Tissue Oil – Affordable Miracle Oil or Snake Oil?

I use tissue oil daily. Every time I shower or bath I liberally apply oil all over my body focusing on “troublesome” and sensitive areas like the décolletage, stretch marks and any scarring.

Tissue oil basically describes a combination of essential oils that are used as a treatment for several common conditions, such as dry skin, acne, and scar tissue.

I started using it as a teenager thanks to my mom, an avid believer in the benefits of Justine Tissue Oil. Clearly, mom converted me too because I am NEVER without tissue oil.


Mom’s trust in tissue oil was put to the test, and my indoctrination confirmed, when I was at university. I was involved in an unfortunate accident involving a kettle of just boiled water which ended up all over my décolletage. I did two things right. Firstly, despite the freezing winter temperature, I jumped under an ice-cold shower to try and soothe the excruciating pain. I didn’t apply anything potentially harmful to the area.

When my skin finally cooled off, an enormous blister formed across my entire chest, throat and lower neck area. It was horrible and I started panicking about scarring. Mom immediately mailed a box full of Justine Tissue Oil to me. I started applying it religiously and liberally a number of times throughout the day without exception.

This was the second thing I got right because amazingly, I have no scarring. The area noticeably reddens when exposed to heat or exertion but otherwise, is scar free! Thus, a true believer was born. 


A bit of googling shows that gorgeous celebrity endorsements for natural oils abound. This is meaningful when we consider that these ladies are always in front of the camera and go to some pretty skilled and qualified people for advice on these matters.

Love them or hate them, the Kardashian sisters appear to have incredible skin and wonderful skin tone. Both Kim and Khloé have declared their oil obsession. Khloé says she slathers oils like Vitamin E oil, avocado oil or Bio-Oil all over her face and neck every night. Kourtney likes to use oil under her eyes while Kim says she puts it all over her body.

The flawless Lupita N’yongo swears by natural oils to keep her face looking fresh, supple and youthful.  Gwyneth Paltrow has talked about fending off stretch marks while pregnant by slathering herself with sweet almond oil. 

It’s safe to say, it seems there are benefits to adding inexpensive essential oils and thus, specially formulated tissue oils, to your daily skin-care routine.


These affordable oils, used as part of a DAILY skin-care routine can help restore hydration and appear to make scars and stretch marks less noticeable.

The effectiveness of these oils however, comes with two provisos. Firstly, you need to use them consistently every day. Secondly, it’s necessary to look for products that use natural oils (such as avocado, grape seed & rose hip) as a base, and that don’t contain potentially harmful synthetic ingredients. It’s best to stay away from inexpensive mineral based oils. Untreated or only mildly treated mineral oils can be toxic and may even clog pores.

I’ve included some suggestions if you want to add tissue oil to your beauty regime. 


The South African icon: Justine Tissue Oil

Born in 1973, this is truly THE original Tissue Oil in South Africa.

At R385 for 100ml online this is expensive compared to other local products. It is however, the product that I have to thank for zero scarring after a bad burn over a very fragile area. In its latest version, it’s being sold as the “gold standard” of tissue oils.

 What I’m currently using: Celltone Tissue Oil

I found Celltone Tissue Oil at Dischem and decided to try it because it’s a natural, locally made cruelty free product range. In addition to seven essential oils to help restore suppleness to dehydrated or damaged skin, the oil also contains Vitamin-E and snail extract which are excellent anti-oxidants. R185 for 200ml at Dischem.

What I’d like to try: B.O.N. Liquid Gold

When I’m done with my current bottle of Celltone tissue oil, I’m very keen to try another local product, B.O.N. Liquid Gold. You can read more about this product here.

Having read the list of ingredients and some reviews, I feel confident in recommending you try this product for yourself. If you’re interested, the Dischem online store is currently running a great special selling 200ml for only R89.95 (normally R124.95).

There are a lot of natural oil-based products out there, many manufactured locally so you don’t have to rely on expensive imports. I’m only beginning my research into the use of affordable, essential oils as part of natural skin-care regime and will keep you posted on new discoveries. Please send us any recommendations or suggestions you may have. We’d love to hear from you!

A (FINAL) note. Mix your oil of choice with sugar for an instant homemade body scrub!

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