The beauty industry probably doesn’t want you to know, but I would like to let you in on a little secret: there’s no reason to spend your hard earned money on expensive moisturizers.
If you work hard to have and maintain good skin, i.e., you never lie down in a tanning bed or let yourself sizzle for hours in the sun, you eat right, stay hydrated, wash your face every night and moisturize regularly, you’ve probably also bought into some of the advertising gimmicks out there. That means you’ve likely spent some serious cash too, only to find out your money wasn’t exactly well spent as that highly touted product turned out to be filled with empty promises.
If you’ve been using store-bought facial moisturizers or oils, you should also know that conventional brands are not only fairly expensive, they typically contain toxic fragrances and sometimes other chemical ingredients to mask the smell, along with parabens to preserve it, thickening agents, penetration enhancers, and petrochemical-based emollients. While these ingredients might sound fancy, most of them aren’t even very effective.
If you want to save money and avoid those additives that come with a host of potentially harmful side effects, break it down to the most basic component of these beauty products. It’s the oil that offers the moisturizing action that the skin needs to stay soft and supple. But you don’t want to just smooth any old oil onto your face – and, you’re probably concerned that oils will clog your pores, or cause an acne breakout. That can and probably will happen if you use a mineral oil or animal fat based moisturizer, as those tend to form a waterproof plastic film on top of all the debris on the surface of the skin that locks in dead skin cells, sweat, bacteria, and sebum.
Plant oils are a lot closer to the type the skin produces naturally, which means they can more easily be absorbed by the skin without clogging pores. They also help to bind moisture to the skin and strengthen cell membranes.
If you wash your face with a product that strips natural oils, replacing them with natural oils that nourish can make it less oily and even eliminate those acne and blackhead breakouts too.
So why aren’t you using them to make your own facial oil that’s just right for your own skin type? Instead of falling for clever marketing, all you need is three ingredients to put together a customized facial oil.
But before we tell you how to get started, keep these tips in mind for the best results.
- Always wash your face before applying any facial oil or moisturizer. If you put it on a dirty face, it only serves to seal in the dirt and grime and will have the opposite of the desired effect.
- When choosing the ingredients to make your customized facial oil, be sure to choose them based on your particular skin type. One of the biggest mistakes people make when using products on their face is choosing one that doesn’t fit their skin type. If you aren’t sure what your skin type is, examine it at the end of the day. How does it feel, and how does it look? Is your T-zone dry, oily, or fairly normal?
- Apply facial oil while your skin is still wet to lock moisture in. In the morning, try to apply within just a few minutes of exiting the shower
- Before applying makeup, allow the oils to completely absorb into your skin – don’t rush. Apply the facial oil and then give it a few minutes before layering on makeup. If you don’t allow the oil to absorb, it can interfere with cosmetics, which means you’ll have to wash them off and start all over again, wasting time and money.
Now, ready to make your own perfect facial oil?
Ingredient No. 1: The Carrier Oil
The carrier oil, or base oil, will be the primary ingredient in your customized facial oil blend, so it’s important to choose well. If you aren’t sure which type of carrier oil you should use, you may want to begin by purchasing only the carrier oil and testing that on your skin first, before adding the other ingredients. If your face does well with it, you can move forward by building on that.
Some of the best, and most commonly used carrier oils include:
Sweet almond oil. Sweet almond oil is an extremely nourishing oil that contains more monounsaturated fatty acids than any other oil, giving it the ability to intensely moisturize and relieve dry, itchy, dehydrated skin. At the same time, it also works for acne prone skin types as it serves to heal blemishes. The only drawback to this all-around excellent oil is that it takes a little longer to be absorbed, as it works to heal blemishes.
Jojoba oil. Jojoba is lightweight, non-greasy and good for acne-prone, oily, dry, aging and normal skin. For those who suffer from acne, it’s an especially good choice as it has the ability to mimic the skin’s sebum, therefore tricking the skin into thinking that it’s already produced enough oil, which reduces the amount of sebum on its surface. Jojoba also absorbs very quickly into the skin, as compared to other oils.
Avocado oil. Avocado oil is one of the richest sources of beneficial monounsaturated fatty acids like oleic acid, which can have an immediate effect on the texture and appearance of your skin., making it an ideal option for dry, aging skin. Not only does it do extremely well for hydrating and softening your skin, it’s also often recommended as an effective treatment for acne and blackheads, eczema and other forms of skin inflammation. It’s even been reported to be beneficial for diminishing age spots and smoothing out fine lines and wrinkles.
Hemp seed oil. Hemp seed oil is very light, and it’s good for all skin types, though it’s particularly good for dry, aging skin due to its unique fatty acids.
Grapeseed oil. Grapeseed oil contains antioxidants that help fight off damage from UV light which can lead to age spots and wrinkles. While it isn’t the best for dry skin, it’s great for oily or acne-prone skin, and normal skin too.
Argan oil. Argan oil, sourced from the seeds of Moroccan argan trees, contain healing and anti-aging properties to keep skin balanced, hydrated, and glowing. It’s excellent for all skin types, including oily, acne-prone, normal, aging and dry skin.
Apricot kernel oil. Apricot kernel oil is particularly good for dry and aging skin, though it works well with all skin types, with the exception of acne-prone skin.
Ingredient No. 2: Extra-Nourishing Oils
If you’re on a tight budget, you can actually skip Ingredient No. 2 and use only No. 1 and No. 3 to make your customized facial oil. These oils are a bit pricier, though the results are generally well-worth the cost. If you decide to skip this step, you might want to consider it again in the future.
If you do want to include these “bonus” oils, here are some to think about adding to the mix.
Evening primrose oil. Evening primrose oil contains a high level of GLAs, and fatty acids essential for skin health. It’s also known to boost blood circulation which is helpful to treat tired, dull skin. It’s especially good for aging, dry skin but it works well for all skin types.
Borage oil. Borage oil is extremely high in oleic acids and is good for all skin types, though it’s particularly effective for acne-prone and oily skin. It’s also helpful for those that tend to suffer from skin problems like eczema.
Emu oil. Emu oil is an incredible oil used for promoting more youthful looking skin as well as for protecting against sun damage, battling eczema, wrinkles and age spots. It’s especially nourishing for dry or aging skin.
Rosehip oil. There are many qualities of rosehip oil that make it beneficial for the skin. For facial care, some of its benefits when applied externally include protecting the skin and increasing cell turnover, as it contains vitamin E, vitamin C, vitamin D and B-carotene, a form of vitamin A, and which are all antioxidants that help fight free radicals. It’s articularly beneficial for aging, dry skin, though it can be used by those with normal skin.
Ingredient No. 3: Your Favorite Essential Oil
Finally, your third ingredient is simply your own favorite essential oil. You only need to add a couple of tiny drops to obtain its incredible benefits for your skin, as essential oils are very potent, meaning a little goes a long way. The key is to select only pure, high-quality essential oils – here is our round-up of the best essential oil brands. And, as there are far too many out there that offer benefits to the skin, this is simply a list of some of the most commonly used and widely available options.
Lavender. Lavender can be added by those with oily, acne-prone, normal or dry skin. It won’t clog pores, while its antiseptic and antibacterial properties offer a natural solution to mild acne.
Lemongrass. Lemongrass is good for normal, oily and acne-prone skin. Its antiseptic and astringent properties make it ideal for getting more even toned and glowing skin. It can sterilize the pores and strengthen skin tissues too.
Peppermint. Peppermint oil is great for acne-prone and oily skin as it offers a calming effect on inflammation. It may also help improve skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema.
Chamomile. Chamomile, particularly Roman chamomile, is great for healing and soothing and can help calm a rash, treat acne, inflammation, eczema, dermatitis, dry and itchy skin. It can be used by all skin types.
Geranium. This is an excellent, versatile oil that’s especially good for aging, sensitive, dry and normal skin. It helps to balance oil production and condition the skin. Add it to your customized facial oil to help with over and under production of oil.
Frankincense. Frankincense is an essential oil everyone should have. It can be used on all types of skin, and is especially ideal for those who have elasticity issues, want to treat aging skin or to regenerate skin cells. It can tone and tighten skin, as well as help with pigmentation. It may even help reduce the appearance of dark spots caused from eczema and acne blemishes.
Clary sage. Clary sage is great for all types of skin. It helps to regulate sebum production, making it good for both oily and dry skin, tones the skin by acting as a mild astringent and it reduces inflammation associated with acne. It also offers antibacterial properties that can be particularly helpful for battling blemishes.
Palmarosa. Palmarosa is also excellent for any skin type, though it’s particularly effective for those prone to breakouts. It also helps to soften and soothe aging skin.
Neroli. Neroli is ideal for treating mature or sensitive skin. It’s renowned for its ability to regenerate the skin cells and improve the elasticity of the skin. It also helps maintain the right oil balance in the skin, making it a great choice for all skin types. Because of its ability to revive skin at the cellular level, this essential oil can even be beneficial for wrinkles and scars as well. If you have any type of skin condition caused by or related to stress, consider using neroli as it offers fabulous overall healing and calming abilities. It can also be useful for treating bacterial skin conditions and rashes as it has antimicrobial ability.
Ylang ylang. Ylang ylang is extremely effective for maintaining moisture and oil balance of the skin and keeps the skin looking hydrated, smooth, and young. It’s great for battling oily or acne prone skin while still helping to stimulate cell growth to fight the effects of aging.
Finally, to make your customized facial oil, simply choose an ingredient from each category – skipping No. 2 if you have to. Fill a dark or amber colored glass bottle two thirds of the way with one of Ingredient No. 1, then fill with one of Ingredient No. 2 before adding 3-5 drops of essential oil, and voila! You now have your own perfect facial oil that’s ideal for your particular skin type.