My Favorite Oils

Have you ever gone shopping for skincare/body products on Amazon? I can assure you that what might seem like a quick research and purchase can quickly spiral out of control, as you click from one recommended product to the next (1000+ 5 star reviews? No more wrinkles, ever? Click, click, and click).


That’s what happened to me a few months ago, when I went to complete what I thought would be a quick re-order of coconut oil. I ended up reading a few reviews touting all the fantastic benefits and unique uses, and then found a reviewer stating how coconut oil was her favorite oil….that was, after almond oil.

After about an hour of browsing (which is an eternity when you have a baby and your other options include sleeping), I somehow ended up with about ten oils in my shopping cart. Ten! But even ten oils is way less than a single bottle of SK-II.

Rosehip Seed Oil: This has become my nightly use oil, and I layer it over whatever regular moisturizer/cream I happen to be using for the night. I haven’t noticed any miraculous benefits, but it moisturzes my face nicely, without breaking it out or clogging any pores, and its all organic. The oil itself is a bright orange color which worried me a bit – was I going to turn into an Oompa Loompa? But I only use a few drops anyway, and I haven’t seen any discoloration. Also, note that there is no lovely rosy scent to this – it just smells a bit earthy.

Peppermint Oil: I definitely do not use this on my face or body, as I think it’d be too harsh for me. However, I read that peppermint mint oil mixed with water in a spray bottle was a recommended treatment as a safe and natural rodent repellent (ew) in the home, and….SOLD! I bought this and our pantry and kitchen have smelled like peppermint ever since. Perfect for the winter holidays especially.

Castor Oil: I use this as a moisturizer on my eyes at night, and also once every few weeks (I mean to do it every week, but I always forget) mixed with some almond or coconut oil as a deep conditioner. It’s supposed to be good for hair growth (including eyelashes). So far I haven’t seen any results to be honest, but I’ll keep you all updated! This oil is thicker, and my eyes still feel super moisturized in the morning.

Coconut Oil: I largely use coconut oil for cooking – I don’t use it for all the other myriad of miracle uses that you often read about (though I did try teeth pulling once…). I use this as a body moisturizer occasionally (though I find it kind of greasy). And it works great as a deep moisturizer for baby to prevent eczema – we put it on about an hour before his bath and let it soak in.

Sweet Almond Oil: I use this as the second all purpose moisturizer for my face. I put it under my sunscreen in the morning, and as the last step in my skincare regime at night. It doesn’t make me break out, and my skin feels soft and moisturized. That’s all I can ask for. The bottle I got from Amazon is enormous. I think I have enough for at least a few years.

Vitamin E Oil: I use this one as an alternate eye moisturizer, and also use it to remove my eye makeup. Mine is from Trader Joe’s, and I haven’t tried other brands (the one I linked is the highest rated one on Amazon). I suspect they’d all perform pretty similarly, no?

Do you use any oils in your beauty routines? Which are your favorites (not that I need to have any more…or do I?). Is the secret to me never having any more wrinkles just another oil away?

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  • sherry @ save. spend. splurge.
    December 29, 2015 at 12:20 pm

    Oils make my skin break out. I can only wear oils as perfumes. Otherwise, I have tried them all from jojoba to sweet almond. Nope.

  • Glenda
    December 29, 2015 at 12:35 pm

    For the last ten years, I’ve used organic-oils only on my face, no creams or anything else you buy at department store- or drug store-makeup counters. I use organic unrefined coconut oil to remove my makeup, whatever’s on sale & the same that I use for cooking (just scoop some out into a pretty jar I keep in the bath), and absolutely nothing at any price removes my eye-makeup faster. I also keep a bottle in the bath of a little organic apple-cider vinegar diluted in water, which I splash on my face after removing makeup. Then I put an organic rosehip seed oil & organic essential oil concoction that I read about somewhere on line (I’ll put that below) all over my face, neck, and chest. Then I seal that in with a little castor oil. In the morning I just splash my face with water, put on the rosehip seed oil concoction, and then put on my RMS and Honeybee Gardens makeup, of which I use very little, actually.

    Anti-aging Wrinkle Serum:

    2 T. rosehip seed oil
    10 drops sandalwood essential oil (EO)
    10 drops rose-geranium EO
    5 drops myrrh EO
    5 drops frankincense EO
    5 drops carrot EO

    People constantly tell me I look much younger than I am, and I believe I look much better than I did when I used to buy creams & cleansers etc. My wrinkles have most definitely receded and softened, and my wallet is fatter: I use essential oils for house-cleaning, diffusing, and medicinal purposes anyway, so adding them to my rosehip seed oil was no added expense really.

    For some interesting information on oils to use for cleansing and softening, here’s a blogger who did some testing, and believes that castor, rosehip seed, & grape seed oils are great to use on your skin; jojoba, argon, and coconut oils are ok to use on your skin; and she doesn’t believe that shea butter, avocado, olive, and sweet almond oil are good for your skin–interesting reading if nothing else. She comes at it from acne-prone skin, but it’s food for thought for any type skin:

    Thanks, as always, for your reviews and links!

    • Glenda
      December 30, 2015 at 5:47 am

      Also, for the past five years I’ve been eating an all-organic whole foods diet (for more info see “Blue Zones” and “Longevity Villages”). This put the improvement of my skin as far as firmness, elasticity, and reduction of wrinkles in overdrive! I drink water & herb teas, eat lots of fruits and vegetables, seeds and nuts, some meat & fats & honey. The quality of organic foods is truly the best & also most delicious; we all deserve to eat and have the best, of course. I never feel deprived because the food is more delicious than stuff made in factories and fast-restaurants and marketed as food, plus there are plenty of organic restaurants in every big city and even smaller cities especially in Europe, most especially in France where the government doesn’t dare mess with the food supply and food is raised and grown as it has been for centuries. Another plus is the occasional cakes and cookies I make with nut-flours and organic honey, chocolate, etc.

      I’m allergic to wheat, so I make breads, crackers, etc. with seeds & nuts & vegetables. Here are two Great recipes!:

      • Glenda
        December 30, 2015 at 5:53 am

        Oh, and don’t forget organic champagne & wines, of course!!

        • Katherine
          December 30, 2015 at 8:42 pm

          Hi Glenda, thank you so much for all of your feedback and suggestions. Your oil mixture sounds amazing – if I get ambitious I am going to try it one day. You are making me feel bad for all of my bad eating over the holidays – my skin hasn’t been the best either, perhaps that’s why? Your diet sounds healthy, and delicious (and I’m glad there is room for wine and champagne!).

  • Iris
    December 29, 2015 at 7:34 pm

    Love this topical! I never knew there are so many oil out there! Would love to read more about your favorite skin care products, especially neck creams.

    • Iris
      December 30, 2015 at 9:30 pm

      Got the PJ you recommended! Love your PJ recommendations!

      • Katherine
        January 1, 2016 at 9:59 am

        I hope you like them! Happy New Year!

  • Ellya
    December 29, 2015 at 11:48 pm

    Ah I like the idea of using peppermint oil diluted with water as rodent repeller. I will be trying this recipe soon! I can’t risk my house visited by rodents! EWwww :p thanks for the info 🙂

    • Katherine
      December 30, 2015 at 8:43 pm

      Ha, you are welcome! I am similarly scared of rodents, lol.

  • bisbee
    December 30, 2015 at 5:18 am

    I bought that same bottle of Sweet Almond Oil from Amazon – I use it all over my body after my shower. I actually switch up between that, a few body creams (from Laura Mercier and Kiehl’s) and a body oil from L’Occitane. I think I’ve been using that bottle for almost a year now, and I’ve still got about a third left!

    I am much older (64) and my skin is quite dry…terrible in the winter with the heat…but using oil on my skin has really kept that problem under control for the last several years!

    • Katherine
      December 30, 2015 at 8:42 pm

      Isn’t the bottle HUGE? And so moisturizing, its a great idea to layer it with oil!

  • S
    December 30, 2015 at 8:11 am

    Hi Kat!
    I love peppermint oil to relieve nausea and/or headaches too 🙂 Hope you are having a great holiday!

    • Katherine
      December 30, 2015 at 8:41 pm

      Great suggestion! I hope you are having a great holiday too.

      • S
        January 3, 2016 at 5:40 am

        Thanks! Hanging around at home and loving it 🙂

  • Ava Lon
    December 30, 2015 at 9:38 am

    Dear Katherine,

    Yippee! 😀 A beauty post! I loved reading and learning so much! And thank you for the links, too! Will have to check out all these oils! 🙂

    I am curious – what got you into oils – was it a friend or beauty-guru?


    • Katherine
      December 30, 2015 at 8:40 pm

      It was neither – it was Amazon recommended products, and then I went down the wormhole, lol!

  • Anne-Marie Odesanya
    December 30, 2015 at 1:45 pm

    love love love this post! I’m actually writing up a post about rosehip and sweet almond oil, they’re both the best.

    • Katherine
      December 30, 2015 at 8:40 pm

      Glad to hear that these are two good oils 🙂

  • Nina R.
    January 1, 2016 at 10:21 am

    Happy New Year to you and your family Katherine! Thank you for continuing to publish such a wonderful and unique blog – especially with your busy life! As a longtime reader, I really appreciate it! (love those sale PSAs!)

    A question for you and the commenters above – am I the only person who finds the scent of Rosehip Oil ummmm….repulsive? I have tried several and I just cannot get beyond the scent and wind up having to wash my face. I will try Glenda’s recipe above, but I have tried mixing the Rosehip with Tea Tree and other oils to no avail – that pungent and unpleasant Rosehips smell comes right through! Are there any particular brands that have less of an aroma? I will check out that Radha brand but if anyone has any suggestions, I would love to hear.

    • Glenda
      January 1, 2016 at 12:36 pm

      Nina, I use Life-Flo rosehip seed oil, and usually buy it at The Granary or Natural Grocers:

      I haven’ tried Radha. I’ve tried Now and a couple of other brands, and my skin responds fine to the others, but best to Life-Flo. To my nose, Life-Flo has a very, very light scent, and maybe I’m just used to it but I barely smell much of the rosehip seed oil at all when using it. Of course, the essential oils probably mask the oil smell almost entirely to my nose.

    • Katherine
      January 3, 2016 at 9:07 pm

      You know, there is a very slight scent and actually the color is a little off putting to me – kind of a mustardy yellow. But I put up with it. I know what you mean though. The scent on the Radha isn’t very strong to me, but it’s definitely there.

      • Nina R.
        January 5, 2016 at 5:16 am

        Thank you both! The color (of any product pretty much) doesn’t bother me but I have noticed that the orangey-brown of Vitamin C serums tends to “stain” my very fair skin. Glenda -it was the Life-flo brand of Rosehips oil that I tried and I just could not abide that scent! I am pretty sensitive to fragrance in general but I agree that the scent isn’t strong – I just cannot deal with it. I will play around with the essential oils at Whole Foods and see if one of the oils in your recipe might compensate for my issues with Rosehips.

  • Anna
    January 6, 2016 at 9:16 pm

    I have the exact same bottle of sweet almond oil! I love the scent. I apply it more often now in the winter and always find excuses to skip in the summer… I agree it will last me years lol..