It’s official: Coconut-oil hype has hit fever pitch. From oil pulling to lotion to face wash, there’s seemingly nothing this natural wonder can’t do — and everyone wants to talk about it. But, there are actually hundreds of other oils out there; for proof, just take a stroll through the aisles of Whole Foods or your local health-food store. And, it would make sense that those guys have some skin magic in ’em, too, right?
To get the scoop on these lesser known oils (and all of their benefits), we spoke with some of the heavy hitters in the industry. And, what we found wasn’t so surprising: These bottles should not stay tucked away on a shelf (or, for some of them, just used in your favorite recipes). They harness major beauty bonuses, and we’ve got the rundown on them straight ahead. Ready to find your new favorite oil? Click on — we promise not to tell coconut.
Mongongo oil, which is derived from the fruit of the manketti tree in sub-Saharan Africa, has the ability to reduce inflammation, soothe, and hydrate the skin.
Drunk Elephant Lippe, $22, available atDrunk Elephant.
“Microalgae is expected to deliver by taking the oil out of the algae and providing hyper-hydration and a concentration of vitamins and antioxidants,” says dermatologist Jeannette Graf, MD. So if you’re looking for some major moisture, you’re going to want to reach for this stuff.
Algenist Advanced Anti-Aging Repairing Oil, $79, available at Sephora.
Hemp has been a growing trend in beauty products, so it only makes sense that hemp seed oil is a go-to as well. The oil, made from the seeds of cannabis plants, is super-moisturizing for the skin and can help with rashes and acne.
Nature’s Alchemy Hemp Seed Oil, $8.89, available at The Vitamin Shoppe.
This light, yet oh-so-moisturizing oil for your face and body is enriched with licorice root extract to calm and soothe the skin as well as Camellia and Squalene oil to nourish. The soft fragrance of green tea and bamboo add to the luxe oil, which is of course capped off with 24-karat gold flakes.
Tatcha Camellia Beauty Oil, $95, available atTatcha.
Instead of being derived from nuts, flowers, and fruits like most oils, sea buckthorn is actually an herb. And, a powerful little herb it is. “Sea buckthorn is a fantastic oil for a lot of reasons,” says Christy Coleman, head of design for The Beauty Counter. “It contains a whole host of antioxidants as well as vitamins A, C, and E.” This mighty herb also decreases inflammation and increases collagen. Basically, this is one oil that will work for your skin. Try using it as a serum before you layer on your moisturizer.
Sibu Sea Buckthorn Seed Oil, $15.95, available at Sibu Beauty.
Rose-hip-seed oil does more than give your favorite products their pretty scent. “It’s got a high concentration of vitamin C,” Coleman says. “It’s great for dry, irritated skin.” This oil has also got a stellar rep for its anti-aging properties and its ability to lighten dark spots.
Since rose-hip-seed oil can sometimes come in a small bottle (and cost a pretty penny), Coleman suggests cutting it with another oil. Grapeseed and jojoba oil are good choices because they’re unscented. Jamie Ahn, of Townhouse Spa and Acqua Beauty Bar, also has a suggestion for how to work it into your regimen: “Add a few drops to your moisturizer!”
Now Solutions Rose Hip Seed Oil, $5.29, available at Now Food Solutions.
Not into DIY oil blending? For a mix of jojoba and rose that’s already perfected, simply look to organic Swedish brand Estelle & Thild. Its Youth Oil is a mix of apricot, wild rose, and jojoba and is designed to be used alone or added to other skin-care products for a rich boost of moisture.
Estelle & Thild BioDefense Multi-Nutrient Youth Oil, $68, available at Net-A-Porter.
You’ve definitely heard of argan oil for your hair, but you can actually slather it on your skin as well. “It’s great for all skin types, but it’s especially good for acne-prone skin,” Ahn says. “It’s light and non-greasy.”
Acure Argan Oil, $14.99, available at Acure.
Marula oil, like argan oil, is indigenous to Africa and is known for its hydrating properties. You can thank its fatty-acid composition for that: It includes saturated fatty acids, polyunsaturated fatty acids, and mono-unsaturated fatty acids.
Not only is marula oil incredible for your face, but it’s also a good moisturizer for the rest of your body. You can even work a little bit into the ends of your hair if they’re feeling a little dry.
Floracopeia Marula Oil, $23, available atFloracopeia.
Consider jojoba oil the sleeper hit of the natural-oils aisle — and one you’ll want to get on your face ASAP. “It’s similar in molecular structure to the oil that our own skin produces, and it penetrates to provide long-lasting moisture,” says Tata Harper, who heads up her cult-favorite, eponymous skin-care line. “There’s no such thing as ‘too much.’ Massage it into any part of the skin that needs moisture. If it’s high-quality, it will absorb quickly.
If you’ve got acne-prone skin, jojoba is especially effective for you. “It has antiseptic qualities, too, so it cleanses and purifies while moisturizing,” Harper says. Ahn agrees, saying that this particular oil actually dissolves excess sebum. Talk about an overachiever.
Desert Essence 100% Pure Jojoba Oil, $8.94, available at Walgreens.
One major gripe some people have with coconut oil: the smell — it can get to you sometimes. So, for those with sensitive noses, grapeseed oil can be a great alternative because it’s totally unscented. This oil also stimulates circulation and is light enough that it won’t stain your sheets if you wear it to bed. Score!
But, the real powerhouse ingredient in grapeseed oil is linoleic acid. “It’s a fatty acid that’s great for your skin,” Coleman says. “It’s good for pulling toxins out of your skin.” Folks with acneic skin, this is another good one for you.
Now Solutions Grapeseed Oil, $7.99, available at GNC.
Looking for antioxidants? Pick up some sunflower oil. “Sunflower oils contain high concentrations of vitamin E,” says Ling Chan, founder of Ling Skin Care & Spa. “Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that repairs and protects the skin from harmful UVA and UVB damage.” Considering that warmer weather is coming, this is one oil you’ll want to lean in to.
Sunflower oil also works wonders for girls who tend to break out, because it’s noncomedogenic. And, that whole anti-aging thing? Yeah, sunflower oil is a powerhouse there, too. “As we age, we tend to need more oils to protect our skin,” Chan says. “When we have enough oil in our skin, we can prevent fine lines and wrinkles from forming.”
Life-flo Pure Sunflower Oil, $13.59, available atLife-flo.
Our skin also naturally produces squalene oil, which Chan suggests you work into your regimen. “It naturally assimilates into the skin to boost moisture levels,” she says. Squalene oil also creates a moisture barrier from harmful environmental factors, and it’s noncomedogenic, so your pores are safe.
Plus, squalene oil works for basically every skin type. “Dry skin types can use this to put natural oils back into the skin,” Chan says. “Alternatively, oily skin types can use this to balance oil production from overactive glands to help prevent breakouts.” And, since your skin changes as you age, this is one oil that can grow with you.
Ling Hydra Squalene, $75, available at Ling New York.
“Almond oil is antioxidant-rich, high in vitamin E, fat, and protein,” says Marla Malcolm Beck, CEO and founder of Bluemercury. This oil also contains vitamins A and B, so it’s key for getting rid of dark under-eye circles. “It’s been shown to help brighten under your eyes,” says Beck, who suggests slathering this stuff on before bed and letting it work its magic while you sleep.
Aura Cacia Nurturing Sweet Almond Oil, $5.99, available at Drugstore.com.
You already know that avocado is delicious in it’s many iterations — hello, guac! — but it’s also a wonderful moisturizer. You can find avocado oil as the base for many face and body oils, but we’re partial to Sunday Riley’s formula. It packs retinol for cell turnover, chamomile to soothe, and a hit of chia seed oil for extra hydration.
Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Night Oil, $105, available at Sephora.