Natural essential oils are a good choice when it comes to anti-wrinkle treatments, says Paul Massa.
Essential oils can deliver their nutrients deep into the skin contrary to other ingredients with a larger molecular structure which tends to stay on the surface of the skin. They bring nutrients and proteins that work to restore tissue fibres such as collagen and elastin (these fibres work together to make up the fibrous network of the skin) and help cellular regeneration — the key to a youthful skin!
Essential oils boost the elimination of toxins collecting in the skin; they improve the circulation which aids oxygenation and energizing of the dermis. By adding oxygen in the muscle tissue, they make them healthier and aid muscle tone.
Essential oils, because of their regenerative ability, can also help skin damaged by the sun; and some essential oils, such as Sage, have hormonal-like properties which encourages the firming of skin. However, essential oils should be avoided by pregnant women (especially during the first term), infants, and young children, so be sure to do your homework beforehand.
But some oils are more effective in treating wrinkles than others. The oils listed below are well-known for their anti-ageing properties:
Rosewood oil has balancing properties which help tone the skin by increasing the regeneration of skin tissues. It increases skin elasticity and cells regeneration. It’s perfect for softening a scar to reduce its appearance. Rosewood also has anti-viral, anti-bacterial qualities along with anti-fungal and anti-infectious making it nice for wound healing. This oil can be used on mature dry, oily and combination skin.
Sandalwood oil softens dry skin and can be used a moisturiser to diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Sesquiterpene molecules are present in high level in Sandalwood essential oil; they have strong anti-inflammatory properties. Sesquiterpene molecules also deliver oxygen molecules to cells, like hemoglobin does in the blood, giving skin a healthy, younger look. These molecules also stimulate activity in the pituitary and hypothalamus glands, and help boost natural production of human growth hormone. Sandalwood promotes the formation of new skin cells, increasing skin thickness and elasticity.
Geranium oil can be used for almost any skin type. It works by increasing blood circulation in the area where it is applied which boosts cell regeneration and improve skin elasticity. It retains moisture in the skin which reduces the aspect of fine lines. It’s the perfect ingredient to fight wrinkles when added to your moisturiser or other oily/creamy product. Used on oily skin, it helps regulate oil production and reduce breakouts. Geranium oil is also soothing as it is anti-inflammatory.
Frankincense oil helps regenerate skin cells and protects existing cells. This property makes it an ideal ingredient to fight wrinkles, tighten skin and to reduce the appearance of scars. It is also soothing and is great for very dry sensitive skin. Frankincense rebalances the skin pH and has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties making it ideal for acne-prone skin.
Palmarosa oil stimulates cell growth and speeds healing which is great to rejuvenate skin and to work on wrinkles and scar tissue. It has also anti-inflammatory properties and a cooling effect on the skin. Great to treat skin damaged by sun exposure, Palmarosa is suitable for all skin treatments because it moisturises the skin, regulates sebum production and stimulates skin regeneration.
Clary Sage oil has antioxidants properties which provide the body with natural protection against free-radicals well-known to cause damages to skin cells. Clary Sage essential oil helps combat fines lines and wrinkles particularly in oily mature skin. With its antiseptic and antibacterial properties which have a balancing effect on the production of sebum, Clary Sage helps tighten pores which improves skin texture and tone. This oil is also estrogen-like and is perfect for menopausal skin.
Myrrh oil has strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties which greatly benefit ageing skin. Free radicals produce chemical reactions which break down collagen and other proteins in the skin. Myrrh with its high level of antioxidant helps improves skin tone, firmness, and elasticity, reducing the appearance of wrinkles. Like Sandalwood, Myrrh contains a high level of sesquiterpene molecules; these molecules have strong anti-inflammatory properties. Sesquiterpene molecules also deliver oxygen molecules to cells, like hemoglobin does in the blood, giving skin a healthy, younger look. Myrrh oil can help heal sun damage, chapped skin, rashes, and eczema which are inflammatory reactions.
Carrot seed oil has a very high content of antioxidants (carotenoids) which stimulates the rejuvenation of cells. Carotenoids help to repair skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis and protect against skin damage caused by sunlight. Carrot oil encourages cells rejuvenation and is also moisturising. These properties make it a great anti-ageing ingredient. Rejuvenating skin cells and encouraging new growth is at the centre of combating the appearance of ageing.
The above list of oils well-known for their anti-ageing properties is by no means exhaustive but it gives you an idea of what is available in nature. These essential oils are fantastic natural active ingredients; they have each their unique properties that can help improve your skin.
They can be used on their own or mixed but should never be used pure on the skin. Like all essential oils, they have to be diluted with a carrier oil or eventually a cream/lotion (like a moisturiser) to be safely used. Some of the best anti-ageing carrier oils are: Argan oil, Hemp oil, Hazelnut oil, Sweet Almond oil, Apricot kernel oil, Grapeseed oil, Rosehip seed oil, Avocado oil, Jojoba oil.
Essential oils are pure, all-natural ingredients which can help restore your skin. There are numerous books or internet sites on aromatherapy with anti-ageing recipes. Do not hesitate to check them to discover natural formulas that will help you fight wrinkles. Just make sure that the oils used in your formulations are of top quality and preferably certified organic.
Paul Massa is Managing Director, PHYT’S www.phyts.com.au