Oils for Beauty Care
Oils have been used since the ancient times for beauty care. The ayurvedic system contains thousands of prescriptions using oil. Here we are referring to pressed oils, like olive oil, sesame seed (til) oil, mustard oil, coconut oil, almond oil, sunflower oil, castor oil, etc. They have been commonly used as massage oils for centuries. In Ayurveda, sesame seed (til) oil is popular for massage. However, the Ayurvedic system also advocates the selection of oil according to the season. Olive, coconut and sunflower oils are said to be good during summer, while almond and mustard oil are for winter. You can choose any of these oils, but make sure that it is pure. According to the Ayurvedic system, massage with oils is said to have therapeutic benefits.
The most common usage of oils is for application on the hair. The application of oil with a light massage helps to stimulate blood circulation to the follicles and also softens hair texture. The hair should not be rubbed vigorously. Only the finger tips should be used, to actually move the scalp with small rotary movements. Oils have their own particular properties and benefits. Olive oil, for instance, helps to restore the normal acid-alkaline balance of the scalp. It is useful for oily hair with dandruff. Castor oil is said to have hair darkening properties. While it will not turn white hair black, it will restore darkness to hair that has turned brown due to excessive sun-exposure. It is also useful in cases of hair damage. Pure coconut oil is most commonly used in India. It helps to improve hair texture and is said to promote growth. Almond oil is very nourishing for extremely dry hair. Oils can also be mixed with various other ingredients and applied on the hair.
Sometimes, combination of oils is used, which actually helps to strengthen the hair, nourish it and make it healthy and lustrous. The Champi massage of India is said to help detoxification, apart from improving blood circulation. It reduces stress and anxiety and helps in relieving muscular and skeletal tension.
Coconut oil is probably the most popular oil for the hair. It is said to strengthen the hair and make it thick and shiny. Hot oil therapy with coconut oil is said to be very beneficial. Heat coconut oil and apply it on the scalp at night, leaving on overnight. It is said to restore health to damaged hair and prevent split ends. Coconut oil is also said to be beneficial for the skin, as it soothes sun-damage and has a healing effect. It softens the skin and gives it a smoother and more youthful appearance.
Sesame Seed (til) oil
Sesame seed is a common body massage oil in India. It is a light oil, free of odour and is easily absorbed by the skin. Ayurveda advocates it as the most balanced oil and therefore suits all “doshas.” It is rich in nutrients and has healing properties too. It is useful as a daily body massage oil, keeping the skin soft and supple. Research has revealed that sesame seed actually has natural sunscreen properties of SPF 4. As far as the face is concerned, sesame seed oil can also be massaged on the face to relieve dryness.
Pure olive oil can be used both for the skin and hair, mainly to soften and provide nourishment. Olive oil contains many vitamins and minerals. It is also an antioxidant. The action is so gentle that pure olive oil can be used to massage a baby’s tender skin. In dry skins, when there is flaking and sensitivity, olive oil can have a healing effect. However, it should not be used on oily, acne-prone skin. For the hair too, olive oil is useful. Since it helps to restore the normal acid-alkaline balance of the scalp, it can be useful for oily hair with dandruff.
Almond oil is also one of the top choices of Aromatherapists as it is good for all skin types. A good massage oil, it is beneficial for dry skin and helps relieve itching, soreness and dryness. It is reported to be soothing, healing, lubricating, softening, revitalizing and nourishing. Good for sensitive or irritated skin.
It is used mainly for hair conditions such as dry, brittle and damaged hair. It is also said to darken the hair. It will not turn white hair into black, but it will darken hair that has become brownish due to sun-exposure or nutritional deficiencies. It is a thick and sticky oil, so after application of the oil, shampoo the hair and rinse well with water, so that oily residue does not remain on the scalp. Castor oil is said to encourage the growth of eyelashes and eyebrows. For eyelashes, very little castor oil should be applied with a cotton bud. It should be applied only during the day on the lashes. Do not apply castor oil on the lashes at night and go to sleep. It can lead to puffiness of the eyes