Oil on your face? Well, yes. Cold-pressed vegetable oils are nourishing to the skin, natural and free of all the preservatives and synthetic fragrances you find in typical commercial face creams. Vegetable, nut and seed oils also absorb well into the skin, unlike mineral oils that can clog the pores. By adding essential oils to light base oils, you can make your own facial oil for any skin type.
Ingredients for Homemade Face Oils
Good carrier oils for a face oil include
- apricot kernel and peach kernel oil: light, odorless and easily absorbed
- jojoba oil: a balancing oil that is especially good for combination or oily skin, but can also be used on dehydrated and dry skin
- rosehip oil: great for aging skin, believed to have rejuvenating properties
- sweet almond oil: suitable for most skin types and easily absorbed
- calendula oil: anti-inflammatory and healing, great for sensitive skin
- for dry skin, avocado oil is especially rich and nourishing
Great essential oils for a face oil include
- Rose (Rosa centifolia or damascena): an excellent choice for dry, sensitive or aging skin, for thread veins and for couperosa
- Frankincense (Boswellia carterii): one of the best choices for anti-wrinkle oils and creams.
- Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens): especially good for combination skin as it balances sebum production
- Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia/officinalis/vera): good for most skin types; it helps the growth of healthy new skin cells and balances sebum production
- Neroli (Citrus aurantium): a rejuvenating oil, great for dry, aging or sensitive skin
- Palmarosa (Cympobogon martinii): good for most skin types, including combination skin; it balances sebum production but is also hydrating
- Chamomile (Roman or German varieties: Anthemis nobilis or Matricaria chamomilla ) is great for sensitive skin
How to Make Your Own Aromatherapy Face Oils
When blending face oils, make a more diluted blend than when making body oils. 1% dilution is usually enough: the skin on the face is more delicate than on the body. Read Choosing Essential Oils for Homemade Body Oils to work out the amounts of base oils and essential oils for your face oil blend.
Use your homemade face oil instead of a face cream (especially at night). You can even use face oils on oily skin types – choose light and balancing base oils, such as jojoba or peach/apricot kernel, and add essential oils that balance sebum production, such as Lavender, Geranium or Palmarosa. If the idea of using oil on an oily skin puts you off, use your homemade face oil as an occasional treatment for oily skin.
A couple of books about essential oils in skin care:
Maggie Tisserand: Aromatherapy for Women: How to use essential oils for health, beauty and your emotions(Thorsons, 1999)
Susan Curtis/Neal’s Yard Remedies: Make Your Own Cosmetics (Aurum Press, 1997)
Photo: Latisha (Herbmother)