6. Rose Oil
There are over 250 species of roses, but the most valued by far is the Rosa Damascena. There are two types of rose oil that can be created from the petals, Rose Otto and Rose Absolute. Both have vast amounts of therapeutic properties. It takes over 9 kg of rose petals to create enough essential oil to fill one 5mL bottle, but it’s highly concentrated, so a little goes a very long way. Rose Otto oil is extracted by steam distillation and is considered the best essential oil to use when treating the signs of aging. This oil is generally much more expensive than others due to the large amounts of petals involved in making it, but with so many benefits, it’s worth the high price.
Rose oil has antidepressant, antispasmodic, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and astringent properties. It’s a cicatrizant, which means it promotes cell recycling and regeneration. This makes it desirable for healing scars, stretchmarks and wrinkles. Rose oil is also extremely good at retaining the skins natural moisture, thanks to the emollient properties.
Using rose oil topically can relieve redness while providing protection against wrinkle formation and refining skin texture. Rose oil contains omega 3 and 6 essential fatty acids and trans retinoic acid, and when inhaled or used in aromatherapy, it lowers the stress hormone, cortisol.
When applied to the face, it creates a plump, youthful effect and increases skin permeability by opening your pores and allowing the moisture to penetrate far beneath the skins surface. To fight wrinkles and crow’s feet, dab a few drops of oil underneath the eyes and around the temples. Not only will this rehydrate the skin, it’ll help you feel calm and relaxed.
7. Geranium Oil
Geranium oil is often used in holistic treatments to improve physical, mental and emotional health. Extracted using steam distillation from the stems and leaves of the geranium shrub, it shares many of the therapeutic traits found in rose essential oil, however it is much cheaper. This oil can effectively treat acne and reduce inflammation of the skin, as well as alleviate anxiety and balance hormones. It’s also used to treat depression and alleviate symptoms of menopause, poor circulation, low blood pressure, while promoting good kidney and dental health.
Geranium oil is a cicatrizant and an astringent, like rose oil. It can also be used as a deodorant, and is a cytophalactic. This means it stimulates new cell generation and encourages recycling of dead cells, promoting fresh, youthful skin. It’s this component that can also prevent muscles and skin from sagging, and can tighten the delicate skin on the face. Like other essential oils, it contains antibacterial, antiseptic, antifungal and antioxidant properties. And, like other essential oils, it should not be applied directly to the skin without first being mixed with a carrier oil.
This oil is not advisable for pregnant or lactating women, or babies and young children due to their delicate skin. In extremely rare cases it can have sensitizing effects on treated areas, but generally it’s a highly effective treatment for fine lines and wrinkles. Add one or two drops to facial lotion and apply twice daily for optimum results.
8. Carrot Seed Oil
Carrot seed essential oil has been used in traditional medicine for many years and comes from the dried seeds of wild carrots that are commonly found in Europe. Scientifically known as daucus carota, it also goes by the name ‘Queen Anne’s Lace’ and is rich in carotene and vitamin A, which are both extremely powerful antioxidants and incredibly beneficial for healthy eyesight.
When used on the skin, the antioxidants in carrot seed oil can repair and prevent a lot of damage caused by oxidants and aging. These antioxidants also protect the skin from various problems like aching joints, muscle weakness, and deteriorating eyesight.
Carrot seed is by far the most underrated essential oil. It stimulates the sweat glands, cleans out pores, repairs damaged skin, heals wounds, reverses age spots, nourishes and tightens the skin, and can also double as a mild self-tanning lotion – giving your skin a youthful, radiant glow. Containing vitamins E and C, this oil can firm the skin and reduce appearance of cellulite, and it’s also extremely effective in treating wounds, gangrene, ulcers, psoriasis and other dermatological issues.
A few drops of carrot seed essential oil can be added to tea and juice to provide a detoxifying effect on the blood, muscles and internal organs like the kidney and liver, however if you suffer from epilepsy or asthma, it’s best to avoid. It can be used to stimulate lactation in breastfeeding mothers, though you should consult your doctor before use. Known for that somewhat unpleasant carrot-y scent, try mixing it with a few drops of a more fragrant essential oil such as lavender, before adding it to lotions and creams.
9. Neroli Oil
Neroli is one of the lesser known essential oils, yet one of the most effective. Steam distilled from flowers of the bitter orange tree, the blooms are handpicked by the thousands in order to avoid crushing the delicate petals. Neroli essential oil was named after the Italian Princess Anna Maria de La Tremoille of Nerola, who favored it for its varied and powerful uses.
Neroli essential oil is highly effective in uplifting and soothing an agitated state of mind. When used in aromatherapy, neroli can calm nerves, lower cortisol levels, and reduce blood pressure. The antioxidant properties promote cell revitalization and improve skin elasticity, which is effective in treating wrinkles, fine lines and stretchmarks.
Though there is more research to be conducted, neroli oil is found to be similar to most other essential oils in that it contains antiseptic, antidepressant, bactericidal, cicatrising, cytophylactic, deodorizing and emollient properties. It has strong sedative qualities, and is also an aphrodisiac. Neroli is also one of the few essential oils that is non-phototoxic, which means it doesn’t damage the skin when exposed to light.
It’s considered very safe for use on sensitive skin, though it should never be used undiluted. The soothing effects can aid the most damaged skin types thanks to the richness in vitamin C which supports collagen production and gives a healthy glow, it also makes skin supple and is ideal for oily, blemished skin. Try adding a few drops to facial serums to aid in the reduction of broken capillaries and wrinkles.
10. Myrrh Oil
Myrrh comes from the resin of Commiphora myrrha, a plant found in Africa and the Middle East, and has been used in traditional healing therapies for many different things from dental hygiene to deep meditation. Botanically related to frankincense, the word myrrh comes from the Arabic ‘murr’, meaning bitter, and though it may look unsightly, it’s one of the most popular essential oils for many reasons.
There are two main compounds in myrrh that have made it a favorite for essential oil; terpenoids and sesquiterpenes. Both have strong anti-inflammatory qualities and are packed full of anti-oxidants, which makes myrrh incredibly potent and nutrient-dense. Sesquiterpenes also affect the hypothalamus, known as the brain’s emotional center, which makes myrrh an effective aid in treatment of mental and emotional issues.
The antibacterial and anti-fungal properties of myrrh promote tissue repair and prevent infections, especially for gum and mouth diseases when used as a mouthwash. Modern scientists theorize myrrh has anti-carcinogenic and anti-tumor properties as there have been promising studies that show a positive reduction in cancer cells, though much more research is required.
There are a few set-backs though – if you’ve got sensitive skin, be wary as myrrh can bring on inflammation or dermatitis. Similarly, pregnant women should avoid this essential oil as it can cause uterine contractions. And if you’re using it for a mouthwash be careful – it’s effective, but too much can cause an upset stomach.
Essential oils can work wonders in treating all the signs of aging and other skin conditions, but like any new treatment, it’s best to consult with your doctor prior to use. Easy enough to squeeze into your beauty routine and with seemingly endless effects and positive results, it’s no wonder essential oils have fast become one of the most effective natural remedies when treating the signs of aging.