Aromatherapy Carrier Oils For Winter Skin Care Protection
As the last few golden leaves of autumn cling desperately to the branches of almost bare trees, it serves to remind us that harsher winter weather is not far ahead.
In less than one month it will be officially winter, which means it’s time to start thinking about some extra skin care protection.
Your attention may have already begun drifting towards the prospect of Christmas, but right now you need to be thinking about changing your skin care routine in preparation for the big chill that’s on its way as the temperatures outside are dropping.
For the same reason you change your clothes to suit the season, you should change your beauty products too. The harsh autumn and winter weather exposes your skin to extreme weather conditions that can cause dry, flaking and cracking skin in areas that are exposed to the harsh elements.
Cold air holds less moisture than warm air, as does the air in your centrally-heated home. Central heating draws moisture from the air and can rob your skin of moisture, leaving it dehydrated, dry, itchy and flaky. All of this means that your skin can be up to 25% less efficient at holding moisture during the winter months, so you can see why you need to seriously change your beauty routine to include protection for your skin.
Best natural treatments
For the past 30 years I’ve been telling anyone who will listen that aromatherapy carrier oils are the very best natural treatments for your skin – especially when they are used throughout the winter months. These amazing vegetable oils can be used for so much more than diluting your essential oils, and they are absolutely perfect for natural winter skin care protection. However, some women worry that using a carrier oil on the face will make an oily complexion worse. But unless you use too much this just does not happen.
Oily skin is mostly caused by the over-production of the skins natural lubricant, sebum, and this is usually the body’s response to external aggressors such as extreme weather conditions that wreak havoc on your skin. Your body simply over-reacts to such situations, but in reality it is just doing its job as nature intended. A light application and massage with the correct carrier oils can help to support the natural pH of your skin, add moisture, and help bring things back into balance.
Carrier oils for winter protection
There is no reason today for your skin to suffer from the ravages of winter weather when there are so many amazing natural oils you can use to offer moisture and protection. Several aromatherapy carrier oils contain natural moisturising nutrients that are similar to those found in the hydrolipidic layer of the skin, which makes them absolutely invaluable for skin care protection throughout winter.
Here are some of the very best carrier oils for winter protection.
- Argan oil Surely by now every woman in the world knows that this natural oil is her very best friend! Argan oil is the very finest choice for autumn and winter skin care because it’s rich in proteins that improve elasticity, tighten skin, and balance sebum production. The rich, complex and unique chemical composition of argan oil restores the skin’s hydrolipid layer helping to soften wrinkles and protect against the damaging effects of the weather and premature aging. Why else would it be referred to as ‘liquid gold’ by beauty experts.
- Avocado oil (Unrefined) This oil penetrates the deeper layers of the skin and is great for protecting against wind burn. It contains high levels of proteins and unsaturated fats, not to mention omega-3 fatty acids, sterolin and antioxidants. However, you must use unrefined avocado oil and not the refined type since these important components will have been removed during processing to lighten the colour and remove the natural, but slightly strong odour. Add up to 20 per cent of unrefined avocado oil to a lighter carrier, such as apricot kernal to create a nourishing facial treatment without the odour.
- Jojoba oil
This oil is technically classed as a liquid wax yet is a surprisingly non-greasy, highly emollient oil that moisturises and conditions your skin leaving it feeling silky smooth and soft, – plus it even helps to unclog pores. This is the one oil that I use all year round in my clinic for clients with skin problems, and it never fails to produce great results. Excellent for protecting your skin throughout winter.
- Macadamia oil Cold pressed macadamia oil contains up to 18% of palmitoleic acid which is the essential fatty acid found in sebum, and there are very few other plant materials that contain such high levels of this precious component. It not only helps to protect skin from the ravages of the winter weather, but it also replenishes and moisturises dry skin too, so this is an excellent winter protecting oil.
- Moringa oil This oil is similar in composition to olive oil but more stable and much lighter, being quickly absorbed into the skin leaving it dry to the touch. Moringa oil has exceptional moisturising and nourishing qualities because it is rich in oleic and palmitic essential fatty acids. It is also a powerful natural antioxidant with excellent anti-wrinkle and skin smoothing properties making it absolutely perfect for protective facial treatments during the winter weather.
- Rosehip oil Scientific studies have shown this oil to be a powerful skin cell regenerator that also helps to actually prevent premature skin ageing, soften wrinkles, and fade stretch marks and scars. The emollient and regenerating properties of rosehip oil makes it the finest overnight skin-replenishing treatment to help replace what the harsh winter weather takes out of your skin.
How to use them
Carrier oils can be applied to the skin any time, either morning or evening (or both) to suit your beauty routine and the amount of protection you need. Only a small amount of oil is required, but for the best protection and visible improvements to your skin you need to use it regularly. It can take about a month for a new layer of skin to grow, so ‘a little and often’ is the really best approach.
Gently massage a few drops onto the face and neck morning and night during the colder, windy weather to help keep that weather-beaten look at bay all through the winter. Remember that your legs and arms will need protection too, so don’t be afraid to use your carrier oils on those areas too as part of your winter skin care protection regime.
Copyright © Quinessence Aromatherapy Ltd 2015. Written by Sue Charles