These potent plant oils are game changers

4 Next-Gen Beauty Oils for Skin + Hair

4 Next-Gen Beauty Oils for Skin + Hair

Argan. Coconut. Jojoba. Rose. As classic and luxuriant as those oils are, there’s a new fab four of oils poised to shake up skincare. Get to know camellia seed, prickly pear cactus, cacay seed and kalahari melon. Here’s a handy cheat sheet. 


The Oil: Camellia Seed 

Claim to Fame: Ultra-moisturizing, deeply penetrating and easily absorbed, camellia seed oil is loaded with antioxidants, making it an excellent block against the ravages of UV rays and pollution. It’s rich in monounsaturated essential fatty acids, vitamins, minerals and squalane, a key contributor to the skin’s built-in emollient system. Also enjoys a side hustle as a nail strengthener.  

Comes From: The seeds of the camellia oleifera plant, indigenous to the mountainous regions of Japan and China. (Hence its rep as “the beauty secret of geishas.”)  

Healthy + Planet-Friendly Production Method: Cold-pressed extraction.  

Find It In: LOLI Camellia Seed Elixir


The Oil: Prickly Pear Cactus  

Claim to Fame: Also known as Barbary fig seed oil, prickly pear cactus seed oil contains a staggering amount of vitamin E, as well as a sky-high percentage of essential fatty acids. Because it has a much higher rate of linoleic acid to oleic, it’s noncomedogenic and absorbs easily. Laced with brightening vitamin K and the antioxidant betalain, it helps reduce dark spots and other signs of aging.   

Comes From: The black seeds of the prickly pear cactus, a hardy plant native to Mexico that is now grown in open fields in other arid pockets of the world, like Morocco. It can survive—and bear fruit—with very little water.  

Healthy + Planet-Friendly Production Method: Cold-pressing, via manual extraction of the seeds. Avoid chemical extraction with toxic solvents like hexane.   

Find It In: LOLI Prickly Pear Cactus Oil


The Oil: Cacay Seed  

Claim to Fame: This naturally rich source of vitamin A (outdoing even rosehip seed) acts like Mother Nature’s version of retinol. It’s like a fountain of youth, and also hydrates and helps fades scars and stretch marks over time.   

Comes From: The nuts of the cacay tree, a rainforest superstar that tends to cluster at the eastern base of the Andes Mountains in Colombia. Traditionally wild, these massive, often 40-foot-tall trees are now being farmed to support the growing demand for cacay oil. Prized for its positive impact on the environment, the fast-growing cacay tree provides shade for coffee plants, enriches the soil around it and neutralizes air pollution. 

Healthy + Planet-Friendly Production Method: Cold-pressed extraction. Another benefit of this oil is its sustainability; no part of the nut goes to waste. Once the oil has been extracted, the meat can be ground for milk or flour and the outer shell can be burned for heating fuel.  

Find It In: Cacay Naturals 100% Cacay Oil


The Oil: Kalahari Melon Seed 

Claim to Fame: This super-hydrating yellow oil is a powerhouse of omega-6 essential fatty acids and phytosterols, which support the barrier function of the skin. At the same time, it’s a champ at dissolving sebum, making it an ideal moisturizer for the blemish-prone. Also functions well as a hair elasticizer, giving new life to parched locks.  

Comes From: The wild Kalahari melon, a distant cousin of summertime fave watermelon. It grows in the Kalahari Desert stretching across Botswana, Namibia and South Africa, and legend has it that bushmen can survive for up to six weeks just by eating this ultra water-packed fruit.  

Healthy + Planet-Friendly Production Method: Cold-pressed extraction.  

Find It In: SheaTerra Kalahari Melon Cold-Pressed Oil