the essentials

Skincare is an important part of Selfcare

Reigning Face Oil + Essence

Speaking about self-care, there are numerous essential oils that promise so many benefits for a multitude of  purposes and problems.  Some reduce stress and help elevate your mood, others treat fungal infections, relieve headaches and help you sleep. For the face, I wanted to narrow down to a concentration of what I refer to as the delightful dozen. These essential oils will help to keep your skin barrier smooth and nourished. I discovered that a certain cult favourite contains 22 essential oils which was the exact amount in my former product.  I don’t want to compare, but in my opinion that’s a few too many.  However having said that, the main thing overall, is the quality of the ingredients.  Quality over Quantity – always!

 In a nutshell (incidentally, some oils are extracted from nuts):

These Essential Oils are known to have anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and soothing properties for a variety of skin care concerns. They’re basically plant extracts, made by steaming or pressing various parts of a plant from flowers, trees, leaves or fruit. It takes the processing of many plants to create one bottle of essential oil.  All are highly concentrated and as such, too strong to use on their own as they can cause skin irritation.  That’s why we add them to a carrier oil such as coconut among other oils so that they dilute the essential oils to be able to carry them to your skin. Most carrier oils are unscented or lightly scented and don’t interfere with an essential oil’s therapeutic properties. How to choose from the multitude out there?

Below are the 8 essential beauty oils I chose for their nourishing, protecting and effectiveness properties.  And of course they’ve been tested on various skin types.

Baobab (pronounced Bow-Bob)

Baobab OIl

I encountered my first Baobab tree in Masai Mara, Africa.   It was the most unusual looking tree.  It’s known as the bottle tree, or the tree of life, for its ability to store up to 1,200 gallons of water in its trunk. I, along with many others wasn’t aware of the benefits used as an essential healing oil.  

Baobab Trees

The properties of Baobab oil prevent water loss, keep the skin moist, and provide protection against dryness. It’s nutrient rich, loaded with vitamin E, A, and antioxidants, as well as fatty acids – high in linoleic acid, a kind of omega-3 fatty acid that has anti-inflammatory properties. For this reason, baobab oil may help reduce skin redness and irritation. Lightweight and non-greasy, it is perfect for sensitive skin types.

Baobab oil is derived from the fruit seeds by a process which starts with the seeds being air dried in the sun. The seeds are then stored for months before they are cold pressed to give the oil.

Carrot Seed Oil

Carrot Seed Oil

I first tried using carrot seed oil when making homemade eye cream. It’s known to have antibacterial, antifungal & anti-inflammatory properties. It’s extracted via steam distillation from the carrot seeds of the Daucus carota plant – a flowering plant, found in North America and Europe, known for its white blossoms and carrot-scented roots. Combining skin-mending vitamin A, collagen-boosting vitamin C and moisturizing vitamin E, this essential oil helps smooth lines, helps repair sun damage, scars and any other skin trauma.

Evening Primrose Oil

Evening Primrose Oil

Evening Primrose oil has emollient properties, meaning it helps soften and smooth the skin, improving the skin’s overall texture and elasticity. It also helps lock in moisture to minimize water loss. With anti-inflammatory properties, it can help soothe irritated, inflamed skin. Additionally, this oil is rich in antioxidants and vitamins C and A.

The oil from evening primrose seeds contains omega-6 fatty acids, including gamma-linolenic acid (GLA). It comes from a plant with yellow flowers native to North and South America that also grows throughout Europe and parts of Asia. The flowers open at sunset and close during the day. This oil, although not as common as let’s say jojoba, can also be used as a carrier oil to dilute other essential oils.

Frankincense Oil

A bottle of frankincense essential oil with frankincense resin and a candle in the background

Story as old as time; Frankincense Oil is an effective natural remedy to calm the complexion as it strengthens, tightens and improves skin tone. So it’s good for irritated or damaged skin. If you were to go back in time to Ancient Israel or Asia, many people would consider Frankincense to be more precious than gold. Today, Frankincense essential oil is still worth its weight in gold in a number of applications. Frankincense oil is prepared from aromatic hardened gum resins obtained by tapping Boswellia trees originating from Africa, India and the Middle East.

Ginseng Essential Oil

Extract of ginseng root and ginkgo biloba leaves

The ginseng extract (or oil) is a powerful herbal ingredient but its use as a beauty remedy is fairly new in North America.  I only recently discovered its benefits as the #1 ingredient in a skin repair serum I bought from a top spa.  Though ginseng may be making its way into more and more beauty products in the Western hemisphere, it’s been a staple in Eastern Asian beauty for centuries and a primary ingredient in traditional Korean beauty philosophy. Legend has it that ginseng was the biggest skin-care secret of Hwang Jini, a historical figure known as the most beautiful woman of the Joseon Dynasty (1392–1910). Worth giving it a go; no?

Ginseng’s roots in beauty are based on legends, but modern research backs up some of the claims. These include: reducing wrinkles, promoting elasticity and collagen production, reducing puffiness and brightening skin.  It’s known to have firming properties and boosts hydration. The oil is prepared by extracting oil from the seeds of ginseng fruit. The originating area of ginseng is known to be in Shangdang, China. It is also native to the Far East, including China, Korea, and far-eastern Siberia. 

Jasmine Essential Oil

Jasmine Essential Oil

I had to include Jasmine because of that heavenly scent but I’m happy that the oil also acts as an effective natural antibacterial, soothing dry skin and eczema. The botanical extracts of jasmine increase skin’s elasticity and help balance moisture in the skin to naturally reduce dryness.

The essential oil is derived from the white flowers of the common jasmine plant, also known as Jasminun officinale. The flower is believed to originate from Iran, but can now also be found in tropical climates. It’s a very expensive oil for a number of reasons. The flowers are extremely delicate and are only hand-picked at night to preserve their fragile scent. An experienced picker can harvest more than 10,000 blossoms in one night!

The jasmine trade provides Egypt with 6.5 million U.S. dollars annually and contributes to the income of some 50,000 people, according to the International Federation of Essential Oils and Aroma Trades (IFEAT), which says 95 percent of the world’s jasmine extract for perfumes comes from Egypt and India.

Rosehip Seed Oil

Rosehip Seed Oil

Rosehip seed oil has great benefits for several skin conditions. It helps to brighten and exfoliate.  Due to the high content of vitamin C, rosehip seed oil can brighten and even out the skin. Plus, it is packed with vitamins A, E, and K. Also, it is one of the best oils for treating fine lines and wrinkles.

The oil is derived from the rosa canina rose bush, which is grown mostly in Chile. Unlike rose oil, which is extracted from rose petals, rosehip oil is pressed from the fruit and seeds of the rose plant. Rosehip bushes grow wild and thrive in the inhospitable, mountainous landscapes. This is not considered a true essential oil, as it is extracted by cold pressing. It is often described as a carrier oil as it can be used by itself and also be used to dilute concentrated essential oils in order to balance the essential oil and allow it to be applied to the skin. Rich in Vitamin A, which is known to help fight against age spots and wrinkles, rosehip seed oil is great because it’s packed with molecules that are small enough to penetrate deep layers of the skin, improving moisture and collagen levels, while reducing wrinkles and fine lines.

Sea Buckthorn Oil

Sea Buckthorn Oil

Sea Buckthorn oil is excellent for reducing acne breakouts, because it signals the oil glands to stop creating excess amounts of sebum. Also helps to reduce inflammation in the skin. 

Sea buckthorn oil has been used for thousands of years as a natural remedy for various ailments. It is extracted from the berries, leaves, and seeds of the sea buckthorn plant (Hippophae rhamnoides), which is a small shrub that grows at high altitudes in the northwest Himalayan region. Sometimes referred to as the holy fruit of the Himalayas, it’s a popular remedy in Ayurvedic and traditional Chinese medicines.

The berries from which the oil is made are especially rich in vitamins A, C, K, and E. They also contain considerable amounts of iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, copper, and zinc.  Among the benefits, Sea buckthorn oil is also rich in palmitoleic acid, which is a type of fat naturally found in human skin that can be used to treat burns and promote wound healing. It’s commonly added to various pro-aging or wrinkle-reducing products and a common ingredient in products intended to treat dry, irritated, flaky or itchy skin.

So there you have it.  The protective essentials that go along with the nourishing benefits of *coconut, *argan, *jojoba and *sweet almond that make up the base of my skincare product. This combination contributes to a most luxurious and effective product for day and/or evening – to use on its own or a few drops added to your regular moisturizer.

*if you missed reading about the benefits of these particular carrier oils please refer to the “beauty” category on my website and you’ll find the information you need.

My expertise in this particular area comes mostly from general interest.  It includes holding a diploma from George Brown College – School of Makeup and Esthetics in Toronto. Other than that and from taking some evening courses, I’ve learned through trial and error how to formulate many skincare products myself.  I’ve made creams, body lotions, bath salts and soaps from scratch.  My work in progress is awaiting license and may take some time.  I’ll be sure to let you know when it’s ready and on my website for sale.  

Every person should learn to be their own skincare expert – Bobbi Brown – makeup artist.