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THE BIG FIVE

We identify the key trends influencing natural beauty, and share our pick of the products making effective use of in-demand ingredients

1 Oils

Just as cold-pressed and organic are big news in food, so natural oils have become a key trend in beauty. Pinterest reported a 555% increase in people pinning cleansing oils in 2018.

WHY DO WE LOVE THEM?

They’re amazingly versatile. You can use oils to remove make-up (be gone, waterproof mascara), cleanse and moisturise. They can be used on your face, body and hair. ‘Oils aren’t solely for dry skin,’ explains dermatologist Lily Talakoub.

‘Plant-based oils are filled with essential fatty acids, vitamins and antioxidants that act to strengthen the skin’s protective barrier, prevent free radical damage, and increase elasticity. Oils for the skin train it to rebalance itself if it’s been over-stripped by harsh cleansers or medications.’ For dry and ageing skin, Lily recommends argan oil and sunflower oil, both rich in essential fatty acids and vitamin E. One study of 60 menopausal women who used argan oil had significantly improved elasticity of the skin after 60 days. Sunflower oil contains antioxidants, which reduce free radical damage from UV radiation.

Other good oils are tea tree oil, which has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory qualities – useful for acne-prone skin; and rosehip seed oil, a rich source of Vitamin E, C, D, A and essential fatty acids, which, says Lily, can be used for hydration, scar reduction, stretch marks and to decrease facial redness with rosacea.

Lily suggests applying oils either instead of moisturiser or under it if your skin is very dehydrated or eczema-prone. In order to maximise the benefits of these oils, you can also mix different types or combine them with other organic, anti-inflammatory ingredients.

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About Healthy Food Guide

Is someone or something getting in the way of your weight loss? Our experts help you take back control and get the results you want. We help you beat the diet saboteurs, keep a food diary for better health and offer inspiration from a reader (and her doctor) who put her type 2 diabetes into remission. We've got loads of delicious, leaner recipes, including Gordon Ramsay specials, a tailor-made diet plan, plus ways to fight your fitness phobias!