While our Shit List identifies harmful and pollutive ingredients to avoid when selecting your beauty products, the Love List takes a more positive stance, focusing on beneficial beauty ingredients to seek out, and why.
Sweet almond oil, harvested from the seeds of the almond tree or Prunus amygdalus dulcis, is a non-volatile and fragrance-free plant oil. Rich in triglycerides and fatty acids, the oil can increase moisture levels, and has soothing anti-inflammatory properties. It contains vitamins A and E, which can promote the generation of skin cells and reduce sun damage. It is also non-comedogenic, meaning it does not clog the skin’s pores, and can even help remove dirt and impurities.
Jojoba oil is derived from the Simmondsia chinensis, a shrub native to the border between Mexico and the American Southwest. It is a plant-based humectant, promoting elasticity and suppleness in the skin by helping seal in moisture. The oil, rich in antioxidants and Vitamin E, absorbs effortlessly and creates a breathable protective barrier that emulates the skin’s natural feel and functionality. The jojoba plant can grow with low water consumption in otherwise nonarable land, making jojoba oil a relatively sustainable resource.
Shea butter is harvested from the seeds of the shea tree, native to the dry savannahs of Africa. The butter is rich in fatty acids, and functions as a natural moisturizer and emollient, meaning it can soften and soothe the skin. It also contains vitamins A and E, which can promote the generation of skin cells and reduce sun damage.
Sunflower oil, derived from the seeds of the sunflower, is a potent moisturizer well suited for dry and damaged skin. The oil can help to plump, firm and tighten the skin’s appearance, and protect it from the elements. It also contains vitamins A and E, which can promote the generation of skin cells and reduce sun damage.
Aloe vera, a succulent that grows in desert environments worldwide, is the source of aloe oil, an anti-inflammatory that promotes the generation of collagen. Its high water content helps to hydrate the skin, and it can help slow the skin’s aging process, making it more flexible and supple.
The benefits of essential oils in beauty are twofold—first, they are naturally occurring sources for imbuing products with organic scents, and second, they are believed to have a variety of soothing, clarifying, and antimicrobial effects on the skin. Though the term “fragrance” is widely used in the beauty industry to describe both natural and artificial scents, some of which are used to mask unpleasant odors, pure essential oils are plant-derived and can provide a light and fresh aromatic effect without overpowering odors or harsh chemicals.