by Alison Angold CIDESCO ITEC
As we age several changes occur in the skin. When we are young our skin looks fresh, plump, firm, smooth……..However, time takes it toll and these changes in the body and skin can cause certain skin conditions. The best essential oils for anti-ageing will help to nourish, hydrate, smooth and brighten.
The best essential oils for anti-ageing
- Carrot seed
Lets look at what is happening to the skin (brace yourself!), before we look at the best essential oils and skincare routine for anti-ageing.
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What happens to our skin when it starts to age.
- Collagen stops producing as well. Collagen is the protein that holds the skin up, keeping our skin firm and plump. Therefore, the skin will start to sag , we loose contours and lines and wrinkles will start appearing more clearly. Learn how to boost collagen in the skin here.
- The natural oil – sebum – in the skin, produces less, so our skin becomes drier. Sebum hydrates the skin’s surface, keeping it naturally lubricated so keeps it supple and smooth.
- Blood circulation in our body slows down. This means the skin cells below the skin are not getting fed as well, this in turn means that they take longer to migrate to the skin’s surface.
- Because this cell turnover slows down, the dead cells on the surface of the skin, do not slough off as quickly as they should – or once did. This leaves the skin looking dry and dull.
- Pores become larger. As the skin sags down the pores stretch and become enlarged.
- Pigmentation marks can occur more.
Oh my goodness! What a depressing list!! Are you still even reading? I wouldn’t blame you if you’d shut down by now!
But do not fret!! There are very simple steps you can take and products you can use to help with all of these things!
As we start to enter midlife and/or menopause, it is definitely a good time to reconsider your skincare routine. A few small changes and a couple of additions may be all you need, so don’t worry – we are not drastically changing everything.
The best essential oils for anti-ageing
Neroli is a beautiful oil taken from the the flowers of orange blossom. One of it’s main properties is cell regeneration which means it encourages the cells from the lower layers of the skin to come to the surface more readily. This means that fresher, brighter skin cells migrate to the surface, helping us to look more youthful, brighter and with a glow.
Rose again, is useful at cell regeneration, and alongside this property, it is hydrating for mature and reduces inflammations on the skin. This is particularly useful for thinner skin that is prone to broken capillaries and thread veins. Rose also smells divine!
(Avoid during pregnancy)
Another lovely smelling oil, that helps to hydrate and sooth dry and mature skins. Jasmine also encourages cell regeneration, so helps to heal the skin, and help us look younger by bringing fresher, newer and younger cells to the surface. Jasmine also helps to increase elasticity in the skin which is very useful as we get older, and our skin contours start to drop.
(Avoid during pregnancy)
Grapefruit oil is known for its astringent properties, which means that it will have a slight tightening effect on the surface of the skin. This will be good for the enlarged pores that we might experience.
(Avoid direct sunlight on area of application)
Carrot seed oil is highly nourishing and is a vasodilator. This means that it encourages blood circulation to the skins tissues. A good blood supply to the skin is essential as ‘feeds’ the layers of the skin, thus nourishing them and encouraging to regenerate more effectively.
(Do not use during pregnancy)
How to use essential oils for anti-ageing
The best way to use these oils is facial products – a facial oil is the ideal way.
For creating a facial oil, 2 oils are enough. Blend 2 drops of essential per 5 ml of carrier oil. Good carrier oils for the face are Evening Primrose Oil or Rosehip Oil.
Grapefruit oil is a great oil to use in a toner, to add to the astringent properties. Add a few drops of grapefruit essential oil to a plain orange flower water.
Remember that any products you create using essential oils, must be stored in tinted bottles. Like these;
To learn more about the properties of each oil and blending suggestions sign up to receive my free Aromatherapy guide.
The anti-ageing skincare routine, using essential oils
Use a balm cleanser
A balm cleanser is a wonderful way to cleanse when we are concerned with ageing. It adds extra hydration to our skin, while protecting and soothing the delicate balance of the skins surface, while protecting the all important acid mantle. My favourite;
A toner is essential in your skincare routine. Either make your own as detailed above or try this grapefruit infused toner; Sisley Grapefruit Toner
We’ve already mentioned that the cell turnover slows down, as we age. This means that the dead cells on the skins surface, stay on the surface for longer, when usually they ‘fall’ off on their own. As we get older they need a bit more help to fall off, so exfoliating is key! Exfoliate at least 2-3 times per week. The smoother your skin, the more, any products you then use, will absorb more readily.
A facial oil used every evening, under your moisturiser will add a really beneficial layer of hydration and nourishment. Used in the evening, the oil will continue to absorb through the night, allowing you to wake with refreshed, hydrated, glowing skin. Either blend your own as detailed above or try one of these delicious products;
A moisturiser is essential day and evening, to smooth, hydrate and protect the skins surface. It also seals any other products in, such as your serum or facial oil, to allow this to continue to absorb. In addition if you use a moisturiser containing essential oils, you will benefit even more, as the oils penetrate to lower layers giving you extra benefits. Applying your moisturiser on damp skin can maximise its benefits.
Other things to consider for anti-ageing
Use an SPF – everyday!
So, this is something that hopefully you are already using. However it becomes even more important now. As we age, the fluctuations of hormones within our bodies, stimulate excess melanin to be produced. Melanin is the pigment responsible for the darker spots we might experience. UV rays can also stimulate melanin to produce as well. Because of this it is very important to use an SPF every day, to give your skin protection from ageing and pigmentation marks.
Retinol is the only known ingredient to increase cell turnover in the skin, and the only proven ingredient to stimulate the production of collagen in the skin. Cell turnover means the rate at which the cells of the skin come to the surface. When we are young, our cell turnover happens at a good rate, so our skin always looks fresh, bright and smooth. However with age this slows down. The cells become lazy and take their time to come to the surface. Retinol encourages the dead cells on the skins surface, to die off, therefore the new cells underneath need to come to the surface to replace these dead ones. The quicker we can get cells to come to the surface, the younger our skin will look as these skin cells will be new and fresh.
Retinol is also stimulating the production of collagen within the skin, so by using this regularly, over time, the skin will regain some of it’s firmness and look plumper. Lines and wrinkles will also appear reduced and, in fact, you should get less wrinkles developing by using this product regularly.
One of the best things you can do is keep your skin constantly and well hydrated! A hydrated skin, looks so much better, fresher, brighter and lines and wrinkles appear reduced. Using a Hyaluronic acid is essential as this increases the water production in the skin. Using a good moisturiser is also essential. Consider layering your products to get the best hydrating effect. Use a hydrating mask once a week. And keep your skin topped up with moisture through the day with a hydrating spray. Honestly, the more you can do in this department – the better!
Read more on the benefits of HYALURONIC ACID here
As blood circulation slows down as the years pass, the lower layers of the skin cells don’t get fed as much as they should. By fed I mean they don’t receive nourishment from the blood. They need the blood supply to keep multiplying, therefore pushing themselves up to the surface. Massaging your skin regularly is an ideal way to encourage blood supply to your skin. This will not only bring nourishment to your skin cells, thus speeding up cell renewal, but also bring a healthy glow to the skin, slough off surface dead cells, and stimulate sebaceous glands to secrete sebum. Better still, if you can get someone else to do it for you!
Our diet becomes even more important as we age. What we put into our bodies can have a great effect on how it looks on the outside. We know it’s important to eat a wide range of foods but lets look at particular ones that feed our skin.
Antioxidants are needed to fight off the free radicals that eat away our healthy skin cells. Find antioxidants in red, yellow and orange peppers, green leafy vegetables and dark chocolate :)! Proteins that build collagen are found in black beans and chickpeas. And Vitamin C repairs skin cells, brightens the skin found in abundance in citrus fruits.
You may also want to consider a supplement to boost collagen in the skin. A collagen supplement will help boost collagen from within. This will not only help your skin, but your hair and nails will benefit too. Absolute Collagen is my favourite. A daily dose of marine collagen that strengthens skin, hair and nails.
(Disclaimer; I am a qualified and experienced aromatherapist, and while these essential oils are fairly safe to use in small quantities, if ever in any doubt of the use of essential oils, please contact your local practioner, or contact me, for a consultation.)