7 Luxury Moisturizers Hiding in Your Kitchen Cupboard

For just pennies a use, the common cooking oils you already own have surprising beauty uses

Coconut Oil

Some have described it as one of the healthiest oils on earth. Solid at room temperature, simply scoop out a little tropical-scented coconut oil, warm between your hands, and massage into your body.

“Coconut oil has been shown to have tremendous moisturizing benefits for the skin and hair,” says New York-based dermatologist Whitney Bowe. “The essential fatty acids in coconut oil, like lauric acid, may repair hair damage and increase shine."

Use it as a deep conditioning treatment, to dab away fly-aways, add shine, soothe dry hands or as an all-natural replacement for shaving cream. Extra virgin coconut oil can also speed up wound healing and has been found to be effective in increasing hydration and reducing water loss in dry skin.

Sunflower Oil

You've probably enjoyed snacking on its seeds, but the lovely sunflower also makes a fantastic topical beauty oil thanks to a lightweight texture and subtle scent. You can apply it directly as a facial moisturizer, or mix it with your favorite essential oils to create bespoke massage or bath oils.

Olive Oil

Used for centuries to cleanse and protect the skin, olive oil possesses excellent moisturizing qualities. Opt for a light version to minimize the olive scent.

Christiana Zouzias of artisanal olive oil brand Eternal Olive learned about the beautifying qualities of the oil from her own Greek grandmother, who was known for ingesting 1-2 tablespoons every morning (excellent for general health), using olive oil as a moisturizer (wonderful applied directly to skin) as well as creating hair and face masks (fabulous for shine and smooth texture).

Grapeseed Oil

“Due to the high omega-6 content, grapeseed oil can be good for psoriasis, acne and many other skin conditions,” says Dr. Taz Bhatia, best selling author of What Doctors Eat, and medical director of the Atlanta Center for Holistic and Integrative Health.

"It's rich in antioxidants, vitamin E and omega 3-6-9 fatty acids and has anti-inflammatory properties," adds Lexie Masterson, Founder of Clairvoyant Beauty. "It is mildly astringent, so it helps tighten and tone the skin as well moisturize. I use it to cleanse, remove makeup and hydrate my skin."

Sesame Oil

Sesame oil has been traditionally used in the traditional Indian medicinal philosophy of Ayurveda as a massage oil to warm and detoxify the body. It's also an excellent healer of dry, cracked skin on elbows and heels.

Almond Oil

Rejuvenating almond oil can be used as a light, all-natural skin moisturizer and hair conditioner. Mix a little with honey and lemon juice to create a softening face mask, purported to reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and crow’s feet. Almond oil can also be used as a shine-boosting deep conditioner: leave in for twenty minutes, wash and rinse.

Camelina Oil

Oil from the ancient camelina seed might not be as common as other cooking oils, but it has strong roots in Europe. It wasn’t until 2010, however, that it garnered attention in North America as a beauty remedy, when Canadian brand Three Farmers began to harvest the camelinasativa plant on Saskatchewan soil.

Given the high Vitamin E content and rich Omega-3 profile of camelina oil, it's a potent addition to skin creams and lip balms.

Many natural skin care companies have recently begun to include camelina oil in their products, such as Lowen's skin care, Earthwear Face & Body and  Biolage hair care products.

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