Are you thinking about using Bio-Oil on your scars or stretch marks? If you have skin damage, you know how frustrating it can be to find effective products. Today I want to highlight some natural alternatives that are extremely effective in healing damaged skin.
The Bio-Oil Blues
I just watched the commercial, and it was very convincing! Scarily convincing, even for a body care ingredient pro like me. So I slapped myself, then set to work discovering what’s actually in this oil. I went on the Bio-Oil website to see the formula, and found 28+ ingredients. These include mineral oil, soy oil, BHT, fragrance, and orange colouring. Mineral Oil is derived from petroleum (yes, like gas!) and sits on top of the skin to create a velvety coating. While this makes your skin feel nice, it will be doing quite the opposite for your health. The short story? Leave political and environmentally damaging petroleum out of your bathroom, and certainly off of your skin. The long story? The EFSA has this to say about mineral oil, which can easily be contaminated with hydrocarbons:
The potential human health impact of [mineral oil hydrocarbons] varies widely; so-called ‘aromatic’ MOH may act as genotoxic carcinogens (that is they may damage DNA, the genetic material of cells, as well as cause cancer), while some ‘saturated’ MOH can accumulate in human tissue and may cause adverse effects in the liver.
Bottom line: there are soooooo many safer, cleaner, and MORE EFFECTIVE oils to use on your damaged skin, so say goodbye to mineral oil and say hello to these great alternatives!
Facial Scarring: Rosehip Seed Oil (my pick: Skin Essence Organics)
Rosehip is high in naturally-occurring vitamin C, which is a potent antioxidant shown to improve collagen production, an important component in wound healing. Rosehip oil can also benefit sun damage, decrease appearance of body scars, and provide your skin with rich nutrients like natural Vitamin A and essential fats. Always use for at least 1 month to see real results.
Uneven Skin Tone: Turmeric (my pick: Turmeric & Vitamin C Serum by Andalou, or Clear Skin Advanced Serum by Province Apothecary)
Turmeric supports regeneration of skin cells, and targets hyperpigmentation (i.e. uneven skin colouring). You can make your own turmeric face mask with honey, or pick up one of these pre-made serums.
Sun Damage: Sunscreen with non-nano Zinc Oxide. Also try comfrey, calendula, or raw honey.
What can I say…..always wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen if you’re going outdoors to avoid sun damage (Skin Essence E-Cream has an SPF 30 and also contains soothing calendula). Comfrey herb contains the compound allantoin, a powerful healer of damaged skin cells. It can be bought as a salve (try Clef des Champs comfrey ointment). Raw honey can be applied as a mask as well. It’s natural levels of antioxidants and enzymes can help heal damaged skin and promote new skin turnover. Go to a local farmer’s market and pick up a jar of raw honey to get the best!
Stretch Marks: Vitamin E (my picks: Chocolate Mandarin Body Balm by Skin Essence, or Belly Jelly by Substance)
Stretch marks are hard to heal once they have occurred, but the good news is they are extremely receptive to vitamin E. If you know your skin may be going through some stretching (i.e. significant weight loss or gain, giving birth, etc.) start rubbing on some vitamin E-rich oils right away, like sunflower oil, wheat germ oil, soothing cocoa butter, or healing oat.