"Don't forget the vaseline!" These are the words that my Mum shouted whenever we were packing to go anywhere… no, really. For a long time, I actually used Vaseline on my face, because let’s face it… when you need that deeply moisturised feeling, it’s really good at giving it to you. Optimally if you wanted really soft skin you could soak in a bathtub for 40 minutes and then cover yourself in petroleum jelly, but who has time for that? So why is petroleum jelly so good for your skin? It’s because it’s an occlusive, it quite literally creates a barrier around your skin that keeps water from evaporating out. It’s important to note that all skin is hygroscopic, which means it takes water from the air and from the foods and liquids we consume.
If you’re particularly eco in your skincare, you might not want to use petroleum jelly, after all it is a by-product of petroleum. Also, unless you’re in the EU where they mandate that companies that use it be able to prove that it is non-carcinogenic, you can’t be entirely sure what you’re getting. While a lot of you might be wondering why I am going off on this, it’s because you may be using it without knowing. When it’s listed on an ingredient list it’s normally called petrolatum.
You can of course pivot to something else that says it is oil free then you’d want to be on the lookout for dimethicone, which is a man made chemical. It isn’t bad for your skin, but it is awful for the environment! You know sometimes when you get into the shower and you can feel that silky feeling, from the lotion you put on the day before? In most cases that means your lotion contains dimethicone and depending on the route that your water is disposed of it can actually affect plant and fish life.
I know I have just made you wonder about half your skincare products. There are great natural alternatives to dimethicone and petroleum. For instance, Jojoba oil, Avocado oil and both shea and coco butters provide the very same barrier forming moisture that allows your skin to hold onto the hydration it has.
How this relates to essential oils and your face?
Well, some essential oils actually have the ability not just to be occlusive but also humectants. Which means they not only stop the hydration from evaporating from your skin, but they also pull water up through your dermis and from the air if you live in a humid environment. This masking and moisturising ability is what makes it so essential in fighting ageing skin. If you haven’t looked at essential oil blends as a way to moisturise, now is the time to start.
Feeling unsure about using Essential Oils in your skincare regime, check our FAQ’s featuring questions from our actual customers.