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It’s amazing how little some people know about oils vs creams. One hot and sunny Sunday, we recently exhibited our Sundance The Designer Tan stall at one of the local markets and were placed next door to another stall holder who was selling Frankincense and Myrrh oils.
By mid-morning, a lady approached our stall with severe sunburn and dehydration and asked to use our complimentary tester Hydrasoft Moisturiser. The neighbouring stall holder overheard the conversation and impolitely ushered the lady over to his stall to use his healing oils. The neighbouring stall owner had no idea about the ingredients and their benefits within any of our products.
There is no doubt in my mind that our neighbour had good intentions to help the lady and to heal her pain, but he was obviously unaware of the fundamentals when applying oils and creams to the skin.
To the novice, creams and oils seem very similar, and in some ways they are. For topical application to the skin, they both are designed to nourish, heal, soften and moisturise. But that is where the similarities end…
Creams are mostly a blend of ingredients; oils, liquids, humectants, etc. They’re generally thicker than oils and quick to absorb into the skin, if formulated properly. Please not that when applying a cream, the skin thickness around the eyes (thin skin) and the heels (thickest skin) may differ, whereas all skin is basically the same density.
Oils are generally derived from plant or animal bases with no additives. When used topically, oils naturally leave a thin, grease-like film over the skin and surprisingly, take longer to absorb into the skin. However, before you use an oil on your skin, consider the smoke point of the oil being used.
So, what is a smoke point? A smoke point is the temperature at which ingredients (such as oils), begin to smoke when heat is applied. When the temperature rises, the free fatty acids break down, producing smoke that contains acrolein, and emitting a bitter fragrance.
While the smoke point of oils and the topical application of oils to the skin while outside in the sun seem to be a far cry from each other, you should still consider the effect on your skin when outside in the elements.
If you’re old enough to remember the 1970’s and early 80’s, you’ll recall when men and women would apply coconut oil to their entire body and lay around the pool area at home, or at the beach, all day. As a child, they always reminded me of a rotisserie cooked chook, and I recall that at the time we were all none the wiser. It wasn’t until 1980 that Sid the Seagull from the “Slip, Slop, Slap” campaign reached out through our TV screens hoping to make us aware of the dangers of the sun.
Today, with an overwhelming source of information available (thank you Google and Cancer Campaign ads), I would never ever apply oils topically, especially when there is even a hint that the sun can touch any of my skin, hence my shock when our neighbour stall holder recommended topical oils applied in the sun on severe sun damaged skin.
The skin is an amazing organ. On the surface of the skin is a wonderful protective barrier known as the Acid Mantle. This Acid Mantle is designed to protect us from bacteria and viruses as well as from environmental factors, such as the sun & air conditioning. Both oils and creams have their place, dependent upon those factors mentioned above.
So, when you want to choose either an oil or a cream, consider and gather some basic information including considerations such as age (baby vs mature skin), skin type (genetic background and nature of your skin type), environmental factors (inside/outside, sun, surf, air-conditioning), methods of application (topically, digestive), point of application (face, eyes, torso, legs, heels), and purpose of application (skin repair, soothe sun damage, anti-aging, hydration).
In closing, I have listed some of the key ingredients within our Hydrasoft Moisturiser. These include: Aqua, Glycerine, Sunflower oil, Cetearyl alcohol, Triglycerides, Almond sweet oil, Shea butter, Natural vitamin E, Macadamia oil, Avocado oil, and Aloe Vera. These ingredients all have beneficial effects on our skin. How these ingredients benefit your skin can be found on our website at www.sundancedesignertan.com.au. Please educate yourself and let us know what you think about our products.