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‘The cocktail party is easily the worst invention since castor oil’, moaned American gossip columnist and society hostess Elsa Maxwell. Why did she take against this innocuous oil, that has little taste, colour or smell?

Last month we learned more about the general make-up of skincare oils. This month we’re starting our first in-depth look at some of the more popular oils, to help you get to know your ingredients a little better. December’s oil of the month is Jojoba oil.

I’m often asked if you can substitute one oil for another in a skincare recipe. Here’s where it’s important to understand what individual oils do for our skin.

As Autumn gathers pace, it’s time to celebrate with walks through leafy woods, in those precious sunlit days before winter sets in. Our skin may be subject to both buffeting winds or late-season sun-bathing, so it’s a good time of year to whip up a nourishing, all-weather facial serum using one of the best-loved of ingredients, Rosehip oil.

5 Natural Ingredients that Act as Antioxidants

Our skin is one of our first lines of defence, as well as our second largest organ (the fascial system of connective tissues throughout the body is actually our largest organ), so it pays to protect it. Antioxidants are key helpers in this. They limit the production of free radicals, which can damage skin cells. They reduce signs of ageing, help to repair sun damage, soothe and calm inflammation, firm and plump the skin so improving the appearance of wrinkles, and smooth scar tissue. They also extend the shelf life of natural vegetable oils by retarding rancidity.