BY CAITLIN BROWN
In my beauty pursuits, I’ve become well-versed in reading cosmetic labels. With the onslaught of buzzwords like “clean”, “green”, “holistic”, I’ve wondered more and more if some categories, particularly those under the umbrella of essential oils/face/body oils/oil serums, might find best expression, or serve us best, done truly organically, DIY style.
After all, the ingredients we seek these days, or, at least the ones I’ve found myself looking for lately, are ones available in their most unadulterated form at places like Whole Foods Body (health markets), minus the gimmicky name and artfully designed packaging — which, hey, I’m a sucker for too, but…
What if we could tailor-make our own beauty elixirs, prescribed for our individual ailments and needs, within the confines of our own kitchens/makeshift apothecary labs?
Trust me, it sounds more daunting than it actually is. With a little bit of knowledge on the basics, there’s a whole world of oils there ready to be mingles — and with just a little nudge — to go to task.
Base Oils and their Beauty Benefits:
Packed with Vitamin E and essential fatty acids, it is a great moisturizer for hair, skin, and nails. It has a warm, nutty scent that compliments any DIY hair recipe.
A rub down in avocado oil can give you the same Omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants that you get when you eat the delicious fruit.
Packed with protein, vitamin E and fatty acids that can be absorbed into the skin easily, coconut also possesses antibacterial qualities. The oil is solid at room temperature, making it easy for travel and a good base for your DYI lotion recipes.
For those with acne-prone skin, this oil is one of the best picks for its astringent qualities. It contains linoleic acid, which has healing and anti-inflammatory properties.
Those with oily skin and scalp can benefit the most from a moisturizer with jojoba to help regulate the epidermis’ natural production of oil.
Antioxidant-rich olive oil is the ideal DIY recipe ingredient for women with dry skin and eczema. This heartier liquid is also a good option for those with aging skin because of the vitamin A and E.
Bacteria doesn’t stand a chance against sesame oil. It has been used in Ayurvedic medicine to counteract high cholesterol and viruses. This should be the go-to base oil to address skin irritation from the elements.
A natural way to clear dead skin cells. You can apply this elixir to get a more even skin tone and remedy dark spots. (Note: this should NOT be used by those with nut allergies.)
Treatment Oils and Their Beauty Benefits
You’re probably familiar with the gel and juice, but not the oil form. This thick oil can be used to remedy dandruff, eczema, psoriasis, and other skin irritations.
If you frequent the gym or are athletically active, this should be in your gym bag on its own or an ingredient in your DIY salve. It helps take down swelling, bruising, and pain. It’s also a natural relaxant for sore muscles.
The beta-carotene and vitamin A (a natural retinoid) in carrot seed oil help stimulate cell growth and detox the skin. It also naturally protects against environmental damage and UV rays.
Celebrated for its hair-growth abilities, this thick oil can also seal in moisture for thicker, coarser hair types.
The fatty acids found naturally in this liquid have been proven to relieve itching and inflammation. This is a go-to for anyone suffering from eczema.
Rich in lycopene and Vitamin C that gently rejuvenate the skin and work to maintain elasticity.
This oil has become popular for its infection-fighting power. This natural bacteria killer can alleviate acne, nail fungus, dandruff, lice, and insect bites.
Essential Oils and their Benefits
It can reduce redness and swelling and is a good option for minimizing undereye bags.
Azulene is the main component in chamomile that helps to calm the skin. Use it to soothe acne scars, psoriasis, eczema, spider veins, sunburn.
This fragrant and healing herb, long used in wound care, can act as a natural insect repellant and as a calming agent for mood.
A powerful anti-aging oil, it has astringent properties that can tighten loose skin. It also has antioxidant properties that can help encourage cell turnover, meaning fewer wrinkles.
Improves elasticity and is definitely an oil to include in brightening skin concoctions. Use to diminish stretch marks and acne scars.
One of the most recognizable essential oils, it can help with headaches, serve as a sleep aid and, when rubbed on the scalp, can help with hair loss.
Soothes itching and allergic reactions. Can be applied to the face (with a carrier oil to dilute) to help clear sinuses.
In aromatherapy, rosemary is used as an agent to clear the mind. When used on the skin, it can stimulate blood circulation as well as soothe aching muscles.
Great when a few drops are mixed as a toner, as it can be an effective natural solution for acne.
Can promote hair growth and thickness. The scent is commonly used in hair massage oils for its calming effect.
Okay, I am off to shop for DIY supplies. Stay tuned for recipes and reviews.
In the meantime, do a little homework if you plan on starting your project before then. Many of the essential oils above require a carrier or base oil — almond, olive, etc. — because they are too potent to apply alone.