These 3 Lightweight Oils Are A+ For Aging Skin & Fine Lines
As we age, our skin gets drier. This is just a natural part of the process—as the body slowly produces fewer lipids, humectants, proteins, and various other aspects of the moisture barrier. This process can become accelerated through damage—such as unprotected UV exposure, prolonged inflammation, and barrier dysfunction. Essentially: Everyone’s skin can become drier with time, but if we’re not careful, our habits can make it worse.
One of my favorite ways to keep hydrated is to top my skin with nutrient-dense oils to help trap moisture in the skin. There are many different types of oils to pick from—I prefer a blend of several to target different concerns. Here, some of my favorites to look for on an ingredient list.
Safflower seed oil
An incredible carrier oil that’s non-greasy and effortlessly spreadable, safflower seed oil is an elegant base option—especially for those with aging skin. The oil is extraordinarily high in essential fatty acids, specifically omega-6 fatty acids1 (it constitutes for about 70% of the oil makeup).
Research shows that omega-6 fatty acids are the most abundant fatty acid in the epidermis (top layer of the skin) and therefore play an integral role in the skin barrier function.2 In fact, research shows that omega-6 fatty acids can help deal with inflammation in multiple layers of the skin—meaning that has a deep impact on skin health.
So what does this mean for skin? Well, supporting a strong barrier is the most important way to keep skin looking healthy and vibrant. When the skin barrier is damaged, it triggers inflammation. This can lead to multiple signs of premature aging, such as fine lines, crepiness, and irritation.
Bonus: It’s also non-comedogenic, in case you deal with body breakouts or adult acne.
"Squalene is a natural oil produced by the sebaceous glands in your skin. It plays a role in skin hydration and barrier protection," says board-certified dermatologist Joshua Zeichner, M.D. tells us about squalane. This production diminishes as we age. However, plant-derived squalane (it can come from sources such as olive, wheat-germ, and sugarcane) can help replenish the skin’s lipids and restore vibrancy.
One of the most famous ingredients for skin care, vitamin E is a lipid-soluble antioxidant that is excellent in healthy aging oils. In fact, it’s the most prevalent fat-soluble vitamin in the skin3—making it essential for maintaining skin health.
Most notably, vitamin E has powerful anti-inflammatory properties4 on the skin and can also help inhibit free radical damage. A recent meta review found that topical application can prevent the formation of dark spots5 and the effects of photodamage (worth noting that up to 80% of signs of aging can be attributed to sun exposure5).
Alexandra Engler is the beauty director at mindbodygreen and host of the beauty podcast Clean Beauty School. Previously, she's held beauty roles at Harper's Bazaar, Marie Claire, SELF, and Cosmopolitan; her byline has appeared in Esquire, Sports Illustrated, and Allure.com. In her current role, she covers all the latest trends in the clean and natural beauty space, as well as lifestyle topics, such as travel. She received her journalism degree from Marquette University, graduating first in the department. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.