organic skin care at wingsets


This series of blogs will be about skin care and how we can make the right choices while we search the aisles, go to home parties and read a bunch of "stuff" online. Now if you are new to this blog, you should know that we are unrelenting advocates of being label readers - always! I know, I really do. It takes time, precious time, but our health is as precious as it gets. I've been researching skin care ingredients for over 12 years and I've seen some very good and some very bad advice. I hope to help you with just the basics on what to look for in a good, healthy, effective skin care ingredient. This will be the first of a series and will be repeated in our Ingredient Benefits tab at the bottom of each page of our website. I have been juggling too many balls the past few years and have been remiss on sharing what I do know about skin care including carrier oils and essential oils. The winter months remind all of us that tight, dry, flaking and chapped skin is something to be avoided.

Occlusives - what are they?

I will make this abbreviated for now and go into more detail on each oil as we progress. We do actually have some information we've shared in the past about the oils we use in our products plus other ingredients. But this series is more about why you want or don't want a particular ingredient.

So, what makes an oil “occlusive” and what does that really mean? Occlusives generally get a bad rap because we automatically think of things that clog our pores, but that isn’t true. You need these protective oils. They prevent transdermal moisture loss, protect your skin from harsh winds, dry weather and cold weather. I’m sitting in front of our pellet stove right now. I love this stove and it is the only thing (well, maybe not the only thing) that keeps me sane through the cold Nebraska winters. But, I also notice a distinct drying of my skin as I sit here if I don’t use a protective cream that contains at least one occlusive oil, preferably at least two.  There are so many quality ingredients now available to all of us through the internet and, of course, I recommend organic or certified organic and cold pressed, unrefined. Why? I have compared the cosmetic grade oils to the cold pressed unrefined oils that we now use and the difference in just the appearance tells me that the beneficial properties have  been refined out of cosmetic grade oils. I have a picture I posted on our Facebook page probably two or more years ago of our beautiful dark green certified organic, cold pressed, unrefined avocado oil sitting in a clear glass container beside the expeller processed, cosmetic grade of avocado oil that we once used before I figured this out. The cosmetic grade is colorless, thin and odorless - something large manufacturers look for - plus it is significantly cheaper. The cold-pressed (i.e. without heat that ruins beneficial properties) is dark green, thicker and has a nice subtle plant-type fragrance. Before I knew better I thought – well, if it is cosmetic grade and I’m making a cosmetic, then that’s what I need. Simple right? Well, not so much. Oils retain their phytonutrients only if they are cold-pressed and unrefined, which means they are full of antioxidants that fight those free radicals that try to make those wrinkles on your face. Cosmetic grade oils, which are what you will find in your big box store and home party brands, have been stripped of their benefits! Do they still “feel” like they are doing something for your skin? Well, yes, they do because oil is still oil. It is what is going on beneath your skin at the cellular level that you can’t “feel” that makes such a huge difference.

So here is a list of oils that are “occlusive”:

Jojoba oil (one of our favorites)
Rice Bran Oil
Sesame oil (not the roasted kind that smells heavenly in any stir fry recipe)
Avocado oil (again one of our favorites)
Pumpkin Seed oil (okay, another of our favorites and I will tell you why in another blog)
Macadamia Nut oil (obviously not to be used with nut allergies)
Moringa oil (we are experimenting with this one to determine if the hype is hype or true information)
Mineral oil (which is petroleum product and we advise you to avoid any products containing mineral oil and it also clogs pores)

Why do occlusive oils work to protect our skin?

Oils are – well obviously fats. And we will talk in another blog about the different types of fats and why some work better than others.  It is known that fats penetrate deeper into the surface layers of the skin and alleviate drying of the skin and help to retain the skin’s moisture by preventing moisture loss through evaporation. The healthier our skin is, the healthier our body is. It is truly a protective covering and keeping that covering intact, healthy, moisturized and elastic is key to overall health. Bacteria and viruses can enter quite easily through broken, red and chapped skin. It is more than just a beauty question (listen up here men!), or holding back the ravages of time and preventing and delaying wrinkle formation, it is essential to the health of your body overall. We all need and want (we really do) more supple, softer and elastic skin regardless of whether it is on our face on our feet.

I've just mentioned carrier oils here, but I should mention beeswax as well and probably the star performer in this lineup. Waxes in general are absorbed more slowly and can contribute to the “greasy” feel  that a lot of us try to avoid. But beeswax provides more protection than oils. The greasy feel only lasts for a short period of time and it is so worth it. We all need that protective barrier and only by using some occlusive oils/waxes in our products can we achieve this function. 

I know there are others and am just giving you a short synopsis. There have been newer oils on the market but we keep coming back to the ones we have used for years except, of course and importantly, we have switched to organic, cold pressed and unrefined. 


Thanks for listening!



Ann's mission statement is to provide health and wellness information to you and your family that you may not find in your every-day newspapers or Prevention magazines. Her college studies, certifications and passionate self-study have provided her with a huge spectrum of understanding of the intricate issues and debates concerning health, nutrition and skin care. Ann was a Critical Care Registered Nurse, is a Certified Clinical Aromatherapy Professional, and has been studying nutrition, aromatherapy, skin care health and medicinal herbalism for at least 13 years. Not so surprisingly, all of these interact for health and wellness at a level we all want to achieve. She is an ardent pursuer of verified research and information and spends huge amounts of time searching for information that is relevant and evidence based. We sincerely hope you benefit from her efforts.