Beeswax: Serves as a protectant, skin healer, softener, and antibacterial.
- Acting as a surfactant, beeswax, when blended with other skin lotions, forms a protective barrier on the surface of the skin. This barrier provides a film of protection against irritants while still allowing the skin to breathe.
- This barrier may also aid in protecting the tender skin on your lips. The Mayo Clinic recommends using a lip balm that contains beeswax during cold weather to reduce your chances of developing chapped lips. I sometimes use this lotion on my lips!
- In its natural state, beeswax is firm but pliable. Melted and combined with other ingredients, beeswax adds body to skin care products, making creams thicker. Like other beehive products, including honey and royal jelly, beeswax offers anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antiviral benefits, making it potentially beneficial for treating minor skin irritations.
- Dry, rough skin may benefit from creams, lotions or soaps that contain beeswax. When added to skin care products, beeswax acts as an emollient and a humectant, drawing moisture to the skin and sealing it in. Beeswax also contains vitamin A, which may be beneficial in softening and rehydrating dry skin and in cell reconstruction.
- Beeswax may have mild antibacterial properties, according to a 2005 study conducted at Dubai Specialized Medical Center in the United Arab Emirates. Researchers combined honey, olive oil and beeswax, then applied the mixture to laboratory plates on which the bacteria, Staphylococcus aureus, and the fungus, Candida albicans were growing. The honey/beeswax mixture inhibited the growth of the bacteria and fungus, making beeswax, along with honey, potentially beneficial in the treatment of diaper rash and other bacterial skin conditions.
- Thanks to its antibacterial agents, beeswax has a long history of being used for certain skin issues. Historically, this has included treating burns and wounds. Nowadays, it’s used to soothe symptoms of certain skin conditions, such as psoriasis and eczema (dermatitis).
- A small 2003 study found that the daily application of a honey mixture to the skin of people with dermatitis or psoriasis led to a significant improvement in both conditions over 2 weeks. For this mixture, they combined equal parts raw honey, beeswax, and olive oil (1:1:1 ratio).
- A 2018 study even found that natural products, such as beeswax, were far superior to the management of sensitive skin than skincare products with synthetic ingredients.
Natural products minimized the chances of skin irritation while still providing soothing benefits. Using beeswax on your skin may be just what your skincare routine needs. It’s ideal for moisturizing sensitive skin, hydrating the skin, and soothing certain skin conditions.
- Lanolin is derived from the grease extracted from sheep’s wool. It offers impressive benefits for the skin. “Its molecular structure most closely resembles that of human skin lipids,” says Kirsten Carriol, founder of Lanolips (lanolips.com), an award-winning range of lanolin-based treatment products. “Also, it’s a semi-occlusive breathable barrier, so it protects and absorbs at the same time. And once it penetrates into the skin, it holds up to 400 times its weight in water, so it’s a fantastic moisture reservoir for skin.” In short, lanolin works double-duty; it both moisturizes skin from the outside, and helps the skin to moisturize itself from within. The result: baby-soft skin.
- Lanolin has been used as a moisturizer since Ancient Greek times and possibly before. It wasn’t until the 1960s that it began to garner a bad name for itself, with consumers reporting allergies to lanolin. It is now known that the real culprit was modern, pesticide-laden farming practices! If lanolin is not highly processed and purified, traces of such chemicals remain in the lanolin – with the potential to trigger allergic reactions down the line. Changes in these practices, as well as developments in processing technology, have allowed for much purer lanolin to hit the market. It’s worth noting that hospitals use medical-grade lanolin on open wounds!
- Lanolin can hold up to twice its weight in water, which means it’s fantastic at keeping moisture trapped within the skin.
- Lanolin reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles! Since lanolin does retain so much moisture, it tends to plump the skin and fill in fine lines and wrinkles, which makes it successful when companies formulate anti-aging products.
- If you are allergic to wool, take caution with using any lanolin product since it is wool-derived!
- Shea butter is a plant lipid that comes from African shea tree nuts and is rich in fatty acids, antioxidants, and vitamins. Shea butter’s polyphenols—antioxidants—have anti-aging benefits and properties similar to those found in green tea. Shea butter also contains five essential fatty acids (a major amount coming from stearic and oleic acids), a category which includes phytosterols, vitamins E and D, allantoin (good for healing skin irritations), and vitamin A. It may also offer mild UV protection (up to SPF ~6)
- Shea Butter is great for hydration and calms the skin. It goes into the skin well and protects the face and body from extreme temperatures.
- Shea butter is used to help moisturize, nourish, and soothe the skin. It is great for dry skin and can create softer, hydrated, plumper skin, especially during the dry winter months. Shea butter is also found in many lip balms to help with chapped lips as well as moisturizers that help prevent stretch marks.
- It helps fade scars both from acne and non-acne-related causes in addition to healing sunburned, cracked, and peeling skin. It soothes skin allergies like poison ivy and insect bites, as well as skin conditions like contact dermatitis and psoriasis. Short of an allergic reaction, shea butter is also extremely safe—the Environmental Working Group classifies it as non-toxic.
- The combination of components in shea butter also help neutralize free radical damage, which reduces fine lines and wrinkles and fades age spots. It also stimulates collagen production too, so your skin will be working at reversing signs of aging from the outside in and the inside out.
- Even people who are allergic to tree nuts, the family that shea nuts belong to, have a low risk of reaction to shea butter on their face. Researchers believe this is because shea nuts contain little of the tree-nut proteins that trigger allergies. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t any risks to using it. Given the consistency of shea butter, it’s likely to be comedogenic but research is not available either way for this claim.
- A 2010 study found that due to its cinnamic acid and other natural properties, shea butter was anti-inflammatory. One compound in particular, lupeol cinnamate, was found to reduce skin inflammation and even potentially help avoid skin mutations. This also makes it beneficial for some people with acne.
- Coconut oil is a highly saturated oil that is traditionally made by extracting the oil from raw coconuts or dried coconut kernels. At room temperature it’s solid, but when heated it can soften or even melt. It’s frequently used in cooking or applied directly to the skin and hair.
- Coconut oil is rich in medium-chain fatty acids, which are a form of saturated fat. In fact, these medium-chain fatty acids make up about 65% of its total composition. The fatty acids found in coconut oil include Lauric acid: 49%, Myristic acid: 18%, Caprylic acid: 8%, Palmitic acid: 8%, Capric acid: 7%, Oleic acid: 6%, Linoleic acid: 2%, Stearic acid: 2%.
- Although coconut oil is about 90% saturated fat, it does contain small amounts of mono and polyunsaturated fats as well. One tablespoon contains about 12 grams of saturated fat and 1 gram of unsaturated fat (5).
- The medium-chain fatty acids in coconut oil have antimicrobial properties that can help protect against harmful microorganisms. This is especially important for skin health, as many types of skin infections, including acne, cellulitis, folliculitis and athlete’s foot, are caused by bacteria or fungi. Applying coconut oil directly to the skin may prevent the growth of these microorganisms. This is due to its lauric acid content, which makes up nearly 50% of the fatty acids in coconut oil and can fight harmful microorganisms.
- One study tested the antibacterial properties of 30 types of fatty acids against 20 different strains of bacteria. Lauric acid was found to be the most effective at blocking the growth of bacteria.
- Another test-tube study showed that lauric acid can kill off Propionibacterium acnes, a type of bacteria that leads to the development of inflammatory acne.
- Chronic inflammation is a major component of many different types of skin disorders, including psoriasis, contact dermatitis and eczema. Coconut oil has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties. In one study, researchers applied virgin coconut oil to the inflamed ears of rats. Not only was coconut oil found to have an anti-inflammatory effect, but it relieved pain as well.
- Grapeseed oil is made by pressing the seeds of grapes (Vitis vinifera), which believe it or not contain fatty acids. These are the same grapes used to make wine and grape juice, which are both high in antioxidants just like grapeseed oil and grapeseed extract are.
- Health-promoting compounds found in this oil include not only polyunsaturated fats, but also phytochemicals including proanthocyanidins, pycogeneol, tocopherol, linolenic acid and others, which research shows have powerful antioxidant effects.
- Grapeseed oil has a very high content of PUFAs, (Poly Unsaturated Fatty Acids) in the range of 85–90 percent. Linoleic acid is the most abundant fatty acid in cold-pressed grapeseed oils and has been found to play a direct role in maintaining the integrity of the water permeability barrier of the skin.
- According to a 2010 study investigating the effects of popular natural moisturizers, it the pycogeneol content in grapeseed oil that is responsible for many of its cosmetic uses.
- The high concentration of PUFAs contribute to grapeseed oil’s hydrating qualities. It’s high Vitamin E content and high absorbability mean less of a greasy residue being left behind on skin. Those who are prone to acne or who have oily skin will find that it is less likely to leave behind a shine or clog pores.
- One small study published in the journal Phytotherapy Research found evidence that grapeseed extract (GSE) taken in pill form could help treat chloasma/melasma, a condition that causes skin hyperpigmentation and is often difficult to treat. The antioxidant proanthocyanidin is believed to contribute to the oil’s skin lightening effects.
Within 6 months of taking GSE, symptoms improved at least slightly in 10 of the 12 women (83 percent). Researchers involved in the study also noted that GSE may prevent the condition from becoming worse prior to the summer season, when sun exposure can exacerbate symptoms.
- Grapeseed makes a good, inexpensive massage oil for all skin types and is found in many massage therapy spaces.
- Aloe Vera, the modest houseplant is a ‘miracle,’ wonder plant, often hiding in plain sight. Having been around and used as a medicinal herb, it nourishes the body from the inside – it is rich in nutrients, aids in improving digestion and even boosts immunity. Aloe Vera can be used topically too, i.e., it’s gel can be used to enhance one’s skin, especially the face and the hair.
- In conventional medicine, aloe vera is used as a topical gel, which is made from the gel-like substance inside the plant’s leaves. It’s also possible to use the leaves directly by breaking them apart and pressing out the gel.
- Aloe vera has a long list of uses for everything from burns, sunburns, abrasions, cuts, dry skin, cold sores, eczema, psoriasis, and acne. Aloe Vera gel has cooling properties and is anti-inflammatory. It’s a great skin burn treatment. It also helps to speed up skin cell reproduction as much as eight times. Aloe Vera is also known to penetrate the epidermis, i.e., the outer layer of the skin faster than water.
- Aloe Vera gel has vitamin C and E, beta-carotene in abundance. Therefore, it has anti-aging properties. It also has antimicrobial properties and is anti-inflammatory. It helps to eradicate skin blemishes and diminish age lines. Additionally, it helps to increase the production of collagen in the body and skin elasticity.
- Aloe Vera gel helps in activating new hair growth as it increases the blood circulation to the scalp. It also provides essential minerals and vitamins. Aloe Vera contains proteolytic enzymes that help repair dead skin on the scalp.
ESSENTIAL OILS of Lavender, Ylang, Citrus, and Basil.