitasking, it does everything from returning frizzy, fried locks to soft, silky perfection to restoring a radiant glow to tired, damaged skin. Produced from the kernels of argan tree fruit (native to Morocco), this oil is one of the rarest in the world due to a small supply and limited growing area.
Everyone from dermatologists to celebrities have been touting its benefits, but what’s a girl on a budget got to do to get a bit of this slick product? Whether you want to spring for a luxe brand or try it for less, we’ve got the recommendations you need.
The first argan oil hair product on the market, it’s still one of the best. Its super-light formula delivers shiny, silky results the first time you use it, even for those of us who constantly damage our hair with flat irons, blow-dryers, or dye (which is to say—everyone). Plus it doesn’t leave a residue or make hair sticky or greasy like other serums.
It’s pricey—but the benefits can be worth it. Applying a few drops to damp hair makes detangling painless and cuts blowdrying time in half, saving you precious time in the morning. And a bit of oil actually manages unruly hair better than the (also expensive) mousse, gel, and straightening products you usually use to get it to behave. (In fact, the thicker and coarser your hair, the better the results.) So for women who regularly coax their curls into a smooth, straight style, this is a no-brainer.
If you don’t want to part with $40 and risk adding another bottle to your cabinet of hair products you just don’t love, try this first. Yes, it may inspire you (and your wallet) to commit to a costlier brand, but with its healing combination of Vitamin E and antioxidants, you might not need to.
Even lighter than Moroccanoil, it’s ideal for fine, thin hair, which can be overwhelmed by oil-based products, and blondes, whose light shade otherwise shows off every bit of excess oil and the dirt it can attract. Just like its pricier counterparts, it’s sulfate-free, which is better for your hair (and helps you go more time between color appointments, too).
Argan oil’s most inexplicable phenomenon is its ability to heal the roughest, driest parts of your body while being light and gentle enough to use even on acne-prone skin. And it’s especially true of Kiehl’s ultra-nourishing version.
Besides argan oil, it’s loaded with antioxidant-rich extra virgin olive oil and apricot kernel oil (high in Vitamin E, oleic acid, and linoleic acid, all of which keep skin clear and smooth). No, it’s not cheap, but it’s a serious multitasker: Use it as a daily facial moisturizer or apply to shoulders, arms, and legs for a soft glow. Or, as we head into winter, try applying it liberally to freshly soaked feet and pulling on a pair of socks before bed: You’ll wake up to softer soles without all the scrubbing.
Even with access to every pricey product out there, many beauty editors and celebrities choose this inexpensive version. It’s 100% pure argan oil without fillers or synthetic additives, so even the most sensitive skin can handle it (including the fragile undereye area—so you can ditch that expensive eye cream).
It’s also a staple for frequent fliers. Not only is it small enough to pass through security, but it will lighten your load: The multitasking blend can be massaged into cuticles to soften a hangnail or applied to hair to smooth split ends or flyaways.
Ladies, have you tried argan oil? What do you think? Any favorite products and brands?
Love beauty trends but hate throwing down an entire day’s pay for eye shadow? Beauty and style expert Karina Giglio shows us how to get the best products and latest looks without blowing your paycheck. Check out her column every other Thursday, or before your next trip to Sephora.
Photo courtesy of Ellevalentine.
Want More Advice Like This?
Sign up and follow us on Facebook to get everything you need to succeed in your career from The Muse.