Now, for the recipe. It’s simple really. You need to use equal parts of the following oils:
1 part Sweet Almond Oil: Sweet Almond oil is obtained from the edible seed of sweet almond trees (Almond Dulcis), and it has been used as a skin-softening agent for centuries. One of the key words in beauty and health in the past few years is of course Omega-3 fatty acids; Almond oil is indeed extremely rich in those, as well as in a variety of minerals and vitamins including D & E. It is calming, nourishing, balances the loss and absorption of moisture, and is of course, as already mentioned, softening.
1 part Jojoba Oil: Jojoba is a fruiting shrub whose mature seeds produce a liquid wax, Jojoba oil, one of nature’s own miracle cosmetic products. It is an absolutely fantastic moisturizer that is chemically very similar to human sebum meaning it has great affinity with our skin. Jojoba oil reduces the skin’s water loss while still allowing it to breathe and it improves elasticity. It speeds and aids the healing process of the skin and it is also a fungicide.
1 part Avocado Oil: Avocado Oil, yet another miracle worker, is pressed from the flesh of the Avocado fruit. It is rich in vitamins A, B, C and E, amino acids, lecithin, sterolins, potassium, proteins and unsaturated fatty acids. It helps heal sun damage, reduce age spots and heal skin that has been exposed to climate damage. Extremely nourishing, moisturizing, regenerating, collagen increasing and deeply penetrating, this is probably THE best oil for dry skin.
1 part Calendula Oil: Calendula Officinalis is a flowering plant, also known as Pot Marigold. No oil can be obtained from the flowers of course, so the Calendula Oil bought in health stores is a result of maceration of the flower in another oil. I suggest Calendula which has been macerated in Soya Oil, which is itself a great oil for the skin, rich in antioxidants and vitamins and wonderful in its own right for its nourishing and moisturizing properties. (Check the ingredients list and make sure that what you are getting only lists two ingredients: Calendula Officinalis and Clycine Soya, or Soybean Oil). Now on to Calendula, which is yet another all natural magical ingredient. Extremely calming and soothing, Calendula will soothe red, itchy and irritated skin and is a natural anti-inflammatory, antifungal, antibacterial and antiseptic. It is absolutely excellent for the skin, acting in a regenerative manner, healing dry and even cracked and wounded skin. I have been using calendula for many years and for various little problems and I simply cannot sing its praises enough!
Okay, so now you know why all these oils work! Is there more to know? Well, while three out of four of these oils have no or almost no scent (jojoba oil has a very light scent even when unrefined), unrefined avocado oil, (the only type which I can find around here) unfortunately really does smell vegetal and it will probably make your skin smell sort of ...er... like a used salad bowl. Yeah, not very pleasant. If you can find refined avocado oil (I’ve no doubt that the North American readers will be able to in their excellent health and food stores) then you’re very lucky indeed. For the rest of us, but also for those that wish to add some scent to this recipe, the solution is a mixture of essential oils that pleases your senses. Please be aware that essential oils have to be used with care and dilution instructions have to be followed. Go for high quality oils (found in dark blue or brown bottles to prevent exposure to light). Most importantly my advice for everyone with not sufficient knowledge of essential oils is to use those that are generally very safe for skin even when dosage is accidentally exceeded. Such very safe, non-skin sensitizing oils are rose, sandalwood, myrrh, patchouli, and ylang ylang. Another good solution is to use perfumed oils of your preference that are already prepared for direct skin use. However, only the pure, non-perfumed preparation is safe for use on areas that are suffering from severe skin conditions such as eczema. Lastly, make sure to scrub well before using this oil mixture for the first time: A clean, free of dead cells canvas will allow you to experience the fastest results.
Container: My favorite containers for this oil mixture are Sephora’s “Express” bottles, sold in threes together with two little jars in a little beauty bag. These are meant to be filled with your cosmetics of choice for travel I believe. They hold a good amount and the product is dispensed through a little hole, which provides me with adequate control.
Warnings: Do not use if you have a nut allergy. Remember to do a skin-patch test before using to test for sensitivity.
Images: Flickr by: guivax, monstershaq2000 and preciouskhyatt, www.sxc.hu