From my research here are some of the best items to add to your regimen especially if you have problem skin
Calendula: A flower that is known for anti-bacterial properties being anti-inflammatory and soothing. Calendula oil is the most commonly used form, but I have found it hard to find in Canada and have not had a chance to try it.
Neem: A tree that seems to have a myriad of benefits. I came to it while looking for help for acne and found that it seems to offer much, much more. It was apparently used as a pesticide until 2013 in Canada when it was banned. it’s a shame, it was probably cheaper then. Drinking neem leaf tea has detoxifying effects and I’d like to order some from Saffire Blue when I can afford to as it is the only place I have found leaves. In addition to being anti-everything and great for oral care, it is also a spermicide! It’s hard to confirm how well it works because big pharma can make more from birth control but the really cool thing I read was that it could work as an internal contraceptive for men! That would be revolutionary! I “wonder” why this hasn’t been tested more extensively… I have just discovered the details of all the benefits so I am ordering some from Etsy (BestNaturesCosmetic) so I can add it to my homemade creams.
Tea tree oil: This one isn’t new to most people anymore, but it is really a great thing to have around. I use it for my face and for cleaning products. Always make sure it is a trusted brand and 100% pure so you aren’t paying for additives. It works pretty well as a deodorant mixed with a carrier oil as long as you aren’t too active. I don’t sweat tons or smell much imho but I find it sorta blocks sweat too. I’d suggest using coconut oil which is said to be a deodorizer as well, but I don’t find it works well alone unless you are JUST sitting on the couch all day kind of thing.
Camphor oil: For some reason tea tree oil has garnered all of the popularity, but I actually like camphor better for most things. The scent is less, offensive I guess you could say. This also comes from a tree and has most of the same benefits as tea tree. I came across this for use in aromatherapy for depression. When I am having especially down days there is something about camphor that seems to blow away some of the fog in my mind. I have found mixing it with wintergreen and even rosemary is a good aromatherapy mix.
Argan oil: This comes from the kernels from argan trees originating in Morocco. While this has become popular in the past year most people don’t actually know what pure argan oil is. It is a thick oil in its pure form and while it will make most people’s hair greasy it can be used to moisturize the scalp and hair in the form of a hair mask. I really like argan oil on my skin as well. I don’t find it as greasy as other oils and it is really soothing when my skin is dry from acne sores and irritated. It contains omega-6 and 9 and thus has anti-oxidant effects as well. I also found out that you can take it internally as well (1-2 tbs) but shouldn’t cook with it as the heat will reduce the effectiveness.
Coconut oil: Another item that has risen in popularity but many people do not realize there are many grades of coconut oil. While pure, virgin, cold-pressed oil, non-GMO will be much more expensive, the refining process kills all the benefits of coconut oil, and there are many. It contains healthy fatty acids which are essential to our diets and thusly it may be helpful for dieting or quick energy, contains lauric acid which helps stave off infection, it can improve blood cholesterol levels, protects hair and skin from damage and can be used as a mild sunscreen, and can help brain function. I haven’t gotten into using coconut oil as butter, but coconut butter is an amazing spread and addition to baked goods. It has all the same benefits of coconut oil and does not smell super coconut-ey. It tastes creamy and nutty in addition to the coconut taste and I like it more than any other forms of coconut.
Hemp oil: This is my chosen carrier oil as it is multi-purpose and I think it makes a great cooking oil as well. It has good fatty acids like coconut oil and is a moisturizer. It could also be used as a biodiesel. I love how diverse hemp is but I hate how expensive it is. It’s ridiculous that it is such a controversial plant as it can thrive in many conditions and can be used for so many things. I can’t afford to eat hemp too often, but I love the subtle nut flavour and have tried hemp seeds as well as hemp flakes. I’d like to try hemp flour too. It’s a great source of protein and I find it’s the most pleasant of all the kinds I’ve tried.
Cocoa butter: This is my favourite for my skin because it has all the benefits I want plus smells like the finest chocolate in all the land; it is hydrating (albeit a little greasy but is easy to combat), reduces scars, has antioxidants and can help heal sensitive skin. Refined cocoa butter is easy to spot as natural unrefined cocoa butter comes in chunks and will be an off-white creamy colour while refined “natural” cocoa butter will be creamy so clearly has additives. This will probably make a nice moisturizer but will not have all the benefits and isn’t what you want to make your own creams with.
Aloe vera: I have been neglecting my poor plants lately, but this has always been my favourite sunburn remedy. Considering how easy it is to grow aloe vera, buying it from the store is crazy expensive. Handling aloe straight from the plant takes a little adjusting, it’s kind of gooey and gross but is better for your skin. When I use it straight on my skin it feels kind of weird, but it seems to form a thin protective barrier on my skin. It helps wounds heal faster and I also like to use it in my hair sometimes when it’s frizzy. Aloe can be taken internally for many things as well as a general tonic. I have not tried it yet but would like to use it as part of my detox routine. I think the best way to use aloe is to grow it, my aunt gave me some of her plant and now I have two plants plus a smaller one and I gave away some to my friend. They grow like mad! Some products that have aloe contain crushed up plant so it will contain aloe latex which may be unsafe for internal use.
Oregano oil: I originally got oregano oil for its anti-viral properties, but I also like it as an addition to facial products. It can be used as an anti-septic and I use it in my detox baths as well. Along with echinacea and zinc I also like this to fight colds and other kinds of sickness.
Royal Jelly: I got this for all the benefits it has for your health such as boosting the immune system, depression, insomnia and skin disorders. It contains bee propolis but has more benefits. It can also be used topically for problem skin, but I haven’t been able to locate anything besides capsules at a good price on Amazon.
Arnica: This flower is used to make medicine. I haven’t tried it but it has many benefits. Topically it can be used for swelling, pain, rashes (incl. acne), sore gums and anti-dandruff. Fun fact: apparently it can cause abortions as well which is just thrown out there on webmd but not explained further. It may have anti-biotic properties as well. I haven’t found this anywhere besides Saffire Blue.
Sea Buckthorn: I have a salve containing this herb and it is quite soothing. The leaves and flowers have many benefits such as; soothing rashes, a gastrointestinal, fatty and amino acids and improving blood pressure. The seed and berries can also be used for: infections, sight, asthma, toxicity, and to promote skin healing.
Lavender: I find lavender oil is a staple as it can be used for healing and soothing, cleaning, calming and insomnia, nausea, pain, insect repellant, and hair loss.
Olive oil: Like many other oils this contains essential fatty acids and omegas which in turn also helps your brain. It can be consumed and used topically for pain relief, antioxidants, skin damage, disease prevention and blood pressure.