Natural Skin Care with Essential Oils – Part 1

Looking good starts with great skin, and aromatherapy can help you achieve this in a number of ways: essential oils make excellent moisturizers due to their outstanding penetrative properties. There is always the perfect oil to care for your particular skin condition.

First Things First

For a holistic approach, start with nutrition. Skin care starts with what you put into your body, so avoid harsh moisturizers, cigarette smoke, pollution, dry air-conditioning, alcohol, caffeine, and junk food. Having a healthy diet made up of a range of fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, will give your body the building blocks (vitamins and minerals) that it needs to keep your skin looking great. Drinking plenty of water during the day will ensure that your skin is well hydrated, supple and elastic, keeping those wrinkles at bay.

Skin Types

Choose the right oils for your skin types, and remember that your skin type will vary: it may become more oily during your period, and more dry during winter.

All skin types can use lavender, and all except oily skins can use chamomile, rose and sandalwood. If you have oily skin, try bergamot, cedar wood, cypress, frankincense, juniper, sage and lemon. Sensitive skin types are usually safe with neroli, chamomile, sandalwood and rose oils.

Applications

Pamper yourself with a variety of ways to use the essential oils that are right for you.

Try a facial steam bath: boil some water, add five drops of your favorite oil (or a combination of two) and using a large towel, steam with eyes closed for five minutes. Alternatively, dilute six drops of your oil in 30mL of jojoba oil base, and use a small amount as a moisturiser at night time. Use a maximum of three different oils in this mixture.

Cleansers, Toners, and Masks

Combine a few drops of your choice of oil with an unperfumed brand of cleanser to cleanse your skin.

Rose water (normal, dry & sensitive skin) or witchhazel (oily skin) are ideal bases for toners – either spray directly onto the face or apply gently with cotton wool. Herbal infusions such as chamomile, marigold, nettle or rosehip teas can also be used as a base, in combination with orange or lavender oil.

For a natural mask, finely grind oatmeal and mix with hot water to form a paste. Add 15 drops of essential oil per cupful of paste. You might also wish to experiment with adding natural yoghurt to the mixture. After smoothing it onto your face, allow it to dry slightly and then gently wash it off with cotton wool or a beauty sponge. Remember to avoid the eye area.

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