Sure, some creams and lotions developed by dermatologists and hair professionals work, but take a quick look at the contents on your favorite jar of $100 miracle potion—chances are, at least of the few "magical" ingredients included are essential oils.
So instead of dropping major money on products that probably also contain chemicals and harmful additives, get your DIY on. Once you've got your essential oils in hand, it's time to make some magic happen.
One important thing to note: Most essential oils aren't meant to be applied directly to your skin or hair. Instead, mix them with a carrier oil—coconut, olive, jojoba—to avoid irritation and boost the hydrating properties of your beautifying recipe.
1. Say "bye" to bumps.
Ugh, acne. Pesky pimples can still plague you as an adult, but you don't have to slather on harsh, irritating acne creams each night. Instead, opt for tea tree oil. The oil naturally kills bacteria, making it the perfect choice to fight acne-causing bacteria. Bonus: It works to fight nail fungus, dandruff, and it can even take the sting out of bug bites. Thyme and calendula oil also work as antibacterial agents on acne, too.
2. Give your hair a drink.
Hair parched? Don't reach for the deep conditioner. Instead, try any of the moisturizing essential oils. One of the best is argan oil—it's full of hair-moisturizing vitamins and fatty acids. Same goes for avocado oil and castor oil.
3. Grow those strands.
4. Brighten your skin—and your day.
Dull skin got you down? Make your face shine as bright as your personality by adding rose hip and jasmine oil to your arsenal. Rose hip oil contains vitamin C and lycopene and is made to rejuvenate the skin, while jasmine is made to help skin elasticity and fade stretch marks.
5. Turn back the clock.
Acid peels? Surely, you jest. Instead, opt for essential oils like geranium, patchouli, and frankincense. Geranium oil has astringent properties that can help tighten aging skin while encouraging skin cell turnover. Patchouli and frankincense have the same anti-aging effects, but they also help control skin oiliness, along with eczema, dermatitis, and psoriasis.
6. Block those free radicals.
Beta-carotene and vitamin A found in carrot seed oil both detoxify the skin and promote cell growth. This, in turn, helps block nasty free radicals found in the environment. Some also swear by it as a natural sunscreen, but doctors are split on whether it really can replace your store-bought skin protection.
7. Slough off the dead stuff.
The key to youthful, glowing skin? Exfoliation, exfoliation, exfoliation! Sweet almond oil offers a natural—and non-irritating—way to get rid of dead skin cells. The oil also works to even out skin tone and lighten tough dark spots that come from the sun.
Photo credit: Paul Delmont