Awakening Wednesday — Oil Up! Skin Care Essential Oils

By Robert Hardwicke, Product Master, Awakening Mineral Skin Care

All of us hear many things written about “good fats” and “good oils”.    Also “bad fats” and “bad oils”. While you may not always be able to discern the difference between the good and the bad, your skin can!

Would you use just any old oil on your skin?

The one ingredient none of us never wants to see on any product’s list of ingredients is “mineral oil”.  It’s cheap.  It’s slimy.  It’s relatively ineffective, and it’s something that our company never, ever uses.

Instead, we look for oils rich in Omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants.

The fatty acids in oils can be saturated or unsaturated.  Oils with saturated fats are more stable, so they will last longer, but oils with unsaturated fats & oils are more costly, smoother on the skin, less greasy and better absorbed.  Unsaturated oils include olive, almond, avocado and sunflower oils,  Saturated oils include cottonseed, palm and coconut.

Omega-3 fatty acids are used by the skin to reduce inflammation, maintain healthy membranes and promote collogen.  Antioxidant oils help to prevent free-radical damage and facilitate the maintenance of collagen and elastin.  Oils can help hydrate the skin as well as rein in eczema.

Our favorite oils (and the ones most often used in our skin care line’s formulations) include:

Rosehip seed oil (Rosa rubiginosa This oil is rich is essential fatty acids — lineoleic acid (also known as Omega-6) and lineolenic (also known as Omega-3), natural retinol (Vitamin A) and the antioxidant, Vitamin C.  We extract this oil by cold-press and use it to help treat dry, irritated, weathered skin conditions.

Chamomile flower oil (Chamomilla Recutita) :  This flower contains a number of complex chemical compounds such as alpha-bisabolol with its antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties, and umbelliferone, which has been found to be fungistatic.  We use it for its emollient and anti-inflammatory benefits.

Avocado fruit oil (Persea americana):  ‘Good’ for guacamole but ‘great’ for the skin. This oil is extremely emollient and easily absorbed into the deeper layers of the dermis.  Thanks to its superior moisturizing properties, it helps to relieve the dryness and itching of eczema and psoriasis.  Rich in sterolins, avocado oil softens skin, helps heal sun damage and scars, and increases the amount of collagen in the skin.  This oil is rich in Viamins A, B1, B2, D, E and Beta caroteine.

Grape seed oil (Vitis vinifera):  This oil carries a light, satin-like finish on the skin and is a powerhouse of antioxidants, thanks largely to the fact that it is 78% linoleic acid with other antioxidants in the form of polyphenois.  High levels of Vitamin C help to brighten the skin.  Resveratrol aids the body with anti-aging properties.  We use this wonderful oil in our skin care products for body, face, hands and feet, but especially in our product for the health of the scalp.

Tea tree leaf oil (Melaleuca alternifolia):  This is the oil for oily skin — that is, it’s an oil that not only is healing for blemishes, but transforms on the skin to a non-greasy, non-oily condition.  Tea tree oil also is antiseptic, antibacterial and antifungal.

Lavender flower oil (Lavandula angustifolia):  Lavender is believed to be effective against bacteria and fungi on the skin.  It also is one of the most active essential oils against MRSA (Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus — a hard to treat type of staph bacteria).  UV radiation damages skin because it leads to the generation of free radicals, against which the body has a limited supply of protective antioxidant enzymes.  Even worse, these enzymes tend to decrease with age, making older skin more vulnerable to oxidate stress.  It appears that lavender oil on the skin reduces these aging effects of UV sunlight.

Cinnamon leaf oil (Cinnamomum cassia):  We love this oil as it’s warm and stimulating, and we use it in a number of our products.  It brings to bear very strong anti-inflammatory properties on skin health.  It also is considered to be an analgesic, antiseptic, antibiotic and astringent.  Redness is reduced and blood circulation is improved through the use of this oil.

Rosemary leaf oil (Rosemarinus officinalis):  Rosemary oil contains a host of biologically active compounds with antioxidant and anti-aging properties.  It is one of the most beneficial oils for the care of skin.  Rosemary oil’s skin regenerative and wound healing properties make it especially effective in the treatment of chronic skin issues such as eczema.

Peach kernel oil (Prunus persica):  This is classified as a ‘medium-weight oil’ in the skin care business and serves as an excellent emollient.  It contains fatty acids that are both nourishing and conditioning.

Jojoba seed ‘oil’ (Simmondsia chinensis):  While we — and just about every other skin care formulator — speak of Jojoba as an oil, it actually is a very skin-friendly wax.  Chemically, waxes are esters of a fatty acid and a fatty alcohol, and since that’s how Jojoba is used, it therefore is a wax.  Jojoba is very similar your own skin sebum and your skin’s own lubricating medium; hence, jojoba holds a natural affinity to the skin and scalp.  It has exceptional skin-softening properties and is helpful at minimizing fine line wrinkling.

Lemon peel oil (Citrus medica limonum): Lemon oil contains antibacterial elements and helps to soothe itchiness.  We use it to brighten skin and as an astringent to improve oily skin conditions.  Lemon peel oil also is helpful for skin disruptions such as eczema and acne.

Lemongrass oil (Cymbopogon citratus):  Lemongrass oil is first and foremost an exceptional aroma, but as an ingredient in skin care, it is both a preservative and an anti-fungul agent (and, if you happen to be a honeybee, lemongrass is a potent pheromone to lure you back to the hive!).

Sunflower seed oil (Helianthus annus): Sunflower oil is a monounsaturated mixture of mostly oleic acid (Omega-9) and linoleic acid (Omega-6), and is rich in vitamins A, D and E.  This oil helps the skin retain its moisture and creates a protective barrier against infection.

Peppermint leaf oil (Mentha piperita):  Peppermint oil contains menthol, menthone, menthyl acetate and menthofuran.   The menthol activates cold-sensitive TRPM8 receptors in the skin and creates a cooling sensation.  Applied to the skin, this oil can be effective in treating myalgia and neuralgia.

Thyme leaf oil (Thymus vulgaris):   As with myrrh, thyme is an effective embalming fluid, but that is not why we use it when formulating skin care products!  Thyme contains a full range of compounds, in addition to its principal component, thymol, that includes myrcene, borneol, linalool and p-Cymene.  But thyme’s greatest value in our products is that it is both an antiseptic and a stimulent for scalp tissue for the maintenance of hair health.

Ginger root oil (Zingiber officinale):  This oil is rarely used in skin care products, but we have found it to be very useful as an astringent in our hand cream.  It also helps to enhance circulation and contains anti-aging properties.

Yerba Maté (Ilex paraguariensis): This so-called “liquid vegetable” is probably more ‘extract’ than ‘oil’.  We like it because it stimulates and rejuvenates skin.  It contains 24 vitamins and minerals (A, C, E, B1, B2, Niacin (B3), B5 along with calcium, manganese, iron, selenium, potassium, magnesium and phorphorus), 15 amino acids and 11 polyphenosis (a cluster of phytochemicals that act as powerful antioxidants).  We use Yerba Maté in our top-of-the-line moisturizing, anti-aging, antioxidant cream for the face and neck.

 

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 Awakening Mineral Skin Care is a boutique formulator of nature-derived, vegan skin care products utilizing concentrated mineral crystals isolated from the Dead Sea, essential oils and botanical extracts.  With only a few exceptions, we call our products by what they do: Awakening HANDS treats hands, Awakening FEET treats feet, Awakening BODY treats bodies, Awakening SCALP treats scalps — you get the idea.  However Awakening MUDFace is mud for the face (and feet!) — so, as with 9th grade English, there are always exceptions to every rule!

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2 Responses to “Awakening Wednesday — Oil Up! Skin Care Essential Oils”

  1. Alright! I think some people have been awakened from a long dream that there are no other natural remedies for skin problems or on how could they maintain their healthy, youthful skin. After reading this article, I’m sure they do know now what they must do.

    Stella
    natural eczema treatment

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