Therapeutic essential oils are found in the highest quality beauty care products designed for mature skin. Natural oils have many beneficial properties including the stimulation of cellular metabolism, the regeneration of tissues, reduction of oxidative stress, anti-inflammatory effects, as well as various hormone-like activities. These known benefits are the therapeutic fundamentals for topical support of the health and beauty of aging skin. Not only are true essential oils kinder to the planet than synthetic mixtures, their health-giving effects can be dramatic. Beyond the obvious benefits, the natural health enthusiast can make a skin care blend precisely suited to their skin's personal needs, at a fraction of the cost of the high-end laboratory-made blends. Many of the ingredients are available locally at your health food store. The more esoteric items found either on the internet or through mail order from providers of therapeutic-grade aromatherapy and apothecary supplies.
You may ask, "What makes essential oils and their complementary carrier oils so effective for natural skin care?" The answer is found in nature herself. It happens that the elemental structures of plant oils are beautifully and decidedly compatible with that of our skin. Essential oils are easily absorbed through the skin's various layers, and even through the skin's individual cell walls. This compatibility makes the process of creating and using your own formulas extremely simple. One only need blend together a few ingredients to create a state-of-the-art healing and nourishing formula for better looking and feeling skin.
Essential oils for topical application in nearly every instance will be blended with what are known as carrier oils or 'base' oils. These cold-pressed seed or nut oils make up the foundation of most natural skin care formulas. There are a many lovely carrier oils from which to choose - a few favorites for nourishing and healing mature skin include: Avocado is known to be both hydrating, and nutritive; it has a medium consistency and is generally included at about 20% of the total base oil mixture. Apricot Kernel is fantastic for dry skin and is used for healing damaged or irritated skin. Apricot oil can be used in combination or with other carriers or as 100% of the base oil. Borage oil is used as a small (perhaps 10%) portion of the carrier blend; it helps to calm inflammation and supplies important essential fatty acid nutrients. Borage and Evening Primrose oil may be interchanged though the Evening Primrose should be used in slightly larger concentrations of up to one-quarter of the base formula. Hazelnut oil is a very common carrier in skin care blends. It has a thinner consistency and is best used by those with oily skin conditions. With its astringent properties Hazelnut should not exacerbate oily-skin conditions. Lastly, and likely most importantly, we have Rosehip Seed. Rosehip seed oil combines a plethora of therapeutic properties including the ability to speed turnover of skin cells without drying or flaking (as can be a common side effect of synthetic preparations with the same purpose). An excellent base oil mix for mature skin might include 70% Apricot Kernel, 15% Rosehip and 15% Evening Primrose. For those with dry skin, add Avocado oil at 20% and reduce the Apricot Kernel to 50%. For oily skin, replace Apricot Kernel with Hazelnut.
Then of course there are the 'active' ingredients - the essential oils. We will look at eight incredible oils that are all beneficial to mature skin: Considered one of the most potent revitalizing oils for the derma, Carrot Seed essential oil is distilled from the seeds of Wild Carrot. Carrot seed is chosen principally as a tonic for skin that has become dull and lifeless through any sort of stress. Carrot seed has a smooth, warm and earthy aroma that will blend well with many other essential oils. Next is Rosemary Verbenone, which contains a high amount of regenerative ketones and is highly effective for regeneration. This specialty skin care essential oil is noted by professionals for its wonderful ability to improve the metabolism of skin cells - in essence, increasing both the removal of waste products and the intake of nutrients.
Clary Sage is renowned as being particularly suited to natural skin and beauty care. A component of the essential oil mimics the effects of estrogen, which may enhance the vibrancy of aging skin. Clary Sage is also celebrated for its regulation of the skin's secretions, naturally bringing balance to both over-oily as well as under-oily skin. It's aroma is considered relaxing and mildly euphoric which may also contribute to its positive effects. Sweet Fennel is another oil with estrogen-like action, listed by herbalist and author Valerie Worwood in blends for wrinkle prevention at every stage in life.
Sea Buckthorn Berry CO2 extract is gentle oil with a pleasingly sweet aroma - it contains significant amounts of essential fatty acids and antioxidants. It is noted as a particularly effective anti-wrinkle and skin softening agent. Users have commented on its benefits for a wide-variety of skin conditions. Cistus, another specialty essential oil for the care of mature care, is distilled from a plant that grows in hotter climes. The oil is used for its firming effects where sagging skin is a concern. Its natural astringent action also makes it an excellent choice for those with adult acne.
And what review of therapeutic skin oils could ignore the vast healing properties of Lavender? Well-known for its relaxing effects, true lavender can be included in aromatherapy blends for skin of any age. With regenerative, anti-inflammatory, and balancing effects, lavender is especially supportive of aging skin. Lavender's support for stress reduction alone can result in improving the appearance of your skin. It may be added in whatever concentration one chooses in alignment with one's personal taste. For those wanting even stronger anti-inflammatory and regenerative effects, try Helichrysum essential oil. Helichrysum is known widely as a profoundly healing essential oil for damaged skin, and is often called for in blends for healing wounds or reducing the appearance of scars. Note that if you are combining aromatherapy with other treatments such as chemical peels or microdermabasion, this essential oil would be a valuable ingredient in your personal formula.
The recipes for natural skin for mature skin are quite simple. A good starting place is the following ratio: ten drops of each essential oil to every one ounce of carrier oil. For example, if you have four total ounces of carrier oil, use forty drops of each essential oil. More essential oil is rarely better when blending a formula for the skin - many essential oils work best at low concentrations with some oils potentially irritating the skin at high doses. A good rule of thumb is to keep your overall concentration of essential oils below five percent of the total concentration. This ratio works out to about thirty drops per ounce of carrier. If you are designing your own recipe, you can start with equal amounts of essential oil in your blend. Some oils will have more powerful aromas than others; most of these very potent aromas will be oils that you will want to use in smaller quantities. You can also adjust according to your aromatic preferences as well, thus creating a formula that not only supports your skin's health and metabolism, but smells lovely too.
Though many of these ingredients are preferred for women's beauty care, comparable recipes are also used by men. A more masculine formula can be created using essential oils from woods - Cedarwood and Sandalwood are both good examples, having excellent therapeutic properties. Both Frankincense and Myrrh essential oils both have warm earthy aromas and are also noted for their positive effects on aging skin. Including oils purely for their aromas is always an option, too! Please note, there are a there are a few oils that should not be applied to the face: Cinnamon, Oregano, Clove and Red Thyme; pressed citrus as well as Angelica Root oil are 'phototoxic' (make the skin more sensitive to UV rays) and should not be applied to skin that will be exposed to sunlight in the following 72 hours. If you're not sure about a particular essential oil, check with a reliable resource.
Blending a personal formula may seem overwhelming at first, but in fact it is quite a natural and pleasant experience. Once the formula is decided upon, one simply needs to mix each selected essential oil into the one or more base oils at the recommended concentrations and apply to clean skin on a regular basis. The creation of synergistic therapeutic blends for mature skin is enjoyable, easy-to-do, and a wise choice for the skin, the planet, and the pocket-book. By using therapeutic-grade oils and carriers, you'll be creating an effective, beautiful smelling formula that is designed precisely for your own skin condition. Moreover, you can adjust the recipe over time as your needs change, or make different formulas with various aromas to double as natural perfumes. As always with aromatherapy, start slowly, pay attention to your body, enjoy the process!