Your body and your skin regenerates while you sleep. Adding ultra-moisturising, nourishing and anti-aging night oils to your beauty-care routine will enhance this natural process and ensure you wake up with radiant, youthful-looking skin.
Carrier oils, or vegetable oils, are often overlooked in aromatherapy. Their primary task in a blend is to dilute the concentrated chemical constituents in essential oils and serve as a carrier medium to deliver these essences to the skin and body. However, carrier oils contain many beneficial qualities of their own and, considering that they make up the highest percentage of a blend, should not be underestimated.
Carrier Oils For Night Treatments
Sweet Almond is the carrier oil most commonly used in aromatherapy blends and for aromamassage. It is suitable for most skin types and does not cause irritation. It is an excellent emollient and nourishes skin with essential fatty acids and vitamins. It is also thought to soothe skin irritations and sunburn.(1) However, with the apparant increase in reported nut allergies it is sometimes preferrable to substitute sweet almond for a non nut-based oil such as sunflower oil. Sunflower Oil has a skin-softening effect and is rich in vitamin E, as well as vitamins A and D.(1)
Jojoba makes an excellent oil for facial massage. Its molecular structure mimics the action of the skin’s own oil (sebum) and so has a balancing effect that makes it helpful for dry or oily skins. It is thought to be highly penetrating and to deliver active ingredients deeper into skin. This carrier oil is actually a wax, fluid at room temperature and solid when it cools.
Avocado Oil is the most nourishing and penetrating of carrier oils, very beneficial for dry, dehydrated and mature skin types. It is thick and viscous and only suitable as a facial treament oil; for massage it would need to be diluted with a less viscous carrier oil such as sweet almond or sunflower. Avocado is rich in essential fatty acids and vitamins A, B and D.(1)
Apricot and Peach Kernel Oils are also rich and nourishing, delivering beneficial vitamins, and particularly suitable for sensitive, inflamed or prematurely aging skin types.(2)
Calendula-infused Oil is a macerated oil. A macerated oil is made by infusing fresh plant material in a vegetable oil (usually olive oil) and left in the sun for the oil to absorb the plant essences, for at least one month. Calendula-infused oil is a commonly used macerated oil and readily available from aromatherapy suppliers. It is excellent for sensitive, inflamed and irritated skins because of its effective anti-inflammatory action.
Wheatgerm Oil is high in vitamin E, but less desirable in a beauty blend because of its strong smell. It can be added as a 10% dilution of the blend to disguise its odour.
Evening Primrose Oil and Borage, or Starflower, Oil are rich in fatty acids and particularly helpful for mature skin as they make it soft and supple. Whichello Brown states that evening primrose ‘prevents premature aging of the skin and it helps any skin condition aggravated by hormonal imbalances such as acne at puberty and prior to menstruation and also skin changes occurring at the menopause’.(2)
Blending Night Oils for your Skin Regenerates
Making a night oil couldn’t be simpler. Select a carrier oil suitable for your skin’s needs from the descriptions above. Pour 30ml of your chosen carrier oil into a dark glass bottle. Dark glass is used to prevent sunlight from penetrating the vegetable oil and turning it rancid.
To make a 3% dilution add 18 drops of essential oils. Essential oils that help skin to renew itself are good choices for night oils. Example blends are given below:
Dry, Dehydrated and Mature Skins: 20ml avocado oil with 10ml evening primrose oil, adding 6 drops each of frankincense, rose and neroli oils.
Sensitive Skin: 30ml calendula-infused oil with 6 drops each of chamomile and lavender oils (a lower dilution of essential oils is always advisable for sensitive skin types).
Oily, Problem or Combination Skins: 30ml jojoba oil with 6 drops each lavender, tea tree and rose oils.
Your night oil blend should be used in a cool dark place. Use a teaspoon amount nightly to massage into skin (avoiding the eye area), leaving to soak in for at least 10 minutes before applying any additional creams (if desired) such as eye creams. An aromatherapy blend usually has a shelf life of about three to four weeks; any remaining material should be discarded after this time.