The Essentials of Healthy Skin
We typically associate oil and skin as a bad combination, but there are a few essential oils that actually do a skin good. Particularly during these icy, dry-skin inducing days.
Why are these oils so good for our skin? And what exactly are essential oils?
What They Are
The scientific definition classifies essential oils as concentrated liquids comprising aroma compounds from plants. Basically they are the natural oils of the plant, typically extracted through a distillation process. The term “essential” can be a bit misleading and they are not actually essential to the body, as say vitamins, fats or minerals are. These oils earned the term because they carry the distinctive scent or “essence” of the plant.
Essential oils can come from plants, berries, seeds, resins, and wood. Some you may be familiar with certain oils like eucalyptus, rosemary, lavender, and sandalwood, as they are most commonly used. Some of the lesser know, but no less beneficial, include orange, cinnamon, clove, hops, basil, and almonds, to name a few.
Throughout history, essential oils have been used for medicinal purposes to cure various ailments. Today we see this more with alternative medicine and therapies. These oils are also commonly used in aromatherapy and massage because they condition the skin and the scent can be quite therapeutic.
How It Works
Essential oils may more aptly be called support oils because they help deliver vitamins, minerals and other nutrients to the deeper layers of the skin (the subcutaneous tissue layer). Every oil comes with its own specific list of benefits, but in essence (no pun intended) they deliver support and nourishment to the skin.
Let’s deep dive into a few of these oils to give you a better idea of how they work:
- Orange oil – rich in vitamins A and C, flavonoids, and beta-carotene, it delivers antioxidants and antibacterial properties to the skin. It’s antibacterial and antiseptic properties means it helps fight blemishes.
- Hemlock oil – (also known as Tsunga Canadensis, Eastern hemlock or Canadian hemlock) this oil comes a tree native to North America, and is the state tree of Pennsylvania. The oil provides antimicrobial, antiseptic and astringent benefits, making it good for keeping acne at bay.
- Clove oil – from the clove tree, an evergreen, it provides antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and stimulating support for wound healing.
- Cinnamon oil – from cinnamomum cassia (or Chinese cassia), an evergreen tree native to southern China. Aside from being a popular awakening aromatherapy oil, it also has high antioxidant activity, which stimulates and tones the skin.
Using essential oils will help hydrate and comfort irritated skin. Look for them in hydration creams, serums and even Shave Oils and Gels. They’re particularly nice to use in shave oils as they can help prevent razor burn and keep skin hydrated…an essential for the blustery winter days.