In recent years, fats have been recognised as unhealthy, and the word “fat” has taken on a negative connotation. However, oils, a source of fat, are often misunderstood and underappreciated when it comes to skin care. Natural oils contain a wealth of organic constituents, including hormones, vitamins and other natural elements that can be highly beneficial for older skin.
Essential oils and carrier oils: What’s the difference?
Oils can be divided into two general categories – essential oils and carrier or base oils. Essential oils are volatile compounds found in plants that give fruits, flowers, herbs, and spices their fragrance and flavour. These oils are highly concentrated and used at very low concentrations in skincare products. Carrier oils, such as almond, sunflower, olive and walnut, are used in higher concentrations in cosmetics or can be applied directly to the skin to nourish, soften, and protect it. They serve as a base in which essential oils are diluted.
The power of oils to penetrate and nourish the skin
One of the key benefits of natural oils is their ability to penetrate the skin and deliver essential vitamins, oxygen, and nutrients to cells. This helps to stimulate cell metabolism and the regeneration process, reducing cell deterioration and promoting healthy skin. Many oils also have antibacterial properties, which can reduce infections in sensitive or damaged skin.
Cleansing and moisturising with natural oils
Surprisingly, oils can be used as skin cleansers, lifting off dirt and impurities while nourishing the skin. For those with sensitive skin that feels dry after washing, applying oil to the skin prior to washing can help to soften and protect the skin.
In terms of moisturising, oils rich in essential fatty acids, such as safflower oil, are vital for healthy cells as they preserve the protective function of cell membranes. Without sufficient nutrients, the skin can become dry and form wrinkles and fine lines.
Natural oils for rosacea and acne
Treating acne and rosacea outbreaks with oils seems a bit daft but there is method in the madness. The antibacterial properties of essential oils, such as lavender and tea tree, can help to counter acne by killing bacteria.
Rosacea is a skin condition that causes redness and visible blood vessels in the face. It’s more common in women and people with fair skin, especially in middle and older age. The exact cause of rosacea is unknown, but factors such as sun exposure, emotional stress and certain foods and drinks may trigger outbreaks. Outbreaks are treatable with medication and lifestyle changes, but there is no ‘one size fits all’ cure. A dermatologist can develop a treatment plan based on your symptoms and severity.
If you have rosacea and want to manage your symptoms naturally, essential oils and aromatherapy are an option. Essential oils such as lavender, tea tree, and chamomile can help soothe inflamed skin and reduce redness, while aromatherapy can help to manage stress and anxiety, which are known to trigger rosacea flare-ups.
Some popular essential oils and aromatherapy blends for treating rosacea include:
Lavender: Known for its calming and soothing properties, lavender essential oil can help to reduce redness and inflammation in the skin.
Basil oil: Can be used to effectively clear the skin during breakouts.
Tea tree: This powerful antiseptic oil can help to fight bacteria and reduce skin inflammation.
Essential oils for all skin types
Essential oils such as tea tree, basil, eucalyptus, cedarwood, cypress, lemon, and lavender are known to normalize oily skin and slow down oil production. Tea tree oil, chamomile, lavender, geranium, rose, neroli, and ylang ylang are recommended for all skin types as they are soothing, anti-inflammatory, healing, and nutritive. Mature skin can benefit from clary sage, palmarosa, and carrot seed oil, which have been proven effective in preventing wrinkles.
If you found The beauty of natural oils for skin care: exploring essential and carrier oils interesting, you’ll find more tips about caring for older skin on our Fashion and Beauty channel.Tags: carrier oils, essential oils, natural oils, skin care Last modified: February 6, 2023