Gone are the days of avoiding oil-based moisturizers and face creams. Oils are trending in a big way – and it looks like the hype is here to stay as more and more women experience the perks that come with rubbing a small amount of oil on your face.
What perks, you say? Well, natural oils are rich in essential fatty acids which strengthen the skin’s natural barrier, balance your skin’s pH, mimic the sebum, your skin’s naturally produced oil, hydrate while reducing oiliness, stimulate cell renewal for faster wound and scar healing, and improve the skin’s elasticity while preventing its wear and breakdown.
Oh, did I forget to mention that they’re loaded with various vitamins, essential minerals, and active antioxidant compounds that protect and revitalize the skin? Instead of applying chemical oils to your skin, which in the long run cause more harm than good, reach for a natural, affordable cosmetics known and used for hundreds of years.
The best news? Some oils have skin lightening benefits on top of all the other skin perks. Ditch all the dangerous skin lightening ingredients and get ready: a natural skin lightening oil may be the answer to your prayers.
Get to know some of the most effective skin lightening oils below!
But First: A Brief “Oils 101”
There are oils and then there are oils. More specifically, there are natural oils (also called “carrier oils”) vis-a-vis essential oils.
Natural carrier oils, also called base oils, mostly come from plant sources, although we do recommend one animal-based oil as well, which you’ll read more about below. They’re extremely rich in essential fatty acids and usually contain a range of antioxidants and other nutrients.
Their chemical composition makes carrier oils an excellent base for diluting essential oils. Most of the essential oils available on the market can’t be applied directly to the skin without prior dilution in the base oil - otherwise, there is a high risk of irritation.
Besides skin care, carrier oils can also be used for massage, bathing and other treatments that require direct skin contact. Try to use natural carrier oils that are best for your skin type.
When choosing a base oil, it is worth remembering that its properties depend to a large extent on the quality of the plants, seeds or nuts used. Conventional oils from commercial crops are often artificially fertilized and sprayed with pesticides and herbicides. Only organic oils - and those certified by a recognized certification body - are free from harmful substances.
In addition, it’s good if they’re obtained by cold pressing and even better if they come exclusively from the first pressing. Going for the cold pressing process, you can preserve valuable vitamins and minerals from the plants from which they are prepared.
Each base oil has its own unique composition. Its features make each natural oil a unique carrier for a specific skin type. It also depends on how often you will use it, on which parts of the body and in which season.
Finally, a few words about how to store carrier oils. It's best to keep them away from the light in a cool room. Organic carrier oils don’t contain any artificial preservatives, so their shelf-life is shorter than conventional oils (the exception being oils containing vitamin E, which acts as a natural preservative).
Essential oils, on the other hand, are aromatic, more concentrated and always come in a smaller quantity. They are helpful as support in treating various ailments - from headache to rheumatism and digestive problems, which has earned them a place in natural medicine.
It takes a huge amount of plants to produce essential oil. Take lavender oil, for example – you need around 100 pounds of lavender plant material to produce just one pound of lavender essential oil. The result is a very concentrated, highly effective form of the plant constituents that the essential oil was derived from.
This makes essential oils pretty awesome for the skin, since they’re typically minuscule in molecular size, making them easily absorbable by the skin. But at the same time, they’re also incredibly potent and most need to be combined with natural oils (“carrier” oils) to dilute them enough to use on the skin.
So, let us recap. What can we use carrier oils and essential oils for?
for body massage
for hair care, for example, to accelerate hair growth
to lighten or darken the hair, for example, lemon can brighten hair, and thyme can darken it
to give your hair and body a pleasant, natural fragrance
for daily facial skin care
and, of course, to lighten the skin
The choice of oils is so rich that their properties and application are extremely wide. Everyone should easily find an oil tailored to her needs. Most often natural face and body oils have anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and bactericidal properties.
In addition, they can alleviate inflammation, burning and itching, strengthen blood vessels, tone the skin, lighten scars and blemishes, and slow down the aging process of the skin.
The oils should be applied directly to the skin in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions. Some preparations can also be mixed with, for example, vegetable oil, and then massaged into the body to enhance its effect. A good method is also to use some oils as hair products (both pure oil and in combination with vegetable oil).
There are really many ways to use essential and carrier oils. It all depends on your knowledge, imagination, and creativity. Of course, we can also use carrier oils in the kitchen.
Face Oils Vs. Regular Face Creams?
The main difference in the action of regular face moisturizers and oils lies in the fact that the first of these is limited to moisturizing the epidermis, while body or face oils also contain in their composition antioxidants and micro-nutrients.
Essentially, the systematic use of oils on the skin will make it look better and younger. Some oils are even medicinal and have been recommended for centuries to address a variety of skin diseases and dermatological problems.
Cosmetic and carrier oils are substances with high concentrations of active ingredients, as evidenced by their consistency. They are obtained from fresh or dried plants - from their leaves, flowers, stems, roots, seeds, bark, etc. For the production of facial oils and body oils, most widely used is the process of distilling parts of plants with steam, less frequently by means of filtration, phytolisation or just squeezing.
An interesting fact is that natural face and body oils are stored in dark bottles, as it prevents the negative effects of light on them (oxidation processes could occur). The average facial oil consists of several dozen compounds, among which aldehydes, alcohols, esters, ketones, and terpenes predominate.
Best Essential Oil for Skin Lightening
The choice of these types of products is really huge. Below you will find examples of several popular and effective oils along with their properties.
If lemon juice has skin bleaching effects, imagine what a concentrated lemon oil can do.
This yummy-smelling essential oil is made by cold-pressing the fresh peel of lemons – it takes around one ton of fresh lemon fruit to make around six pounds of lemon essential oil.
The resulting, concentrated oil is very rich in limonene, found to combat skin tumors and lighten skin, as well as citric acid, a highly effective natural acid at stimulating cell turnover to improve skin tone.
But its benefits don’t stop at skin lightening – lemon essential oil is also brilliant at brightening dull skin and reducing oiliness.
How to use it? Lemon essential oil is strong and you don’t ever want to use it direct and undiluted on your skin. To use, mix with one of the carrier oils below with lemon essential oil making up at most 5% of the total solution (i.e. five drops or less of lemon oil for every teaspoon of carrier oil).
Also, keep in mind that lemon oil – as well as all citrus oils – contains furanocoumarin compounds which increase the skin’s sensitivity to UV light. Do not wear lemon oil on your skin in the sunlight – save this essential oil for your evenings and nights.
Now let’s check out the best skin lightening natural oils to mix this lemon essential oil with, shall we?
Best Natural Oils for Skin Lightening
Around 3,000 seeds of the Wild Carrot plant go into making just one teaspoon of this oil – and it’s totally worth it since just a few drops are enough to transform your skin.
This oil is unique in that it’s very, very rich in beta-carotene, which reduces pigment formation by inhibiting tyrosinase receptors on the melanocyte.
In plain English – beta carotene blocks the melanin-producing enzyme (tyrosinase) from making melanin. It’s effective enough to lighten even cases of melasma when used topically on the skin.
And there’s more good news as well: our bodies convert a certain portion of beta-carotene into vitamin A (a retinoid well known as the main ingredient in Retin-A), which speeds up cell regeneration to fade scars and spots and improve the overall tone – and glow – of skin.
How to use It? You can apply carrot seed oil directly on your skin. Just a few drops will do – it’s a lightweight oil that’s perfect for the day time.
Emu oil is not exactly a skin lightening oil, but we strongly recommend it for its transdermal properties.
You see, emu oil is unique among oils in that it can penetrate deep into the skin. Its fatty acid profile is essentially identical to our skin cells’ profile, making it easier to absorb and assimilate into our skin.
And as it absorbs, it goes deep – through all seven layers of skin.
This makes emu oil the ideal oil to combine with other skin lightening products – like lemon essential oil or any other natural skin lightener – to help it get past the epidermis and soak into the skin.
How to use it? Emu oil’s a bit thick and not ideal for day time use, but combine it with your favorite natural skin lightener to wear as a night-time skin lightening oil.
Don’t want to do any mixing and DIY-ing of your own? Here’s another great skin lightening oil that’s already formulated and ready to go…
You already know that turmeric and citrus are some of the best all natural skin lightening ingredients and they’re all included in this brilliantly formulated skin lightening oil which combines effective, natural ingredients like turmeric oil, orange oil, lime oil, licorice extract and a whole lot more to hydrate and replenish your skin while lightening it at the same time.
How to use it? Simply apply on a clean face.