A facial is something most of us have enjoyed at some point in our lives. The reasons for getting a facial can be multiple, either to prepare for a special occasion or to help fight stubborn blackheads. It can also be to retain the vibrancy of youthful skin or as an anti-ageing regime. Whatever the reason, it is an occasion to relax and be pampered. However, the problem most of us face is that we cannot do it as often as we would like - we're always restricted by time, money or other responsibilities.
What if there was a comprehensive solution that does not require frequent visits to the beauty salon? Today, we have more than 90 essential oils, each with its own unique efficacy. Whatever your concerns are, there is an essential oil that is just right for you and when blended with the right carrier oils, the possibilities become exponential to suit every need.
Here's how you can incorporate essential oils into your daily facial regime:
During the day
* Cleanse: Begin the day with an organic natural cleanser. For normal skin, a foaming cleanser with lavender or tea tree essential oils will help revive your skin. Dry skin requires a mild cleansing lotion, with a few drops of chamomile or sandalwood essential oils that lubricate the skin to make it plump and supple. For oily skin, a cleansing gel is the best option combined with neem, cypress or peppermint essential oils. These oils will balance the skin without stimulating the glands that produce more oil.
* Tone: Use an alcohol-free toner that has essential oils such as jasmine or geranium for cutting the excess oil from the skin for the oily skin and for dry skin, look out for myrrh, patchouli or rosemary essential oils for firmness, toning and reducing fine lines.
* Moisturise: Use a natural moisturiser with different combinations of essential oils, depending on your skin type. Organic shea butter with myrrh or cedarwood essential oil would work wonders for dry skin and help retain the moisture. People with oily or combination skin can use a moisturiser that is oil-free such as an aloe vera gel. A few drops of blueberry or orange essential oil in the gel will give it a protective layer to prevent water loss and keep the skin's vibrancy intact.
For the night
* Cleanse: Cleansing the skin to remove dirt, impurities, make-up and excess oil that gets accumulated on the face during the day, is a must. Missing out on this can lead to clogging of pores and accumulation of dead skin that also results in the occurrence of black heads.
* Moisturise: Moisturising is equally important as cleansing. Use the moisturiser as the one used during the day, depending on the skin type. Using a moisturiser closes the open pores and the skin feels rejuvenated.
* Face oils or serums: Applying a face oil or serum at night allows the oils to seep deep into the skin and get completely absorbed to protect, renew or repair the skin cells. For dry skin, serums and facial oils are better for the night use as it penetrates better into the skin.
Oils to look out for are evening primrose oil, rosehip seed, or kukui nut oil combined with carrier oils such as jojoba, almond or argan oil. These are high in anti-oxidants that protect the skin from collagen damage in the night.
For combination skin, face oils work wonders. Lavender, orange, bergamot and geranium essential oils, to name a few, combined with hemp seed oil or almond oil work effectively to restore and regenerate fresh cells for a smoother complexion.
Essential oils can also clear acne-prone skin, blemishes, ageing skin, dark circles, eczema, blackheads and the like. Including essential oils in your daily regime is not only fun and innovative, but also makes it personalised. No more desperate waiting for the monthly facials to look youthful and vibrant.
(The author is co-founder, Naturma)