I love essential oils...can I use them for my skin??
The most important thing to consider with essential oils is to dilute them. Even if the package states that you can apply the oil “neat”, or directly to the skin, you shouldn’t. Everyone’s biochemical makeup is different and you always want to use caution.
Essential oils, such as tea tree and peppermint can burn the skin if applied directly. ALWAYS use a carrier oil such as argan or sweet almond oil.
I have very dry skin; however, what I didn’t realize was my lack of water consumption was contributing to my dry skin. Your organs utilize water as well and depending on how much you sweat you have to make sure you drink water to replace the fluids lost. What most people, including myself forget is our skin is our largest organ.
We have to take care of it. Our skin has what’s called an acid mantle to help protect it against toxins, bacteria and other fungi that we come across. Most of the time our skin is battling things that we don’t know exists.
1. Determine your routine.
This is why it’s important to wash our face at least twice a day, but we should also moisturize our skin after washing as well. Applying a facial scrub to remove the dead skin is also important. I try to incorporate a facial scrub once a week. Note that it may be different for you. You may need to exfoliate a bit more, but this determination should be made with your provider, or dermatologist.
I use oil based cleansers because my skin is dry, but also because oil attracts oil, meaning the oil in the cleanser will attach to the oil in our skin to remove dirt. Whenever I use an oil based cleanser, I wash it off with a warm towel to open my pores and allow the oils to do their job. I always follow up with a toner and moisturizer. If it is the day that I use my facial scrub, this is the process:
- Wash my face
- Use a facial scrub
- Face moisturizer
2. Get Used to New Products
Some may argue that this may take too much time; however, it can take as few as five minutes or 15 if you want to monitor your skin during your skin care routine (with the understanding that it may take a few days or even weeks to begin to see a difference).
My recommendation is to take pictures when you begin to use a new product. I take pictures every week to monitor my progress. Allow your skin to get used to the products. Breakouts may occur earlier in, but it’s because your skin is getting used to the product.
If your skin burns, you experience redness, itching or irritation, discontinue right away. This is also why a patch test is so important:
- Use a small amount (dime or quarter size) on the inside of your forearm. Let the product sit for at least five minutes
- If no irritation occurs, try the product on a larger area (under jaw line or back of neck)
- If that works, proceed to use on other body parts and monitor your progress
Never apply an oil, ESPECIALLY an essential oil to your eyes, nose, or genitals.
Essential oils are very concentrated and can burn.
3. How are you doing?
Be sure to monitor how you feel. If you feel happier or your mood is lifted, you know that the oils are working to support your wellbeing in addition to providing the desired effect in the product (cleansing, moisturizing, reducing inflammation). I will be going into detail with each step that I listed earlier, plus I’ll provide some bonus tips on ways to increase circulation with your skin!