Creating Cosmetics With Essential Oils

Creating Cosmetics With Essential Oils

Essential oils are a popular addition to cosmetics; check out any cosmetic counter and you will see countless examples. You can easily create your own personal blends, formulated just for your and at a fraction of the price.


Skin care

Fragrant waters are one of the easiest formulations for home preparation. These can be used as a facial toner and as a cosmetic face and body mist. These waters are excellent to counteract the effect of air-conditioned rooms and long airplane flights, which can be quite dehydrating. You make them simply by adding the essential oil of your choice (see tables at the end of this article) to distilled water. You use approximately five to 10 drops per ounce of water. Liquid aloe vera can also be added to boost the moisturizing properties. These need to be shaken well before each use, as the essential oils do not permanently emulsify in water.

Instead of water, you may prefer to use an aromatic hydrosol, such as rose water. These are the byproduct of essential oil distillation. When the oil is distilled, the water left over is the hydrosol. Hydrosols are impregnated with water-soluble (hydrophilic) compounds that are not present in the essential oils. They are soothing, anti-inflammatory, mildly astringent and nondrying. They can be used alone, especially for sensitive skin where essential oils may be too strong, or you can add essential oils. These also need to be shaken well before each use.

Rose water is mildly astringent, good for all skin types. Chamomile water is good for sensitive skin and inflammation. Lavender water balances skin types, soothes sunburns, psoriasis and eczema. Orange water is for dry or sensitive skin.

Either fragrant waters or hydrosols can be used in combination with facial oil instead of a moisturizing cream. Spray on the water, and while the skin is still moist apply the oil. (See tables at the end of this article for suggestions of oils to use.) These can be infused with herbs for additional conditioning properties. Herbs such as calendula, chamomile, comfrey, ginseng, rose and lavender are all good.

There are several methods to make an herbal infused oil. The no-cook method is preferable for cold-pressed oils because they are not excessively heated in the process and therefore have a longer shelf life. If you are in a hurry the cooked methods are OK, but be very careful and watch them closely as they scorch easily.

No-cook method

  1. All herbs should be ground or chopped finely.
  2. Put the herbs in a clear glass jar.
  3. Cover the herbs with good quality vegetable oil (olive, almond safflower, avocado, etc.). Make sure that the herbs are completely submerged in oil, or mold may occur.
  4. Let the jar sit in a warm, sunny place for 10 to 14 days, shaking daily.
  5. Filter and press using muslin or some type of filter. Re-filter if necessary. Discard herbs.

Cooked method

  1. Put herbs and oils into a heavy pot.
  2. Heat at a low heat until herbs are crispy. Watch carefully and stir often.
  3. Carefully filter and press oil.

Crock Pot

  1. Put herbs and oils into a crock pot.
  2. Heat for two to four hours.
  3. Carefully filter and press oil.

If you would like to take your oil a step further and make it into a salve or lip balm, you must stiffen it with beeswax. Reheat the basic oil gently and add the beeswax and any other additives, such as essential oils. Pour it quickly in small containers.

Salve: one-and-one-half cup oil to one-ounce beeswax.

Lip balm: one-cup oil to one-ounce beeswax.

A facial steam is good for moisturizing, increasing circulation and can help to unclog pores. To create your facial sauna, bring a kettle of water to a boil and add a few drops of essential oil. Use a towel to create a tent over your head with your face about 12 inches from the steaming water and steam for five to ten minutes. A handful of herbs is another excellent addition to steaming water. This is not recommended for extremely dry or sensitive skin. It is a good idea to close the pores after the steam by splashing your face with cold water. You skin is vulnerable with the pores open, and it is a good idea not to go outside into the open air right away.

Another good way to add your choice of essential oils to your facial care routine is to buy a good quality unscented moisturizing cream and stir your oils into it. The same with hand and body creams.

You can obtain powdered clays for facial masks to tighten and condition the skin. White or green clay is for any skin type, and red clay is for oily skin. Mix the clay with water to the desired consistency and add a drop or so of essential oil to it. To make more elaborate masks you can add fruits, egg, yogurt or herbs.

Dry skin mask

One tablespoon clay
One teaspoon oil
One teaspoon honey
One tablespoon rose water or aloe vera juice
One egg yoke
One drop of neroli essential oil

Oily skin mask

One tablespoon clay
One tablespoon vinegar
One strawberry, mashed
One drop of lavender essential oil

Hair Care

You can modify commercial shampoos and conditioners with essential oils also. Add about five to ten drops essential oil to an ounce of shampoo or conditioner, and wash and rinse as usual.

A drop or two of lavender or rosemary oil applied to your hairbrush and then brush through your hair can be nicely conditioning. Sandalwood oil applied to dry ends is helpful.

To make a conditioning scalp treatment, add 30 drops of essential oil to two ounces of carrier oil like those mentioned in the tables at the end of this article. Jojoba is another good scalp oil used in 10 percent proportion with one of the other oils.

Essential Oils for Facial Care

Normal Skin

Carrier Oils: almond, apricot, hazelnut
Additions: borage seed, evening primrose, jojoba
Essential Oils: carrot, German chamomile, geranium, fennel, frankincense, jasmine, lavender, lemon, neroli, palmarosa, rose

Dry to Normal Skin

Carrier Oils: almond, apricot, avocado, olive oil, wheat germ
Additions: borage seed, evening primrose, jojoba
Essential Oils: carrot, German chamomile, geranium, lavender, neroli, palmarosa, patchouli, rose, rosemary, sandalwood

Oily to Normal Skin

Carrier Oils: almond, apricot, grape seed, hazelnut
Additions: borage seed, evening primrose
Essential Oils: carrot, German chamomile, cypress, frankincense, geranium, jasmine, juniper, lavender, lemon, lime, marjoram, palmarosa, petitgrain, rosemary

Anti-aging essential oils to combat wrinkles: carrot, German chamomile, clary sage, fennel, frankincense, lavender, lemon, lime, myrrh, neroli, orange, palmarosa, patchouli, rosemary, thyme
Anti-aging additions: borage seed, evening primrose

Essential Oils for Hair Care

Normal Hair

Carrier Oils: almond, borage, evening primrose
Essential Oils: carrot, eucalyptus, geranium, lavender, lemon, rosemary

Dry Hair

Carrier Oils: almond, avocado, borage, cocoa butter, jojoba, sesame
Essential Oils: birch, carrot, geranium, lavender, palmarosa, rosemary, sandalwood

Oily Hair

Carrier Oils: borage, evening primrose, sesame
Essential Oils: basil, birch, cedarwood, clary sage, cypress, eucalyptus, lavender, lemon, lemongrass, rosemary, sage, thyme

Hair Loss

Essential Oils: basil, birch, carrot, Roman chamomile, clary sage, cypress, lemon, palmarosa, peppermint, rosemary, sage, thyme, ylang ylang

Dandruff

Essential Oils: basil, birch, carrot, cedarwood, cypress, eucalyptus, juniper, lavender, lemon, rosemary, sage, tea tree, thyme

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