How about that face oil?

All facial oils are composed of fatty acids of varying carbon chain lengths. Some have single bonds in their chemical structure and some have double bonds. It is the variation in chain length and number of double bonds that give them a spectrum of structural and physical properties.

For example, let's take a look at rose hip seed oil.  This oil is extracted from the seeds of the wild rose bush in the southern Andes in South America. There are other variants that are sourced from South Africa, Turkey and elsewhere in Europe. Keep in mind this is different from Rose Petal extract that is used in perfumes. 

Rose hip seed oil is high in the essential fatty acids Linolic acid, or omega-6, and Omega 3. It is considered a poly-unsaturated oil and has many double bonds in its structure. Oils with many double bonds react and oxidize. Over 60% of Rose hip oil is linoleic acid (C18- that is the number of C in the chain) and has double bonds. This makes the oil very unstable if it is not processed and stored properly.

Looking at the time it takes from harvest, to processing, to consumer purchase, an oil can be significantly aged by the time it is finally used by the consumer. Another element in the stability factor of the oil is the way it is processed, for example cold pressed oils are a lot more unstable.

In contrast, Jojoba oil (the one we use in our BOA Exfoliant) is considered one of the most stable oils in the industry because it is actually more like a liquid wax and not a typical oil.

Once an oil is produced by a harvester or processor, they must be stabilized with something as quickly as possible otherwise they start to age / oxidize very quickly. Oxidation can even happen if they have been stabilised. It can happen as a result of heat or air exposure, as most often these oils are not packed in a vacuum. Some oils are known as oxidatively very stable whereas other oils can go bad very quickly.

Argon oil (or Moroccan oil), for example, ages very quickly (oxidatively it is very unstable). It has a shelf life of only about 6 months.  There is a story in the personal care industry around the rise in use of Moroccan oil.  They say that one year a supplier of this oil had a massive surplus and was aware of how quickly it can destabilize, so he decided to spin a story about it. He must have been an impressive storyteller because Argon oil is still considered to be the magic oil with a lot of hype about it across the skin care and hair care markets. There are currently a huge number of brands that have launched products with Argon oil in them.

All oils do eventually go rancid, it is just a matter of when. when oils oxidize it does not negatively impact their performance such as the aesthetic feel, the degree of moisturization or any other benefits associated with different types of oils. The problem is that in a fully oil-based product the smell can be very off putting if one of the fatty acids has been even slightly oxidized. It doesn't take that much of the oil to go rancid before your nose picks up a nasty odor.

Some oils offer a world of wonder if they have been harvested, blended and stored properly. Some of them have been identified through history as having prophylactic and therapeutic effects against the common cold, infectious diseases, gastrointestinal disorders, urinary tract diseases, and inflammatory diseases.

Our advise for your face oil product is the following:

Store them properly. Don’t leave them open in a humid or hot place, or exposed to sunlight. Buy small quantities as you will go through them faster and they will stay fresh and effective.