If you ask me, a good rich nighttime face oil that doesn’t burn a deep and lasting hole in your pocket is worth double its weight in gold. On cold winter days my skin loves nothing more than a nourishing layer of vitamins and antioxidants and I have been researching the best ones oils around for a year or two with passion, enthusiasm and a discerning curiosity.
There are two main precepts for me: it must be antioxidant to protect from the environmental damage of the city, and it must not suffocate my pores and give me breakouts. So often, the most delicious and sumptuous smelling face oils contain so many fragrances and essences that it is an overload for my skin and our senses. And while I am always the first to jump at the anything that smells like a spring valley in bloom, in conceiving and trialling my own cold-pressed face oil recipe I have learned a lesson I thought would never apply to my moisturiser: less is more.
And that is because of rosehip: a little miracle plant whose orange oil is one of the most nourishing and powerful skincare ingredients around. Used many moons ago by the Mayans, Ancient Egyptians and Native Americans for its potent healing benefits, it is cold-pressed from the rosa bush seed and packed with antioxidants, essential fatty acids and vitamins C, E and A.
It is readily absorbed by the skin – so doesn’t tend to overpower or clog our complexions as so many alternatives can – and while antioxidant vitamins A and E protect from environmental free-radical damage at a cellular level, vitamin C boosts collagen production and skin regeneration. The beta-carotene (vitamin A) helps prevent fine lines as it can penetrate deeper below the skin’s surface and aid deeper skin repair, and the dense essential fatty acids Omega 6 and Omega 3 (linoleic and linolenic acid) further promote healing and renegeration through membrane repair – making rosehip a potent and famous healing tool for scars and dark spots.
More surprising is that the oil has been found to be antimicrobial, and can be used on problematic skin with less risk of triggering a breakout than other oils.
I mix it here with a little cold-pressed jojoba – about one third usually. Jojoba is almost identical in structure to our own skin sebum and often overlooked as a mere carrier oil or filler ingredient. In fact it is another really rich antibacterial moisturiser which does not block pores and, through its similarity to our own oil, decreases our sebum production through a holistic like-for-like approach. Our skin recognises it, absorbs it, receives the message that we have enough and we don’t make more until we need to. Using one part jojoba to two parts rosehip is the perfect balance for me. You might like to play around with the proportions according to your preference and budget (rosehip costs a fair bit more) and feel organically what works best for your skin. If we slow down and listen to our bodies, they often surprise us with their wisdom and intuition.
Finally, a small and luxurious drop or two of lavender essential oil soothes and calms the senses, promoting a nourishing night’s sleep and deep inner peace.
NB – always use cold-pressed organic oils. Anything chemically or heat-processed will be structurally altered and can potentially harm the skin and body. The oils are volatile and should also be kept in a dark blue or amber glass bottle in the fridge to preserve their molecular structure and healing properties.
There is a good range of organic cold-pressed oils around and you must find your own favourites; I like Fushi rosehip, Desert Essence jojoba and Tisserand or Neal’s Yard essential oils.
10ml dark glass bottle
6ml organic cold-pressed rosehip oil
3ml organic cold-pressed jojoba oil
2 drops organic lavender essential oil
Mix all the ingredients together, store in the fridge and use nightly before bed. You can also use a thin layer under makeup in the day, especially in cold winter months.