Recently, it has come to my attention that I may never look as good as I do right now, at 30. My physical peak may have already happened and chances are I'm going to be fighting a losing battle to aging for the rest of my life. I no longer look to combat premature aging, because I AM aging. Keeping a natural beauty routine has helped keep the paranoia of wrinkles at bay, but as my next birthday approaches, I find myself spending extra time in the mirror, peering closely at my face and making sure that I still look youthful. My last visit to my vitamin store was spent sitting criss-crossed on the floor in the essential oil aisle, WITH my laptop, searching for the perfect oil to fight premature aging. When I came across the uses of sea buckthorn oil, I knew immediately that an oil with over 200 nutrients would be an incredible addition to my natural skin regimen.
Buckthorn oil comes from sour orange berries that grow naturally in parts of Europe and Asia. Russians have used buckthorn oil to treat a variety of skin ailments long before it made its way into western cosmetics and medicine. Known to reduce illness from cancer treatment, radiation damage, and balance the immune system, this essential oil is a healing warrior. Of course, I am old enough to know that I needed this in my quest for a permanent, youthful glow.
Due to the moisturizing fatty acids that buckthorn oil contains, it has an innate ability to revive skin cells, and the high content of vitamin E and C reduces the gravity and length of wrinkles while alleviating tough skin. In fact, vitamin E has been proven to be one of the leading natural ingredients in anti-aging remedies.
Since I'm about that anti-aging game AND that anti-acne game, I wanted an oil that wasn't going to clog my pores to keep me looking young — having clear skin now and smooth skin in the future is what I'm about. Buckthorn oil is highly anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and has a high amount of antioxidants; the same nutrients that keep the wrinkles away are also going to keep the pimples away. Studies done on buckthorn oil have yielded high results in proving that this oil is essential in skincare.
Real buckthorn oil is pricy, costing about 17 dollars for one ounce, but the authenticity is very important to gain all the benefits. Purchasing products WITH buckthorn oil may not yield the same results as using the unrefined oil directly, though it's definitely a step in the right direction. These are just a few of my new favorite ways to use buckthorn oil.
1. Acne Fighting Serum
Now that it's winter, I don't want to dry out my face by using an intensive acne treatment like I would normally do that in the summer months. Instead, I made a great serum that I spray on problem areas at night. I used one tablespoon of bourbon, five drops of sea buckthorn oil, three drops of lavender oil, three drops of vitamin E oil, and some filtered rose water (the rose water is optional). I stored my serum in a dark colored spray bottle and have used it nightly on one problem area in particular: So far my breakout has cleared up without drying out my face.
2. Wrinkle Defense Ointment
Unfortunately, since buckthorn oil is an essential oil, you can't use it directly on your skin. Fortunately, you can dilute buckthorn oil with fresh aloe vera for a perfect defense against unwanted wrinkles. I used this recipe around my mouth where those pesky frown lines are starting to appear — seriously, you would think I've frowned my whole life. Aloe and buckthorn oil both have a tremendous amount of vitamin E that will smooth those wrinkles and the vitamin C in buckthorn is profound enough to give you a defense as good as any OTC cream would.
3. Dry Eye Relief
Dry eyes are an unexpected side effect of aging that have suddenly worked their way into my life. I suffer from dry eyes especially in the winter — any temperature under 60 degrees makes my eyes water profusely and the heat in my building makes me feel like I don't have a single tear left. According to a study referenced in Healthy Living Magazine, the anti-inflammatory component of sea buckthorn makes this oil extremely effective in alleviating dryness, particularly because our sockets get dry when inflamed and buckthorn oil can increase tear secretion. Taking a few droplets of sea buckthorn oil a day can keep the eye doctor away — just make sure you discuss it with your eye doctor first, and do NOT put it directly in your eye!
Image: Arthur Chapman/Flickr; Kristin Collins Jackson; Giphy