Anoint Thyself


$47 for 8.4 oz.;
E.V.O.O. is so iPhone 3GS. With its mellow nutty taste, and emerald-green color, pumpkin seed oil—a specialty of southeastern Austria—is a culinary marvel that adds depth when combined with salad dressings or drizzled over pasta dishes. Impress your friends. A little goes a long way.

Exotic oils may be ubiquitous, but they truly are divine.

Perhaps the first use of oil as a beauty product is found in Exodus 30:25, wherein the Lord commands the Israelites to anoint Aaron and his sons with olive oil. Much has changed since then, but as man has continued to wander the world, he has found stranger sources for oils to smear on his face. We tested four to see if we could achieve our own biblical radiance. Joshua David Stein

Photography by Joshua Scott

Argan Oil
In nature: The argan nut grows only in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco, where it is harvested by a group of Berber women.
On the shelf: Superbly Restorative Argan Body Cleansing Oil by Kiehls
Benefits: Rich in antioxidants and vitamin E, which helps restore elasticity, smoothness, and moisture to dry skin

Verdict: Scrubbing with this oil is like uncovering a second, fresher layer of skin beneath the first.

Sea Buckthorn Berry Oil
In nature: The species is native to Siberia but also grows in parts of China.
On the shelf: Elixir Ancienne by Fresh (combined with meadowfoam oil)
Benefits: Used in Eastern medicine to cure everything from burns to eczema

Verdict: As promised, the oil leaves the face plump, hydrated, and glowing, but it may not warrant the carbon footprint of getting it here.

Safflower Oil
In nature: Safflowers grow in warm, dry climates.
On the shelf: Pevonia Botanicas Ligne Nymphea Dry Oil Body Moisturizer
Benefits: Safflower oil is found in everything from cooking to paint to cosmetics, where the high levels of linoleic acid make it a stellar moisturizer.

Verdict: Long-lasting and nongreasy, the spray moisturizer is light but effective.

Jojoba Oil
In nature: The plant is native to Arizona, Southern California, and northwest Mexico.
On the shelf: Santa Maria Novellas Olio di Jojoba
Benefits: High in vitamin E and full of fatty acids, jojoba oil is a moisturizer on steroids. SMNs Olio also includes sweet almond, which softens the skin.

Verdict: Add a couple of capfuls in the tub, and youll emerge smooth and soft as a newborn.

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