Secret Beauty Oils From Around the World

Amy Marturana

Ever since African argan oil made its debut on the beauty scene, tons of companies have been scouring the globe for indigenous beauty oils in hopes of finding the next big thing.

So what makes these worldly oils so desirable? Incorporating healthy nutrients and vitamins into your skincare regimen (just like you would in your diet) seems like a new and novel concept. But this is exactly what cultures around the world have been doing for centuries: using natural, plant-based oils in beautifying (and healing) rituals. It’s only very recently that American women have finally started to explore the true beauty potential of adding them into their daily routines.

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Victoria Fantauzzi, founder of La Bella Figura, which touts its own beauty-enhancing oil, credits their recent emergence and acceptance to the fact that women are seeing the overwhelming results and they’re becoming savvy enough in terms of beauty to lust after what’s proven to solve their skin concerns. “And I think that it’s worked so well for so many women that it no longer can be neglected that this is a fad or this is too crazy to try,” Fantauzzi adds.

To get you acquainted with these potent skin-transforming and hair-repairing enhancers, we scoped out some of the best beauty oils from around the world, with centuries-old roots proving their effectiveness. And they’re all showing up online and on store shelves today.

MORE: Why a Multi-Purpose Oil Might be the Answer

1Europe and Asia: Sea Buckthorn Oil

Find it In:
CV Skinlabs Restorative Skin Balm, $26

The History:
The sea buckthorn plant has appeared in Greek legends—the flying horse Pegasus (“Hercules” anyone?) was said to eat it regularly, says Britta Aragon, founder and creator of CV Skinlabs. “The plant has a real history in ancient medicine, and is found in Greek, Chinese and Tibetan medical texts, including “the RGyud Bzi” (The Four Books of Pharmacopoeia) dated to the times of Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD),” she adds. And the resulting oil has been used for centuries as well, to reduce inflammation and regenerate skin tissues, as well as for treating burns and healing wounds. The berry itself was even traditionally used to treat burns and skin injuries, Aragon adds.

Click below to read about the science of sea buckthorn oil!

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The Science:
The oil contains a high amount of omega-7, or palmitoleic acid, a natural component of skin, says Aragon, which helps fortify skin structure and elasticity. Another handful of fatty acids help heal the skin by reducing inflammation, hydrating, strengthening its outer layer, regenerating skin cells and repairing sun damage. Vitamins E and C add to the nutrient list, offering antioxidant powers and UV protection, along with flavonoids to further protect from free radical damage. “Sea buckthorn has also been shown in clinical studies to help improve overall elasticity and to promote tissue regeneration, which means this is the perfect ingredient for anti-aging formulas.” When applied, the oil will help heal damaged skin, including damage you can’t even see.

This product is available on our sister site, BeautySage, where we only sell products proven to work!

2South Africa: Marula Oil

Find it In:
African Botanics Intense Skin Repair Body Balm, $55

The History:
Africans have been reaping the skin benefits of marula oil for centuries as a key part of beauty rituals, since it protects the skin and hair from harsh and damaging weather conditions. “Archaeological evidence of marula fruit can be dated back as far as 10,000 BC, with traces of marula kernels found in the ancient Pomongwe Cave of Zimbabwe,” says Julia Noik, founder of African Botanics. “They relied exclusively on this miracle oil for skin protection in an often severe climate,” she adds.

Click below to read about the science of marula oil!

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The Science:
Loaded with antioxidants, and with a 70-80 percent omega-9 fatty acid content, not only does it help protect your skin against free radical damage, but it also reduces the appearance of wrinkles and protects against fine lines. The high fatty acid content also reduces redness, prevents water loss and improves elasticity. Its high level of sterols reduces inflammation and soothes skin. Another amazing benefit: This oil has actually been shown to heal damaged skin and reduce the appearance of stretch marks and brown spots.

This product is available on our sister site, BeautySage, where we only sell products proven to work!

MORE: How Stretch Marks Form

3Japan: Tsubaki Oil

Find it In:
Boscia Tsubaki Beauty Oil, $46

The History:
The geisha and samurai, both iconic parts of Japanese history and culture, have Tsbubaki (or Camellia) oil to thank for their smooth and sleek hairstyles, says Tara Loftis, Senior Marketing Manager of Boscia, which was founded in Japan. Known as the “Empress of Winter,” Japanese women have used this fast-absorbing, non-comedogenic and hypoallergenic oil for centuries to get the flawless skin they’re known for, Loftis adds. “Men and women who helped harvest tea from the Camellia shrubs would often create a paste from the blooms, and apply it as a hydrating and anti-aging treatment,” she says.

Click below to read about the science of tsubaki oil!

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The Science:
Packed with antioxidants (which protect against free radical damage), omega-6 and omega-9, it’s extremely nourishing and hydrating for skin and hair. “Although it is extremely nourishing, it is also naturally lightweight and non-greasy, which makes it a perfect match for anyone with an oily or combination-skin type,” Loftis says.

4India: Amla Oil

Find it In:
Optimum Amla Legend Rejuvenating Ritual Billion Hair Potion, $10

The History:
“Amla oil has been traditionally used by women in India as a natural hair conditioner to visibly rejuvenate hair,” says SoftSheen-Carson‘s Director of Education Mezei Jefferson. It’s also traditionally used in Ayurvedic health traditions (holistic medical care), she adds.

Click below to read about the science of amla oil!

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The Science:
This oil is made from the native berry, a super fruit rich in vitamin C and other vitamins, proteins and antioxidants, Jefferson notes. When used as a deep conditioning treatment, the scalp and hair fibers become nourished for a thick, healthy and shiny look, which is why Indian women swear by it.

MORE: 3 Natural Oils That Do Wonders on Hair

5Peru: Sacha Inchi Oil

Find it In:
La Bella Figura Daily Elements Defense Face Oil, $95

The History:
Peruvians have been cold-pressing Sacha Inchi seeds, found deep in the Amazonian rainforest, and using the oil as both a source of protein (rare in a plant-based ingredient) and a beauty potion for many years, says Victoria Fantauzzi, founder of La Bella Figura. “You can buy it at the grocery store there,” she adds. They use it for everything in Peru, from salad dressing, to a smoothie ingredient, to a face and hair oil.

Click below to read about the science of sacha inchi oil!

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The Science:
“The amount of pmega-3 and pmega-6 is exceptionally high for any plant-based ingredient,” Fantauzzi says. “It even supersedes some fish oils.” These fatty acids are essential for healthy skin and actually help to restore skin cells. The oil also contains vitamin A, vitamin E and amino acids, which help to fight free radicals and restore and enhance the skin.

6Russia: Pine Oil

Find it In:
Natura Siberica Natural & Organic Gentle Facial Peel, $14

The History:
The pine nut was known to be the main source of nutrition for the native people of Siberia for many years. “Our ancestors in Siberia were very clever and knew about its beneficial properties. They handed down their recipes to us,” says Irina Rypa, brand manager of Natura Siberica, the only skincare company that adds cold-pressed pine oil each of their products. In Russia, it is one of the most important oils used in skincare and cosmetics—it’s also used to cure injuries, infections and even stress.

Click below to read about the science of pine oil!

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The Science:
Pine oil is packed with a wide range of vitamins and nutrients, which makes it a powerful skincare ingredient. Rypa notes its high content of phenols and fatty acids, which help stimulate cell growth and reduce inflammation of the skin. Amino acids and vitamins A, B, D and F help neutralize free radicals, which slows down cellular deterioration (aka, aging). The rich vitamin content in pine oil makes it ideal for treating skin diseases, such as psoriasis, itchy skin and sores.

This product is available on our sister site, BeautySage, where we only sell products proven to work!

MORE: How Fatty Acids Fight Aging

7Tahiti: Monoi Oil

Find it In:
Carol’s Daughter Monoi Repairing Hair Mask, $29

The History:
The Polynesians discovered centuries ago that coconut oil makes a powerful impact on hair and skin, since it works as a replacement of sorts for your body’s natural oils.  It has been used for centuries on both the hair and skin as a rich and deep moisturizer.

“The process of creating the Monoi Oil is so intricate, and it’s been used for thousands of years to help soften, sooth and repair hair and skin,” says Lisa Price, founder of Carol’s Daughter. Its creation is explained in an ancient ritual passed down from mothers to daughters.

Click below to read about the science of monoi oil!

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The Science:
Monoi oil is a mixture of hydrating coconut oil combined with Tahitian tiare gardenia. The antioxidant content protects from free radical damage and wrinkle formation. Overly treated, processed or sun-damaged hair will truly benefit from its moisturizing effects, as will skin that’s dry or frequently exposed to the sun.

This product is available on our sister site, BeautySage, where we only sell products proven to work!

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