How to find the best essential oils for your skin
A good cleanser will do what it says on the tin: cleanse your skin of the daily build up of sweat and dirt. However, many shop-bought cleansers contain harsh chemical ingredients that not only strip your skin of grime but also of its natural oils, leaving your face feeling taut and sometimes sensitive or irritated. Aromatherapy cleansers are based on gentle acting plant-based products that deep cleanse without stripping the skin’s surface, and which also deliver many other benefits for your skin. For example, a chamomile cleanser helps to soothe and calm sensitive skin, while a lavender and geranium cleanser helps to balance your skin’s sebum levels if it is too dry or too oily.(1)
Choosing the right cleanser for your skin type will also ensure that you are selecting a product with ingredients appropriate for your skin’s needs. Aromatherapy cleansers can be blended to contain particular essential oils that are beneficial for dry, oily, combination, problem, dehydrated, sensitive and mature skin types. For example, sandalwood moisturises and nourishes skin that is badly dehydrated.
For all the recipes below, massage on your skin in gentle upward and outward circular movements. This method helps boost circulation and drain lymph (waste fluid) from your face. Remove all cleansers after a couple of minutes using a warm damp flannel. The flannel also helps to gently exfoliate your skin’s surface.
Essential Oils for Morning Cleansers
Your morning cleanser can be your most basic. All it needs to do is gently remove the build up of dead skin cells and sweat from overnight. It doesn’t (hopefully) need to slough off make up and grime, if you cleaned your face before going to bed. Removing debris from your face in the morning also primes your skin’s surface before applying your daytime moisturiser to ensure it fully benefits from the cream’s active ingredients.
Dry or Dehydrated Skins: honey can deep cleanse and moisturise your skin. It is the perfect base for a cleanser for dry or dehydrated skin types. Blend three teaspoons of runny honey with two drops chamomile oil and two drops lavender oil, mix thoroughly.
Mature Skin: this skin type also benefits from using honey as a base, but for a more luxurious cleanser choose double cream. Blend two drops rose oil and two drops frankincense oil into three teaspoons of thick double cream.
Sensitive Skin: oats are wonderful for sensitive skin conditions as they help to reduce inflammation, calm and soothe. Mix four teaspoons of finely ground oatmeal with some warm water until you have a paste, then blend in one drop of chamomile oil.
Oily or Problem Skins: blend three teaspoons of natural yoghurt with two drops tea tree oil and two drops lavender oil to reduce oiliness and tackle blemishes.
Evening Cleansers using Essential oils
Oil-based cleansers are very effective at removing make up and daily grime from your face, and are surprisingly suitable for all skin types, even oily or problem skins. Using vegetable oils is one of the oldest methods of skin cleansing, used since ancient times. The oil picks up dirt thoroughly and removes without stripping your skin of sebum.
The blends below are selected with specific skin types in mind. For each blend massage about a teaspoon amount on your face, again using upward and outward circular movements. Applying the oil upwards, from your jawline travelling up to your forehead, lifts up the fine layer of hair on your skin’s surface and ensures the oil gets underneath to cleanse thoroughly. Leave each blend on your face for about two minutes and remove with a hot damp flannel. Repeat this method twice, the first cleanse removes surface dirt while the second cleanse deep cleans your pores.
Dry or Dehydrated Skins: blend 5ml sweet almond oil with two drops lavender and one drop geranium oils.
Mature Skin: blend 5ml sweet almond oil with two drops lavender and one drop patchouli oils.
Sensitive Skin: blend 5ml sweet almond oil with two drops chamomile oil and one drop calendula-infused oil.
Oily or Problem Skins: blend 5ml jojoba oil with two drops tea tree oil and one drop palmarosa oil.
Using the right cleanser for you will leave your skin feeling supple and soft as well as clean. After a couple of weeks of use you should also notice a gradual improvement in skin tone and condition.
If you don’t want to make your own cleanser from scratch you can buy unfragranced cleansing bases from health stores and aromatherapy suppliers, to which you can add essential oils to suit.