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Oils: The Good, the bad & the ugly!
Posted on May 22 2020,
Let's start with the good ones!
The biggest benefits of Grapeseed Oil come from the high source of Vitamin E and Omega-6 Fatty Acid content. The Vitamin E within Grapeseed Oil acts as a fat-soluble antioxidant which helps protect your cells from damaging Free Radicals that have been associated with Cancer, heart disease and other chronic illnesses. The Omega-6 Fatty Acids are known to create a powerful skin barrier against free radical damage and reduce inflammation within the skin.
Grapeseed Oil is also known to tighten pores and reduce the appearance of scars on the surface of the skin!
Grapeseed Oil is more one to look for in your skincare as while there is nothing wrong with using it in salad dressing or baking, its high levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids make it unsuitable for high-heat cooking, such as frying. The best one for cooking is Extra Virgin Olive Oil, we go to that one next!
Extra Virgin Olive Oil- look for the green coloured type!
The main type of fat found in Olive Oil is monosaturated fatty acids (MUFA’s). MUFAs are considered a ‘good fat’. Like when people tell you to eat Avocados, they’re not just the latest trendy food, they are in fact very good for you.
The best benefit of Olive Oil is its ability to fight inflammation thanks to the Oleic Acid & Oleocanthal within it. Chronic inflammation is among the leading drivers of many diseases such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, arthritis and metabolic syndrome. Oleocanthal has also been shown to work like ibuprofen and researchers estimate that the amount of Oleocanthal in 50ml of Extra Virgin Olive Oil has an effect similar to 10% of the adult ibuprofen dosage for pain relief.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil has antioxidants within it called Bio phenols and Oleuropein and they have been extensively researched for their benefits as antioxidants. It has been found that these two antioxidants can efficiently reduce the oxidation process that increases your cholesterol level.
So why look for the green type? There is a lot of conflicting information about this but supposedly, the greener in colour the oil is, the better it is for you. Don’t worry, no-one will look at you funny down the oil aisle in Sainsburys!
As we’ve said many times, Avocados aren’t just ‘trendy’, they are an incredibly beneficial addition to your diet and skincare. Cold pressed avocado oil is one of the richest sources of beneficial monounsaturated fatty acids like oleic acid (just like Olive Oil!).
Not only is avocado oil extremely good at hydrating and softening your skin, is it also often recommended as an effective treatment for acne and blackheads, eczema and other forms of skin inflammation. It’s even been reported to diminish age spots and smooth out fine lines and wrinkles!
Top Oils to AVOID!
A lot of you may have seen the ‘Pure Poison’ article making its way round Magazines like Vogue and whilst we’re not here to jump on the bandwagon, it is important to share the information with you. If you haven’t read the article, Harvard professor Dr Karin Michels likened Coconut Oil to ‘Pure Poison’ in a lecture entitled Coconut Oil and Other Nutritional Errors. There is a video of the lecture but we’re pretty sure it’s in German so didn’t understand much!
So, what’s so bad about Coconut Oil considering it’s been hailed the “superfood” discovery of the healthy living movement?
The poison comments are based on the high proportion of saturated fat in coconut oil which is known to raise cholesterol levels and therefore put you at risk of heart disease. The American Heart Association said in 2017, “Because coconut oil increases LDL cholesterol, a cause of CVD, and has no known offsetting favourable effects, we advise against the use of coconut oil”.
Then there was a very much agreed conclusion by the British Nutrition Foundation in 2016 which said, “If you like the taste of coconut oil it can be included in the diet, but in small amounts and not very often.” The report went on to say “Coconut oil is very high in saturated fat. UK and major international health organisations have concluded that there is a link between high saturated fat intakes, raised blood cholesterol and increased risk of heart disease. This has led organisations around the world to advise that we should be reducing saturated fats in our diet and replacing them with small amounts of unsaturated fats.”
Whilst Palm oil might be free of trans fats, it’s high in saturated fats, which pose a significant risk to cardiovascular health.
A report by the Centre of Science in the Public Interest states that palm oil is healthier than partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, but less healthy than liquid oils like olive or rapeseed. In 2016, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) raised concerns that high levels of 3-MCPD, a substance found in refined palm oil, could pose risk to kidneys, and the male reproductive system.
While 3-MCPD is suspected to be carcinogenic, EFSA they revised their guidelines earlier this year, increasing the safe consumption levels of the compound.
This is all without mentioned the deforestation caused by unsustainable sourcing of Palm Oil.
Palm Oil is an incredibly popular vegetable oil that is derived from the palm fruit, grown on the African oil palm tree. It was originally from Western Africa but can grown wherever heat and rainfall are plentiful. Today, Palm Oil is grown throughout Africa, Asia, North America and South Africa. But a whopping 85% of all palm oil is produced and exported from Indonesia and Malaysia and usually not by sustainable measures.
That’s where the problem lies.
Very, very few farms are growing and producing palm oil sustainably leading to immense deforestation across the world and many animals losing their natural habitats.
I read an article on Allure that was so straight to the point about why it’s Mineral Oil is bad for you that I’m sharing their exact words with you.
"Mineral oil belongs to the class of chemicals called hydrocarbons, which are compounds containing only carbon and hydrogen," says biochemist Paula Simpson. "Typical hydrocarbons are petrolatum, paraffin, and mineral oil, all of which are widely used as emollients because of their low volatility and smoothing texture when applied to the skin." This helps explain why mineral oil is so widespread in skin care, from drugstore bargains to high-end prestige products. It locks in moisture to heal dry, irritated skin and makes products feel silky-smooth and luxurious, but Simpson continues that "because of the barrier effect it has on skin, mineral oil can also clog pores." And according to dermatologist Ava Shamban, "creams that combine mineral oil and paraffin can actually damage the skin barrier and increase water loss."
"I highly recommend staying away from mineral oil," says Beverly Hills aesthetician Sonya Dakar, whose clients include Jennifer Lawrence and Gwyneth Paltrow. "It's derived from petroleum and does not absorb into the skin—its molecular size is simply too big. As a result, mineral oil remains on the surface of skin, making it a reflector of the sun, which can lead to more sun damage and discoloration."
If that isn’t enough to put you off, I don’t know what is!
It goes without saying, none of our products will ever contact any of the ‘nasties’ we often talk about, including Coconut Oil, Palm Oil and Mineral Oil