How Cypress Oil Can Soothe Your Skin

You may recognize the cypress tree as a symbol associated with death, but the beauty benefits of cypress essential oil may actually bring skin back to life. In case you aren't familiar with the history of the cypress tree, the ancient Greeks and Romans believed it to be the first tree the dead would see upon arriving in the underworld. I mean, the cypress tree definitely looks spooky. With its lanky branches spiraling in various directions and its intimidating size, it seems like an easy symbol to choose for death or the unknown. But the brownish-gray cones that lay within the flowers of the tree produce a piny, pale-yellow oil that's as refreshing and powerful.

According to sources at Organic Facts, cypress essential oil is great for acne because it providing relief from the overactive sebum glands that make our skin oily and prone to blemishes. The antiseptic and astringent properties of cypress control and speed up healing time. There are more popular essential oils for acne, but one thing that separates cypress against its acne-fighting counterparts is that it's considered a non-irritant, non-sensitizer, and non-phototoxic, which means you don't have to worry about sun exposure. I'll never deny how much tea tree oil has improved my complexion, but the same highly effective properties that banish a cyst can lead to irritation over the rest of your face if used chronically.

Due to the circulatory benefits, cypress essential oil can awaken dull complexions, regulate blood flow, and has an overall toning effect on the skin. Here are five of my favorite ways to keep your natural beauty alive with cypress.

1. To Relieve Spider Veins

Varicose veins — aka spider veins — are swollen, bent veins that form together in a cluster-like pattern often found on our legs because the blood that normally flows easily to our heart gets backed up. Cypress essential oil, being ever so wonderful at getting blood flow moving, can be an effective, safe topical treatment. To create a salve, add 30 drops of cypress essential oil to equal parts coconut oil and shea butter (these parts should equal at least one ounce). Shea butter is known to work wonders for spider veins, so you'll want to skip heating it up so you get its full potency. Instead, use a blender to mix the oil and butter together.

2. To Fight Acne In Your Sleep

My favorite part of DIYing night serums is customizing for my exact skin needs. If you dream of clearer skin, start with two ounces of tamanu oil, then add 12 drops of cypress, 12 of ylang ylang essential oil, and six drops of vetiver essential oil. The tamanu oil is amazing as restoring complexions, relieving acne, and a boatload of other things. Ylang ylang is a great de-stresser for the skin and controls oil. Finally, I added the vetiver because of its balancing properties. Store your serum in a tinted, sealable container and apply nightly on freshly washed, makeup free skin.

3. Freshen Up Your Pits

At the request of my clients, I began making a baking-soda free deodorant. The only problem was that I, personally, found myself sweating more without my trusty baking soda under my pits. Fortunately, it turns out it was nothing a little cypress oil couldn't fix. I've found that cypress oil relieves perspiration and eliminates odor, making it a great addition to a natural deodorant recipe or to help sweaty feet in a pair of sockless sneakers!

4. Ditch Bruised Legs

My other job (bartending) leaves me covered in bruises. If you've ever had a bruise, you know the first thing is to regulate the blood flow with some ice. A good follow-up to icing a bruise is adding a salve of soothing coconut and cypress essential oil to speed up the healing process. I like coconut oil for bruising because it's a great healing agent with its antibacterial properties and the cypress will help calm the bruising. Even though cypress oil is considered a non-irritant, you never want to put it directly on your skin without first diluting it in a carrier oil.

5. Make An Oil-Controlling Astringent

My relationships with astringents are similar to my relationships with money: I use too much of it for my own good. Going overboard on astringents can dry out your face, but I am loving my new facial mist that also acts as an astringent. I used rose water and cypress essential oil for my mist, only adding a few drops per ounce. Essential oils don't blend well with water so, give it a good shake before you apply on your skin. This keeps my face hydrated while still controlling my oily skin issues.

Cypress oil can be an amazing addition into your homemade skincare routine, but if you are unfamiliar with working with essential oils? I recommend purchasing a version of cypress oil that's already diluted in jojoba oil. Otherwise, go crazy!

Image: Fotolia (1, 2); Kristin Collins Jackson (4)