Wrinkles are a natural by product of aging, although causes for premature wrinkles have been identified by the medical community. In either case they are a cause of low self esteem and both men and women seek to lessen their appearance or even prevent them from occurring in the first place. Whether through over the counter topical treatments or costly and painful procedures in a doctor’s office such as Botox injections, face lifts, or even laser surgery or chemical peals, it is clear that the anti wrinkle industry is a booming business. However, before investing even more money and time on these products and procedures, it is well worth your time to consider other, more natural and less intrusive measures in combating wrinkles. Essential oils have recently begun to attract attention as a powerful weapon in the fight against wrinkles.
The Causes of Wrinkles
Wrinkles occur naturally as we get older. As we age, our skin loses elasticity and consequently becomes more fragile. The body starts to produce less oil which helps to naturally moisturize skin, leaving it dry which magnifies the appearance of wrinkles. Related to this, habitual facial expressions such as squinting or frowning can also lead to wrinkles and fine lines over time – as the skin’s elasticity is diminished, and so it can no longer spring back into place. However, there are also additional causes that lead to the premature aging of the skin, including wrinkles. Exposure to ultraviolet light is one of the most common factors which contributes to the premature wrinkling of skin. UV radiation breaks down the skin’s collagen and elastin fibers, which in turn decreases the flexibility and strength of your skin, causing it to droop and sag. Smoking, too, can promote early wrinkles. There are over four thousand chemicals in tobacco smoke, many of which can cause damage to collagen and elasticity. Again, when collagen and elasticity begin to wane, the sagging of skin and wrinkles quickly follow.
Current Wrinkle and Fine Line Treatment Options
Persons seeking to minimize the appearance of wrinkles invest not only in over the counter creams and lotions, but even more extreme measures have been taken by many, despite the often prohibitive cost of such procedures. A recent report projects that the anti-aging market will reach approximately over 216 billion dollars by the year 2021. Yet not only are many of these procedures extremely expensive, they can also have side effects and be quite painful. Consequently, many seeking to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles have turned to the natural, pain free, and relatively inexpensive option of using essential oils to improve the look of their skin. Below is a list of some of the most effective essential oils to use for reducing the appearance of wrinkles, and in some cases to help prevent them from forming in the first place. However, it should be stipulated that these should not be used topically on the skin, and particularly on the sensitive area of the face, without first diluting them with carrier oils. Carrier oils are neutral oils, and many of them also come with the added benefit of having their own respective anti-wrinkle properties. A particularly good choice is avocado oil – it is rich in vitamin E which functions as an antioxidant and helps to protect the skin from further sun damage. Rosehip seed oil increases the production of skin turnover because it contains vitamins E, C, D and a form of vitamin A which help to combat free radicals. Indeed, a recent double-blinded study concluded that the consumption of rosehip powder significantly reduced the appearance of wrinkles and improved skin elasticity. Grapeseed oil contains a large amount of lipids and essential fatty acids that help to moisturize skin and keep it supple. It is also rich in vitamin E and proanthocyanidins, both of which are antioxidants. Regardless of which carrier oil you chose to dilute the essential oils, it is nonetheless an important step to take prior to topical application. While essential oils are all natural, some can be quite potent and may cause irritation to sensitive skin. The best ones to help you get started on your wrinkle reduction regime are listed below.
Geranium Essential Oil
Geranium essential oil is known for its rose-like scent, and has been used as far back as the time of the ancient Egyptians to treat a wide variety of conditions, ranging from skin diseases to tumors. In modern day applications it is frequently used in aromatherapy to help increase positive feelings and decrease anxiety. It has recently begun to be topically applied as a skin treatment, in particular for addressing fine lines and wrinkles.
Geranium oil has an astringent effect which helps skin tissue to tighten and contract, which in turn significantly reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It increases new cell growth and improves circulation all of which can help diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Moreover, it contains antioxidant properties which help to slow down the process of skin aging which in turn helps to prevent the spread and appearance of further fine lines and wrinkles.
A clinical study concluded that geranium essential oil also helped to reduce skin inflammation, which can further draw attention to lines on the face. In addition to reducing the appearance of wrinkles, geranium oil also can be used to help treat age spots (the partner in crime of wrinkles and fine lines as we age). Topical application promotes an even distribution of melanin, which is the pigment that causes skin darkening. Moreover, geranium oil pulls moisture from below the skin’s surface and keeps it there, helping to plump out wrinkles and fine lines.
How to Use Geranium Essential Oil in Treating Wrinkles and Fine Lines
Geranium oil can be applied topically, either by adding a few drops to your regular moisturizer and wearing it throughout the day, or by creating a mask to leave on for about twenty minutes. To do this combine one part geranium oil with three parts carrier oil, mix well, and apply to your face with your fingers or a cotton ball, avoiding getting the mixture in your eyes. After twenty minutes, rinse this off and follow your normal skin routine. You can also create a refreshing mist by combining 12 drops of germanium oil and thirty millilitres of water in a spray bottle. This can be spritzed onto the problematic areas a few times a day.
Frankincense Essential Oil
Frankincense oil is derived from the resin of the Boswellia carterii or Boswellia sacara tree which is commonly grown in Somalia. It has been used to treat ailments such as colds, pain caused by inflammation, and indigestion. When used topically to help treat fine lines and wrinkles, the oil protects existing skin as well as promotes the growth of new skin cells. This in turn can help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Moreover, it also has strong astringent properties which help to tighten skin, thus reducing unsightly skin folds.
Frankincense Essential Oil in Treating Wrinkles and Fine Lines
Mix six drops of this oil to one ounce of a carrier oil and apply directly to problem areas with your finger or a cotton ball. Let it sit for about twenty minutes before washing it off and proceeding with your normal skin car routine. You can also add six drops per ounce of your normal moisturizer, and apply morning and night as you usually would.
Clary Sage Essential Oil
Clary sage oil is derived from steam distillation of the leaves of the salvia sclarea plant native to Europe. Users of Clary Sage have claimed to receive numerous benefits from it, from alleviating the symptoms of depression, calming an upset stomach, and as a powerful remedy for headaches and migraines. Its use in the treatment of ache also boasts numerous applications. It has antiseptic and astringent properties, which can help to tighten and firm skin. Firmer skin helps reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Because of its antioxidant properties it can help to provide protection from free radical damage which can damage skin cells, increasing the aging look of skin.
How to Use Clary Sage Essential Oil in Treating Wrinkles and Fine Lines
Clary sage is particularly effective when added to your regular moisturizer and worn throughout the day. Alternatively, you can dilute it with a carrier oil and massage it gently into the problem areas before washing off.
Sandalwood Essential Oil
Sandalwood essential oil is extracted primarily through steam distillation. This is a process in which super heated steam is passed through the powdered wood. The steam helps to release and carry away the essential oil that is locked in the cellular structure of the wood. It has been used to combat a host of different ailments and issues, including as a sleep aid, as a treatment for acne, and as a pain reliever. It contains antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and astringent properties. The latter is what partly contributes to its efficacy in fighting the look of fine lines and wrinkles. It also sesquiterpene compounds which help increase blood circulation which is also helps improve the look of aged skin.
How to Use Sandalwood Essential Oil in Treating Wrinkles and Fine Lines
Apply two to three drops to your normal moisturizer, mixing well. This can be applied both in the morning and at night. Alternatively, you can create a mask with four drops of sandalwood oil, two drops of rose essential oil and one ounce of carrier oil. Apply liberally to the problem areas, and allow to soak in for twenty minutes before washing off.
Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender oil has been used in many natural home remedies, and it has an inviting scent. It not only moisturizes the skin which can help reduce the look of fine lines and wrinkles, but it also absorbs deep into the skin to promote healing from the inside by helping proper cellular function. It helps to regenerate skin cells which increases the rate of new skin turnover. In helping facilitate circulation it improves the appearance of the skin by delivering nutrients and oxygen which help promote firmer skin.
How to Use Lavender Essential Oil in Treating Wrinkles and Fine Lines
You can apply two to three drops of lavender to your regular moisturizer, and apply this as your normally would in the morning and evening. Soaking in a bath containing five to ten drops of lavender oil for ten to twenty minutes will allow the whole body to absorb the oil. It can also be mixed in a one to one ratio with a carrier oil and applied directly to wrinkles and fine lines, and then wash after twenty minutes. In addition to this, lavender oil can also be used to help minimize the look of age spots. Combine this oil with frankincense essential oil and apply topically to the trouble spots in the morning before washing your face and before going to bed for optimal results.
Neroli Essential Oil
Neroli essential oil is extracted from the flower petals of the orange tree, and consequently has a very appealing scent. It has been used to reduce stress, decrease blood pressure and to help alleviate headaches. It has many properties which make it an excellent candidate to help reduce the look of fine lines and wrinkles. It adds elasticity to skin, which can help reduce and even prevent fine lines and wrinkles. Neroli oil is also an excellent moisturizer, which can help plump out the skin to make it look smoother. It helps to stimulate the growth of skin cells which can also help reduce unsightly lines on the face.
How to Use Neroli Essential Oil in Treating Wrinkles and Fine Lines
Mix a few drops of this oil with a carrier oil and gently massage it into the problem areas of the skin. Allow it to soak in for twenty minutes before washing off. You can also dilute a few drops of Neroli oil with water in a spray bottle and mist it on your fine lines and wrinkles a few times a day.
Myrrh Essential Oil
Myrrh was once considered to be so valuable that it was deemed to be worth its weight in gold. Myrrh essential oil is derived from the resin of the Myrrh tree, and has been used for centuries to treat a multitude of different ailments and symptoms, from treating emotional balance, bronchitis, and toothaches. It has several properties which make it a good choice in treating fine lines and wrinkles. It has antioxidant components which help to eliminate free radicals (which produce chemical reactions that break down collagen and other skin proteins) and potentially reverse oxidative change.
How to Use Myrrh Essential Oil in Treating Wrinkles and Fine Lines
Apply a few drops to your regular moisturizer and apply as you normally would. You can also add a few drops to a carrier oils and massage into the problem areas before washing off.
Patchouli Essential Oil
Patchouli oil is derived from the bushy herb of the same name, and is a close relative of the mint and lavender family. It is regularly used in the perfume industry, as well as used in aromatherapy to help with anxiety and depression and applied topically to help treat fungal infections. Patchouli oil has astringent, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory properties which help make it a powerful weapon in the fight against fine lines and wrinkles. As an astringent, it helps to tighten and firm skin, reducing the depth of wrinkles and fine lines. It also helps to rejuvenate skin cells, which leads to younger looking skin.
How to Use Patchouli Essential Oil to Treat Wrinkles and Fine Lines
Add a few drops of this oil to your moisturizer and apply day and night. Alternatively, make a facial mask by diluting patchouli oil with a carrier oil, mixing well, and apply to your face with either your fingers or a cotton ball. Allow the mixture to absorb into your skin for twenty minutes before washing off.
While on their own these oils may not give you over night success, when used in conjunction with a healthy life style, liberal and constant application of sunscreen of SPF 40 or higher, you will soon see results. Always remember to do a test patch of these oils on your wrist prior to apply them to the more sensitive skin area of your face.
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 Mohamed Nadjib Boukhatem, Abdelkrim Kameli, Mohamed Amine Ferhat, Fairouz Saidi, and Maamar Mekarnia. Rose geranium essential oil as a source of new and safe anti-inflammatory drugs,” Libyan J Med (2013); Naho Maruyama, Yuka Sekimoto, Hiroko Ishibashi, Shigeharu Inouye, Haruyuki Oshima, Hideyo Yamaguchi and Shigeru Ab. “Suppression of neutrophil accumulation in mice by cutaneous application of geranium essential oil,” Journal of Inflammation (2005) 2.1