I am determined to have good skin this year! If you’ve read my Amazing Clear Skin Mask Recipe post (if you haven’t you totally should!), you’ll have an idea of the skin woes I’ve been facing for more than a year now. I have a couple of problems with my skin at the moment – acne (especially at that time of the month), acne scars, hyper pigmentation in my under eye area and dullness. In a bid to get my glow back, I began reading up on the benefits of using essential oils in my skincare to tackle some (if not all) of these issues.
So what are essential oils anyway? By definition they are naturally occurring, volatile aromatic compounds that are found in the seeds, bark, stems, roots, flowers, and other parts of plants. In short these compounds give plants their distinctive smells, which are usually very potent. They interact directly with the olfactory sensors in your nose, meaning they can be used for a wide range of emotional and physical well-being purposes.
I’m currently in love with three essential oils: tea tree oil, peppermint oil and lemon essential oil. Make sure you read right up until the end to see how I use the oils in my routine.
Tea tree oil
I’m pretty sure that you’ll have heard about the all-healing properties of tea tree oil before. It’s used in a ton of skincare products – scrubs, washes, overnight creams – with the intention to grab your intention. But I’m all about cutting out the middle man. The hype with this wonder oil is warranted. It’s antibacterial, antimicrobial, antiseptic, antiviral, and acts as a fungicide, insecticide, and stimulant, among tens of other things too. Now don’t let the name fool you – this is not extracted from the common tea plant. Its oil is actually extracted through steam distillation of twigs and leaves of Tea Tree.
Skin care wise, tea tree oil is great for anything skin related, but particularly for treating acne.
Peppermint essential oil
Peppermint oil’s minty goodness it too good not to have in your skin care routine. Due to the presence of menthol, peppermint oil has a powerful calming property that can help in treating indigestion (I’m a new convert to peppermint tea), headache, nausea and even fever.
Peppermint oil works brilliantly for creating a cooling sensation to aggravated skin, nourishing it and improving the texture of oily or greasy skin.
Lemon essential oil
I love lemons! They are so cleansing, refreshing, and theymake just about any cocktail better (what’s not to love?). Lemon essential oil is made by squeezing all the goodness out of the lemon skin.It’s praised for its stimulating, calming, detoxifying, antiseptic, and disinfectant properties (among others).
It’s well known in skincare for increasing the luster of dull skin, and for reducing the amount of sebum (oily substances) produced by the skin. Since overactive sebaceous glands are a major cause of acne, adding lemon oil to your daily routine can help heal and even prevent breakouts!
HOW I’M USING ESSENTIAL OIL IN MY SKINCARE ROUTINE
The important thing to remember when using essential oils is that they are very potent. A very little bit goes a long way. I would definitely err on the side of caution when using pure oils, as using too much can actually do your skin more harm than good. So bear in mind when I talk about using a number of drops below, I really do mean drops!
- Face toner – I mixed rosewater, apple cider vinegar and about ten drops of tea tree oil to make a homemade toner. This combo is brilliant for balancing out my oily skin
- On the spot treatment – If I see even a rumour of a spot flaring up, I dab one drop of tea tree oil on the spot after I wash my face at night or in the morning
- Morning routine – Once I’ve showered and toned my face (see above) I mix my moisturiser with one drop of tea tree oil and one drop of peppermint oil into my palm and rub it all over my face
- Nighttime routine – Once I’ve showered and toned my face I mix my moisturiser with one drop of tea tree, peppermint and lemon oil on my face
Remember: Lemon oil is phototoxic, meaning that it will increase your skin’s sensitivity to sun light, so I would recommend only using this at night, and wearing sun screen the morning after.
I picked up my oils at HealthyU (in most malls around town) for between KES 830 and 890 a bottle. I hope this post was useful for you. If you want to read up more on the benefits of these essential oils (and a ton others) check out this site.
Will you be incorporating any of these oils into your skincare routine?