7 years ago

Food for Skin: Plant and Essential Oils

Every day, our skin is exposed to ultraviolet rays from the sun and pollution from the environment. The result is microscopic damage to our skin cells that eventually leads to uneven skin tone and texture, sagging, fine lines and wrinkles. Happily, a tailored routine of nourishing, plant-based products can help to fend off and even reverse many of these signs of skin damage and aging. Here’s how:

Remember when oil was the enemy? Well, forget that notion, because we now know that all skin types can benefit from the essential fatty acids and antioxidants that plant oils contain. Plant oils such as olive or avocado oil are pure and naturally-occurring. Unlike petroleum or animal fats, they are also cruelty-free, sustainable and vegan. Paired with other gentle products, these oils help reduce and reverse the signs of aging by replacing broken links in our skin’s natural moisture barrier and shielding against further damage.

In fact, even those with oily, acne-prone skin may benefit. Studies show that alcohol-based toners and drying bar soaps traditionally indicated for oily skin types may actually irritate the lining of the pore, increasing oil production. On the other hand, a gentle skincare routine that incorporates plant oils for moisture can help to effectively manage this challenging skin type.

How to use: Choose natural, minimally-refined oils such as virgin coconut oil or argan oil for the greatest skincare benefit. Massage a few drops of diluted essential oils directly into cleansed skin, or add to any unscented all natural moisturizer to enrich it.

Essential oils have become incredibly popular and can be an excellent addition to any skincare routine, but it’s important to use them appropriately. These volatile, fragrant compounds are highly concentrated, so proper dilution is critical. Add just a few drops to any unscented product – body lotion, hair masque, etc. – and enjoy aromatherapeutic and skin-enhancing benefits.

How to use:

  • Relax fine lines by adding a few drops of rose essential oil to argan oil or shea butter and apply sparingly before bed.
  • Stimulate scalp and senses by adding a drop of peppermint oil to your favorite shampoo or conditioner each time you lather up. Breathe deep, relax and enjoy!
  • Get our recipe for coconut body butter >

Note: Essential oils and fragrances are not recommended for skin with active acne, cuts, open wounds or extreme dryness.