Sustainable style

Time for an oil change


In my ongoing quest to simplify my life and my beauty cabinet, I’ve decided to unleash the moisturizing magic of my cooking oils as an alternative to buying more facial cream. My fair, dry and sensitive skin (should be a movie title), oftentimes looks and feels like phylo pastry when I try to apply lotion. It flakes, it peels – my forehead might as well be an extension of my desert-dry scalp. That’s a whole other post for some other time though.

Even my awesome momsome’s home-made lavender and Shea butter bar she stuffed in my Christmas stocking this year doesn’t quite do it. And YES, I try to avoid washing my face with hot water but this dry, winter weather is still killing me man!

I think back to the dozens of articles I’ve read that all stated the moisturizing power of the mighty olive oil or the lubri-tastic qualities of grapeseed oil and I can’t, for the life of me, think why I haven’t tried oiling my visage up before. Eh well, it’s never too late for an oil change. Well, maybe for cars but I digress.

So tonight, I had a nice, hot bath. I know, it’s awful for my skin BUT it felt so heavenly on my tense back muscles and I couldn’t think of a better way to warm up from my cold walk home after work. Again, I digress. I had a bath, cleansed my face with my gentle Tata Harper cleanser/scrub (more to come on Ms. Harper very soon!) Tired of scraping the bottom of my giant, industrial-sized jar of unrefined Shea butter (a random online purchase that has proven useful), I opened my kitchen cupboard and opted for grapeseed oil, olive oil’s much-ignored cousin.


Can I get an amen for Mother Nature’s genius?! Grapeseed oil is fantastic. Besides the fact that it’s loaded with vitamin E and omega 6, it feels pretty naughty applying lube on my face (look it up, grapeseed oil is a great, natural alternative to KY). It didn’t sting my skin upon appliation and after a half hour, my face still feels moist, plump and happy. This may seem like an obvious point but trust me, my skin is so dry that I can apply raw Shea butter to it and still spot a few pesky flakes around my hairline that are just dying to wreak havoc on any of my attempts to apply foundation – something else I don’t bother using for this very reason.

Applying oil to your face might not be ideal during the hot, summer months, but you really don’t have to worry about looking oily (at least for long) in the winter. One gust of cold wind will whip away any grease as the remaining oil gets lovingly absorbed into your thirsty pores.

Not into grapeseed oil? Coconut oil is not only a delicious cooking oil, it’s also a great body lotion. Unfortunately for me, it wasn’t rich enough to tame my face flakes. There is always olive oil of course, which is also an expert dry-cuticle cure. I’m sure all of the other plant-based oils of the world (sunflower, flaxseed, almond, etc.) have their own moisturizing properties but try grapeseed and olive first and tell me what you think.

NOTE: You may need to wash your pillow cases more if you apply the oil before bed. Not sure you want to wake up with limp hair all the time…

*All photography taken by me, edited on le iPhone

11 Responses to “Time for an oil change”

  1. Jess

    I confess to having used Trader Joe’s coconut oil cooking spray as a stand-in for body lotion. It leaves a nice sheen on the legs. I also love grapeseed oil for the face – it seems lighter and has less of a smell than olive oil does!

    • Malorie Bertrand

      Trader Joe’s eh? Hmm, I’ll look that up! I agree, olive oil is great but I don’t want to smell like food all the time so grapeseed oil is the best fragrance-free option. Did you know you can also use oil to cleanse your face? Lather the grapeseed oil on your face as you would a cleanser and then gently wipe it off with a warm cloth (not hot, hot water will dry your face out). It makes sense really – makeup remover is oily, so why wouldn’t it work just as well to remove dirt?

  2. mary lee

    If oils are working for you, add rose hip seed oil to your collection. Absorbs really well, high in omega oils and very good for dry skin.
    I hope you find the magic combo for your skin and the oil cleanse is very good so you’re well on your way:)

  3. Jane Porter

    … and I was just about to spend a bunch of money on night cream! Thanks Mal – will go buy some grapeseed oil:) This weather has been killing my skin too!

    • Malorie Bertrand

      Mine too! Try a small bottle of a few different oils. They work differently on everyone. Coconut oil wasn’t moisturizing enough for me but it might be for you! x


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