Eating a healthy diet (free of processed foods), keeping well hydrated, avoiding excessive sun exposure (which causes photo-ageing), exercising regularly (to enhance circulation and detoxification) and avoiding smoking, are keys to healthy skin. Using safe and clean cosmetics can go a long way to preserve and protect your precious exterior. A great way to customize skin care to match your skin type is by simply combining a few suitable carrier oils with a combination of appropriate essential oils (EO). As a general rule, a 1-2% dilution is safe for most people: that is, 6-12 drops of combined essential oils in 30 mL of carrier oil.
DIY for dry skin. Dry skin can appear leathery, dull, raw and may crack, flake and appear tight or inflamed. It also usually gets worse under extreme cold or windy weather conditions. Oils that help with moisture retention (called emollients) or those providing a protective barrier from moisture loss, can help encourage softness and pliability and reduce cracking.
Oils for dry skin: For dry skin, sesame oil, argan, avocado, coconut, rosehip seed and sweet almond oil are good choices. For extreme dryness and cracking, consider shea butter, pure vitamin E oil, castor oil or the most “heavy-duty” emollient, lanolin, for a period of time. These may not be appropriate for the face, because of their rich texture. If your skin is both dry and sensitive consider fractionated coconut, apricot kernel, evening primrose or jojoba oil.
Essential oils for dry skin: For general dry skin, geranium, neroli, ylang-ylang, sandalwood and rose are all good choices. If your skin is dry and sensitive, then consider German or Roman chamomile, helichrysum, frankincense, lavender or patchouli.
DIY for oily skin: Oily skin appears shiny, sometimes greasy and is prone to acne and clogged pores. Hormones and a highly-processed diet can often play a role. This skin type may benefit from cleansing, exfoliation treatments and clay masks. However, over-drying can sometimes result in a reactionary production of excessive oils.
Oils for oily skin: For oily skin, consider a light application of carrier oils such as argan, apricot kernel, grapeseed and jojoba. These oils are appropriate for oily and sensitive skin as well, although you might consider adding evening primrose oil to the mix.
Essential oils for oily skin: For oily skin, consider using clary sage, geranium, lavender and tea tree oil. These offer antiseptic properties that may help with acne, with tea tree oil being a popular choice. If your skin is also sensitive, consider adding German or Roman chamomile, frankincense, helichrysum, neroli and patchouli in the mix.
DIY for ageing skin: As we age our skin regenerates less efficiently and levels of melanin (skin pigment), collagen and elastin drop. This results in thinner, looser and more wrinkled skin with age spots. Apart from genetics, our lifestyles, including dietary habits, can either exacerbate or temper the effects.
Oils for ageing skin: Consider a combination of rosehip seed oil (one of the most popular choices) with one or more of the following: argan, jojoba and/or sweet almond oil.
Essential oils for ageing skin: Essential oils to consider for ageing skin include frankincense, geranium, mandarin, neroli, rose, sandalwood and/or ylang-ylang.
Recipe ideas for 3 common skin types