Plant Oils and Other Model-Approved Natural Skincare Secrets

While some of you could care less what models use on their skin—they’re just genetic jackpot winners, right?—I actually think these women have a lot of insight on the subject.

Models are the ultimate guinea pigs: Day in and out, products of all stripes are piled onto their hair and faces. This means several things: They get to test everything out; they have access to experts; and they actually have to work harder than most of us to try to maintain some kind of balance when they’re not shooting and strutting.

So I was not surprised to see that several of the models in a post from Elle about Model Skin Secrets sited naturals and oils as the ultimate in skincare.

Plant oils seem especially popular among this set. Are you a plant-oil convert yet? And if  so, which do you use: argan, coconut, jojoba? See any other products you love here?

Without further ado, the natural picks of these natural-born beauties…

“I like Dr. Hauschka’s Rose Day Cream because it’s chemical-free—I think using clean, organic ingredients on your skin really helps it. The Cleansing Milk and Cleansing Cream are also very good. I’m a huge Dr. Hauschka fan; I’ve been using their products for a couple years

Lakshmi Menon

“I actually just discovered Suki—it’s an organic line that you can buy at Whole Foods and health stores. I use their soap and moisturizing oil—facial oil is my new thing!” Ginta Lapina

“I got really lucky with my skin—I don’t have to do a lot with it. But Caudalie has this Beauty Elixir—it’s just water with some essential oils mixed in—and it’s so nice.”

Arizona Muse

“I like argan oil—when you put it on before you go to bed, you wake up with baby skin! Really soft baby skin.” —Anais Pouliot

“During Fashion Week I use the Carrot Butter Cleanser from Organic Pharmacy to remove my makeup. It’s moisturizing and takes off everything, even waterproof mascara—it cleanses really deep.”

Josephine Skriver

“For removing my mascara, I like using coconut oil. As a moisturizer, I like Dr. Alkaites’ cream or Bulgarian rose oil—you know, things that are organic and natural for the skin, and won’t just sit on it.” —Karolina Kurkova

Spoken like true clean girls! Do you share any favorites with these ladies?

36 Responses to “Plant Oils and Other Model-Approved Natural Skincare Secrets”
  1. Kate says:

    What a great post! I enjoy posts like this and the AM routine posts. It is like a guilt free pass to look into someone’s medicine cabinet :)

    It is also reaffirming to know that those who have access to all the products on the market, are choosing to use products that are natural and easily available to me.

  2. Lolly says:

    I am obsessed with argan oil (Kahina, represent!) and I just got a sample of the Dr. Alkaitis oil and night cream. Used them for the first time last night. The oil’s smell is a tad too strong for my liking (and, bizarrely, rather fake in that cheap-perfume way), but I can deal with it and so far my skin seems happy. I have heard lots of very good things about the Carrot Butter Cleanser and it’s definitely next on my list to try.

  3. charlotte says:

    i used to use jojoba mixed with a bit of neem oil and i got used to the smell of the neem, but my mum complained about it all the time and in the end i worried that everyone would think my natural aroma was burnt peanuts. i also wasnt sure if jojoba was causing clogs on my cheeks.
    so, i investigated and have recently switched to andiroba oil. its quite cheap (£6.25/$10 for 60ml/2oz). it contains natural ahas, its anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory and very healing. since its quite “rich” you only need a little bit (4 drops is enough for me mixed with a bit of rose water), but somehow (not sure if its because of the amount of linoleic acid in it?) its great for my usually clog and acne prone skin.

  4. jenny says:

    i have oily acne-prone skin and have wanted to try dr. hauschka but ingredient’s list fragrance (parfum) and gets 5’s-6’s on EWG’s skin deep? i’m interested in hearing more detailed thoughts on this natural beauty line.

  5. Andreína (andre) says:

    I’m always a bit of a skeptic when it comes to learn about what these girls use. Once they land a cosmetic campaign deal, they make sure to almost always mention at least 2 or 3 of the products “they’re advertising”. Maybe it’s part of their contract.

    It is always awesome when someone discovers something and decides to continue to try according to what they read at blogs or what their friends share, but I’m not sure if I’d praise over something they use when it is probably just 1-5% of what they put on (hell, I’m convinced most of them just worry about removing makeup… and yes! they do have awesome genes with amazing skin!).

    Way to go for them to come out… I just hope more people come clean because they feel is the right thing to do and not because it is what everyone else is doing.

    I’ve said it before and I say it again, power to the oils! I clean and hydrate with nothing else but that!

  6. Ally says:

    I love when cleaner products make get “mainstream” attention. I used to hate using coconut oil, but sometime during the winter I must have grown to like it. I’ve been lusting over OLO’s Skin Savior, too. I’ve been a Suki devotee for so many years I can’t even count. I think I have seven Suki products on my counter right now…

  7. Naomi says:

    I’m a huge fan of the Kahina argan oil and RMS coconut oil. Someone recently posted on the NMDL site that they used coconut oil on their underarms to “erase” a discolouration they saw after using a particular deodeerant and I’ve been using that lately, it seems to be working.

    I don’t use oils on my face day in / day out but it’s definitely my go to when my skin gets angry / irritated / chapped or any type of reaction. I’ve cleansed with oils in the past but prefer Kahina cleanser these days.

  8. Alexandra says:

    @Ally I agree, it gives us me so much satisfaction to see the shift in awareness!

  9. Rebecca says:

    I use Kahina’s argan, and coconut oil, and Pai’s Bioregenerate. Love, love, love!

  10. nancy says:

    I use argan oil on my face (Kahina) daily – am & pm. I ‘ve switched to the double cleanser method – oil 1st & cleanser 2nd (pm only) and I use One Love Organics Savior Balm …love it. Oils as body moisturizers as well …so oil,all the way! Love it.

    So I can say that I have at at least one thing in commom with Karolina Kurkova… the love for argan oil..

  11. Andrea says:

    I use tamanu oil. I’m surprised I haven’t heard anyone uses this. It’s supposed to be great. I just recently started. I use it at night just before bed. It’s great for scars and is naturally antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, anti-neuralgic, and has antioxidant properties. And so far it doesn’t make me break out (yea!)…This is huge since I’ve had cystic acne all of my adult life!

  12. JJ says:

    I don’t believe in the use of oils on my skin and prefer the healing waters that have been prepared at the sacred energy levels

  13. Samantha says:

    Thanks so much for sharing this post!! Love the info as I’m trying to find the perfect natural solutions for my face!! :)

    xo, sam

  14. Michele says:

    I use coconut oil on my body when my skin is still wet from the shower and also as a hair treatment every week or two. I love La Bella Figura \Tesoro\ oil blend for my face. It smells fabulous and it works great. This would be one of my desert island must have products.

  15. Naomi says:

    @Andrea – can you please share what brand or why you buy tamanu oil? I’m loving the idea of something that is good for scars and naturally antibiotic!

  16. Naomi says:

    @Andrea – Sorry, I mean where you buy the tamanu oil.

  17. comagirl says:

    “Model-Approved”? Really? Forgive me, but I think I’ll keep listening to the advice of my well-educated Dermatologist, who is an ACTUAL expert in the field. Thank you.

  18. Julie says:

    Regarding any European skincare brands listing “parfum” or fragrance in their ingredients lists, everyone should know that this is standard across the pond as part of European labeling. Just that by itself will slap you a 5 or 6 hazard on Skin Deep, which is an American based rating system that does not take into account EU labeling regs.

    An excellent general rule is that European brands can be counted on to meet a minimum cleanliness standard because the EU cosmetics directive is SO much stricter than US rules and disallows a great many ingredients. Their baseline minimum is already in our high end. In addition Skin Deep has HUGE problems with the way they rate fractions like Linalool, Citral, Citronellol, etc. In European cosmetics manufacturers are required by law to declare any of these fractions that are contained at even tiny percentages even just as portions of other whole ingredients. That means if you add Lavender essential oil to your product, lavender contains Linalool and so you MUST list Linalool on your ingredients declaration even if it is not added as a separate ingredient. This is because regulatory groups have decided that these fractions may be allergenic to some people and the declaration of them is designed to help sensitive individuals. It may not mean this is added as an individual ingredient. This is an incredibly common misconception in regard to European brands.

    Skin Deep is very flawed when it comes to the rating of these “allergenic” essential oil fractions. One of the primary reasons is because these fractions behave differently when added as part of a whole plant extract or essential oil rather than when added as an isolated compound. The other thing being that some of these compounds are actually *beneficial* to MANY people with only a small percentage of individuals experiencing dermal irritation from them. To blacklist them because some individuals are sensitive is like saying no one should ever eat peanuts or tomatoes because some people are allergic. They can be medicinal and healing to those that are not allergic.

    My own brand has faced much confusion over this issue as we decided to label to EU standards. We declare all these EO fractions to help those that are sensitive and to comply with EU standards so our products could be sold there. I have had to relate this particular bit of information more times than I care to count, as Skin Deep is basically a horrible mess on these issues.

    I am not a fan of Skin Deep as I think they are scaring people away from good European products and from lines that do choose to declare in full. It is an incredibly flawed system and should not be used as a bible, but as just one problematic reference source in your spectrum of educational options. It is a system and a brand can “play” the system to have their rankings come out better. The manufacturer is even responsible for declaring everything in the product so all they have to do is fudge their declaration, which does happen, and they can get a better ranking. I have known brands to hide alcohol, extra preservatives, and other ingredients just to make their labeling look better.

    Also, Tamanu oil is *AMAZING*. Absolutely one of my favorites. I use it in numerous of our recipes and the results are incredible. Just be aware that it has a strong aroma to it and the unrefined oil (which is what you would need for results) is deep yellow/amber and can stain clothing as it is absorbing. Skin doesn’t stain from it but you’ll want to be careful of your blouses as you dress in the morning. ;) I blend it with other oils to make these aspects more palatable such as in our Restore oil.
    It is incredible to use straight on irritations. If you are getting clear, unstinky oil then you have a refined oil and the results won’t be anywhere near the same. Mountain Rose Herbs is always a trustworthy site and they carry it. There are others available online but I can’t vouch for most of the retail, straight Tamanu lines as I don’t buy that small of amounts.

  19. Impi says:

    Now Foods Virgin Coconut Oil for moisturizing face and hair

  20. Lauren says:

    Love the plant oils…I use Coconut Oil to remove eye makeup before cleansing in the evenings, and argan oil both AM and PM. Used to be a Kahina devotee until I realized that other Argan Oils are just as good for a fraction of the price. Right now I’m using Argan Oil by Simplers, and love it. Also using their Rose Hydrosol which is lovely. I use Weleda Baby Oil (Calendula) on my body and love it. Having a new baby has made me want to simplify my routine and save money…I share some products with baby and like that we have the same scent. Weleda Baby Face Cream is lovely around my eyes and California Baby Super Sensitive Shampoo and Body Wash is a fabulous cleanser for my super sensitive skin.

  21. courtney says:

    Tamanu oil is great. It has the power to even reduce the appearance of older scars. Also, rosehip seed oil is great for anti-aging.

  22. Denise says:

    I think oils have proven far better results for my skin than any cream ever has. I love argan oil and rosehip seed oils, but I bought a deal on Refinery 29 for barbary fig oil by La Bella Figura brand and it showed results in a week. Everyone keeps asking me what I’ve done and it is just new moisturizer! When my sister was pregnant she rubbed a mix of rosehip and coconut oils on her bump and never had one stretch mark! Oils are definitely better for you and no one can convince me otherwise now.

  23. Katie M says:

    I agree with Denise on oils. I was introduced to plant oils by my aesthetician last year. She sold me the Essential Nutrient oil by Sevani as it has frankincense, neroli, argan oil, pomegranate, rosehip just tons of anti aging oils.
    I have tried many blends but nothing worked like this. Not only is it the best feeling thing I have ever used on my skin but the aroma is the best. I love it on my upper chest also.
    I get so many compliments on my skin now and I never feel dry. I am now also using the Sevani ageless eyes serum and same thing, nothing ever worked so well for my crows feet! So yes, OILS are awesome but i won’t deny I love a good facial and good natural cream certain times of year also!

  24. Andrea says:

    @Naomi-I buy my tamanu at whole foods. Aura Cacia brand.
    @Julie-I don’t think it’s stinky, I just say it smells earthy. ;)

  25. Rebecca says:

    Does anyone know of a good source for plain and simple barbary fig seed oil? La Bella Figura is not what I’m looking for, that has other stuff in it.

  26. Christie says:

    @rebecca I found this on the barbary oil aka prickly pear its expensive!

  27. El says:

    Here’s an interesting article on the business of argan oil:

    Incidentally, I will be going to Morocco in a couple of weeks and I am eager to try the local argan stuff. I also intend to visit the argan forest to see the issue first hand.

  28. Rebecca says:

    @Christie, thanks for that link! It certainly is expensive…I found it here too for cheaper but I don’t know anything about that company.

  29. La Bella Figura says:

    Hi Rebecca,

    We’re so glad to hear that you’re interested in barbary fig seed oil! It’s the savvy consumer like you that will help to generate more interest in this wonderful, anti-aging ingredient with a multitude of skin rejuvenating benefits. Barbary fig seed oil is indeed expensive and has a short season for cold pressing. Our oil comes from a small family owned farm in Tunisia with EcoCert certification and our oil is pure from the seeds and cold pressed. Some of the oil you may find on the market, especially less expensive versions are a macerated version of barbary fig seed oil and therefore less active in its anti aging power. You may be excited to know that we will begin selling pure, organic barbary fig seed oil soon. La Bella Figura is proud to be the first American brand using this ingredient in our formulations and we have worked very hard to bring awareness, excitement, and interest in barbary fig seed oil. We are delighted to have your interest and hopefully soon others as well because this will help Farmers to produce more quality oil and the demand will lower the cost of the oil. A very exciting time for a new beauty ingredient!


    La Bella Figura

  30. zimt-peppermint says:

    I use coconut oil to remove my make-up and I LOVE it! I have used olive oil before and it works well, but it is horrible if you get it into your eyes. With coconut oil I have never had any problems.

  31. Rebecca says:

    La Bella Figura, I’m so glad to hear you’ll be offering the oil on its own soon! I find it frustrating when companies don’t post info about sourcing, etc., so I really appreciate the way you share information.

  32. I have used them all and continue to use plant oils on my hair, face and body. Favorites are argan oil, coconut, olive, castor, grapeseed, sweet almond, etc, etc. I also like emu oil a lot for my hair and face although it is not plant based. I like the purest, cold pressed, cold processed, etc, of these oils

  33. Floor says:

    I absolutely love Dr. Alkaitis oil. After trying at least 10 others this is the only one that was able to really \fix\ my problem skin. After recomandation from the lovely people at the Dr. Alkaitis website (I am in Europe and use I use it together with their cleanser and soothing gel. That’s all the skincare I use now and my skin has totally transformed.

    I don’t get the Kahina hype at all. Their products are hardly organic (quote eye serum: 99.88% of the total ingredients are from natural origin; 7.42% of the total ingredients are from Organic Farming) and what’s so special about pure Argan oil? It’s just that… I’m in the food industry and can buy the best quality certified organic argan oil for $15 per liter.

    It seems they are especially good at marketing though.

    P.S. Very good post there from Julie about the EU. Thanks for that… you are spot on.

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