Are you looking to infuse some nature into your skin-care routine? With a little bit of knowledge, you can customize products to fit your skin’s needs. Do you know what’s in your current products? If they’re filled with parabens, synthetic fragrances, phthalates, and SLS/SLES, perhaps it’s time to re-evaluate what’s going on your skin.
In fact, shedding light on current practices and lack of regulation in the beauty and skin-care industries may come as quite the shock. Do you use products that cite "fragrance" or "parfum" in the ingredients? It’s common practice, which actually allows manufacturers to legally conceal toxic and harmful components. Plus, popular foaming ingredients SLS and SLES are known irritants and can be included without informing consumers. To make matters worse, a by-product of SLS/SLES manufacturing is 1,4 dioxane—a substance that may affect the CNS, kidneys, and liver. Oh, and it may be carcinogenic.
If you're ready to say yes to healing ingredients that you can pronounce, then look no further. Below are six essential oils and my go-to all-natural recipes that will give you your best skin yet:
1. Carrot Seed:
Looking to combat fine lines and aging? Carrot seed is a must-have for cell regeneration. This oil originates from Europe and is distilled from dried seeds of Queen Anne’s Lace. Clinically demonstrated as a powerful antibacterial and antifungal agent, it’s still gentle and nourishing for the thin skin of the face. The warm and spicy aroma adds a unique kick to a face serum and blends well with other youth-boosting oils like helichrysum, lavender, and yarrow. It can even be used to aid in scar reduction.
Best for: Mature and wrinkled skin, broken capillaries, age spots, eczema.
Known as Everlast or Immortelle, this essential oil—with a charming, herbaceous aroma—is my absolute favorite. In fact, it’s in my daily face moisturizer. Got tissue trauma? Helichrysum is the oil to use. Because it's a relatively new essential oil on the aromatherapy scene, there is little clinical evidence in support of its therapeutic benefits for skin, but just a few uses will make you believe in its magic. It blends well with other skin-loving oils like cistus, carrot seed, and lavender.
Best for: Bruises, burns, dry and itchy skin, acne, sun-damaged skin.
If your skin needs TLC, indulge with exquisite rose. Dubbed the "Queen of Flowers" in 600 B.C. by poet Sappho, rose is a nourishing floral oil that’s a powerful skin healer. This essential oil is cool in nature, and dermal application has been shown to exhibit a relaxing effect—decreasing systolic blood pressure and autonomic arousal. Rose blends well with many other essential oils on this list as well as geranium, neroli, and sandalwood. It adds a lush, feminine vibe to any skin-care routine.
Best for: Rosacea and blotchy skin, oily skin (astringent), easily agitated skin, mature skin, preventive and general skin care.
No matter your skin type, lavender can help soothe your skin woes. An incredibly balanced oil, it harmonizes and blends well with many other skin-supporting essential oils. One of the most commonly used essential oils, lavender is multifaceted and renowned for its healing properties. Got a burn? Be it from a razor, the stove, or sun, a little bit of lavender goes a long way. Even the father of modern aromatherapy, René-Maurice Gattefossé, anecdotally attested to lavender’s healing power post-skin-burn. Perhaps you have irksome bug bites or an allergic reaction that’s manifesting on your skin? Lavender will likely help. It also helps fight the principal bacteria involved in acne.
Best for: Sunburn, psoriasis and inflamed skin, insect bites and hives, razor burn, open and slow-healing sores.
Often overshadowed by its botanical cousin frankincense, myrrh has a rich history in skin care and spiritual routines. Myrrh was used in the purification ritual of women who were presented before King Ahasuerus of the Medes and Persians, and it has also been used in TCM as a wound healer. Recent evidence shows that myrrh may help accelerate immune response to skin healing, which makes it an ideal vulnerary. Distilled from the resin, myrrh boasts a balsamic and warm aroma that blends well with rose and lavender.
Best for: Cracked skin (feet and lips), slow-healing wounds, ulcers, stretch marks
Also known as rock rose, this essential oil is distilled from dried leaves of a plant native to the western Mediterranean. It's not too highly touted, but I’m just waiting for this essential oil is to dominate the natural beauty scene. The sweet and fresh aroma blends well with just about every essential oil on this list and is a known antibacterial agent. Ideal for first aid treatment and broken skin wounds, this oil also lends support for those battling autoimmune disorders.
Best for: Premature aging, healing cuts and acne, rosacea, autoimmune reactions manifesting on skin
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