Essential fatty acids are the building blocks of healthy skin.
‘Essential’ fatty acids as defines as compounds that are not made by the human body, and so must be up taken by the body through food. Essential fatty acids are responsible for regulating cell function maintaining the integrity of cellular walls, and allowing the dispersion of waste and water. For this reason, they also play a big part in skin health.
Essential Fatty Acids And Skin
Young skin is plump and firm with cells loaded with water. As we age, our skin’s ability to hold water decreases. Healthy skin cells maintain a healthy membrane holding good nutrients and moisture in while allowing toxins and waste to dissipate Fatty acids help cells maintain good health and membrane function. A deficiency in amino acids and EFA’s (essential fatty acids) can result in an instability of membranes that don’t properly hold moisture and retain their firmness or plumpness resulting in saggy, aged skin.
You can dramatically slow the cell degration (and aging) process by good hydration and by delivering EFA’s to your cells through an adequate intake of EFA’s through diet or supplementation or via your skin. Taking fish oil, Omega 3 oils like Flax, Hemp, Avocado or Fish oils are good for maintaining levels of fatty acids internally. You can also apply these critical fatty acids through the regulat application of face masks and serums made from natural concentrated oils and fresh ingredients.
Fresh fruits, nuts, vegetables and seeds as well as essential oils are a low cost but very powerful way to use EFA’s to not only nourish you skin but also deliver other vitamins and beneficial nutrients deep into the skins layers. Oils rich in EFA’s absorb quickly into skin and take with them vital elements for healthy glowing skin.
Serums For Skin – What is in a natural skin serum?
Carrier oils are base oils that you can add essential oils to for the right combination of nutrients and their benefits for your unique skin. Carrier oils are what deliver added essential benefits deep into your skins layers. Many ingredients like beeswax and some oils are natural emollients which hold in moisture and are softening and soothing for skin. Many recipes like those found in Natural Home Made Skin Care Recipes: Rejuvenating Renewing Masks and Treatments For Beautiful Skin are naturally rich in fatty acids giving your skin what it needs to stay soft plump and healthy.
Below is a list of carrier and essential oils to use for skincare serum and masks recipes or to add to homemade skincare masks.
(Sweet) Almond Oil, Prunus dulcis, cold pressed from the dried kernels of the almond tree. This oil is moisturizing, nourishing easily absorbed into skin leaving it soft and smooth without feeling greasy. It is rich in essential fatty acids as well as vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, and E. It is used for dry, itchy skin and as a hair treatment. Almond oil makes an excellent mask addition or serum base for all types of skin but especially oily skins for it’s fast absorption and lack of greasiness.
Aloe Vera Butter is an extraction of healing aloe gel infused into coconut oil that resembles a butter. Aloe Butter dissolves instantly on the skin and is wonderful for treating itchy skin, dry skin, eczema, psoriasis, rosacea, windburn, chafing and sunburn. This great product is highly moisturizing with antibacterial properties with all the healing benefits of Aloe.
Apricot Kernel Oil, Prunus armeniaca, is a light expeller pressed oil rich in vitamins A, D and E plus oleic and linoleic acids. It is non-greasy and absorbs easily into skin. It is most often used used as a base in massage oil. Apricot kernel oil is a light but moisturizing and conditioning oil for mature and sensitive skin as well as skin that is inflamed or dry.
Argan Oil, Argania spinosa, produced from Moroccan argan tree kernels, is renowned for it’s skin moisturizing and repairing properties. Argan oil is very rich in vitamin E, squalane, phytosterols and essential fatty acids so it is a perfect oil to use in a serum for reducing fine lines and wrinkles. Argan is a natural anti-inflammatory making it great for inflamed skin. It also helps to balance sebum production in oily skins helping to reduce blemishes and acne flare ups. It is also rich in antioxidants which neutralize free radicals and age us prematurely. Argan oil quenches skin with much needed hydration and helps with skin elasticity leaving skin looking and feeling firmer with an overall smoother appearance. Argan oil’s amazing moisturizing benefits are equally as beneficial for hair leaving it silky, shiny and soft after application. Several nutrients in argan oil also promote hair growth and help reduce hair loss and scalp conditions.
Avocado Oil, Persea gratissima, expeller pressed from avocado pulp. Avocado is loaded with vitamins A, D and E. Avocado oil is penetrated deeply into skin. Avocado oil and pulp deliver valuable nutrients to the skin including vitamins A, B1, B2 panthothenic acid, E, lecithin and essential fatty acids. Sun damaged skin especially can benefit from avocado as well as mature skin and can even been used as a hair conditioner like argan oil.
Babassu Oil, Orbignya oleifera, expeller pressed from the seeds of the native Brazilian babassu palm. This seed oil has been used for centuries by indigenous cultures in South America as a natural moisturizer. This oil penetrates fast into skin like all oils rich in essential fatty acids. Babassu is one of nature’s richest emollients and is especially good for eczema, itchy skin, dry and inflamed complexions. Babassu is another oil that nourishes, moisturizes and restores hair follicles and strands for healthy shiny hair.
Basil Essential Oil, Ocimum basilicum Great for stimulating hair, scalp and stimulating hair growth and dues to it’s antimicrobial properties is also great for acne.
Bergamot, Citrus bergamia is great for firming skin and stimulating skin and also calming acne prone skin.
Beeswax, Cera alba, is produced female worker honeybees. The cells you see in honey comb is drawn out by the bees. Harvested honey is underneath a top layer of wax covering cells which are removed to reveal a softer layer of wax that is used for cosmetic and skincare recipes. Beeswax (a natural emollient) makes for a lovely, light moisture barrier on your skin to prevents loss of hydration locking and sealing in nutrients like oils and vitamins in masks and serums. Beeswax is much kinder on skin than chemical or petroleum based emollients and does not clog pores. Beeswax is also used in hair products to add moisture, hydration, softness and shine to hair.
Borage Oil, Borago officinalis, pressed from the seeds of the Borage shrub. It has the highest concentration of the essential fatty acid Omega-6 as well as gamma linolenic acid (GLA) making it the richest plant source of essential fatty acids. Borage oil otherwise known as Starflower oil, is very moisturizing, fast absorbing and restores moisture and smoothness to dry damaged skin. It is also great for providing relief from chronic skin disorders such as eczema and atopic dermatitis. Borage oil can be used as an anti-aging treatment all on its own. Break a capsule open and apply to freshly washed skin for a nourishing treatment.
Calendula Oil, Calendula arvensis, is derived from the marigold plant. Calendula is rich in vitamin C, E and has vitamin E like properties. It has been used for centuries to heal skin and wounds, burns, eczema, inflammations on the skin, bruises, strains, skin ulcers and external bleeding. Calendula also has proven anti-fungal, anti-septic, and astringent properties.
Calophyllum (Tamanu) Oil, Calophyllum inophyllum is derived from the alexandrian laurel tree. It is rich in fatty acids and is known for its ability to regenerate tissue making it a popular ingredient in skin creams and serums. Amazing for fading stretch marks and scars promoting new tissue formation.
Canola Oil, Brassica napus canola, is another moisturizing oil that is used to promote healthy skin. It is great for all skin types thanks to it’s nutritious, conditioning, penetrating properties. Canola oil is rich in essential fatty acids, soften skin and helps to prevent dry skin. Canola oil is often used in soaps adding a silkiness to the foamy lather. It’s also good in hair care for reducing split ends and to nourish skin.
Carnauba Wax, Copernica cerifera, derived from a Brazilian palm tree leaves is a very hard vegetable wax. The plant that produces this wax does so to protect the leaves from hot dry environments. This renewable source is a good alternative to beeswax and is popular for people who don’t like animal products or have bee allergies.
Carrot Root Oil, a light rich golden oil obtained from carrots, (not to be confused with Carrot Seed Essential Oil). Rich in vitamin C and A beta-carotene, making it particularly good for mature, sensitive, or sun-damaged skin. It is also excellent for inflamed skin.
Carrot Seed Oil, extracted from carrot seeds this oil is also rich in vitamins C A and antioxidants. It it perfect for mature, discolored and lined or wrinkled skin. It also helps to brighten dull skin.
Castor Bean Oil, Ricinus communis, also known as Palma Christi oil, is expeller pressed from the castor bean plant. Another oil rich in fatty acids and absorbs well into skin. It is a natural humectant meaning it attracts moisture and so helps to bind moisture to the skin. Castor bean oil is often used in soaps for it’s conditioning lathering properties. Common in hair products to coat the hair shaft, smoothing cuticles leaving the hair feeling soft and silky.
Cocoa Butter, Theobroma cacao, a pressed creamy yellow butter from Cacao Tree seeds. Has a chocolatey smell. Cocoa butter is an emollient and excellent all over the body moisturizer that protects skin and locks in moisture. It is great for dry, itchy skin smoothing and softening dehydrated rough skin. Skin that has been overexposed to environmental elements benefits greatly from smoothing nourishing cocoa butter. It is also fantastic for use in stretch mark creams and serums!
Coconut Oil, Cocos nucifera, from Coconuts, is a fantastic moisturizer. It is rich in natural fats that can be easily absorbed and penetrate deeply into skin. It has been used for centuries to protect and moisturize skin and hair giving it a glow and plumping out skin cells and hair smoothing hair cuticles. Coconut oil also contains natural antibacterial and antimicrobial properties making it fantastic for acne cleansers and moisturizers. Using extra virgin coconut oil is best as cold pressed coconut oil retains the nutrient content of coconuts including squalane and vitamin E.
Emu Oil, Hypoallergenic, anti inflammatory, antibacterial and moisturizing. Also good for scars and stretch marks
Evening Primrose Oil, Oenothera biennis, expeller pressed from the Evening Primrose Flower seeds. It is rich in vitamins and minerals essential fatty acids, including gamma-linolenic acid (GLA). Evening primrose oil is great for hormonal skin while hydrating and moisturizing skin improving skins elasticity. It is especially good for dry mature skin and eczema effected skin.
Fennel Oil, Foeniculum vulgare. Great for mature skin for it’s toning moisturizing properties. Good for puffy oily skin softening and great for wrinkles. This makes it perfect for puffy, oily faces that are starting to get fine lines in the corners of the eyes.
Frankincense Oil, Boswellia carterii. Known to improve skin tone, heal cuts, chapping grazes and infected skin. It is extremely beneficial as a treatment for dry skin, or mature or wrinkled skin especially when combined with Rose oil. Also great for scarring and acne.
Geranium, Pelargonium graveolens Repairs damaged sun exposed skin and helps balance sebum production and fabulous for mature skin.
Grapeseed Oil, Vitis vinifera, extracted from the seeds of grapes. Grapeseed oil is light and easily absorbed an non greasy. It is a rich source of linoleic acid, (Omega 6) which is important for protecting skins cell membranes. It is also good as a hair conditioner.
Hazelnut Oil, Corylus avellana. Hazelnut oil contains useful amounts of essential fatty acids including linoleic acid. It helps to tone and tighten the skin while strengthening capillaries and assisting in cell regeneration. Hazelnut oil offers great moisturizing qualities which makes it a good base oil for serums.
Hemp Seed Oil, Cannabis sativa, is the non THC absent variety of the cannabis species of plant. Hempseed oil, expeller pressed from a tiny nut, is rich in protein and very rich in polyunsaturated fats. It contains the richest source of essential fatty acids (EFA) of any other vegetable based oil. It penetrates extremely well into skin due to its high vitamin E content and is also great in hair products. It nourishes, moisturizes and smooths all skin types.
Illipe Butter, Shorea stenoptera, is obtained from the nuts of tree from Borneo. This no so commonly known butter that has a similar consistency to cocoa butter is a fabulous treatment for skin problems. It is very nourishing and helps to restore skin elasticity.
Jojoba Oil, Buxus sinensis, expeller pressed from the jojoba bean, has been used for centuries as a hair and skin conditioner. Jojoba is actually a wax rather than an oil but has an oil like consistency and is an emollient. Jojoba is very similar to our skins own skin sebum and is one of natures best natural moisturizers. It penetrates skin fast, has anti-inflammatory properties and is also good for sensitive or oily acne prone skin. It’s also good for mature, dry, aging and inflamed skin. You can also use Jojoba oil as a hair conditioner.
Juniper Oil, Juniperus osteosperma and scopulorum. Made from juniper berries. Balances oily and acneic skin as well as cellulite.
Lavender Oil, Lavendula augustofolia is produced from the lavender plant. It is naturally antibacterial and anti fungal as well as calming for irritated skin. It is excellent for itchy skin and also acne inflamed skin. You can add it to masks, serums and lotions for all skin types but especially irritated or acneic oily skin.
Manuka Oil, The honey from Manuka flowers has very nourishing moisturizing and healing qualities. A natural antibiotic is offers powerful and potent antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties providing an effective natural acne treatment.
Myrhh Antiseptic, antibacterial and anti fungal. Great for infections too. Balances and adds hydration. Aids with removal of toxins and promotes tissue repair.
Kokum Butter, Garcinia indica, a cocoa butter like balm obtained from a tree in India. Rich in vitamin E and essential fatty acids it is non pore clogging and has been used to soften skin and restore elasticity. Great for chapped, dry, cracked, calloused or tough skin. It is healing and great used with Calendula oil, another healing oil.
Mango Butter, Mangifera indica, a soft butter obtained from the fruit kernels of the Mango tree. Rich in essential fatty acids it helps to restore skin tone, elasticity and flexibility. It is great moisturizer for moisturizing all skin types, but is particularly beneficial for mature, dry, environmentally or sun-damaged akin. It is great for eczema prone skin or dry flaky skin.
Neem Oil, Azadirachta indica, cold pressed from the fruit of the Neem or Indian Margosa tree. Neem is very moisturizing but is also widely used in Indian Ayurvedic medicine for it’s antiseptic properties used to fight fungal infections, viruses and bacteria. It is also very good for acne, psoriasis and eczema and itchy skin or scalp. It does have a potent odor hat some people find a little overpowering. Karanja oil is an alternative to this oil and it even better for itching.
Neroli Oil, Citrus aurantium or Citrus vulgaris. Neroli oil is a plant oil produced from the blossom of the bitter orange tree. Great for lifting the spirit as a natural anti-depressant it is also great for regenerating skin cells. It is the perfect rejuvenating oil for preventing scar tissue, promoting smoother skin, fighting stretch marks and reducing broken capillaries. It also balances skin so surprisingly can be used for both oily and dry skin.
Olive Oil, Olea europea, extracted from cold pressed olives, Olive oil is a humectant and so attracts external moisture to skin. Humectants hold moisture to the skin, forming a protective breathable barrier that is also very moisturizing. It closly resembles human skin so it doesn’t clog pores and it great for sensitive skin. Olive oil is known for it’s healing properties helping to keep skin looking and feeling younger and softer. It’s also good to apply to hair for soft silky strands.
Palm Oil, Elaeis guineensis, is produced from palm fruit. Used in soaps it makes a good natural foamy cleanser.
Parsley Oil, Petroselinum is derived from the Parsley plant. It is a natural astringent, it is soothing and healing especially for skin with acne, psoriasis, eczema. Also used regularly in oil blended form can reduce red veins like Neroli oil.
Patchouli Oil, Pogostemon cablin. This oil can be added to serums or masks. It promotes and stimulates new cell growth, it regenerates skin cells, which makes it useful for speeding up the healing ability of skin. Calms red or inflamed skin so is great for acne prone skin.
Petitgrain Oil, Citrus sinensis. Antimicrobial and antibacterial it is good for maintaining the moisture and oil balance of the skin and in treating acne.
Pomegranate Seed Oil, Punica granatum derived from pomegranate seed this is a rich, nutritious oil with very high levels of anti-oxidants. These help to neutralize radicals and slow the skins aging process. Pomegranate is also healing, protective and moisturizing for dry, mature or dehydrated skin. Also good for itchy skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis and sunburn. It improves skin elasticity, revitalizes dull or mature skin and softens wrinkles.
Pumpkin Seed Oil, Cucurbita pepo, is derived from pumpkin seeds pressed into oil. An emollient oil rich in vegetable proteins and phytosterols. Pumpkin seed oil is especially high in the gamma tocopherol compound (vitamin E) which is a powerful antioxidant. It is also rich in essential fatty acids to regulate sebum balancing both oily and dry skin. It softens fine lines and wrinkles as well.
Rice Bran Oil, Oryza sativa, made from rice bran it is rich in anti-oxidants. Great for moisturizing skin it is rich in gamma-oryzanol and natural squalane as well as antioxidants for mature or sensitive skin.
Rose Oil, Rose otto is a super hydrating oil for dry or mature skin. It regulates hormone production and helps balance sebum. It is one of choice oils for giving you fresh and youthful skin. Rose hydrosols offer a nourishing boost for skin.
Rosehip Oil, Rosa rubiginosa, is a pressed seed oil, extracted from the seeds of a rose bush from the Andes. It has been used for centuries to treat scarring, wounds and inflammation. Rich in retinoic acid found in Vitamin A it improves fine lines and wrinkles. The powerful antioxidants and omega fatty acids in Rosehip oil protect cells from premature aging and damage. Great in serums for facial moisturizing and also for stretch marks and sunspots or acne scars.
Seabuckthorn Oil, Hippophae rhamnoides, fruit comes from a deciduous shrub native to Europe and Asia. Rich in vitamin C, omega-3 oils, palmitoleic acid, antioxidants, vitamin E, B this oil helps to improve skin elasticity, repair damaged and dry skin. It rebalances skin and has anti-inflammatory and anti-microbiological properties to help heal bacterial infections and acne as well as reducing scarring by stimulating tissue regeneration.Healing and rejuvenating and also good for red veins or rosacea.
Sesame Seed Oil, Sesame indicum, expeller pressed from whole sesame seeds. This oil is fabulous for skin due to it’s rich content of vitamin E, B complex and A which all help nourish and rejuvenate skin. It’s antioxidant properties are beneficial for mature aging skin and for fine lines and wrinkles. It also offers mild SPF protection like Coconut oil.
Shea Nut Butter, Butyrospermum parkii, or African Karite Butter helps for healing of wounds and reduction of scars. Great for soothing burns, rashes, very dry skin, eczema and psoriasis. Deeply penetrating it moisturizes and nourishes dry, damaged and maturing skin.
Soybean Oil Good base moisturizer as it is rich in vitamin A and K so it’s great for dark circles around your eyes.
Tea Tree (Melaleuca) Oil, derived from the Tea tree plant. Numerous benefits for problematic or acneic skin. Antibacterial, anti fungal and anti viral as well. Great for cuts, sores, grazes and in insect repellants but especially serums washes and masks for acne. Stimulating for skin cells.
Thyme Oil, Thymus vulgaris. High in antimicrobial properties this is great for problematic or acneic skin. It is antibacterial, anti fungal and great for treating rashes and itching as well as dandruff.
Yarrow Oil, Achillea millefolium. Yarrow oil helps to heal inflamed wounds, rashes, cuts, eczema, scars, and burns and can promote hair growth. Good for oily acneic problem skin or cuts and grazes as well as tightening and firming skin.
Squalane is a botanical lipid that is similar to the squalene our skin’s sebaceous glands produce. Olives have a high concentration of vegetable squalene. Smaller amounts can be found in wheat germ oil and rice bran oil.
Sunflower Oil, Helianthus annuus, expeller pressed from Sunflower seeds. Extremely rich in essential fatty acids making it great for moisturizing, regenerating and conditioning the skin. Fast absorbing it is high in tocopherols (vitamin E), a natural antioxidant, making it especially helpful for delicate, dry or mature skin. One of the most moisturizing oils.
Virgin Palm Oil, Elaeis guineensis, bright orange in color and rich in Beta-Carotene it is rich in Vitamins A and E. Very moisturizing and nourishing. Virgin palm oil helps to minimize the signs of aging, calm inflamed skin and acne, relieve psoriasis or eczema as well as smoothing uneven skin tone as well as fine lines and wrinkles.
Walnut Oil, Juglans nigra, expeller pressed from walnuts. An emollient and excellent moisturizer. Penetrates deeply and nourishes while stimulating circulation. It is has regenerative, anti aging and firming properties do it is great for damaged or mature skin.
Wheat Germ Oil, Triticum vulgare, expeller pressed from the germ of the wheat kernel. Loaded with many vitamins and minerals including vitamin E, a natural antioxidant. Vitamin E helps improve skin elasticity while nourishing skin cells, and preventing moisture loss. Leaves skin looking and feeling younger and smoother. Wheat germ is also great for hair and is often used in conditioners.
These are some of the oils you will find recipes for in Natural Homemade Face Masks and Skincare Recipes: Rejuvenating Renewing Masks and Treatments For Beautiful Skin
You can enjoy beautiful skin by using these ingredients in mask, serums, cleansers and moisturizers you can make in minutes to nourish your specific skin. I hope you enjoyed this article and learning about the amazing gifts for our skin nature offers.
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