The Fragrant Way to Beauty: Wrinkles and the Aging Skin

We don’t always notice ourselves aging, nor perhaps do our close friends and family, yet when we meet someone we haven’t seen for several years, we notice they have aged, and they notice that we have too. That’s often when we are struck by the thunderbolt of recognition that age has crept up on us silently.

The search for the elixir of youth is as old as the hills. Ancient texts abound with tales of alchemists striving to satisfy that demand from their rulers. Today, exclusive clinics offer natural cosmetic treatments to those who can afford them, and celebrity clients keep the source of their youthful appearance a closely guarded secret. After all, if everyone looks as great as they do, it defeats the purpose of looking better than the rest! Cosmetic surgery is an almost commonplace, and injectable treatments are so ubiquitous they’re something people now have done at home. Investment bankers know that if they can find the fledgling company with the latest answer to the ancient question – how to stay young? – they would be flying high!

Behind the scenes of all this frenetic activity, nature’s essential oils have been quietly playing their part. Aromatherapy began in Europe, where it’s widely incorporated into all aspects of life, including at the ritzy Swiss clinics reserved for les clients privee. Cellular regeneration is the key to youthful skin, and because skin cells renew themselves all the time, there’s hope for improvement. Cells need oxygen, which some essential oils may encourage with their circulation-stimulating properties. They also have antioxidant activity, which is needed to deal with free radicals that can easily destroy molecules, including those of all skin layers. Also, some essential oils contain phytohormones, hormonal-like properties that may account for their being able to give skin a firmer and more youthful appearance when used over time.

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Essential Oils for Aging Skin

Many essential oils have properties that can help prevent the onset of the telltale signs of aging. The following are used in various combinations by aromatherapists to treat the effects of declining skin tone. Some essential oils have more potent effects than others, and these are often used in combinations. However, some – such as neroli, spikenard, rose, and jasmine – are used singly in luxury anti-aging products.

Anti-Aging Essential Oils

Rose Otto {Rosa damascena}

Rose absolute {Rosa centifolia}

Juniper berry {Juniperus communis}

Marjoram, sweet {Origanum majorana}

Violet leaf {Viola odorata}

Mastic {Pistacia lentiscus}

Clary sage {Salvia sclarea}

Neroli {Citrus aurantium}

Spikenard {Nardostachys jatamansi}

Cardamom {Elettaria cardamomum}

Rosewood {Aniba rosaeodora}

Chamomile German {Matricaria recutita}

Carrot seed {Daucus carota}

Frankincense {Boswellia carterii}

Immortelle {Helichrysum italicum}

Magnolia flower {Michelia alba}

Geranium {Pelargonium graveolens}

Palmarosa {Cymbopogon martinii}

Petitgrain {Citrus aurantium}

Ylang ylang {Cananga odorata}

Lavender {Lavandula angustifolia}

Sandalwood {Santalum album}

Orange, sweet {Citrus sinensis}

Cistus {Cistus ladaniferus}

Jasmine {Jasminum grandiflorum/officinale}

Patchouli {Pogostemon cablin}

Rosemary {Rosmarinus officinalis}

Coriander seed {Coriandrum sativum}

In this section, you will find special combination formulas for face treatments for four age groups, because the skin has different requirements at different stages of life. Using the correct essential oil for your facial skin serum or oil can be more than just taking into account the skin condition and the hoped-for outcome. Before blending a personal anti-aging facial oil, a holistic aesthetician specializing in essential oil skin care will examine the skin and take into account your well-being, overall health, stress levels, and any emotional factors that might be affecting your skin’s condition and rate of aging. So before you choose your oils, cross-reference to see which would be the most appropriate for you. And because you are making these products yourself, you can adapt them over time to take account of changes in your personal circumstances.

Each essential oil has its own particular qualities. For example, geranium can help with specific skin conditions such as drying or dry patches on the face, increased oiliness, enlarged pores, wrinkles and lines, dark circles under the eyes, and lack of elasticity – all of which can result from going through difficult emotional experiences. But it can also help with the underlying trauma by reducing stress, tiredness, and anxiety – the sort of anxious feelings that can keep a person awake at night and contribute to an aging skin.

Life presents many hurdles, and even on a day-to-day basis, most of us are juggling a career, personal relationships, and child care, not to mention maintaining financial security. Any resulting anxieties could inhibit the action of the immune, digestive, and lymphatic systems – all of which can have an effect on the skin. Despite all this, forget about aging gracefully. No one wants to look their age, and I’ve never met anyone – male or female – who doesn’t want to age as well as they can. So fight it every step of the way.

organic skin care

Skin-Enhancing Oil Extracts for Use in Face Oils

You have heard of the Gold Rush? Well, welcome to the Oil Rush! Patent offices all over the world are receiving applications from cosmetic company research labs trying to corner the market on processing methods for and commercial use of plant oils – with any variation thereof you could possibly imagine! Fortunately, this drive for monopoly doesn’t affect the normal user of these oils – you and me – so we can still take advantage of them.

Before getting to the antiwrinkle oils for the various age groups, we will look at some of the most beneficial additions you could incorporate in small quantities into your oil blends. These can be used on the face, neck, and decollete area of the upper chest.

Acai berry oil {Euterpe oleracea}: Emollient, nourishing skin oil used in anti-aging preparations; has moisturizing and anti-inflammatory properties; suits damaged, extra-dry skin types; conditions the skin; includes omegas 6 and 9 and vitamin E; antioxidant.

Blackberry seed oil {Rubus fructicosis}: Skin nourishing and conditioning oil; suits mature, dry, and sensitive skins; includes omegas 3, 6, and 9 and vitamin E; antioxidant.

Black raspberry seed oil {Rubus occidentalis}: Helps retain elasticity; suits most skin types; anti-aging; includes omegas 3, 6, and 9 and vitamin E; antioxidant.

Blueberry seed oil {Vaccinium corymbosum}: Skin protecting oil with antioxidant properties; suits most skin types; including those with acne or blemishes.

Borage seed oil {Borago officinalis}: Moisturizing and nourishing; effective for skin maintenance oils; suits most skin types; high in gamma-linolenic acid {GLA}.

Chia seed oil {Salvia hispanica}: High in omega 3.

Cranberry seed oil {Vaccinium macroscarpon}: Good moisturizing and nourishing properties for anti-aging; suits damaged, irritated, or prematurely aged skin; includes omega 3 and vitamin E; antioxidant.

Cucumber seed oil {Cucumis sativus}: Good moisturizing and skin protection properties; cell regenerating; revitalizing, improves the elasticity and strength of the skin; anti-aging; suitable for most skin types.

Evening primrose seed oil {Oenothera biennis}: Skin conditioning and skin strengthening; useful in anti-aging skin care and scar-reducing facial oils; can be used on most skin types; high in GLA.

Gotu kola {Centella asiatica}: Macerated oil; skin regenerative; stimulates synthesis of collagen.

Hemp seed oil {Cannabis sativa}: Nourishing and skin conditioning; helps retain moisture and skin elasticity in troubled and distressed skin.

Olive squalane extract {Olea europaea}: Skin soothing and softening; suits most skin types; suits extra-dry skin; Anti-aging.

Pomegranate seed oil {Punica granatum}: Nourishing and moisturizing; improves skin elasticity; rejuvenating; conditioning; high in omega 5 fatty acid {conjugated linoleic acid, or CLA}.

Red raspberry seed oil {Rubus idaeus}: Skin protective; anti-inflammatory; nourishing and conditioning for damaged and dry skin; includes omega3 and 6 and vitamin E; antioxidant.

Rosehip seed oil {Rosa rubiginosa}: Cell regenerating and cell-stimulating; improve the appearance of scarring; improves texture and elasticity of the skin; anti-aging; suits mature and sun-damaged skin types.

Sea buckthorn berry oil {Hippophae rhamnoides}: Nourishing and revitalizing; cell regenerating; suits most skin types including prematurely aged skin; Anti-aging.

Strawberry seed oil {Fragaria ananassa}: Moisturizing and texture improving; suits most skin types including oily skin types; blemishes.

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The Antiwrinkle Night Oils

The following blends are suggestions for general applications and should suit most people. The blends take into account the various health and well-being issues usually associated with the different age groups.

Antiwrinkle Night Oil for the Over-Twenties

Petitgrain – 4 drops

Lavender – 5 drops

Rosemary – 5 drops

Chamomile German – 2 drops

Chamomile Roman – 2 drops

Lemon – 4 drops

Geranium – 7 drops

Plus the plant oils:

Rosehip seed oil – 20 drops

Evening primrose seed oil – 10 drops

First, blend the essential oils together. Then add the plant oils into the essential oils. Dilute this blend of oils by adding 1 or 2 drops to each teaspoon {5mL} of your chosen carrier oil – such as hazelnut, almond, or apricot kernel oil. Lightly apply a small amount of the fully diluted oil over the face, neck, and decolletage.

Antiwrinkle Night Oil for the Over-Thirties

Sandalwood – 4 drops

Palmarosa – 5 drops

Lavender – 4 drops

Rosewood – 5 drops

Orange, sweet – 4 drops

Chamomile Roman – 2 drops

Carrot seed – 3 drops

Plus the plant oils:

Rosehip seed oil – 20 drops

Sea buckthorn oil – 10 drops

First, blend the essential oils together. Then add the plant oils into the essential oils. Dilute this blend of oils by adding 1 or 2 drops to each teaspoon {5 mL} of your chosen carrier oil – such as hazelnut, almond, or apricot kernel oil. Lightly apply a small amount of the fully diluted oil over the face, neck, and decolletage.

Antiwrinkle Night Oil for the Over-Forties

Neroli – 6 drops

Lavender – 4 drops

Frankincense – 5 drops

Rosemary – 2 drops

Cistus – 3 drops

Lemon – 3 drops

Immortelle – 2 drops

Carrot seed – 3 drops

Plus the plant oils:

Evening primrose seed oil – 10 drops

Rosehip seed oil – 10 drops

Sea buckthorn oil – 15 drops

First, blend the essential oils together. Then add the plant oils into the essential oils. Dilute this blend of oils by adding 2 – 3 drops to each teaspoon {5 mL} of your chosen carrier oil – such as hazelnut, almond, or apricot kernel oil. Lightly apply a small amount of the fully diluted oil over the face, neck, and decolletage.

Antiwrinkle Night Oil for the Over-Fifties

Cistus – 3 drops

Immortelle – 3 drops

Geranium – 5 drops

Rose absolute – 5 drops

Lavender – 3 drops

Ho wood – 4 drops

Plus the plant oils:

Rosehip seed oil – 30 drops

Sea buckthorn oil – 30 drops

Evening primrose seed oil – 10 drops

First, blend the essential oils together. Then add the plant oils into the essential oils. Dilute this blend of oils by adding 2 – 3 drops to each teaspoon {5 mL} of your chosen carrier oil – such as hazelnut, almond, or apricot kernel oil. Lightly apply a small amount of the diluted oil over the face, neck, and decolletage.

The Fragrant Way to Beauty: Skin Care Oils

Skincare oils are one of the best ways to take care of your skin and can easily be adapted to take into account changes in circumstances, such as stress levels, health, lifestyle, and general well-being. These factors often change from month to month, and by blending your own skin care oils you can accommodate your ever-changing skin care needs, which reflect physical, environmental, and emotional factors.

The first step in deciding which particular skincare regime to choose is to establish which basic skin type you have.

Many people believe their skin is a combination of skin types. Combination skin is a patchwork of normal, oily, and dry skin, with the oil patches usually occurring on the forehead, nose, and chin. This type of skin can develop at any time from changes in health, lifestyle, working conditions, and, of course, stress levels. Treat combination skin as you would normal skin, and if the oily patches become a problem use the face oils for oily skin on those areas. As the skin starts to balance you can adjust the treatment accordingly. Our skins can change quite rapidly, so do take notice of the changes and be ready to switch oils as and when needed.

Spa scene with natural cosmetics

Evenly Balanced – Normal Skin

Really, there’s no such thing as normal skin. Or, more correctly, children have normal skin, and the rest of us aspire to it. The perfect skin of prepuberty is plump, in that the cells are firm and solid, neither dry nor oily, finely textured with no visible pores, spots, or blemishes, soft and velvety to the touch, and unwrinkled. Adults can only yearn for this perfection, and we call skin “normal” if it reaches somewhere near it – about halfway is close enough. The term normal is so inappropriate in this context that I prefer to call this type of skin evenly balanced.

Balanced Normal Skin: Carrier Oils

Almond, sweet {Prunus Amygdalus var. dulcis}

Apricot kernel {Prunus armeniaca}

Hazelnut {Corylus avellana}

Jojoba {Simmondsia chinensis}

Argan {Argania spinosa}

Camellia seed {Camellia japonica}

Specialist Plant Oil Additions for Balanced Normal Skin

Evening primrose seed {Oenothera biennis}

Rosehip seed {Rosa rubiginosa}

Borage seed {Borago officinalis}

Carrot, macerated {Daucus carota}

Cucumber seed {Cucumis sativus}

Pomegranate seed {Punica granatum}

Sea buckthorn {Hippophae rhamnoides}

Passionflower seed {Passifloria incarnata}

Kiwi seed {Actinidia chinensis}

Essential Oils for Balanced Normal Skin

Chamomile German {Matricaria recutita}

Lemon {Citrus limon}

Palmarosa {Cymbopogon martinii}

Neroli {Citrus aurantium}

Geranium {Pelargonium graveolens}

Jasmine {Jasminum grandiflorum/officinale}

Lavender {Lavandula angustifolia}

Rose otto {Rosa damascena}

Frankincense {Boswellia carterii}

Chamomile Roman {Anthemis nobilis}

Day Care Oil for Balanced Normal Skin

Rose Otto – 14 drops

Geranium – 3 drops

Chamomile Roman – 2 drops

Lavender – 3 drops

Lemon – 3 drops

Optional additions to 1 fl. oz. {30 mL} of carrier oil:

Rosehip seed oil – 20 drops

Carrot macerated oil – 10 drops

First, blend the essential oils together, then dilute 2 – 3 drops in each teaspoon {5 mL} of hazelnut or sweet almond carrier oil. Apply a small amount to damp skin, massage into the face and neck, avoiding the eye area, and then dab the face with a tissue to remove excess oil.

Night Care Oil for Balanced Normal Skin

Geranium – 9 drops

Palmarosa – 5 drops

Rosewood – 5 drops

Orange, sweet – 3 drops

Lavender – 5 drops

Optional additions to 1 fl. oz. {30 mL} of carrier oil:

Rosehip seed oil – 20 drops

Sea buckthorn – 10 drops

First, blend the essential oils together, then dilute 2 -3 drops in each teaspoon {5 mL} of camellia seed oil to which you’ve added 5 drops of evening primrose seed oil. Apply a small amount to damp skin, massage into the face and neck, avoiding the eye area, and then dab the face with a tissue to remove excess oil.

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Normal to Dry Skin

The cells on the outer surface of the skin are essentially at the last stage of the shedding process, known as desquamation, and are held together by the hydrolipidic film. This consists of amino acids and lactic acid from sweat, fatty acids from sebum, and moisturizing by-products of keratinization – which is the process by which skin cells are shed from the top layer and replaced by those underneath. When the hydrolipidic layer is disturbed for some reason, the skin feels dry. This may be because the normal pH balance is disturbed, not enough sebum is being produced, the skin is being dried out by central heating, there are hormonal changes, medications have upset the normal balance of the skin protection system, or for many other reasons.

When the skin becomes dry it’s less supple and more prone to wrinkles, and it can even become flaky. In time it can become sensitive, prone to inflammation, and easily dehydrated by wind and sun. This type of skin is prone to peeling and itching during periods of stress. It generally feels taut after washing. Sometimes dry skin is caused by hormonal changes and menopause.

Normal to Dry Skin: Carrier Oils

Almond, sweet {Prunus Amygdalus var. dulcis}

Avocado {Persea americana}

Apricot kernel {Prunus armeniaca}

Argan {Argaania spinosa}

Hemp seed {Cannabis sativa}

Meadowfoam {Limnanthes alba}

Rice bran {Oryza sativa}

Macadamia {Macadamia ternifolia}

Camellia seed {Camellia japonica}

Specialist Plant Oil Additions for Normal to Dry Skin

Evening primrose seed {Oenothera biennis}

Borage seed {Borago officinalis}

Red raspberry seed {Rubus idaeus}

Acai berry {Euterpe oleracea}

Olive squalane {Olea europaea}

Rosehip seed {Rosa rubiginosa}

Sea buckthorn {Hippophae rhamnoides}

Cranberry seed {Vaccinium macrocarpon}

Carrot, macerated {Daucus carota}

Essential Oils for Normal to Dry Skin

Chamomile German {Matricaria recutita}

Chamomile Roman {Anthemis nobilis}

Lavender {Lavandula angustifolia}

Sandalwood {Santalum album}

Geranium {Pelargonium graveolens}

Rose Otto {Rosa damascena}

Palmarosa {Cymbopogon martinii}

Carrot seed {Daucus carota}

Ho wood {Cinnamomum camphora ct. linalool}

Neroli {Citrus aurantium}

Clary sage {Salvia sclarea}

Frankincense {Boswellia carterii}

Day Care Oil for Normal to Dry Skin

Chamomile German – 3 drops

Sandalwood – 15 drops

Mandarin – 3 drops

Ho wood – 4 drops

Optional additions to 1 fl. oz. {30 mL} of carrier oil:

Olive squalane oil – 20 drops

Raspberry seed oil – 10 drops

First, blend the essential oils together, then dilute 2 – 3 drops in each teaspoon {5 mL} of camellia seed oil, to which you’ve added 2 drops of evening primrose seed oil. Apply a small amount to damp skin, massage into face and neck, avoiding the eye area, and then dab the face with a tissue to remove excess oil.

Night Care Oil for Normal to Dry Skin

Carrot seed – 5drops

Sandalwood – 8 drops

Lavender – 3 drops

Clary sage – 3 drops

Palmarosa – 4 drops

Optional additions to 1 fl. oz. {30 mL} of apricot kernel or sweet almond carrier oil:

Olive squalane oil – 20 drops

Rosehip seed oil – 30 drops

skin care oils3

Normal to Oily Skin

Oily skin is caused by overactive sebaceous glands. These are subject to hormonal changes, which is why oily skin can be a problem during puberty. Overactive sebaceous glands can lead to seborrhea, but more often the problem presents as oily patches that leave the skin shiny. Ironically, an oily skin can result from over cleanliness – from scrubbing the face with harsh cleansers and soaps or using astringents that contain alcohol. Many commercial lotions designed to degrease the skin actually stimulate the sebaceous glands to produce more sebum. Thankfully, essential oils have the capacity to balance the skin without prompting the glands to produce more sebum and can provide the perfect solution to this seemingly intractable problem.

Normal to Oily Skin: Carrier Oils

Hazelnut {Corylus avellana}

Grapeseed {Vitis vinifera}

Safflower {Carthamus tinctorius}

Hemp seed {Cannabis sativa}

Sunflower {Helianthus annuus}

Jojoba {Simmondsia chinensis}

Argan {Argania spinosa}

Specialist Plant Oil Additions for Normal to Oily Skin

Borage seed {Borago officinalis}

Carrot, macerated {Daucus carota}

Rosehip seed {Rosa rubiginosa}

Kiwi seed {Actinidia chinensis}

Sea buckthorn {Hippophae rhamnoides}

Blueberry seed {Vaccinium corymbosum}

Echium seed {Echium plantaginoum}

Strawberry seed {Fragaria ananassa}

Essential Oils for Normal to Oily Skin

Chamomile German {Matricaria recutita}

Lavender {Lavandula angustifolia}

Geranium {Pelargonium graveolens}

Frankincense {Boswellia carterii}

Juniper berry {Juniperus communis}

Cypress {Cupressus sempervirens}

Palmarosa {Cymbopogon martinii}

Petitgrain {Citrus aurantium}

Bergamot {Citrus bergamia}

Patchouli {Pogostemon cablin}

Niaouli {Melaleuca quinquenervia}

Orange, sweet {Citrus sinensis}

Lemon {Citrus limon}

Marjoram, sweet {Origanum majorana}

Lime {Citrus aurantifolia}

Rosemary {Rosmarinus officinalis}

Jasmine {Jasminum grandiflorum/officinale}

Ylang ylang {Cananga odorata}

Day Care Oil for Normal to Oily Skin

Juniper berry – 8 drops

Geranium – 10 drops

Petitgrain – 10 drops

Rosemary – 2 drops

Optional additions to 1 fl. oz. {30 mL} of carrier oil:

Kiwi seed oil – 10 drops

Borage seed oil – 10 drops

First, blend the essential oils together, then dilute 2 -3 drops in each teaspoon {5 mL} of jojoba or sunflower oil, to which you’ve added 10 drops of carrot macerated oil. Apply a small amount to damp skin, massage into the face and neck, avoiding the eye area, and then dab the face with a tissue to remove excess oil.

Night Care Oil for Normal to Oily Skin

Juniper berry – 10 drops

Petitgrain – 15 drops

Frankincense – 5 drops

Marjoram, sweet – 5 drops

Orange, sweet – 10 drops

Optional additions to 1 fl. oz. {30 mL} of carrier oil:

Rosehip seed oil – 10 drops

Blueberry seed oil – 10 drops

Evening primrose seed oil – 5 drops

First, blend the essential oils together, then dilute 2 – 3 drops in each teaspoon {5 mL} of hazelnut oil. Apply a small amount to damp skin, massage into the face and neck, avoiding the eye area, and then dab the face with a tissue to remove excess oil.

Moisturizing cosmetic oil on the flowers and water background

Sensitive Skin

Anyone’s skin can become sensitive at any time. Even skin previously considered normal can become prone to sensitivity after contracting a virus, eating certain foods, coming in contact with synthetic perfumes or synthetic cosmetic ingredients, including preservatives, and so on. Some skins become sensitive only during extremes of weather – when it’s too cold, hot, or windy. Sometimes skin changes can be linked to an emotional situation, such as the loss of a loved one, moving or changing jobs, stress, or even just a change in lifestyle. It could be too that the skin can no longer deal with environmental pressures such as overheating at the workplace, too much electrosmog, or pollution. Sensitive skin can also be inherited. Allergies can develop suddenly, and for clues, as to what’s causing the trouble it may be useful to have patch testing carried out.

If you’ve become sensitive to skin care products in general, it could be that you’ll be sensitive to certain plant oils or essential oils too. This is why it’s important for you to carry out a skin test before using anything on the face. Apply a small amount of oil, or diluted essential oil, in the crook of an elbow or behind the ear, and leave it for 24 hours. If there’s no reaction such as itchiness, redness, soreness, or swelling, then that oil might suit you.

The best choices for highly sensitive skins are water-based products such as hydrolats, hydrosols, plant distillates, floral waters, and the like. Only use essential oils in very low dosages, increasing the amount used as you become confident there’s no skin reaction, and use carrier oils that are known to be gentle on the skin. As this is such an individual situation – everyone is different in terms of their sensitivities and reactions – not all the suggestions below might be appropriate for you. Always choose organic products.

Hydrolats for Sensitive Skin

Chamomile Roman {Anthemis nobilis}

Chamomile German {Matricaria recutita}

Lavender {Lavandula angustifolia}

Rose {Rosa damascena/centifolia}

Essential Oils for Sensitive Skin

Lavender {Lavandula angustifolia}

Chamomile German {Matricaria recutita}

Chamomile Roman {Anthemis nobilis}

Geranium {Pelargonium graveolens}

Sandalwood {Santalum album}

Neroli {Citrus aurantium}

Carrier Oils for Sesitive Skin

Almond, sweet {Prunus amygdalus var. dulcis}

Rice bran {Oryza sativa}

Jojoba {Simmondsia chinensis}

Calendula, macerated {Calendula officinalis}

Grapeseed {Vitis vinifera}

Camellia seed {Camellia japonica}