Essential oils come from the natural liquids found in trees, shrubs and plants, these liquids are components that defend the organism against its environment, insects, pollutants or disease allowing it to grow successfully in its natural surroundings. The essence of the plant is extracted from its flowers, roots, bark, seeds and leaves through processing such as steam distillation.
Essential oils are far more than just adding natural fragrance to a product, they can improve our skin health as well as boosting our wellbeing. One of the most powerful forms of ancient medicine and still plant extracts are often used as the basis for medicines today.
We use many essential oils within our products but I have put together a list of my 5 essential favourites for skin health boosting along with the names of their most common varieties and benefits.
As we are talking benefits for skin care I have also included the ORAC Value of each oil per 100ml (Oxygen Radical Absorbancy Capacity) this is the antioxidant value of the oil, how high a capacity it has for fighting against those pesky free radical scavengers.
It is important to remember that just the addition of an ingredient is not sufficient to make a product effective, this is especially true when it comes to essential oils, the quantity of each ingredient in a formulation is key, the balance of each ingredient and being sure that each ingredient complements the others. Much like a recipe for making a cake, add too much, not enough or mistake one ingredient for another and the end result is failure.
The source of the ingredient is also a consideration, a plant grown organically contains more benefits than a plant that has been treated with pesticides or been exposed to high levels of pollutants.
So here is my list of top essential oils for skin care;
Chamomile AKA Anthemis Noblis / Matricaria Chamomilla
Since ancient times the healing and calming properties of Chamomile have been well known and documented, extensive research is available validating it’s effectiveness for treating a range of ailments with it’s pharmacological therapeutic abilities including antispasmodic, antimicrobial, anti inflammatory, anti endemic and anti micotic.
It is listed for its medicinal benefits in 26 countries.
With approximately 140 active components it is a very versatile oil and often used even to treat small children and babies die to its calmative and sedative effect. It’s skin benefits are that it soothes and promotes healing, it is high up on my list of favourite skin care ingredients and plays an important role alongside other anti inflammatory plant extracts within Gentle Cleanse. German Chamomile has a huge ORAC value of 218.000 where as Roman Chamomile a more modest 240
Helichysum AKA Helichrysum Italcum /Immortele
The hardy helichrysum is known as the healing plant, its distinctive fragrance is herby and earthy, even in very small amounts it can improve both new wounds and old, it’s analgesic effect soothes and reduces pain.
It is highly considered for its regenerant and cicatrisant ability, over half its compounds are anti inflammatory sesquiterpenes, the rest are tissue relaxing esters and helichysum contains the highest kmown percentage of di ketones which signal tissue cells to regenerate. It is really an optimal ingredient for skin health and repair and a key essential oil ingredient of Dermogenera Repair Hydrate. It has an ORAC value of 1740.
Frankincense AKA Boswellia Sacra / Boswellia Serrata
If I had to choose a favourite oil, the previous frankincense also known as Olibanum would be my choice for several reasons and purposes. I regularly burn the resin along with Myrrh, Benzoin and Rose wood for its beautiful fragrance to purify the air in my home and clinic. One of the most valued and ancient oils it is used by many cultures for its numerous benefits for digestive, respiratory, skin, dental and even mental issues.
One of its most powerful actions in skin care formulation is it’s ability to aid the absorption of nutrients and boost the effectiveness of other oils when combined with them. It has more than 300 recognisable compounds is anti inflammatory, anti edemic, antiseptic, antiviral, antimicrobial and is a calmative. High in sesquiterpenes it strengthens the immune system by increasing leukocyte activity. It is an excellent oil for skin care reducing scar tissue, promoting regeneration of healthy cells, it tones tissue and protects against damage from free radicals. It is a key ingredient along with Rose hip and Lavender in our best selling Repair Oil. It has an ORAC Value 630
Lavender AKA Lavandula Angustifolia / Lavandula Stoechas
One of the best known and widely used oils, interestingly it’s latin name from Roman times is derived from ‘Lavare’ meaning ‘to wash’ and lies in its history of being used to cleanse wounds.
Lavender oil has a chemically complex structure with around 150 components, it mixes well with many different oils increasing their effectiveness and it’s own, like it’s perfect partner Frankincense.
It has antibacterial, anti inflammatory, antiviral, antifungal and antimicrobial abilities and is both calming and analgesic, reducing pain and soothing body and mind.
So it is very useful when added to skin care formulations, particularly post treatments during the secondary healing period as it stimulates cells to regenerate fast. It has an ORAC Value of 360.
Rosehip Oil AKA Rosa Canina
The rose hip is also called the Dog Rose Plant, it’s very rich in antioxidants, flavonoids, the vitamins ACE and carotenoids, repairing damage, protecting against further damage from free radicals and making it a powerful addition for top essential oils used in skin care.
Rosehip’s essential fatty acids literally feed the skin aiding the strengthening of cellular structures, it has excellent tissue regeneration abilities helping to reduce scarring, improve skin texture, boost elasticity and therefore improves the appearance of ageing skin.
It contains trans retinoic acid that stimulates cellular turnover, increasing collagen production quickly repairing skin subjected to damage. We use it as one of our base oils for Repair Oil formula.
It has a great ORAC Value of 96.150
It was hard to narrow down to just 5 oils, essential oils are one of the most precious tools that I possess as a skin care professional, I value each and every one and never cease to enjoy studying their properties. They should always be used with caution and ideally under the supervision of a specialist.
Dermogenera contains only the highest quality organic ingredients and each product formulation is carefully created to ensure maximum efficacy. Our focus is on producing exceptional quality that provides subsequent positive results for the skin.
This article is in no way designed to offer advice that should be used to treat medical conditions.
About the Author:
Victoria Ammoscato is the founder of Dermogenera Skin Care
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