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The cold winter days can make you feel all cozy and warm, especially when you are wrapped in a blanket and sipping a cup of hot coffee. Plus, the holiday season that winter brings is no doubt a time to spread cheer and joy.
However, as much as many people like winter, it also brings hair and skin problems such as dryness, hair fall, and dandruff. (1) This is why your skin needs protection from the dry winter air, which can cause skin irritation and itchiness.
The good news is that there is a simple way to keep your hair and skin healthy during the cold months.
Best Hair Oils in Winter
Maintaining strong, silky, and shiny hair during winter can be a difficult task. As the season changes and the chilly air approaches, you may suffer from some common hair problems, which include:
- Hair fall
But the solution to them is simple – using oil to moisturize the hair. All you have to do is massage the scalp with the oil, leave it for a few hours, preferably overnight, and then wash your hair with a gentle cleansing shampoo. (2)
Oiling your hair during winter can do wonders for your scalp health because it locks the moisture in the scalp and hair. (3)
Tip: Experts suggest covering the hair with a towel soaked in warm water after oiling them to help the oil penetrate deeper into the roots of your hair and increase the blood circulation to the scalp.
Here are the best oils for maintaining hair health during winter:
1. Olive oil
Olive oil is extracted from the seeds of the fruits of Olea europaea. Olive oil is rich in vitamin E and fatty acids. It provides moisturization and softness to your hair. (4)
Use olive oil for your hair, especially extra virgin olive oil, as frequently as required based on your hair type and length to have silky soft hair. This oil has been used as a hair care agent for a long time around the world. (2)
2. Rosemary oil
Rosemary oil is a famous essential oil that is good for your hair during winter according to experts. This is because of the various properties that make it useful in fighting hair problems such as a dry, scaly, and flaky scalp.
Since rosemary oil also has antifungal activity, it can fight off yeasts, mainly species of Malassezia and Candida, which are associated with dandruff, a major problem in winter. (5)
3. Argan oil
Argan oil is extracted from Argania spinosa. Traditionally, it has been used in skin and hair products. It is abundant in sterols, polyphenols, palmitic acid, stearic acid, linolenic acid, and linoleic acid. These compounds make argan oil a good agent for regulating sebum production on the scalp.
In winter, hair dryness is a big issue. Argan oil has a good water-holding capacity; thus, applying this oil can help keep your hair moisturized. (2)
4. Almond oil
Almond oil is extracted from the fruits of Prunus amygdalus. It contains fatty acids including linoleic acid and oleic acid and is also rich in vitamin E.
5. Coconut oil
Coconut oil is extracted from the fruits of Cocos nucifera. It is rich in fatty acids including myristic acid, capric acid, and lauric acid. It also has good activity as an antioxidant.
Coconut oil is great for dry hair, which is a major problem in winter because it forms a coating over the hair shaft, which helps in sealing the cuticle and trapping the moisture inside.
Also, because of its low molecular weight, coconut oil can penetrate the hair shaft and prevent protein loss from the hair. (8)
6. Mustard oil
Mustard oil is extracted from the seeds of the plant Brassica nigra. It is replete with linoleic, linolenic, and oleic acids, which are fatty acids that are good for hair health. It is a good conditioner for your hair and can help prevent dry hair and a flaky scalp. (2)
Best Skin Oils in Winter
Choosing the right oil for your skin in winter can be a way to keep your skin moisturized, smooth, and glowing. In some cases, it can even fight breakouts.
Note: Do a patch test before using any oil on your skin to rule out any allergic reactions.
1. Olive oil
The popularity of skin care products and cosmetics that are derived from natural sources is exponentially increasing. This is because these products are not only effective but also safe to use.
Olive oil has nourishing, moisturizing, and protective effects on the skin. It also has anti-inflammatory and immune-modulatory functions. It reduces skin aging with its antioxidant activity.
The best part of using olive oil on your skin is that it doesn’t burn or irritate the skin as it has no known side effects on the skin. (9)
2. Coconut oil
The main problem during the winter season is dry skin. Studies have shown that in patients with mild to moderately dry skin, coconut oil significantly improves skin hydration. (10)
Coconut oil is, in fact, better than olive oil in reducing dryness and helping treat eczema. (11)
3. Rosehip oil
As the name suggests, rosehip oil is extracted from the rose plant and is packed with unsaturated fatty acids that are incredible for your skin. The essential fatty acids in this oil include linoleic acid, alpha-linolenic acid, and oleic acid. (12)
Rosehip oil is the richest in linoleic acid among all oils, making it good for those who suffer from clogged pores or acne breakouts, and they tend to have low levels of linoleic acid. Being rich in fatty acids, it forms a moisture barrier on the skin and hence does not let your skin get dry easily, which is a big challenge in winter.
Rosehip oil also showcases anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial activities. It contains vitamins A and C, which have soothing effects on the skin and promote collagen formation. (13)
4. Almond oil
Almond oil from Oleum amygdalus has been used in the world of medicine for its countless health benefits. Although presently there is a lack of definitive research data on almond oil’s use and efficacy, it has many properties that may benefit you.
Since ancient times, almond oil has been utilized in Chinese, Ayurvedic, and Persian schools of medicine to deal with dry skin conditions, which are commonly observed in winter.
Furthermore, there is anecdotal evidence that supports that almond oil diminishes scarring as it smoothens and rejuvenates the skin. Moreover, almond oil has emollient properties, making it great for improving the complexion and skin tone. (14)
5. Argan oil
Argan oil is extracted from the nuts of the Moroccan argan tree. It is known for its soothing properties and is a powerful moisturizer for all skin types.
Argan oil is rich in a combination of fatty acids and vitamin E. This is why it helps repair dry skin and the inflammation that may result from skin dryness. With large amounts of omega-6 fatty acids, argan oil locks the moisture in your skin and restores healthy skin layers by promoting skin cell regeneration. (15)
Can I use oils on acne-prone skin?
Face oils are derived from natural sources and are believed to be less dangerous and toxic and with fewer side effects. Scientific evidence, research studies, and clinical trials suggest that aromatherapy, botanicals, and essential oils may have significance in acne treatment.
While more proof is required to completely figure out the benefits of using oils for skin care, they’re normally safe to try. But if you experience irritation or sensitivity on your skin after using oils, it’s best to terminate its use. (16)
How to Use Face Oils Correctly
Here are easy-to-follow steps on using face oils correctly to put you on your way to healthy and glowing skin:
- Cleanse your skin by getting rid of any makeup and impurities. You can use a gentle face cleanser for this.
- Use the pipette/dropper that usually comes with face oils to get a few drops of the oil on the palm of your hands.
- Rub your palms together to spread the oil on them, and then gently massage the oil on your face.
- Make sure you apply face oils after serums but before moisturizer.
Most-Asked Questions About Oils for Hair and Skin During Winter
Is oil good for my face in winter?
Face oils are highlighted to have nourishing and moisturizing properties; thus, they’re great to fight winter dryness and keep your skin smooth and glowing.
Which oil absorbs best into face skin?
Here are a few oils that may be easily absorbed by the skin:
- Coconut oil
- Jojoba oil
- Olive oil
- Almond oil
Is oiling your face at night good?
Face oils can be used any time of the day, and nighttime is considered to be one of the best times to apply them.
Should I put oil on my face every day?
Dermatologists recommend using face oils twice every day, in the morning and at night.
Can I go out with oil on my face?
If you have sensitive and acne-prone skin, it is advised not to go out with face oil as applying too much oil on your skin may create an oil film that prevents the skin from breathing and may even clog pores and result in breakouts. When you go out, the oil on your face can attract dust and dirt.
How long should I leave the oil on my face?
If you have dry skin, oil can be left on your skin overnight, whereas if you have sensitive skin, rinse it off after 15 minutes.
Can I put wheat germ oil on my face during winter?
If you do not have acne-prone or sensitive skin, wheat germ oil may be good for your skin, especially during winter!
What is a patch test for skin oils?
A patch test is done by dabbing a drop of oil on your inner wrist and waiting at least 24 hours to see if there’s any allergic reaction.
How to know which oil to purchase from all the available options?
Always purchase your oils from trusted suppliers and brands. Go for oils that have few ingredients and preservatives. Try to skip products with chemicals in them.
Using oils on your skin and hair, especially during winter, is one of the most famous skin care practices.
From hairstylists to makeup artists, everyone knows the power of using oils for having smooth and soothing skin and hair. These oils absorb quickly into the skin and hair roots, thereby providing instant moisturization.
Using oil for skin and hair care is a natural remedy that is also budget-friendly compared to other skin products. So, it’s time you also hop on the oil care train.