Weekend Alchemy: Saving Face

How's your face looking?

About 10 years ago I developed pigmentation all over my cheeks and forehead, almost overnight.  I remember it happened really quickly.  I consulted doctors and dermatologists and no-one could give me any solid indication of what caused the change.  Everything from being on the contraceptive pill to sun-damage, diet and genetics (or a combination) were proposed as possible reasons.  They offered plenty of products, all topical, all synthetic and all of which I tried to no avail.

Recently, I decided to turn to my essential oils to see what they could offer.  After doing a stack of research on different types of base oils and using oils for skin care, both cleansing and moisturising.  I decided to make the switch, and my skin has never looked better.

The first step was to remove soap based products from my skin care, which meant no more foaming cleanser.  That was a hard one for me to manage because I am so used to that squeaky clean feeling that I wasn't sure I could feel like my face was clean without some suds!  However, in the pursuit of benefit, I gave it a go.

Using oils to cleanse your skin is not new.  There are many resources available for you to do your own research on the ins and outs of the process, so here I will share with you what I chose, why and how I use it.

I chose to use Coconut Oil because it's anti-microbial, anti-yeast and makes a great makeup remover.  I could have used Jojoba Oil (expensive option, so I saved it for my serum) or Castor Oil (BAD childhood memories!) so I chose Coconut.  It's also relatively inexpensive for a good quality, organic product that I always have on hand anyway.  There are two ways I cleanse with coconut oil:

  1. Eye-makeup remover: gently massage PLAIN coconut oil over eye, without getting IN your eye, to remove make-up. Wipe off with a warm face washer or cotton pad.

  2. Face cleanser: add a drop of Lavender or Tea Tree oil and gently massage over your face for 2 minutes, paying particular attention to the oily areas. Take a hot face washer and hold it over the face to steam the pores, then wipe off. Repeat a couple of times until the residual oil is gone.

Note: do NOT use essential oils on the eye area.  That's why this is a two step process.  Plain coconut oil for the eyes, add Lavender or Tea Tree for added anti-microbial, anti-fungal properties for the rest of the face.

Cleansing with this method leaves my skin very clean and soft, not at all tight the way soap-based products have.  After cleansing I use a spritzer with filtered water, Juniper Berry and Lavender oils to tone and tighten the pores, then onto my serum.  This is where the magic happens :) 

  My A.M and P.M Skin Perfection Serums

My A.M and P.M Skin Perfection Serums

Firstly, I decided that just as I would normally have a morning and a night a cream, I would create a morning and a night serum.  Our skin does most of its regenerating at night while we are asleep (if we're lucky enough to be getting any!), so I wanted something more intensive to maximise the natural healing processes, and a lighter one for the day that would nourish and protect, and still be a good base for make-up.  

Next, I considered which base oil to use knowing that the majority of the serum would be comprised of this oil.  I went with  a blend of Jojoba Oil (because it suits my skin type) and Rosehip Oil for it's regenerating properties (for both the pigmentation and my age).  To this base I added some super-concentrated Vitamin E to the night serum for its anti-oxidant properties and to protect against free-radical damage.  Vitamin E naturally occurs in the skin but is depleted with time and sun damage, and is clearly depleted in mine!  I only added the Vitamin E to the night serum because it is quite thick and creates a bit of shine on the skin, perfect for night time :) 

Time to navigate the essential oils and choose ones to target my pigmentation and deliver all the other benefits I want from my skin-care such as keeping the wrinkles at bay, creating a youthful glow, smoothing and evening tone etc.  Does Miranda Kerr come in an essential oil?? 

There are many essential oils that are beneficial for the skin and it really is a case of trying and testing which ones suit you.  These are the oils I started with: 

  • Arborvitae (promotes clear and healthy looking skin)

  • Blue Tansy (reduce appearance of blemishes, hydrates and soothes)

  • Copaiba (clears, smoothes, reduces appearance of blemishes)

  • Frankincense (reduces appearance of imperfections)

  • Geranium (smoothes and beautifies)

  • Helichrysum (revitalises, reduces appearance of wrinkles, promotes glowing, youthful complexion)

  • Lavender (soothing)

  • Myrrh (reduces appearance of fine lines and wrinkles)

  • Patchouli (reduces appearance of wrinkles, blemishes, imperfections, smoothes)

  • Hawaiian Sandalwood (reduces imperfections, smoothes and promotes glow)

  • Spikenard (softens and smooths)

It's quite the list isn't it?  I narrowed it down by selecting some all-rounders for the morning and keeping the star performers for the evening, and by excluding oils that I don't love the aroma of (eg., Lavender, Myrrh, Patchouli and Spikenard) - after all, they're going on my face!  I referenced my previous experiences with the oils - I have seen Helichrysum stop bleeding on a number of cuts, Frankincense reduce bruising and heal cuts, abrasions, bites etc., Arborvitae really ground and calm me, and Hawaiian Sandalwood just opens me up - I love it. I also considered the price of the oils and how much I would need for each batch, as I wanted the serums to be cost effective so that others could try them out too!  Here are the recipes I created:

A.M Serum 30ml

  • 17ml Certified Organic Jojoba Oil

  • 5ml Certified Organic Rosehip Oil

  • 15 drops Frankincense

  • 10 drops Geranium

  • 10 drops Arborvitae

Total cost to produce: $21.18.  Using 5 drops per application, batch lasts approx. 84 days, $0.25 per day.

P.M Serum 30ml

  • 17ml Certified Organic Jojoba Oil

  • 5ml Certified Organic Rosehip Oil

  • 20 drops Vitamin E Super Concentrate

  • 15 drops Frankincense

  • 10 drops Hawaiian Sandalwood

  • 10 drops Helichrysm

  • 6 drops Blue Tansy

Total cost to produce: $54.06.  Using 5 drops per application, batch lasts approx. 89 days, $0.60 per day.

AND, you've only used a small amount of your essential oils which you can use for all their other beautiful benefits or save and make more batches of your unique, tailor-made for your skin, perfecting face serum.

And look at the result! I'm really happy with it!!  And that's after 30 days. I'm looking forward to comparing my skin in another two months!  You may not think it's much but for me, this is a huge improvement.  Nothing has made an impact on this pigmentation for years, so to start to see it diminish is great progress.  

Before.png

 

Yes, I'm not the best photographer and yes the lighting is different, but you can still see the improvement in even-ness and reduction in pigmentation on both lower cheeks and above the eyebrows. 

Is it time to improve the appearance of your skin? Or even better, for all you young poppets with gorgeous skin - get in early before the damage starts and protect it. Imagine what this type of healing can do for your skin NOW instead of later!

Totally natural, 100% synthetic and toxin free. So simple to make and less than $1 a day, how good is that!  Do you use essential oils in your skin care?  I'd love to hear your story!  Leave a comment below so we can share and inspire others to ditch the soap and chemicals :)

Jo x