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Beauty & Beyond: Nourishing Oils

I was first introduced to facial oils (a counterintuitive device - don't you want to be free of oil?) at Shu Uemura in Boston a few years ago. They had the most sublime cleanser that combined eight botanical oils. Hence the name ultime8 sublime beauty cleansing oil. Ever since, I’ve been on a quest to find amazing oils that do incredible things. Here are a few I’ve discovered...

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Clairvoyant Beauty Face Cleansing & Massage Oil
This facial cleanser pulls double duty as a massage oil, with essential oils of jojoba, coconut, grapeseed and avocado. The hero is the grapeseed, which promotes collagen (read: it helps to firm skin). It says follow with a moisturizer after cleansing, but it left enough of a hydrating "oily" feel, that I went without. This oily feel also kicked it out of my morning routine and into its place as a great night time makeup remover, since it felt a little heavy for day.

Caudalie Divine Oil
The name says it all. This is one of my favorites because it’s a dry oil, so it goes on and literally disappears. While hibiscus, sesame and argan oils hydrate, there’s that wonderful grapeseed oil again. It contains a high concentration of omega 6 and vitamin E for nourishing and regenerating properties. This is perfect for every part of you – your body, the ends of your hair, your face. The woodsy smell is wonderful.

VMV Hypoallergenics – Know-it-Oil Coconut Oil
Enough with the grapeseed. Let’s move on. This clinically-validated, 100% USDA-certified organic virgin coconut is ultimate multi-tasker. Rub it over makeup to dissolve the most stubborn colors, slather it on to moisturize after your shower, use it as a lip balm, to help your baby’s cradle cap, and it even soothes cuts. It also plays well with others - Mix it with olive oil for a deep cleanse or with baking soda for a gentle cleansing scrub. Shhhhh…it even fights cellulite by improving cell wall saturation. Grapeseed who?

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Erno Laszlo Phelityl Pre-Cleansing Oil
A blend of 13 essentials, this oil penetrates pores to dissolve trapped oils (fight oil with oil, I guess), impurities and makeup on contact. When combined with a cleansing bar, it creates a conditioning lather that brings about a deep clean. Massage it onto your face, then use an EL bar (I just used my normal cleanser) to create the cleanser/oil blend. Rinse it off and your skin is amazingly soft.

BSB Culminé Silky Smooth Line Reducing Oil
Since this is touted for day use, I was hesitant when I pumped this one out of its beautiful pink bottle. It’s a thick serum at first, but then it melts into a light oil that disappeared into my skin. It's a potent dose of carrot root extract, vitamin oils and the supercharged algae-based antioxidant dunaliella salina to fortifiy the lipid barrier for a youthful glow. It also protects against photo-aging. Yes, this means it reduces sun damage and dehydration (perfect in time for summer).

John Masters Organics Pomegranate Facial Nourishing Oil
Once known as “Fruit of Gods,” these tiny globes of sparkling magic fend off premature aging for near-immortal youthfulness. The antioxidant-rich extract brings a zing of revitalized energy for healthy tone, and age-defying ellagic acids protect and rejuvenate. You can use this blend of 12 organic oils (not only does it have pomegranate but also evening primrose oil, rosewood oil, sage, olive oil and geranium) alone or add it to any moisturizer for extra hydration.

Fresh Seaberry Moisturizing Face Oil
This is a dynamic and precious blend of pure oils—seaberry, cranberry seed, camellia seed, grapeseed and sweet almond. But the kicker is that it's packed with restorative omegas 3, 6, 7 and 9 (did you know there was a 9?) for anti-aging. And it disappears quickly, with just a hint of of the delicate scent (which I think smells like fig newtons).

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