I am very picky about my body care products from both a vanity and health perspective. I have tried all the expensive creams (looking at you, La Mer), potions, serums, and lotions, only to find that the concoctions I make myself work better (really) and are a fraction of the cost without the chemicals.
Did you know that the law does not require cosmetic products and ingredients, (except for color additives) to be approved by FDA before they go on the market? (source) That’s disconcerting. The average woman applies something like 500 mostly untested ingredients to her skin daily. (source) These chemicals are absorbed into the body and may cause endocrine disruption and increase the body’s toxic burden. (source) I recommend checking your products for potentially carcinogenic or endocrine-disrupting ingredients in the EWG’s Skin Deep database. Or you can just make your own! It’s easy, fun to customize, and saves money.
I make most of my facial products these days. For a while I was on a kick using this whipped coconut oil with frankincense and myrrh. It’s truly fantastic for dry skin or for anyone who lives in a cold or arid environment. But now I’m into making serums and oil blends.
Don’t let oil scare you away. While many of the oil blends I make are for drier skin, certain oils, like jojoba, are amazing for combination or oily skin too. Most store-bought products for oily skin are harsh and strip the skin, causing it to compensate by producing even more natural oils that can cause acne. Oil cleansing and lighter oils can combat this issue and even soothe redness and inflammation.
DIY Anti-Aging Beauty Blend
Best for: anti-aging, healing, dry or combination skin, sensitive skin, anti-inflammatory, protective
I’ve been using this oil blend for over a year and am very happy with the results. It’s a very potent blend of numerous nourishing and protective oils and essential oils. Best for dry skin, aging skin, and preventing wrinkles. Also great to keep winter skin moisturized. I live in a very dry environment in the mountains at 6300 feet, and this oil keeps the delicate skin on my face, neck, and chest moisturized and protected, I use a small amount under my regular moisturizer, but depending on your skin and where you live, a few drops might be enough without using anything else. It feels good to know I’m applying healthy oils without untested ingredients to my face.
The basic ingredients for this blend are as follows (note some modification suggestions):
Base (will cost you about $50 total and lasts for many batches!)
- Jojoba oil (optional, best for acne-prone or oily skin)
- Rosehip seed oil (high in protective vitamin C, combats aging, erases fine lines, fades dark spots)
- Tamanu oil (very healing, great for eczema, acne, scars, rosacea, anti-inflammatory)
- Pomegranate seed oil (remarkably rich, protective, moisturizing, soothing, anti-aging, rich in fatty acids, may offer SPF properties)
Essential Oil Add-ins
- Carrot seed oil (good for protecting skin from the elements, great for anti-aging)
- Neroli (antibacterial, good for acne-prone skin)
- Frankincense (protective, anti-aging, repairs skin)
- Palmarosa (hydrating, balances oil production, making it good for both oily or dry skin)
- Lavender (best for oily skin, acne, scarring)
Read more about which oils are best for your skin in this post.
You will need a 2 or 3 ounce dropper jar, like this, or I just use an old glass jar from a rosehip seed oil I purchased a while back.
First, make your base oil. Always choose organic, cold processed, unrefined, high quality oils, and store the blend and oils in the fridge or in a cool, dark place. I use Mountain Rose Herbs most often.
The ratio I use is 2 parts rosehip oil to 1 part tamanu and 1 part pomegranate seed. If you have combo or oily skin, use 2 parts jojoba to 1 part rosehip, 1 part tamanu, 1 part pomegranate seed. I often leave the jojoba out for a richer oil (good for dry skin), but add it for combo or oily skin.
Blend this combo, then add your essential oils, 5-10 drops of each.
For my dry skin, I always add 5 drops carrot seed oil (it has a very strong smell) and then I’ll choose one additional oil, depending on the season: either 5 drops palmarosa, frankincense, myrrh, or neroli, whatever I have on hand. Neroli smells absolutely amazing and offsets the stink of the carrot seed pretty well. Myrrh is a richer oil, good for winter skin, goes well with frankincense. I often use neroli and palmarosa during the summer. Add lavender with the carrot seed for acne scarred or acne prone skin. I don’t recommend lavender for dry skin. Experiment with any oils you like to add to the base.
- Mix up and blend the base oil
- Add the essential oils to the base and blend
- For dry skin, use carrot seed along with myrrh and/or frankincense
- For normal skin, use carrot seed with neroli and/or palmarosa
- For oily or acne prone skin, add jojoba to the base and use lavender and maybe even a couple drops tea tree oil
- Ylang ylang is great for all types of skin and smells nice too
As mentioned, I often change the essential oils depending on the season. Let me know what combos have worked well for you!
Mary Vance is a Certified Nutrition Consultant and author specializing in digestive health. In addition to her coaching practice, she offers courses to help you heal your gut and kick nagging digestive issues for good. Mary lives in San Francisco and Lake Tahoe in Northern California. Read more about her coaching practice here and her background here.