I started to appreciate essential oils only recently when I began adding them to my skin care routine. Basically, essential oils are highly fragrant and volatile liquids that have been extracted from a plants’ essence. This is to say that essential oils are oily extracts from flowers, leaves, seeds, roots and/or peels.
Essential oils usually come in 10-15ml bottles. Because of their little containers, I once considered them quite pricey, but I’ve found that a little goes a very long way as they are highly concentrated. Believe me, they are worth every dime.
There are a variety of essential oils, each recommended for a different skin or body need. As regards skin care, these are my absolute favorites:
Lavender: From the Latin word ‘lavare’ meaning ‘to wash’, this essential oil is commonly used for baths probably because of its calming and sedative capabilities. I like to add a few drops while steaming my face or soaking in a tub. You can also dilute a few drops in water and spray over the skin after being under the sun for a while. Either way, the feel is heavenly!
Lemon: This essential oil works well as an astringent. It also has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. It has a rich citrus fragrance and leaves the skin feeling clean and fresh. Oily skin types benefit hugely when this essential oil is included in the skin care routine.
Peppermint: Very rich in menthol-type compounds, thereby leaving a cooling effect on the skin. Works well to relieve scaly skin. Also good for acne and dermatitis-prone skin. Simply add a few drops to your moisturizer or mix with a Carrier Oil and massage into affected areas.
Rose: Is one of the most precious of essential oils, as it takes approximately a metric ton (1,000kg) of rose petals to extract 7fl.oz (21 cl) of oil. Aside from its calming and mood-uplifting qualities, this essential oil serves as a natural carrier oil as it increases the ability of the skin to absorb ingredients it comes in contact with. Adding a few drops to your toner helps to smoothe out and soothe acne-prone skin. A few drops of Rose essential oil and coconut oil during your facial steam also works wonders.
Chamomile, Ylang ylang and Frankincense: I usually find these essential oils as a mix and match with other oils. Chamomile is anti-inflammatory and is well recommended for irritable skin while Frankincense is rich in anti-oxidants, combating ageing process. Both are wonderful for dry and mature skin. Ylang ylang on the other hand works best for oily skin as it leaves it calm and balanced. Add a few drops to your toner or moisturizer or use for your weekly facials.
Essential oils can also be used alongside carrier oils. Carrier Oils work to increase the skins’ absorbing capabilities. When mixed with essential oils, the effects are faster and deep-reaching.
Note: Some essential oils are contraindicated (not to be used) during pregnancy, so do well to read the label before purchase or use.
Which oils have you used? Which would you consider your favorite? Let me know in the comment section below. Also sign up for our newsletter for more tips and freebies.