Growing up, I was fed the beauty myth that oily skin is bad. The cosmetics industry pushes the use of harsh, drying soaps and products that strip natural oils to help you get rid of shine. However, those natural oils actually help moisturize your skin. Washing them away can result in overly dry skin, rather than soft and supple skin. Really what you want is skin-loving oils like the serum recipe below paired with a nice, gentle astringent for a balanced regimen.
Using natural plant oils is a wonderful way to help nourish and refresh dry skin. Some of my favorites are organic rosehip seed oil, pomegranate seed oil, and tamanu oil. I love how quickly they absorb into the skin, leaving my face soft, but not greasy. Organic plant oils like these are used in the base of most homemade lotion recipes. Lotions often include butters or waxes to help smooth the skin and seal in the moisture. Using oil neat will allow it to absorb into the skin very quickly, and I prefer using this preparation first for daily facial moisturizing. However, you can use this serum as an oil base in a cream recipe if you like. This serum is wonderful for softening the skin on arms and legs as well.
For high-quality skin oils, you want to make sure that they are certified organic and minimally processed. I like to use cold-pressed or expeller-pressed oils that are unrefined. It’s also important to keep them in a cool, dark place. I store mine in the refrigerator and buy often. Because they are minimally processed, high-quality oils can turn rancid if not properly stored. Keep in mind, a little oil goes a long way.
Okay, it’s time to feed your skin some luscious serum! I use this recipe first thing after showering in the morning and again before bed. I find it especially helpful for dry or sensitive skin, but feel free to play with other carrier oils and essential oils to craft a serum that is perfect for you.
MOISTURIZING SKIN SERUM RECIPE
Carrier Oil Base
- 2 oz. organic jojoba oil or organic sunflower oil
- 1 oz. organic tamanu oil
- 1 oz. organic rosehip seed oil
- ½ oz. organic pomegranate seed oil
- ½ tsp vitamin E oil
- 10-20 drops organic lavender essential oil
- 5-10 drops organic carrot seed essential oil
- 2-5 drops organic ylang-ylang essential oil (optional)
Pour all carrier oils together into a glass bottle and roll between your palms to mix. Carefully drip each essential oil into the carrier base and roll again to distribute. Use less essential oils if you have skin or fragrance sensitivities. Invert the bottle several times and roll again. Use a coin-sized amount as a facial serum or allover body oil each day.
There is no point in stretching the truth…I am 60 years old and while I have tried to take good care of my skin over the years, my skin-care strategy is evolving as my body ages.As a teenager and young adult, it was all about absorbing extra oil and striving for blemish-free skin. Throughout my thirties and early forties, I used a water-based moisturizing cream with sunscreen daily, and that worked well to help combat the rigors of a busy life.
Recently, I’m finding my skin needs a bit more nourishment and moisture and I’ve been working on creating face and skin treatments that have more of the good oils and concentrated botanicals to meet the requirements of my ever-aging skin. I never would have dreamt of putting oils directly on my face when I was 21, but now my skin seems to soak it all in—leaving my face feeling soft and nourished.
I’ve been reading a great deal lately about the benefits of green tea antioxidants as one of Nature’s many gifts, especially in skin care applications. I thought I might give it a try and use it as a base for a skin serum created specifically for more “seasoned” skin…
Green Sencha Skin Serum
This recipe makes approximately 1 cup of skin serum, which is quite a bit! You can use this as a whole body oil or divide it up and share. The recipe is also easy to half or quarter if you’d like to make a smaller amount.
The first step is to create an infused oil. I used about 1 cup of organic Green Sencha Leaf Tea and covered it completely with organic olive oil in a 1-pint mason-type jar. Allow this to infuse for 4-6 weeks, shaking regularly and making sure the tea stays completely covered with oil. After infusing, strain. Compost the tea.
- ½ cup organic green tea infused organic olive oil
- ¼ cup organic avocado oil
- ¼ cup organic jojoba oil
- 1/8 cup organic sunflower oil
- 12 drops organic rosemary essential oil
- 12 drops organic lavender essential oil
- 8 drops organic geranium essential oil
- 4 drops organic myrtle essential oil
- Combine all ingredients in a glass jar and shake well to combine.
- Pour into a dark amber or cobalt blue bottle or jar to protect from light and store in a cool, dark place. This does not need to be refrigerated.
- Apply by pouring a small amount in the palm of your hand and gently spread on your face using non-dominant fingers (avoid using your pointer finger or thumb as they put more pressure on your skin.)
- You can also use a dropper to collect the oil for application.