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by Dr. Chien-Wen Chen

Tame your skin and achieve perfect skin conditions during season transitions by adding one drop of elixir

Do you always experience worsening skin issues such as dryness and scaliness when seasons change? Is your facial complexion dark and lusterless? Negative skin conditions cannot be covered up with makeup. And the makeup doesn’t stick and tends to separate from the skin. As we age, the secretion of the sebaceous glands decreases, which results in a lack of natural hydrating factors and the intercellular matrix in the stratum corneum. During seasonal changes, the skin is prone to dryness, dehydration, redness, and scaliness. Skincare oil is therefore touted as a skin savior during season transitions. A universally applicable skincare oil not only relieves dryness and tightness but also stabilizes and tames the skin and further upgrades skincare results.

Squalane, the new darling of the skincare world, is the most skin-friendly ingredient

The key factor determining skin sebum secretion are the sebaceous glands in the hydrolipidic film which is mainly composed of triglyceride, wax ester, and squalene (the latter accounting for around 13% of the hydrolipidic film). Since squalene is a natural component of the human skin, it has better skin affinity than other lipids and is highly compatible with the sebum secreted by the skin. While squalene used to be derived from shark liver, it is now mostly extracted from plants such as olives and sugarcane. Plant-based squalene extracted from olives has a higher purity than sugarcane-derived squalene and is free of impurities and therefore less skin irritating. However, due to the low stability of squalene, it is prone to oxidation. Hydrogenation has therefore been adopted to overcome these shortcomings and achieve higher saturation and oxidation resistance, while retaining the outstanding permeability properties. Squalane forms an air-permeable protective film on the skin surface with moisture-locking, moisturizing, and skin repair functions. It also relieves dryness, alleviates issues associated with unstable skin conditions such as flakiness and scaliness, and makes the skin elastic and radiant. The celebrated and well-known skincare ingredient squalane is widely applied in skincare products with oily, milky, and creamy textures. This ingredient can be found in essential oils, lotions, creams, lipsticks, and foundations.

Three key indicators for selecting essential oils: Ingredients, textures, and non-synthetic fragrances 

In addition to selecting squalane as the main ingredient of oil-based skin care, it is recommended to assess essential oil products in the following three dimensions: 

1. Oil-based ingredients added to essential oils 

It is recommended to choose plant oil-based skincare oil which contains large quantities of unsaturated fatty acids which is a key ingredient for the skin. These acids effectively repair the skin, reinforce antioxidant effects, and infuse the skin with energy and vitality. 

Jojoba Oil

Due to its stable structure, this oil is resistant to high temperatures. It often dubbed “Golden Jojoba” because of the beautiful color of the extracted oil. Its molecular arrangement is similar to sebum and it has excellent skin affinity. It is easily absorbed by the skin and enhances the permeability of follow-up skincare products. It has outstanding softening and repair capabilities for the stratum corneum. 

Moroccan Argan Oil

This oil is extremely rare and precious. The scope of production is small, and it is difficult to obtain. Argan oil is rich in unsaturated fatty acids, an essential component which can’t be produced autonomously by the human body. It also contains precious phytosterol, which is a key substance for the constitution and strengthening of sebum. It rapidly moisturizes the stratum corneum, prevents moisture loss, facilitates the repair of stratum corneum cells, and reinforces antioxidant effects. Its composition is similar to hydrolipidic film and it can easily penetrate the cell membranes, which results in higher skin elasticity in addition to soothing and anti-aging effects.   

Evening Primrose Oil

This oil which is mainly composed of linoleic acid has excellent antioxidant effects and facilitates maintenance of the lipid balance in the skin. It is capable of repairing the skin and slowing down skin aging and is a perfect ingredient for base or essential oils. 

2. Favorable results can be achieved through light oily textures, high absorbability, rapid penetration

I recommend essential oils with lighter textures that are characterized by rapid absorbability and penetration without burdening the skin or causing stuffiness, stickiness, or acne. If the cold press technology is utilized, the texture becomes more delicate, and the effective ingredients become resistant to damage caused by high temperatures. Higher purity ingredients make the product safer and non-irritating while ensuring better results. 

3. Natural ingredients without synthetic lipids or artificial fragrance

Essential oils should not contain any synthetic fragrances which can cause skin irritation or synthetic lipids such as lanolin, IPP, or IPM which can lead to acne breakouts.

One drop is sufficient for elimination of dryness and visibly upgraded skincare results

Oil-based skin care has always enjoyed wide popularity. Essential oils have simpler formulas compared to lotions and creams and ensure effective moisturization of dry and sensitive skin. They are extremely versatile and can be added to different skincare regimens in a flexible manner. The following four tips turn ultra-light essential oil into a universal elixir.  

Skin dryness

After application of serums, essential oils can be used in place of creams to quickly replenish oil and moisture. The eye contour area is prone to dryness which can be relieved through application of essential oils. Moisturization of cuticles, nail surfaces, and the skin in the knee and elbow areas can also be reinforced through these oils. 

Pre-makeup skin care

Serums and lotions which are suitable for the summer months provide insufficient moisturization in fall and winter. Moisturization effects and viscosity can be enhanced by adding one or two drops. The same method can be utilized for the makeup foundation to ensure long-lasting, perfectly set makeup and upgraded skincare and foundation effects.

Hot Compresses as the perfect aid for home beauty treatment 

After spreading essential oil evenly on the hands and applying it to the face, a hot towel should be placed on the face. If the face still feels oily when the towel is removed after the temperature has slightly dropped, hot compress treatment can be repeated 2-3 times until the oil is completely absorbed. On the following day, the skin will appear radiant and translucent.

One drop added to a mask ensures optimal results

A layer of essential oil can serve as a perfect foundation for a mud mask applied in winter to prevent excessive dryness of the mask.

Are you bothered by unstable skin conditions despite skin care during seasonal changes? In addition to reinforced moisturization and hydration of the skin, application of a little oil represents a key link. I recommend essential oil with plant-based squalene and excellent skin affinity to create an oil seal and thereby lock in the moisture. A drop of essential oil added whenever deemed necessary gives the skin a natural radiance and suppleness anytime.