Every year, it happens: winter tries to kill my skin. I live in Minnesota and our winters are legendary. While we Minnesotans are tough as nails, we still have human skin and our human skin does not always like being pelted with sub-zero air and ice particles. Youch. My DIY lip balm has been a lifesaver for my lips this year, but my face has been sufferin’. Essential oils to the rescue!
I ran across this article last week and it inspired me to make my own anti-aging, antioxidant face cream. Titled “The Best Essential Oils for Naturally Fighting Wrinkles”, it lists sandalwood, carrot seed, geranium, patchouli, and rosemary as the best oils for skin. While these oils are known for being anti-aging, they can also help skin of any age fight the harsh winter elements because of their antioxidant properties, which help skin renewal, and their nourishing properties which help, well, nourish your skin. Let’s take a look at each oil, and what they can do for your weather-beaten face:
You might know sandalwood best from its use as an incense. It smells amazing, that is true. But it’s also a wonderful anti-inflammatory. That’s what makes it so great for winter-battered skin as well as aging skin. BUT…
Yes, there’s a but: sandalwood is reeeeaaaaallllly expensive. And for good reason: to get decent oil, the tree is about 40-50 years old when harvested. And (and this is the part that keeps me away from the oil) because of high demand, sandalwood production can lead to environmental degradation. If you buy it, please get it from a supplier that promises ethical sourcing, like New Directions Aromatics (which I linked to above). For both of these reasons, I kept sandalwood out of my personal face cream blend. By the way, if you find cheap sandalwood, it is most likely either not ethically sourced and of poor quality, it might be cut with a carrier oil (almond or jojoba), or most likely it is a fragrance oil, and not an essential oil. Check out my article here for more about what that means.
It’s quite likely you’ve never seen a carrot seed, unless you’ve grown your own carrots in your garden from seed, or if you’ve let your garden carrots go to seed (why would you do that?!?). They’re teensy-weensy, but like most seeds, they pack a nutritional punch. Carrot seed oil is packed with flavonoids, which makes it protective, anti-inflammatory, andtioxidant, and can even help repair damage already inflicted. And the best news: it’s cheap! And sustainable! Yay for your wallet, your skin, and the planet! Carrot seed oil is definitely going in my face cream.
Now, I know what you’re thinking: geraniums stink! Many people hate the smell of geranium plants (I’m not one of them, but I get it). But let me tell you, geranium essential oil smells nothing like that plant you put in your garden. It smells amazing, and is one of my absolute favorites! It’s firming and antibacterial, so it’s great if your skin is prone to breakouts. Its firming properties also make it great for fighting wrinkles (which you’re never too young to do, by the way!)
Patchouli oil, derived from the patchouli herb, is antioxidant, anti-viral, antibacterial, and can protect against environmental damage. Patchouli is a powerhouse. It’s a super hero. It’s doing the most. Get yourself some.
Rosemary oil is derived from the herb that you most likely have put on your chicken. Well, it’s about time you also put it on your face! It’s antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, it firms your skin, and the smell will give you a nice emotional lift.
Chamomile and Ylang-Ylang
While not mentioned in the article, I added both of these oils for a couple reasons. One, chamomile is soothing. Just like the tea you drink to calm yourself before bed, chamomile oil is soothing to skin that has been ravaged by winter, sun, sea salt, you name it. It is expensive, but this one is fairly reasonable. If you just can’t stomach that price, you can get away with buying an oil that has been cut with almond or jojoba oil. You won’t get the full punch of the therapeutic benefits of the oil, but you will get the calming scent.
I also added ylang-ylang mainly because it’s one of my favorite oils. It smells just beautiful, and it blends nicely with the other oils in this recipe. It is also anti-inflammatory. For the most part, I added this oil because it makes me happy, and in the dead of winter, I need all the happy I can get!
Essential Oil Face Cream Recipe*
And now we put them all together!
In about 2 oz. of unscented lotion add:
2 drops carrot seed oil
6 drops geranium
2 drops patchouli
2 drops rosemary
4 drops chamomile
4 drops ylang ylang
Blend! Apply! Enjoy your beautiful winter-healed skin!
One More Way to Feed Your Skin…
If you really want to pack a punch and heal your skin from the outside AND the inside, you have to feed it right. Well, my sister just happens to also have a blog, and she just posted a great morning smoothie recipe that will heal your gut and give you that healthy glow we all need more of in the winter. Check it out!
I’m a vegetarian, so I don’t add collagen or bone broth, but I do add bee pollen, which is packed with nutrition to feed your skin from the inside out. I also add hemp seeds for vegetarian omega 3’s. Play around with what you have, and add the nutritional boosters that make sense for you.
I hope both the skin cream and the smoothie will keep you looking and feeling amazing all winter! How do you and your skin get through the winter blues? Leave a comment and let me know!
*SAFETY NOTE: Essential oils are powerful, super-concentrated parts of plants. Just because they’re natural does not mean they are safe for everyone! If you are pregnant, do NOT use them unless your doctor says you can. Do NOT put them on children unless directed by a professional. And always do a small patch test on yourself before you apply them all over. Rashes do not become you, or me, or anyone. ‘Nuf said.