One of the great features of "aromatherapy" oils is their known regeneration-supporting properties. One or more of these oils should really always be included in blends addressing the signs of aging. We all know that this is all that prescription "Retin-A" does, and it has such a noticeable effect reducing lines and wrinkles, that it's really the benchmark by which other products of the same nature go.
Synthetic Product Effects
However, even though it does its job, Retin-A has two major side effects, which the oils mentioned here do not: it can be excessively drying, to the point that the skin is peeling. Also, it makes the skin more susceptible to UV rays, so while reducing wrinkle appearance, it almost makes one more unacceptable to sun damage (I've actually tried it myself, forgot sunscreen, and felt a significant burning after half-an-hour in the sun).
The Regenerative Essential Oils
There are several oils that have been included in recipes for years by Dr. Kurt Schnaubelt, for would healing and scar reduction. We think it fairly easy to take the leap in saying that certain oils in these recipes, included to speed the process, will increase new skin cell production in the dermal layer (in fact, there are several controlled studies which we'll mention that support this.)
- Helichrysum: Perhaps the most renown oil is Helichrysum italicum. A high quality oil will contain about 12% "Italidiones", a class of ketone which is safe for use. Ketones are generally regeneration-supportive molecules, though some are known to potentially also stimulate formation of tumors. Not only does Helichrysum contain this high Italidione content, but its curcuminoid compouds are also anti-inflammatory, another very important factor in skin aging.
- Rosemary Verbenone: Next perhaps is Rosemary c.t. Verbenone, which has a different chemical profile than the cineol chemotype, (which is what you receive when you order simple "Rosemary Essential Oil"). Rosemary essential oil itself is pleasantly stimulting, yet it is the "verbenone" ketone in this oil often distilled in France which has regenerative actions like the Italidiones in Helichrysum.
- Sage: Common, or "Dalmatian" Sage essential oil also contains regenerative ketone, but these are consider less safe, and should be used sparingly blends.
- Lavender: Yes, lavender has a small amount of the "safe" ketones in it, and because of its all-around balancing and inflammation-reducing nature, it really has a place in almost every formula.
- Sea Buckthorn: While there is a Sea Buckthorn seed carrier oil, the CO2 'Total; distillation of the whole fruit provides vitamin-A like compounds and other antioxidant flavenoids, plus one of the only known sources of Omega-7 fatty acids, which are the predominant fatty acid in epithelial cell membranes. Feed it to your skin through topical application and it will absorb it!
- Carrot Root: Clearly the deep orange color indicates again a high level of vitamin-A precursors, which your skin craves in order to grow. Think of Beta Carotine, a source of Vitamin-A with none of the drawbacks of synthetic variations.
- Rosehip 'Total': Like Sea Buckthorn above, this is a distillation of the whole, bright red "fruit" of wild roses. While it contains a smaller amount of the fatty acids (oils) in the Rosehip Seed carrier, also like the Sea Buckthorn, it is dense (really, it's almost a reddish-orange paste) with nutrients again to stimulate cell growth and nourish the skin in general. ALSO, these three CO2 oils are know to absorb some amount of UV radiation, acting as natural sunscreens, and preventing the oxidative radical cascade which occurs when the amount of light exceeds that of which the body can utilize its own antioxidant defenses to quench.
- Tamanu Oil: Yes, you'll see us keep mentioning Tamanu, as the research on the oil is growing. Researchers in the Journal of Cosmetic Sciences presented a study confirmed the oil's ability to speed wound healing; others in preventing UV radiation damage, and others in preventing formation of skin tumors.
- Rosehip Seed Oil: Pressed from the seeds of the fruit of roses originally growing wild in the mountains of Chile, this may have been the first oil studied in a laboratory setting for its beautification properties. Its regenerative features, from its unique fatty acids, have show in to reduce fine lines and wrinkles, even skin coloration, and reduce the appearance of scars.
- Pomegranate Seed Oil: Last, but certainly not the least, it is primarily made up of a unique fatty acid called Pucinic acid, which has been shown to significantly increase the formation of keratinocytes, which make up 95% of the cells of the outer layer of the skin.
THIS is by no means an exhaustive list of the oils which may stimulate cellular regeneration of the skin, simply the most well-known and researched ones.
Thanks for reading!