Holy Grail Oils You Need to be Using
Being part of a South Asian family often means learning the secrets, stories, and history of the generations that came before you. Hearing stories of The Partition of India, or the grandeur of Mughal princes, or how the various religions of the region were conceived. It was those family stories that characterized my childhood, but some of the best things I learnt from being a Pakistani girl were the secret benefits of certain oils.
Beauty secrets in South Asia go from basin facials, uptaan scrubs for brides, and bottles and elixirs of oils with many purposes.
I was three years old the first time I had coconut oil applied to my hair and it was applied by my paternal grandmother. I had thick long coils of black curly hair as a child and every Sunday when I was in Pakistan, I would sit as globs of coconut oil were spread through my hair, and my grandmother told me the benefits of each oil of Pakistan. Thicker hair, stronger curls, less frizz, more shine, it seemed like coconut oil could do everything!
As I got older and my grandmother had passed away, I began to expand beyond just coconut oil for my hair. I wanted to explore other oils and their benefits since oil was such an integral part to Pakistani culture.
Below are my top five favorite oils and their benefits!
1.) You've probably read everywhere that Coconut Oil is multipurpose, which is completely true. Used in hair, Coconut oil has magnificent benefits from increasing strength, malleability, texture, shine, and health. The oil also completely breaks down face makeup. Instead of investing in a pricey cleansing balm, coconut oil behaves in exactly the same way. Warm up the oil then massage it onto your face to breakdown your makeup (though I'd recommend being careful with eye makeup; oil in your eyes is not a great situation). Coconut oil can also be used to whiten your teeth slowly. Oil pulling has been proven to improve oral health. You simply place a tablespoon of oil into your mouth and swish it around for around 20 minutes.
2.) Tea Tree Oil saved my skin when I was thirteen. I had red angry pimples all over my cheeks, up to my forehead, on my chin, on my hairline, just absolutely everywhere. Discovering The Body Shop's Tea Tree Oil collection saved my skin. At the time, I thought I'd been scammed into trying a gimmicky product and questioned how an oil could save my skin. I was so wrong to have even questioned the benefits. Tea Tree Oil is antibacterial and when applied works to fight dark marks, active pimples and scars.
3.) Argan Oil saved my hair when I ruined it from a Keratin Treatment. Coconut Oil is great for hair strength and immediately available in Pakistan and Hong Kong but the properties of Argan Oil worked so well in restoring the texture of my hair. Argan Oil is exclusive to Morocco and upon visiting in March of 2017 I was able to purchase authentic Argan Oil. This oil is a holy grail for me because I think what Coconut Oil is able to do is versatile for any part of your body you want to nourish. However, I think Argan Oil is insanely good for specifically your hair. It sped up the process of recovering my curly hair and restored it almost back to its original texture due to the high amount of Vitamin E in the oil. I highly recommend Argan Oil over Coconut Oil for repairing damaged hair.
4.) Jamaican Black Castor Oil is what I use to make my hair grow strong and long. Having curly hair has always been difficult to manage especially due to the high humidity in Hong Kong and the heat I sometimes apply to it. Whenever I cut my hair a little shorter than I like it I always apply Jamaican Black Castor Oil to my scalp and massage it in. I find that it always works well to speed up the process of growing my hair. I also use Jamaican Black Castor Oil on my eyelashes and eyebrows.
5.) Orange Essential Oil is another find from Morocco. I use this essential oil on my temples, wrists and behind my ears before I go to sleep. This is more of a personal preference but I really believe that an essential oil that has a scent that calms you is very beneficial. I use my essential oil as a way to unwind and let my body wind down to get ready for bed.