Essential oils and herbs offer so many benefits in your skin care regime. Below are common essential oils and herbs commonly found in skin care products:
Almond and Almond Oil – A great vegetable oil for dry skin. Commonly used as a carrier oil to blend with other essentials oils. Easily absorbed into the skin and is an excellent emollient with nourishing properties. Safety Precautions: People with nut allergies should avoid almonds and almond oil.
Jojoba – Jojoba oil makes a great scalp cleanser and hair conditioner. Additionally, because of its absorption properties it is commonly used in skin care propducts as a cleaning agent, makeup remover and moisturizer… It has a great effect on fighting wrinkles, as well as having an anti-bacterial effect on the skin. Jojoba oil can be used as base carrier oil into which other essential oils can be diluted before applying it to the skin. Safety Precautions: No reports of toxicity
Aloe Vera – Aloe is used externally for skin irritation, burns, sunburn, wounds, eczema, psoriasis, acne, and dermatitis. Aloe Vera has good astringent qualities. When used with other ingredients it soothes the skin and stimulates cell regeneration. The oil is combined in massage therapy for its healing and rejuvenating properties. Safety Precautions: When used topically, some individuals may have an allergic reaction and a skin patch test (behind the ear or on the forearm) is advised before use.
Anise – Cooled down tea made from anise can be sponged on the face to help lighten the complexion. Safety Precautions: On the whole, anise is a safe herb to use but due to its trans-anethole estrogen-like action, it may be best avoided during pregnancy or when suffering from endometriosis or any estrogen dependant cancers.
Avocado – Moisturizes, reduces appearance of age spots, heals sun damage and scars. Additionally, avocado regenerates and rejuvenates the skin. Avocado increases collagen in the skin and therefore is an anti-aging ingredient in skin care. Avocado oil has superior moisturizing qualities.
Carrot – A superb skin-nourishing essential oil, carrot seed helps balance both oily and dry complexions, heals damaged skin, and helps aged skin by reducing age spots and wrinkles. Safety Precautions: Carrot seeds and carrot seed oil should not be used excessively during pregnancy.
Chamomile – Tones all types of complexions. The anti-inflammatory effect of this essential oil applied topically improves skin regeneration, and a cold compress does wonders for puffy eyes. Chamomile is used in facial steams to reduce puffiness and cleanse the pores of the skin. Safety Precautions: Handling fresh chamomile plants may cause dermatitis in some individuals. It should not to be used when using anti-coagulant drugs. Please note that the essential oil is said to stimulate the uterus and should be used with care in pregnancy. Allergic reactions may occur for those that are allergic to daisies.
Green Tea – has an antioxidant effect that helps to keep wrinkles at bay. External use: Green tea is often included in anti-aging skin care products for the antioxidant properties contained in the herb. Green tea is a powerful antioxidant, a potent anti-inflammatory agent thereby reducing inflammation in the skin, and having a inhibitory action on collagen – an enzymatic action in the skin where the collagen is broken down, resulting in more firm and elastic skin. In hair care, it can be used with great success to improve the gloss and shine of the hair. Safety Precautions: When pregnant or nursing only limited amounts of green tea should be used, and it can also interfere with MAO inhibitors and blood thinning medication. It should not be consumed together with other medication, as it may interfere with the absorption of such medicine.
Geranium – Wonderful oil for mature and troubled skin and brings a radiant glow and promotes circulation. Safety Precautions: Geranium essential oil is well tolerated by most individuals, but since it helps in balancing the hormonal system, care must be taken during pregnancy.
Ginseng – Ginseng is used in cosmetics for its rejuvenating properties. The vast amount of properties gives Ginseng an almost unlimited use in cosmetics. Its activity makes it useful in nourishing creams, in treating wrinkled and aged skin and in all cosmetic products used to retard the onset of age. Ginseng may be used in products for weak hair and lotions for preventing hair loss as it stimulates growth and gives strength. Safety Precautions: May worsen the side effects of stimulants such as coffee, and should best be avoided when consuming alcohol. Not normally used by pregnant women and is not indicated for use by young children, people suffering from depression, high blood pressure, anxiety or any acute inflammatory disease. Excess may cause headaches, restlessness, high blood pressure, and nausea.
Honey – Refines pores; tightens skin; moisturizes; retards wrinkles; anti-blemish
Jasmine – On the skin, it is used with great effect to treat dry, stressed and sensitive skins and also helps to increase elasticity. Safety Precautions: Although well tolerated, this heavy scented essential oil should be used sparingly, and specially so during pregnancy.
Lanolin – Moisturizer; softener; emollient
Lavender – Lavender skin care products are ideal for oily and combination skin. It has antiseptic and stimulant properties. Lavender is useful in treating skin conditions such as abscesses, acne, allergies, athlete’s foot, boils, bruises, burns, dandruff, dermatitis, earache, eczema, inflammations, insect bites and stings, insect repellant, lice, psoriasis, ringworm, scabies, sores, spots, all skin types, sunburn and wounds. Safety Precautions: Although the essential oil is well tolerated by all skin types, it must be, like all essential oils, used with care – remember essential oils are powerful and very concentrated.
Mud – (including clay, fuller’s earth) reduced large pores; absorb excess grease in oily skin; improves circulation. Safety Precautions: No Toxicity Reported
Nuts – (almonds, cashews, pecans): Scrub to refine pores, combat wrinkles, blackheads and dryness
Oats – Excellent emollient properties. Oats have a softening effect on sensitive skin. It helps to reduce the irritation caused on the skin by harsh climatic conditions or on skin with this kind of problem. It plays an important role in the treatment of older skin as well as problem skin. Safety Precautions: No Toxicity Reported
Patchouli – It can be used for inflamed and itching skin. The oil promotes cell rejuvenation, tightening of loose skin and heals wounds and sores, while sorting out rough, cracked skin. Safety Precautions: The essential oil of patchouli is well tolerated, but its heavy fragrance indicates use in low dosage.
Rose – Astringent and luxurious, rose oils and rose waters are welcome additions to almost any skin care formulation has an astringent effect on oily skin, reducing puffiness, edema and has a slight tightening effect. The oil most effective for moisturizing and hydrating the skin while having a general stimulant and antiseptic action which is good for all skin types, but especially so for dry, mature and irritated skin. It is used to repair broken capillaries, inflammation, as well as skin redness and is useful in eczema Safety Precautions: None noted.
Rosemary – Antioxidant properties, and secondly has a remarkable stimulating effect on the skin. Traditionally used for hair and scalp stimulation, as well as anti-aging products. Safety Precautions: Rosemary essential oil has a highly stimulating action and may not be suitable for people with epilepsy or high blood pressure. The essential oil should also not be used during pregnancy.
Seaweed – very good cellulite reducing capabilities All seaweeds are rich in compounds that are of specific use in the cosmetic industry
Yogurt – Cleanser; bleach; for normal and oily skin
As with any new skin care or hair product, a patch test is recommended.
Carol Belanger –For skin care recipes, visit Complete Skin Care Therapy
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