Autumn Skin Savers
Autumn can be quite a shock to your skin as the temperature rapidly drops and the wet and windy season sets in. So it is absolutely imperative that your skin receives some extra care and protection now to shield it from the dryness and chapping that can so easily develop over the coming months.
And to achieve this you don’t have to spend a fortune this autumn on all those over-priced brand name skincare products out in the shops, you can use the aromatherapy carrier oils that you already have at home to care and protect your skin naturally, and save you money!
Inexpensive carrier oils can be used on the hands, feet, body and face to provide highly effective moisturising and skin softening benefits throughout the year. Certain carrier oils offer excellent protection against harsh weather conditions as well. It’s just a shame that many people are reluctant to use carrier oils on their face believing that they will make a greasy, oily complexion even worse. However, this is not necessarily the case – unless you use too much.
Oily skin is usually caused by the over-production of sebum which is the skins natural lubricant, and this overproduction can often be the body’s response to external aggressors. These assailants may be found in alkaline soaps, or may be caused by dietary deficiencies and the weather, which launch an assault on the defensive layer of your skin, wreaking havoc.
The science bit
On the surface of the skin is a layer called the hydrolipidic film, and this protective layer is vital to the health of your skin since it retains moisture and is the first line of defence against invading bacteria. Also known as the acid mantle, this layer consists of water, sebum, and a colony of friendly micro-bacteria which works to protect the skin and maintain the vital moisture your skin needs to remain soft and youthful.
Gentle application and massage with the correct carrier oils can help to support the natural pH of this crucial layer and bring things back into balance. When it comes to soft and supple skin, the importance of this protective barrier cannot be over-stated, and this is why many carrier oils can be so beneficial for your skin, no matter what its ‘type’.
Some carrier oils contain natural moisturising nutrients that actually resemble or mimic those found in the hydrolipidic layer of the skin, which makes them absolutely invaluable in your daily skincare regimen. Other carrier oils are rich in poly-unsaturated fatty acids, including linoleic acid, Omega 6, and natural tocopherols, which also deliver a wide range of skin benefits.
Nourishing and protective
Palmitoleic acid is an essential fatty acid found in sebum, and there are very few plant materials that contain this most precious skin-nourishing ingredient. However, cold pressed macadamia oil contains a massive 18% of palmitoleic acid, making this an ideal carrier oil to keep your skin protected during the autumn and winter months. Evening primrose, unrefined avocado, moringa and jojoba oils also contain valuable levels of this protective and nourishing constituent, together with many other essential fatty acids that provide deep moisturising and nourishing qualities for your skin.
Also rich in palmitoleic, oleic and linoleic acids is moringa oil, which has exceptional moisturising and nourishing qualities that are perfect for intensive facial treatments. It is highly nutritious to the skin and similar in composition to olive oil, but much lighter. Moringa is also a powerful natural antioxidant with excellent anti-wrinkle, skin-smoothing properties.
Argan oil is the very finest choice for autumn and winter skin care, since it’s rich in proteins that normalises the production of sebum, tightens skin, and improves its elasticity. The rich, complex and unique chemical composition of argan oil deeply nourishes the skin, helping to soften wrinkles and protect against the damaging effects of the weather and premature aging. This is why it’s referred to as ‘liquid gold’ by beauty experts!
Jojoba oil also protects your skin from the harsh Autumn weather and is a surprisingly non-greasy, highly emollient oil that moisturises and conditions without leaving your skin feeling like an oil slick. It can also help to unclog pores by dissolving the accumulated debris that collects there.
Rosehip oil is a great overnight treatment because it is a natural antioxidant with excellent emollient properties. Even better, it is also a powerful skin cell regenerator that can help to soften fine lines and wrinkles. Evening primrose and calendula oils are excellent for relieving sensitive, red and irritated skin caused by adverse weather conditions, and can be used alone or added to a lighter carrier oil such as sweet almond or peach.
Little and often
You can use your carrier oils any time that suits you, morning or evening. Only a small amount of oil is required, but you must use it regularly to obtain the maximum results since it can take up to 30 days for a new layer of skin to grow during cellular renewal. A little and often is the best approach to keeping your skin smooth, soft and radiant when using carrier oils.
Gently massage a few drops onto the face and neck area twice a day during the colder, windy weather and your skin will soon show the benefits. Don’t forget your legs need protection too since they are often the first to feel and show the effects of wind and cold.
The rejuvenating carrier oils such as argan, macadamia, rosehip, moringa and jojoba will bring you the most effective results, but every carrier oil has some benefit to offer your skin. For the best results apply them after your cleansing routine at bedtime as an intensive overnight treatment to help put back what the weather has taken out.
The carrier oils in this article are particularly helpful for the treatment of dry or mature skin that is much more susceptible to the harsh environment of the oncoming seasons. Start using them regularly now, and you will have soft, supple and conditioned skin throughout the autumn, and beyond.
Copyright © Quinessence Aromatherapy Ltd 2012. Written by Sue Charles