When it comes to beauty, we’re always waiting for the next big thing: a scientific breakthrough or new formulation that will keep our skin looking younger for longer, or our hair to be fuller and shinier. But these five beauty ingredients, culled everywhere from a remote island in Fiji to the Amazonian rainforests of Peru, have been around forever. Each is naturally derived, and has been used in some form for dozens or even hundreds of years. Try them out and reap the time-tested rewards.
Native to: Fiji
Try it: Kate Somerville Dilo Oil Restorative Treatment
Kate Somerville herself was visiting a spa on a private island in Fiji when she discovered dilo. She noticed the locals there (of all ages) had beautiful, spot-free skin, despite spending so much time in the sun. Their secret? This rare oil, which is cold-pressed from the nuts of dilo trees and full of lipids that work with your skin’s own lipid layer. Somerville decided to bottle it up and developed this new launch—it absorbs almost instantly and firms up skin, evens out the tone and smoothes lines and wrinkles. Use it a few times a week on the face and neck (just one or two drops will do) and enjoy the benefits that were reportedly once reserved for Fijian royalty.
Native to: swamp regions of South America
Try it: rms beauty Beauty Oil
One study claims that buriti fruit (from a large palm tree that grows in South American swamps) is the richest natural source of beta-carotene known to man. Natives of the region use the oil to treat sunburns and soothe the skin, and Rose-Marie Swift, creator of rms beauty, first learned of it from her client, supermodel Gisele. And who wouldn’t want to take a pointer from her on skin care? Combining buriti with pure jojoba, rose hips, and tamanu, plus rare herbal extracts, this oil is about as luxe as you can get. Use it at night in place of moisturizer or as a primer under concealer or foundation; a tiny amount goes a long way with this one as the formula contains absolutely no water.
Native to: Peruvian Amazon rainforest
Try it: John Frieda Full Repair Hydrate + Rescue Deep Conditioner
This celebrated plant oil is revered for its high omega-3 content (reportedly it has 47 times as much as argan oil) as well as omega 6s and 9s, all essential for hair health. Those fatty acids are also key to why it works so well—they actually activate with heat, so as you dry, you’re improving locks. Slather it on post-shampoo and let it penetrate for 2 to 5 minutes before rinsing. Or for a more intensive treatment, apply, wrap hair in a hot towel, and let it set for 20 minutes. Instant shine and softness!
Native to: Western and Central Africa
Try it: Nyakio Hydrating Face Oil with Kola Nut
Nyakio Grieco created her eponymous line with her grandmother’s beauty secrets in mind. Her grandma worked on the family’s sustainable coffee farm in Kenya, and, recognizing caffeine’s antioxidant, skin-energizing properties, used ground coffee beans to exfoliate. In this line, Nyakio draws on caffeine-rich kola nuts, the seeds of the kola tree. The kola’s astringent, stimulating properties help smooth and invigorate skin, while the oil’s moisturizers—including marula oil and chamomile oil—keeps the complexion hydrated for hours. Gentle and non-greasy, this is a great morning and night option for oilier skin types.
Native to: Brazil
Try it: Tarte Pure Maracuja Oil
Also known as passionfruit seed oil, maracuja oil is cold-pressed from the fruit of a long, woody vine found in the Brazilian Amazon. Pure maracuja is super-charged with vitamin C and essential fatty acids, which makes it a powerful anti-ager. Tarte’s luxe oil, which comes in a beautiful glass bottle with wooden cap-dropper, is great for dry skin, and can also may help improve conditions ranging from eczema to acne to dark spots. Try it in place of your nighttime moisturizer—it’s hydrating enough that you don’t need another product layered on top.