Do you ever get tired of using a million and one products to treat every single skin issue on the planet? Hyper-pigmentation, scarring, dullness, hydration, acne, redness, the list goes on. What if I told you you could get away with using only ONE moisturizer year round with a few tiny adjustments and it could treat a variety of your skin concerns at any given moment and for a lot less money?
Today’s post is going to show those of you who wish to keep their skincare routine to a minimum how to do just that using 1 moisturizer and a few additives to keep on hand to transform your basic moisturizer into anything you want.
The concept for this is super easy, really. Choose a basic moisturizer that you like, that doesn’t irritate your skin, and keep it super simple. As a basic moisturizer, I’ve been using the Philosophy Keep the Peace Moisturizer as it’s quite basic and includes some nice extracts for keeping the skin calm. Once you’ve chosen your basic moisturizer, you’ll want to pick up a few additives, depending on your skin issues and/or concerns. I’ve listed a few above to give you an idea of the kind of additives you may want to include, but depending on what your concern is, you may need to adjust.
Before I get into anything, please remember to take extreme care when using essential oils in this way. Using them undiluted on the skin can do a lot of damage so know your limits. I am not a doctor, dermatologist, etc. nor am I qualified to give medical advice. I am only sharing what has worked for me and my skin so, if you’re unsure, please consult your primary care physician and/or dermatologist before trying any of these methods as outlined below.
First off, the most basic of the basics is tea tree essential oil. It’s so versatile and it can do a number of things, especially for those who battle breakouts. The first thing you can do is use it as a spot treatment by tapping a very tiny amount directly onto any pimples, blackheads, etc. Another way to use it is if you have a ton of breakouts and you want like an “acne all-over treatment” type moisturizer, mix 1-2 drops of it in with a small amount of your basic moisturizer and apply it liberally on your face, neck, etc. Wherever you’re broken out. It will feel tingly and cooling for a bit, but once it’s dry, it goes away. If not, rinse immediately. Also, this all- over type treatment also works well as a balancer for the skin. It will semi-mattify, but not dry out your skin. If it dries your skin out, you’re using too much essential oil & need to tone down on the amount you’re using.
Another good essential oil for balancing out the skin is also carrot seed essential oil and it’s great for both dry skin and oily skin types because it simply helps balance the skin as opposed to some others like tea tree which might be a little too oil-absorbing instead of balancing for those who have dry skin and acne. I don’t advise this for those who have sensitive skin because using essential oils like this can feel a little intense at first and it may cause you irritation. For everyone else, this may really do your skin some good. If you want to use another essential oil other than tea tree for breakouts, some good ones include rosemary, sage, or frankincense.
Next, if you have pigmentation, scarring or dullness issues, you can use the same 1-2 drops mixed into a small amount of your basic moisturizer to treat those concerns. You can use a number of essential oils such as sandalwood, orange or lemon. Any citrus fruit essential oil variety can be great for brightness. Sandalwood is especially beneficial for those who suffer from acne or who have suffered from it in the past and now deal with scarring because it treats both. Citrus essential oils will brighten skin in the same way that slathering lemon juice all over your skin would help brighten it over time.
Thirdly, if you are battling redness, rosacea, or any kind of irritation or inflammation in the skin, a lot of times, it’s best to simply leave your skin alone. You may have cause some irritation already and you want to let your skin calm down before putting more crap on it. If you absolutely must, you can apply hydrosols and that will be a good alternative. If you have no irritation, but you suffer from a lot of redness anyway, some good essential oils that help calm the skin include chamomile, calendula, lavender, and clary sage. Clary sage can also be beneficial for those who suffer from acne AND have sensitive skin.
Lastly, if you need hydration, mixing a bit of your chosen carrier oil is all your need to get that extra bit. This is especially beneficial in the fall / winter time when skin needs more nourishment due to cold weather, but it’s also good if you have a drier skin type or live in a cold climate. You don’t need to exercise too much caution with carrier oils as they are simply plant oils and not concentrated like essential oils are, but all the same, take care to choose one that’s right for your skin & the season. If you have oily skin, some light oils include grapeseed and sweet almond oil. If you have combination skin, evening primrose and grapeseed are both great. If you have dry skin, olive oil, apricot kernel, avocado and argan are all great choices. If you have normal skin, any will work, but jojoba is solid for those with neutral skin types. Remember, if you’re allergic to nuts, stay away from sweet almond and other nut oils – instead, opt for evening primrose, grapeseed or olive oil. If you have sensitive skin, grapeseed, evening primrose and rosehip all work nicely.
Personally, I use a variety of essential oils in a basic moisturizer if I’ve run out of my favorite products or I need a quick treatment and I have some days to spare before I can re-order products I like. For breakouts and oiliness, I use a bit of moisturizer with tea tree oil or I use a Q tip to spot treat blemishes. It does tingle a bit, but I’m used to it. If I need to calm my skin down, I use the moisturizer by itself with nothing else. If I need more moisture, I add a tiny bit of evening primrose oil to my moisturizer for a bit of more nourishing hydration. For scarring and dullness issues, I occasionally use lemon or grapefruit essential oil, but I mostly just have a strict 2 times exfoliation per week. Sometimes I’m lazy and I’ll just do a face mask or use my clarisonic in place of exfoliating, but it has the same effects. Otherwise, if I’m dealing with a particularly horrible skin issue (breakouts or something), I might do an intense exfoliation, but only once that week.
Just as a side note- if you have sensitive skin, you can do the added moisture step in this post, but don’t use any essential oils as many people who have sensitive skin won’t be able to handle it & it may cause irritation. If you want to try something similar, you can use hydrosols as they are less concentrated than essential oils and less likely to irritate the skin, but still offer skin benefits. You can also infuse carrier oils such as olive oil, grapeseed oil or evening primrose oil with dried plants for a few weeks or months and this will help you gain the benefits from them with little to no irritation.
IMPORTANT! If you do any of these methods, you MUST wear sunscreen as essential oils make skin sun sensitive. You don’t want to be treating pigmentation at night with EOs and then causing more during the day so DEFINITELY pack on that sunscreen!
So, I hope you found this helpful – feel free to ask me any questions you may have & I will do my best to help!