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Interested in ditching your commercial moisturizer and simply sticking natural facial oils and butters on your skin instead? Here are the best ones for your skin type.

I was really quite into making my own moisturizers at one point. Though the process is labor-intensive — you need to get the ingredient ratio right down to the gram, among other things — it was also fun. I stopped making creams when I discovered I might as well simply apply the raw ingredients themselves directly onto my skin, which I've been doing ever since. 

If you do the same, you might find you never have to buy another purpose-made moisturizer again, and your skin still looks wonderful. Or even better, of course. Before you go ahead, you may like to know a little more about which natural oils and butters make for the best facial moisturizers for your skin type, though. 

Natural Skin Care To Nourish Your Dry Skin

Severely moisture-depleted skin needs some serious lovin'. Shea butter, an extremely hydrating substance, absorbs quickly and offers your skin an abundance of antioxidants [1]. This makes it shea butter an excellent choice for people who are exposed to harsh winter weather and those who have recently suffered sunburn, as well as those who simply have dry skin (xerosis) [2]. Research even indicates that using shea butter for eczema is better at relieving symptoms than the emollients your doctor is more likely to recommend. [3]

Coconut oil, traditionally used as a moisturizer by folks from the tropics, is another great choice for people suffering from dry skin. Applying extra virgin coconut oil twice a day will keep your skin hydrated and increase its lipid levels, which keeps your skin feeling and looking healthy, a study indicated. [4]

Almond oil, too, has been used to treat chronic skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis. Almond oil is rich in immune system boosting antioxidants and possesses anti-inflammatory properties too. It's also been proven to improve skin tone and help rejuvenate the skin, making it an all-around awesome choice for folks with dry, lifeless-looking complexions. [5]

If your skin is starting to resemble a mud-cracked landscape, you might feel even these potent oils won't help you out, and you may resort to using something like lanolin. Be careful, though! Lanolin may initially seem to infuse your skin with moisture, but it's actually a sensitizer and one study warns elderly people, in particular, to stay away from it, as it can cause a delayed hypersensitivity reaction. [6]

Natural Skin Care For The Aging Skin

If you've got mature skin, you're likely looking to reduce wrinkles as well as to keep your skin hydrated and feeling nice. Argan oil is a deeply nourishing oil that's nonetheless easily absorbed and doesn't leave you feeling greasy. While nobody can escape wrinkles, Argan oil does delay the visible effects of aging. [7]

Jojoba oil remains one of my all-time favorites. It worked great for my skin when I was younger, and it still does now — but although many people who like it claim jojoba oil is an anti-age ingredient, that's probably just due to the fact it is such an excellent moisturizer [8]. 

Rosehip seed oil is another oil you might hear natural skin care lovers recommend to you if you have mature skin. One study shows that power made from rosehip seeds increases the skin's elasticity, along with crow's feet and age-related skin conditions [9]. The oil feels good on your skin, and may well have the same effects.

Natural Skin Care To Tame Your Oily And Blemished Skin

Rich in vitamin E, as well as vitamin A and omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids [10], hemp seed oil is a dry oil that won't make your oily and blemished skin too greasy. The jojoba oil we already mentioned is pretty great for almost any skin type, and natural skin care lovers can easily mix hemp seed oil with that and a sprinkle of tea tree oil. Tea tree oil is known for its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory action, and has been proven to help reduce acne [11]. Watch out, however, as tea tree oil can really irritate your skin if you use it in large quantities. That's why combining it with other oils works best. 

Don't completely rule out greasier choices either, though! Shea butter may be rather heavy-duty, but it's also known for its anti-inflammatory properties and has actually been used to sooth arthritis and sore muscles for centuries [12]. Inflammation plays a very large role in the development of acne [13], making acne treatment one of the potential benefits of shea butter

What Should I Do For My Sensitive, Irritated Skin?

I've got one of those myself, and products I have used include:

  • Avocado oil. Besides the vitamin E, D, beta carotin and many other goodies, research shows that avocado oil does more than just soothe the skin — it also protects against UV damage! [14
  • St John's Wort oil smells bad, I'll say that. It's also a healer with antimicrobial activity, however, so try it if you don't mind the meaty smell. [15]
  • If borage seed oil is good enough for people with atopic dermatitis, which it is [16], it's good enough for me!

A Word About 'Normal' Skin

If your skin isn't oily, or irritated, or dry, or blemished, or mature, you'll fall into this category. You can use pretty much anything you like. Jojoba oil and Argan oil are neither too greasy nor too drying, and they'll serve your skin well. If you fancy trying nearly anything else we've mentioned here, you can, though! I've done the same — when I was into making facial creams, I went around online stores like a kid in a candy store buying anything and everything that caught my attention, and that mostly worked out just fine. Obviously, the same thing that applies to everyone else applies to you too: if a particular ingredient does anything weird to your skin, quit using it.

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