Hair, Skin and Hangovers: There’s an Oil for That


It wasn’t too long ago that essential oils were just a thing your odd, maybe-a-witch aunt used to push on you when you had a sinus infection. But in recent years, the notion of utilizing “good” oils not only in your diet but in your beauty and wellness routine has slicked its way right into the mainstream. 

Skeptical? I get it. There are a great many of us that went through puberty armed with a bottle of SeaBreeze at all times, and the idea of slathering oil (the very thing previously thought to be the culprit of our shiny-faced woes!) all over your face can seem a little sketchy (if not outright insane). But the verdict is in from many a dermatologists and skin-product experts alike: there’s an oil out there for all of us, whether you’ve got oily, combination or dry skin. The basic principle is that that specific types of oil help regulate your natural sebum production and restore the pH balance of your skin; with astringents and detergents, your skin will inevitably produce oil to replace what is stripped away, and it can often end up overcompensating (in other words, all that effort to evade oiliness results in more oiliness!)

All of which is not to say not all oils are created equal; that pile of napkins you used to sop up pepperoni grease, for example, is still a no-go (but hey, maybe that’s just because that no one’s tried it yet!). There are a wide range of options at your disposal ranging from the very expensive to things you can also use in your kitchen (the ladies of Refinery 29 documented their experiments with household oils if you want to raid your pantry and give it a shot). Here are a handful of our favorite oil-based products that can be used for cleansing and wellness purposes:

Raw is Everything

One of the tenets of using oil to cleanse is that it’s devoid of all the scary-sounding chemicals and sulfates that can damage skin and hair in the long run. So the fact that the Raw is Everything line is composed of single-ingredient, cold-pressed oils is extra reassuring in the sense that you know exactly what you’re putting on your skin. As such, the product smells like what it’s going to smell like and that’s it, and while I will absolutely vouch for the Age-Defying Concentrate for its hydrating and glow-inducing qualities, the scent of concentrated rosehip oil is…earthy. But whatever. It’s still worth it. If you’re looking for something more tried-and-true, Josie Maran Argan Cleansing Oil is also single-ingredient, cold-pressed 100% oily goodness that’s built up quite the cult following. 


If you remain unconvinced that you can remove oil from your person by adding more oil, you don’t have to take my word for it: Michael Gordon used to make shampoo for a living as the founder of Bumble and Bumble, and now he’s become one of its loudest critics: “[No one should] have detergent like Sodium Laureth Sulfate anywhere near them. Think about it. If somebody with credibility – that would be me – is saying, ‘Suds suck,’ stop the madness of using detergent on your body that runs down the drain and into the environment.” Thus, Hairstory’s New Wash was born; comprised primarily of jojoba seed oil, evening primrose oil, sunflower seed oil, and peppermint oil, New Wash is an all-in-one product for all hair types that functions harmoniously with the properties of your hair and scalp rather than combat them. Because it’s not a detergent, the product doesn’t lather at all, which can be disconcerting for some, and again, the focus on healthful ingredients over synthetic good-smelling stuff means the scent is a little different than what you might be used to, but the end result (supported nicely by the three other styling products) makes for soft, moisturized, natural-looking hair. 


Face oil? Check. Hair oil? Check. Are you ready now to become a Jedi-level oil-cleanser? A few months back, we profiled Laura Schubert, one of the founders of Fur, and learned all about this groundbreaking oil cleanser and conditioner for your pubes. Not only will the fast-drying formula composed of grape seed, jojoba, tea tree, and clary sage seed oils silk-ify your lower locks, but it’ll also clear your pores, which means no more ingrown hairs. A win-win if there ever was one. 

Peppermint Oil

So this is perhaps slightly more speculative and anecdotal, but fervent believers in the healing properties of essential oils claim peppermint oil can cure nausea and headaches, which essentially means it can cure hangovers. As someone who’s tried this once in a recent moment of desperation, here’s what I’ll say: It’s freaking intense. I dabbed a spot on each temple, and it was so tingly and potent that my eyes were watering for a good half hour. So in a sense, I suppose it was effective in distracting me from my hangover, but I’m not so sure about it curing my nausea (then again, this was the morning after my 30th birthday, so maybe this was an unfair task to put peppermint oil up to). If all else fails, a few drops in the bathtub makes the loveliness of a bath even lovelier. A few popular brands are RadhaMajestic Pure Cosmeceutecals and Art Naturals.

-Deena Drewis