Let’s talk about bacteria for a second. It’s everywhere: in our bodies, in the air and on just about every surface we touch. It’s inescapable. And although the bacteria found isn’t all bad (like the ones that keep our vaginal pH balanced), we’re never not looking for skin care products that pack an antimicrobial punch — meaning they’ll rid our faces of the gunk and grime without taking the good stuff with it too.
For as long as we can remember, tea tree oil has been the hero ingredient we associate with this specific concern… and for good reason. A 2016 study by the American Society for Microbiology showed it’s just as effective in treating acne as prescription-strength options (like benzoyl peroxide), but without the harsh side effects. But we think it’s high time we gave tea tree a well-deserved break, especially since there is a gang of other oils whose properties do the same exact thing.
Nyakio Grieco, founder of Nyakio Beauty, counts marula, rose hip and mafura as her favorites and three that should definitely be on our skin care radar.
The first — marula oil — is lightweight, easily absorbed and a safe bet for pretty much all skin types. And besides being chock-full of antibacterial properties, it’s also rich in oleic acid, a fatty acid that’s especially nourishing to dry skin since it can penetrate more deeply than other ingredients.
Rose hip oil is also a popular skin soother that just so happens to be antibacterial. “Rose hips contain phenols, which are known to have antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal properties. This oil is highly effective for ultra-sensitive skin types,” says Grieco.
Lastly, mafura oil, arguably the least known of these three, gets its anti-inflammatory properties from limonoids. That’s just a fancy word for phytochemicals, which are the compounds produced by fruits and plants to fight off pathogens (aka bacteria).
If your tea tree spot treatment or facial serum is down to its last drop, consider adding one of these germ-fighting formulas to your vanity in its place.
Originally posted on StyleCaster.