Why stop at your face? 10 ways to hack face oils.

I love face oils. I love it for a lot of reasons.  My current favorites are ElishaCoy Honey Murumuru Moisturizing Oil and Nature Republic Forest Garden Chamomile Cleansing Oil.

Nature Republic Chamomile Cleansing Oil, $12.97 + Free shipping on Amazon.com
ElishaCoy Honey Murumuru Face Oil, $28 from Memebox








Not only do I love these oils for my face, I use them for a lot of other less traditional purposes.  And fiscally speaking (which is rare for me), it is a much more affordable and effective alternative for some common issues.  Here are some ideas:

1) Nail Care: Use moisturizing oil to treat dry cuticles.  If you happen to have some disposable, plastic ‘seasoning’ gloves (you can find them at most Asian grocery stores), I suggest applying some oil on your cuticles, put on the gloves and let it soak for 10-15 min.  Think of it as a mask pack treatment for your hands.  It never fails to restore hydration to my nails and cuticles.

2) Touch-Up: Use the moiturizing oil with a Q-tip or cotton swab to touch or clean up your make up.  This is gentler and just as effective, though clearly not as convenient, as other makeup remover ‘wands’ like Etude House All Finish Remover Bar or Skinfood Eggplant Eye Makeup Remover.  I love the fun of twisting off one end and watching the remover get soaked into the cotton tip.  But it tends to have a very astringent effect on my skin so I stopped using them and instead use the oil with cotton swabs.

Etude House All Finish Remover Bar, $5.20 at Etude House

3) Dry patches: I also like to apply moisturizing oils to my elbows or other dry patches to keep them from getting flaky. I don’t recommend using them on hands if you need to use your hands after applying.  It’s going to get greasy and you are going to drop things.  Take it from this ‘unni’.  I learned my lesson after losing 2 wine glasses over 2 consecutive nights due to this ‘slippery slip’ effect of moisturing my hands with oil and then trying to carry dirty glasses to the kitchen.

4) Makeup brush wash: Cleaning my makeup brushes used to be quite a chore.  At least until I started cleaning my makeup brushes with the same cleansing oil I use to wash my makeup off.  I pump a little cleansing oil on my palm then gently dip and rub the bristles of the brush before rinsing.  One pump of the oil is usually enough to wash a mix of shadow and blush brushes.  Be careful not let the oil seep into the ‘roots’ of the brush as that can dissolve the adhesive holding together the bristles.  Also, a little cleansing on a cotton pad will do wonders in cleaning up your eye lash curler.

5) Hair dye eraser: When I accidentally splash hair dye during one of my at-home hair color experiments, I use a little moisturizing or cleansing oil on a cotton pad to wipe away any residue or dye stains.  This is important because any time my husband sees these stains, he will instinctively begin shaking his head and start reciting all our bathroom renovation costs.

6) Blending agent: I like to blend in some of moiturizing oil with my foundation or BB cream on days when my face starts to feel a little tight and dry.  It helps apply the base more smoothly but it also helps keep my skin from getting more dry.  Only caution: it does result in lighter coverage.

7) Hand wash: I use my hands and fingers a lot when I put on makeup.  I always had a hard time getting the makeup off my hands afterwards – somehow it felt inefficient to use makeup wipes for my hands since I still needed to wash my hands to get rid of the greasiness from wipes.  But now when I’m finished with makeup application, I pump some cleansing oil on my hands, rub rub rub, rinse rinse rinse, and I’m ready to go.  Another benefit is that I usually don’t even need to follow up with hand lotion.

8) Ctrl+Z for semi-permanent: One of my worst beauty choices EVER was this… and this is including the phase in the 90s when I thought giving myself a perm at home was a good idea.

garnier color
Don’t do it. Just. Don’t.

I thought it would be fun to do what all the young kids do these days and put in some color streaks in my hair.  What I got for trying to act too young for my age was a head full of hair that felt and looked like a bird’s nest.  And not the kind you might want to grind up to use in your face cream.  That would be the good kind.  I’m talking about the kind some cat knocked down from a tree and dragged over the garbage pile up, multiple times.  And despite the packaging which says it would fade out in a few washes, I could not get it out even after a half bottle of shampoo and 45 minute long shower.  Purely out of desperation, I tried washing my hair with cleansing oil instead of shampoo.  Voile!  It worked.  And it restored some much needed shine and flexibility to my hair.  These days, it’s not unusual for me to reach for cleansing oil before I shampoo.

9) Dry shave: I don’t recommend the practice of dry shaving, but sometimes it’s a necessity.  In a pinch, I apply a generous amount of moisturizing oil on the skin and before a dry shave.  I find that this does several things: it helps the razor glide smoothly, it creates a protective barrier between the blades and skin and it moisturizes.  Thinking about it, maybe I will just replace my shaving cream with cleansing oil… one fewer bottle to knock over in the shower.

10) Hair smoother: My hair tends to be on the oily side but there are still times when it gets frizzy and stiff.  Just a light dab of some moisturizing oil – let’s call it a “hair pack” – and pat down my hair and that usually does the trick for me.

So there you have it.  Face oil has become a staple in my life, and not just for moisturizing or cleaning my face.  How about you?  Have you discovered any surprising uses for face oils?

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