Every seed in the plant kingdom can be pressed and oil extracted from it, and each oil will have a specific quality ranging from very astringent to very emollient, and everything in between.  All vegetable, fruit and seed oils (and seed butters) are combinations of these properties,  which are determined by their unique Fatty Acid profile.  When formulating for skincare it is important to discern if the oils you are using are more "Astringent" or more "Emollient".

It is the Tannins in the oils which give them their astringent properties.  Tannins are polyphenols powerful antioxidants manufactured by plants.  It is the astringency of Tannins which causes you to pucker up when you bite into unripe fruit, and which brings cleansing properties to an oil blend used to clean skin.

An "Astringent" is a substance which stimulates skin to contract and draw together.  Astringent oils are rich in the essential Omega 6 fatty acid (EFA) called Alpha-Linoleic acid. Oils which are rich in these EFAs are both deeply cleansing as well as deeply nourishing. They are lovely to the touch,  with a light quality, and are easily absorbed into the skin.   

"Emollient" oils are those highest in Oleic acids, which is another Fatty Acid found in seed and fruit oils. These EFAs are considered to be deeply skin conditioning.  Oils rich in Oleic acid bring emolliency, healing and moisturizing qualities to the blend. Oleic acids nourish the skin, and can help strengthen its' resilience, helping reduce breakouts while maintaining healthy skin structure and function.  They have a heavier bodied and take longer to be absorbed. This makes them important components in the battle of combating dryness in harsh, dry, hot or cold climates.  Living in such conditions can lead to dehydrated skin. Dehydrated skin is fragile and can be easily damaged, making it vulnerable to bacterial penetration. Bacterial penetration can then lead to itchy outbreaks and acne.  

Cleansing oilS, need to have astringent qualities:  

Astringent oils are effective in reducing the flow of secretions including natural skin oils.

They are tightening, healing and drying.  

They have proven anti-wrinkle properties. 

They can be helpful in reducing irritation and inflammation. 

They are able to support healthy skin barrier functions.

Linoleic acid benefits skin prone to itchy breakouts. If skin is deficient in Linoleic acid the sebaceous glands of the skin produce a type of sebum which is drier and firmer than healthy sebum and which can easily become stuck and form blackheads and whiteheads.  Grape Seed oil is the primary “cleansing oil”. It is a lovely light, quickly absorbed, slightly astringent oil, and it is is also considered a nourishing, penetrating oil.  It is not known to clog pores. It is high in Vitamin D, C, E and beta carotene, and antioxidants which can help minimize signs of aging, reduce the appearance of fine lines, maintain collagen and elastin in skin, and may help reduce under-eye circles.  It has anti-inflammatory properties which can help prevent itchy breakouts.  It has also been shown to stimulate skin tissue regeneration and improve wound healing.  High levels of antioxidants in Grape Seed oil can help prevent clogged pores and reduce acne by regulating skin oil production. Because Grapeseed oil is slightly astringent it's useful for skin toning and tightening and has been shown to minimize the prominence and size of scars. It is a good choice for sensitive skin and is known not to cause allergic reactions. 

Very oily skin can benefit from a blend of cleansing oils with no Oleic acids. While those with dry skin may find oil blends very high in linoleic acid too drying for their skin, and get better results with blends with more Oleic acid rich oils. 

EVERGREEN INFUSED CLEANSING OIL BLEND -  This unique blend is formulated with 60-70% linoleic acid, and 30-40% oleic acid. This ratio is a good fatty acid ratio for deep cleansing without being too drying.  It will benefit many skin types, especially even those with occasional itchy outbreaks, sensitivities, recurring clogged pores and dry patches.  There is no Castor oil in this blend, Castor oil is very astringent and can dry out skin, it has many uses and can be added to my cleansing blend if you have especially oily skin. 

This blend provides both gentle cleansing and emollient nourishment to help my skin cope with crisp, clear mountain air and the much sought after face shot on a powder day.  

Stay tuned for more. 

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