Listen, I know we all say that Black doesn't crack. Still, that doesn't mean we shouldn't be proactive about maintaining our melanin on a regular basis. Personally, the older that I get, the more interested I've become in oils that come with a myriad of all-natural beauty benefits. And while sweet almond, grapeseed, avocado and rosemary are my personal faves, something that has been piquing my interest more and more is amla oil.
If you're not familiar, amla is another name for Indian Gooseberry which is a fruit that's super rich in vitamins C (antioxidants) and E (moisturizer and healer), tannins (which are astringents) and phytochemicals (which reduce the signs of aging). This combination is causing amla to become another top-tier oil for a myriad of reasons. So, let's take out a moment to explore just a few of them, so that you can treat yourself to some amla oil in the very near future.
How Amla Benefits Your Hair
It strengthens hair. When our hair is dry and brittle, that eventually leads to breakage. Thanks to the Vitamin E that's in amla oil, your hair can remain moisturized in between wash days. This is good to know during the colder seasons when sometimes hard winds and dips in humidity tend to take a real toll on your hair's cuticles and weaken them over time.
It slows aging down. As we get older, our hair ages like anything else. A sign of this is definitely going grey. This is another benefit that comes with alma oil. Because it has off-the-charts levels of Vitamin C and phytochemicals and those help to nourish hair follicles and prevent premature greying, this is another reason why you might want to give it a shot if you're starting to notice a white strand or two popping up (check out "This Is How To Naturally Treat Premature Greying" for other tips on this as well).
It's great for your scalp. If something that you struggle with is either dry scalp or scalp inflammation, this is just one more reason why amla oil can be really good for you. For one thing, it's got anti-inflammatory properties that can help to bring your scalp some real relief. Another thing that's cool about amla oil is it's able to regulate how much sebum your scalp produces. As a bonus, the tannins in amla have astringent compounds in them that can help to keep dandruff at bay too.
Amla Oil Hair Hack: If you've never pre-pooed before, it's basically a process that consists of applying oil to your hair before shampooing it in order to make your hair easier to detangle while preventing your shampoo from removing some of the natural oils that your hair needs in order to remain soft and moisturized after cleansing it. Using amla as your pre-poo is awesome. Just apply it to your unwashed damp hair, let it sit for 10-15 minutes, and then shampoo and condition as usual. You should notice immediate results by doing this.
How Amla Benefits Your Skin
It contains anti-aging properties. As we age, our bodies produce less collagen which can lead to sagging skin along with fine lines and wrinkles. The antioxidants and phytochemicals in amla are amazing at stimulating the production of collagen so that your skin remains youthful looking for a longer period of time. Also, since Vitamin C is able to reduce hyperpigmentation as it protects skin from UV damage, you can be confident that amla is working to be a "shield" for your skin, every time that you use it.
It exfoliates. Something else that Vitamin C has in it is ascorbic acid. This is great to know because it can help to remove old and dead cells from your skin so that your skin appears healthier and more radiant-looking. Skin is definitely better off when you exfoliate it 2-3 times per week.
It deep conditions. If your skin has a rough texture, it itches or, when you pinch your skin (like your cheek or the back of your hand), it doesn't snap right back, these are signs of dry skin and possible dehydration. Amla oil is great for this as well because it contains highly hydrating properties.
Amla Oil Skin Hack: One of the best ways to apply amla oil to your skin is to use it as a "sealant" after you get out of the shower (check out "How To Turn Your Showers Into A Tranquil DIY Spa") or bath (check out "Did You Know There's A Right & A Wrong Way To Take A Bath?"). That way, the oil can deeply penetrate and provide you with benefits for hours on end.
How Amla Benefits Your Nails
It softens your cuticles. I don't know about you, but I absolutely loathe hangnails. Well, did you know that one of the main causes of them is dry skin around your cuticles? By rubbing some amla oil directly onto your cuticles, no less than three times a week, you are helping to soften and seal your cuticles so that your cuticles don't peel and hangnails don't occur.
It has antifungal properties. If for whatever reason, your nails are prone to fungal infections, some more good news about amla oil is it's got potent compounds that help to reduce bacterial, viral, and fungal infections. I've even read that some people use it as a supplemental remedy for yeast infections.
It helps them grow. When nails are well-hydrated and there are no infections around or in them, of course, they are able to flourish. By mixing amla with myrrh oil (which also deeply moisturizes cuticles and strengthens the nail bed), you are well on your way to having long, stronger, and healthier nails, no doubt.
Amla Oil Nail Hack: If you're someone who gets your nails professionally done, make sure to apply a few drops of amla oil to your nails and cuticles before your appointment. Again, it will help to soften your cuticles while also protecting your nails, especially if your appointments consist of drilling, filing, or applying nail tips or gel polish.
How to Find the Best Amla Oil for You
If all of this just gassed you up to get a bottle of amla oil, quick, fast and in a super hurry, just keep in mind that not all amlas are created equal. Make sure that whatever brand you go with is free of synthetic fragrances and preservatives and that if you decide to buy it online you go with a brand that comes highly reviewed. Oh, and if the oil happens to be mixed with other oils (which is semi-common), settle for nothing less than the kinds that are organic and cold-pressed.
If you're so new to amla oil that you'd like some assistance in selecting a brand that is just right for you, the site Beautified Designs published a list of 15 different ones. You can check it out here. Here's to a fall season of unbelievably soft and radiant hair, skin, and nails, sis. Enjoy!
Featured image by Getty Images