I long ago ditched my mainstream fragrant moisturizer that was loaded with hormone disruptors and cancer causing chemicals (but smelled amazing, of course). If you haven’t, read this that discusses fragrances in general or this which discusses body lotion ingredients in particular to persuade yourself.
Since then, I have purchased many organic versions of body lotions. Some were great, some weren’t. Some were expensive, some weren’t. My favorite brand is Weleda by far. It has amazing ingredients and if you ate it, you would not be poisoned. (This is one of my criteria for deciding whether or not to use something on my skin.) That said, my all time favorite moisturizer for my body I only discovered about a year ago. It is sesame oil. It will make your skin look and feel amazing, and it will also help your body on the inside as well!! Let me break down the benefits for you.
- is anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and anti-viral. This makes it great for controlling breakouts and blackheads and for treating wounds or inflamed skin.
- repairs damaged skin cells, especially when used in massage. To make it especially repairing, add a synergy blend such as Soft Skin by Plant Therapy.
- slows aging process with an antioxidant called sesamol.
- is a natural sunscreen with an SPF of 4. To make it more effective as a daily sunscreen, mix one tablespoon of sesame oil with 9 drops of lavender, rosemary, thyme, cedar wood, or clove to make it even more effective. To make a sunscreen when you will actually be out in the sun, add carrot seed oil which has an SPF of about 40!! If you don’t know why you should opt for a natural sunscreen over a chemical sunscreen, read this great article from one of my favorite bloggers, Wellness Mama. Sesame oil is also great for repairing sunburned skin.
- nourishes the body through the skin. The skin is the largest organ (as I am sure you have heard). It absorbs anything you put on it. While this is often not good because we put so many horrible things on/next to our skin, in the case of sesame oil it is great. Your skin absorbs the nutrients found in sesame oil such as the antioxidant vitamin E, the hard to get vitamin K , and various B vitamins such as niacin as well as minerals like calcium, magnesium, zinc, copper, and phosphorus.
- is very healing and moisturizing thanks to fatty acids (stearic, palmitic, oleic, and linoleic). Linoleic acid is known for its ablilty to heal, plump, hydrate, and combat acne.
- is more deeply absorbed by the skin than other oils and provides a barrier against air pollutants. It also improves circulation.
Choosing your Sesame oil:
Be sure to choose organic cold-pressed sesame oil. Since your skin and body will be absorbing this, you want the highest quality oil. I use Life Flo Organic Sesame Oil, but Banyan Botanicals has a good one as well.
Ways to use Sesame oil:
- Use sesame oil as a moisturizer after shower/bath, with a self-massage. I like to add essential oils depending on what I want to address that day. I often choose lemon oil to help my lymphatic system flow freely and boost immunity with an invigorating scent or Frankincense if I am sore from yoga or gardening to reduce inflammation and soothe my muscles and joints. Another great option is the Balance synergy blend from Plant therapy (for women), of you are experiencing any discomfort (mental or physical) relating to your cycle. I like to incorporate a lymphatic massage while I apply my sesame oil plus essential oil blend of the day. (Post coming soon.)
- Sesame oil applied before your bath or shower pulls out toxins. Oil soluble toxins from your body are attracted to the molecules in sesame oil (just like castor oil). They travel up to the surface of your skin where you can then wash them off. Apply sesame oil to your body 15-20 minutes before your bath or shower, then rinse it off while in said bath or shower. Your skin will still feel moisturized afterward, so there should be no need to apply more unless it is the dead of winter and your skin is super dry.
- As a deep hair conditioner. Massage warm sesame oil into your hair to alleviate dry scalp, minimize hair loss, and promote new hair growth. Infuse herbs such as horsetail and/or nettles beforehand to further enhance hair growth. Leave on for 15 minutes to a half an hour and wash out.
Do you use sesame oil as a body moisturizer? Do you use it as a facial moisturizer? Are you going to try it?