In very dry weather, the body releases water from the outermost layers of skin to keep it supple. In a healthy individual, the skin loses about 100-150 ml of this water per square metre through evaporation. This loss of water is termed as transepidermal or insensible water loss. This water loss is higher in people with skin conditions like eczema.
Why Cold-Pressed Oils?
Oils such as almond oil, jojoba oil, soybean oil, and avocado oil have an occlusive effect; that is, they form a layer on the skin which prevents this water loss. Cold-pressed oils have better therapeutic effects than refined oils because they are not exposed to heat or chemicals.
Applying a plant oil on the skin (topical application) improves important phytochemicals (plant chemical) like phenolic compounds and tocopherols and repair skin damage.
Not all plant oils are same,some need to be applied on a regular basis for the best results. For example, avocado oil is rich in omega 9 fatty acid (oleic acid), so applying it sometimes can produce great results. However, research has linked regular and long-term application of avocado oil to dermatitis (skin inflammation) in some people.
So it is important to pick the right oil for you before you use it on your hands and build a timetable accordingly. Apply small amount of oil inside your elbow to see which one suits you best. If avocado oil is the best option for you, then apply it once or twice a week, depending on weather conditions and other factors that may make your hands dry.
For other plant oils, since they don’t get fully absorbed in the skin, it might be a good idea to include them in your daily night-time personal care routine.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- 1 teaspoon jojoba oil or almond oil or olive oil (one of the three).
How to use?
- Wash your hands with soap and water. Pat them dry.
- Apply oil and gently massage into your hands.
- If possible, take 2-3 minutes to make oil work into your hands, apply pressure on each finger and the abductor pollicis brevis muscle (part of the palm that links to the thumb) to relieve stress.
- You can also add two drops of lavender oil to the oil of your choice before massaging. It helps you to sleep better.