Friday, September 22, 2006

Facial oils/serums, scars, and discoloration (Natural Skin Care)


What is a serum, and how do you make one?

Basically a serum is a type of moisturizer for your skin that is a liquid, and often jammed packed with ingredients that contain a lot of vitamins and nutrients. There are many kinds of serums. Serums are usually oil based or water based. Some contain both oils and waters. They can be used under or over or in place of creams and lotions, depending on the serum. They differ from creams and lotions in that they are usually not made with emulsifiers, hence are liquid. However there are some made with emulsifiers, and those are usually a little thicker like gels. They are often lighter in weight than creams and lotions, and are seen as special treatment products.

I haven't made a water based serum yet, but I have made oil based serums which are basically made with carrier oils and essential oils. Oil based serums are also called facial oils.

A basic formula for an oil based serum:

1 ounce of carrier oil for your skin type
6-12 drops of essential oils for your skin type
a few drops of vitamin E

To a 1 ounce colored glass bottle, add 6-12 drops of essential oils, and then fill the bottle with a carrier oil. This will make a 1-2% concentration of essential oil. For people with sensitive skin, you may want to use less than 6 drops of essential oil. For women who are pregnant, or people who have medical conditions please consult with a doctor and aromatherapist before use.

Where do I buy facial serums?

If you would rather buy them than make them, Mountain Rose Herbs and Nature's Gift both sell many excellent oil based serums. Garden of Wisdom sells several water based serums. Aubrey Organic sells two night creams (a green tea one and a rose hip/shea butter one) that are more like gel-like serums than creams. I LOVE the AO night creams. Burt's Bees sells an awesome oil based serum called "repair serum" that contains rosehip seed oil, green tea extract, and lavender and neroli essential oils.

What carrier oils and essential oils can I use to improve the clarity of my skin, and help with discoloration/scars?

To improve the health of your skin, I suggest camellia oil (which is from the green tea plant) which is good for all skin types (it is one of the lightest oils and soaks in immediately). To help with the discoloration, try rosehip seed oil which is good for healing old and new scars, so may help with discoloration also. It is usually used for dry to normal skin (and should not be used on skin with acne) so you should probably mix it with another oil.

For essential oils, I recommend helichrysum essential oil. Other essential oils that are good to regenerate the skin are lavender, neroli, frankincense and petitgrain.

A classic aromatherapy serum is rosehip seed oil with helichrysum essential oil.

Rosehip seed oil is usually a carrier oil but you can also get the CO2 extract as well.

Also good product for scars is shea butter

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