Thursday, January 9, 2014

Skin Care Series - Eye Cream

Skin Care Series - Eye Cream

Today I want to share my favorite eye cream with you.  It is super simple to make using only two ingredients - coconut oil and Vitamin E.  In yesterday's post we learned that coconut oil is a protective antioxidant and supports tissue repair and healing.  

This is what has to say about Vitamin E:

In terms of skin health and skin care, vitamin e benefits are numerous. In fact, skin care products that contain vitamin e have become an essential part of healthy skin care.

First of all, because of its antioxidant activity, vitamin e is vital in protecting skin cells from ultra violet light, pollution, drugs, and other elements that produce cell damaging free radicals. It is believed that vitamin e is most effective in its natural alcohol form rather than its acetate form where it is a less effective antioxidant. Watch for this in the labelling of skin care products.

Regulator for Vitamin A
The vitamin e benefits for healthy skin care also include its ability to regulate vitamin a in the body, which itself is important for healthy skin.

Anti-Aging Benefits of Vitamin E
Vitamin e added to lotions, creams, and other skin care products, as well as taken orally, plays a role in the anti-aging of skin. It helps skin look younger by reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Also, free radicals are believed to play an important role in skin aging and therefore the antioxidant activity is quite valuable for this skin problem.

Treatment of Skin Diseases
Vitamin e can aid in the treatment of various skin diseases or skin conditions. Topical applications such as those used to treat psoriasis is one of the benefits of vitamin e. Orally ingested vitamin e can help treat erythema (a skin inflammation that results in reddish, painful, and tender lumps).

Skin Cancer Benefits of Vitamin E
One of the most important benefits of vitamin e is the prevention of skin cancer. This occurs because of its sun protection quality and of course its powerful antioxidant properties, which help reduce or prevent sun damage.

Other Vitamin E Benefits
There are a variety of other benefits of vitamin e for skin care:
  • vitamin e products help reduce the appearance of stretch marks
  • vitamin e can help prevent the appearance of age spots
  • it helps maintain the skin’s oil balance during the cleansing process
  • it reduces transepidermal water loss from skin and strengthens the skin’s barrier function
Overall for skin care, more benefit is obtained from topical application of vitamin e through creams or lotions rather than taking vitamin e orally. Skin is able to absorb natural vitamin e effectively. However, taking vitamin e orally is important for the good health of other areas of the body. 

Now that you know why we're using coconut oil and Vitamin E, let's find out how to turn them into an eye cream.  First you need to find a container to make your cream in.  The one in the picture is a miniature jelly jar.  My guess is that it is between a half and one ounce.  In the past, I've just used clean eye contact containers.  

Fill your container with coconut oil.  It is solid at room temperature and doesn't begin to melt until it reaches 76 degrees Fahrenheit.  So, at this point I put it in the microwave for just a couple of seconds until it begins to melt.  Next, you poke a hole in your Vitamin E capsules and add to the melted coconut oil.  For the jar above I used 3 capsules.  I use 1 capsule per side when using contact containers.  Then, I use a tooth pick or wooden skewer and blend them together.  At this point I put the cream in the refrigerator to become solid again.  After that happens there is no need to keep it refrigerated.  The oils will not become rancid.  

That's all there is to it.  When my sister was here visiting I let her try it and she was immediately hooked.  So I made her up a batch and sent it home with her.  About a week later she sent me an e-mail telling me that she LOVES this eye cream.  She said it was better than the expensive stuff she was buying.  And this costs nearly nothing per batch. :0)

I got the recipe for this wonderful eye cream from a fantastic book, "Return to Beauty" by Narine Nikogosian.  It is full of awesome recipes using natural ingredients.  Narine breaks the recipes down not only by skin type, but by season as well.  I rented it from my local library, but it is one I would definitely invest in.

*Update, 3/5/13 ~ This blog post was written a year and a half ago and has absolutely shocked my socks off that so many people would end up seeing it. I began this tiny blog as a creative outlet. Period. I am a mom who has had her fair share of skin issues and am on a journey to better health. I thought it would be nice to share the things I was learning along the way. Notice the keyword JOURNEY. I don't claim to have all the answers. I don't claim to do everything perfectly. Having said that, there have been many comments about melting the oil in the microwave. In the time since this post was written I have stopped melting the coconut oil in the microwave. Use your own judgement. No one is going to arrest you if you still use the microwave. If you are someone who avoids it like Chernobyl, that's fine, too. Just please keep in mind that everyone is in a different stage of their journey - so be kind in your comments. You attract more flies with honey than vinegar.

As far as the proportions go...relax. You're not going to mess this up. It's kind of like making good ol' southern cornbread. You'd really have to go out of your way to ruin it. Use whatever container you have available and guesstimate the amount of Vitamin E you should add. I used 3 capsules to an ounce. If you don't want to use capsules, use oil.

Be aware...some people are allergic to Vitamin E. If you make make this and your eyes swell up...well, you might be one of them. Just leave it out next time. The coconut oil is still wonderful on its own. 

Coconut is a unique oil in that it will become liquid at 76 degrees F. If you live in a warm climate where this is an issue, feel free to keep it in the fridge. It will still work exactly the same way if it is melted, though.

I hope that this has answered many of the questions that arise. If not, please read through the comments. Many of the same questions have come up again and again and I have attempted to answer them in the comments. If that still doesn't cut it for you, then by all means, ask away!

One final everything you do (including making this eye cream) - use your best judgement. If you know something that would work better, do it. If you know you have an allergy to an ingredient, skip it. Everyone is different and what works for one may not work for another.

Click here to view more posts in this series.

Next, we'll tackle exfoliating scrubs.  Hope to see you then!

I'm sharing this post @ Frugal Days, Sustainable WaysWildcrafting WednesdaysSimple Lives Thursday and Your Green Resource.