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Which plant oil is best for your skin and hair? There are so many to choose from, and it seems like every day there’s a new article describing why a certain oil is good or bad for you. Coconut oil has had its ups and downs, Jamaican black castor oil is all the rage, and some people continue to swear by humble olive oil.

The truth is that different skin and hair types will appreciate different plant oils. Even the same person might reach for a different oil depending on the season. Whether you need light hydration or deep moisture, refer to this guide to help you choose.

Light oils

These lightweight oils are ideal for summertime skin, humid climates, and wavy to loosely-curled hair. Those who break out easily can also use these oils on the face without issues.

  • Jojoba oil: Soothes, moisturizes and reduces acne. The most easily absorbed plant oil.
  • Extra virgin olive oil: Prevents aging and lightly moisturizes.
  • Grapeseed oil: Great for conditioning, toning, cleansing and tightening.

Medium oils

These oils fall somewhere between the two ends of the spectrum. They’re not as heavy or sticky as other oils, but they can still take a bit of time to absorb. They’re useful for all hair and skin types, especially to combat dryness.

  • Argan oil: Absorbs easily, minimizes frizz and prevents wrinkles.
  • Avocado oil: Nourishes, strengthens, softens and stimulates blood flow.
  • Sweet almond oil: Gently hydrates, treats dandruff, and prevents both aging and acne.
Heavy oils/butters

Those who live in dry or cold climates will want to break out these oils when their skin and hair needs deep, penetrating moisture. If you have kinky hair that tends to lose its moisture easily, you can use these oils and butters all year round.

  • Coconut oil: Smells delicious and has anti-fungal and antibacterial properties.
  • Castor oil: Not for delicate skin, but easily penetrates and moisturizes. Jamaican black castor oil also promotes hair growth.
  • Shea butter: Perfect for sealing moisture into elbows, knees and dry hair.
  • Mango butter: A lovely-smelling, smoother alternative to shea butter.

This list is just a starting point. There are a ton of other oils and butters to experiment with, from camellia to hemp seed to monoi, all of which fall into one of these three categories. The right plant oil will provide a natural and affordable solution to both skin and hair issues, so do some experimenting to find the ideal oil for you.

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