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10 Beautifying and Healing Oils (That Aren't Coconut Oil)

Use these inexpensive wonder oils to better your skin, hair, body and mind
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The Oil That Plays Therapist to Your Neurotic Skin
I get why some women have an aversion to skin-care oils: Suddenly, the thing that you've been working your whole life to wash off and soak up is the thing that experts are telling you to slather all over your face and body. If you're a skin-oil virgin, start with jojoba oil. Jojoba oil -- rich in vitamins E and B complex and anti-inflammatory zinc -- is extremely common in skin-care products because it's an inexpensive, nonirritating, noncomedogenic emollient. Chances are it's in the face wash or moisturizer you're using now. Plus, ever used a face scrub? Those microbeads are often crystallized jojoba esters. Mind = blown.

Another great thing about jojoba: While most skin-care companies are phasing out synthetic microbeads from their products based on evidence that they harm marine life, jojoba beads are A-OK because they're biodegradable and thus gentler on the ecosystem.

DIY: Apply the oil directly to your face or add a few drops to your usual moisturizer for extra hydration. You can also buy jojoba beads (a craft store is a good place to start) and add them to your regular cleanser whenever you need an exfoliation boost.

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The Oil That Stops Stretch Marks in Their Tracks
How many times have you read a story touting one ingredient or another as the cure for stretch marks? But there may be an honest-to-god solution for preventing stretch marks and reducing the appearance of existing marks -- and it only costs a couple bucks and a few minutes of your time.

In 2012, researchers found that stretch marks (aka striae gravidarum) were less prevalent in pregnant women who received regular 15-minute massages with bitter almond oil than those who received no treatment. While it's true that the blood-flow-encouraging massage may have had more to do with preventing stretch marks, multiple studies have been done on olive oil's ability to prevent stretch marks with less encouraging results.

Remember: Bitter almond oil is not the same as sweet almond oil. The sweet variety is found in many products that claim to treat stretch marks, but it hasn't been clinically shown to improve the condition.

DIY: Massage any problem areas with pure bitter almond oil while you're watching your favorite TV show. Once you get to the third commercial break, you're done. Or try combining the oil with sugar or salt for a homemade body scrub.

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The Oil That Makes You as Wrinkle-Free and Glowy as a Supermodel
Experts have long known the regenerative effects of rosehip seed oil; in a 1983 study, patients with damaged skin saw improved skin tone and texture after using this vitamin C-rich oil. That's what makes this heavenly scented oil so great for treating skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis.

For those of us who suffer from the more common skin woe of fine lines, rosehip seed oil's high concentration of vitamin A is great for smoothing the look of those baby wrinkles. (Retinol, the No. 1 anti-ager, is a highly concentrated form of vitamin A.) Celebs like Miranda Kerr credit the oil for their glowing visages. Note that you shouldn't use rosehip oil if you're acne-prone -- it's mildly comedogenic, so it's no bueno for pores that are easily clogged.

DIY: Use the oil in place of eye cream, patting it on the under-eye area with your ring finger. Apply morning and night.

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The Oil That Removes Your Eye Makeup Without Blinding You
Makeup artists like Michelle Phan know that olive oil makes a great eye makeup remover, thanks to its antimicrobial properties and lash-conditioning vitamin E. It doesn't sting if it gets into eyes, and its slippery consistency means that you don't have to scrub to get rid of stubborn mascara or liner. Plus, you rub it off when you're done, so you won't have to smell it for hours.

DIY: If you want to use straight olive oil on those lids, look for a European-made, extra-virgin oil; the designation "extra-virgin" is more strictly regulated in Europe than it is in the U.S. Apply the oil with a cotton pad or cotton swabs. Rinse off excess product by splashing your face with a bit of water.

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The Abracadabra Oil That Makes Skin Heal Itself
If you've ever gotten a nasty scrape or mauled your face by popping a pimple, you probably reached for antibiotic ointment in an attempt to turn things around. While it's true that wounds are less likely to scar when moisturized and covered, antibiotic ointment is one of the most common causes of contact dermatitis, aka skin allergy. Plus, research indicates that plain petroleum jelly is just as effective as antibiotic ointment in wound healing. So, there's that.

But a study showed that avocado oil speeds the rate of wound healing in rats faster than petroleum jelly does. Avocado oil's curative powers are due to its anti-inflammatory properties (it contains sterolin, an immune-boosting molecule) and its high content of essential fatty acids, which aid the formation of collagen.

DIY: Gently massage scrapes, scars, calluses or cracked skin with a couple drops of avocado oil two to three times a day. Cover with an adhesive bandage if necessary.

So unless you live under a rock (where there are no lady mags or Wi-Fi, obviously), you know there are plenty of uses for coconut oil beyond frying and baking. Yes, fatty-acid-rich, antioxidant-packed, multipurpose coconut oil is having a major moment in the beauty world. But don't forget the other super-oils that may be hiding in your kitchen cupboard or medicine cabinet. Here are clever ways to use olive oil, tea tree oil, jojoba oil and more.
BY KATIE MCCARTHY | AUG 4, 2014 | SHARES
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