Essential oils that mimic the effects of estrogen are beneficial to the health of mature skin. Perhaps because natural estrogen production declines over time, these oils continue to provide the skin with a youthful hormonal environment. Two oils that should be considered are Clary Sage and Sweet Fennel. Various authorities cite both as being exceptionally important for aging skin. Clary Sage is soft, sweet, and herbaceous, with an aroma that some consider euphoric. Sweet Fennel is aromatically slightly more robust and is recommended for “anti-wrinkle” formulas for any age. You can decide purely based on your personal aromatic preference whether to use one of these estrogen-imitating oils.
A couple of lesser-known but very effective skincare specialties are Cistus and Sea Buckthorn. Cistus is distilled from the Rock Rose’s flower, with astringent properties used to firm the skin. Some Cistus varieties have a somewhat medicinal aroma, but the excellent ones are sweet and seductive. Sea buckthorn is pleasantly sweet and should be considered for blends for all skin types. Found as a CO2 distillation (not to be confused with the cold-pressed Sea Buckthorn carrier oil), the essential oil has a deep red color, indicating its high concentration of carotenes, vitamin A precursors so important to skin health. Users praise sea buckthorn with a wide variety of skin conditions and types at any age – it is useful in very small amounts and only needs to make up 1% of your recipe to enjoy its benefits.
Then there is the time-tested French Lavender – Lavendula Angustifolia – the essential oil that started the modern aromatherapy revolution with the discovery of its almost miraculous healing power. Lavender is balancing, gentle and regenerating. It can be added to your blend in any concentration. Its sweet and floral aroma is loved by many, but if you find it too sweet, and are looking for a powerful regenerative essential oil, try Helichrysum. Helichrysum contains regenerative molecules unique to this plant alone, with a warmer, slightly spicy, and herbaceous aroma. Helichrysum only needs to be used in small amounts and may otherwise overpower other oils aromatically. Furthermore, Helichrysum is very mild and is even mentioned to be applied undiluted directly to the skin for acute healing needs.
Making your blend is a simple and enjoyable process. Simple, because you only need to choose the essential oils you want to use and add them in equal amounts – 10 drops of each essential oil per ounce of base oil is a perfect start. Pleasant, because the essential oils smell so wonderful! You can’t help but keep inhaling their aroma as you prepare a formula. Essential oils ARE powerful; it is best to limit your total essential oil concentration to less than five percent of the entire mixture. This equates to 30 drops of essential oil per ounce of carrier. If you use more than three essential oils (i.e., more than ten drops of each of three types), limit each essential oil amount so that the final volume per ounce is less than 30 drops.
Many of the oils listed here are found in blends for women, but there is no rule preventing men from using them. For an aroma that a man can appreciate, deeper, earthy essential oils can be used. Sandalwood, Frankincense, and Myrrh are all essential oils known for their beneficial effects on mature skin. Also, for any gender, it is undoubtedly an option to use essential oils for their fragrance and not just for their therapeutic properties. Since a person’s emotional health is often clearly reflected in their skin condition, it is more than likely that there is a benefit beyond just smelling good! Just be aware that there are a few oils that are best not used on the face; these are some of the spicier oils – cinnamon, oregano, clove, and thyme varieties; cold-pressed citrus oils such as lime, lemon, orange, and bergamot should also be avoided for facial care, as these oils can make the skin extra sensitive to UV light.
Making your therapeutic skincare blend is a beautiful aromatherapy project for both novice and advanced practitioners. You’ll have an effective blend made specifically for your skin type, which you can modify in the future to suit your needs. Plus, it’s fun to do and easier on the wallet than expensive commercial formulations. As always, when you begin using these remedies from nature, be aware of your body’s reactions to the oils, respect their potency, and most importantly, have fun!