As we can’t see our insides, we usually notice the first signs of aging on our skin. While age brings wisdom, it also brings less resilient skin that often tends to become dry and begins to wrinkle. And, as the skin around the eyes is the thinnest skin on the body and constantly active while we’re awake (we blink around 10,000 times every day), it’s more fragile, more prone to dryness, and quicker to show signs of age, resulting in those dreaded crow’s feet.
Reduced collagen that can be caused by sun-exposed aged skin can also contribute to wrinkles by weakening the bond between skin layers as we get older, and, with that loss of collagen, an increasing number of wrinkles ensue, while some areas of the skin, particularly around the eyes, begin to get less firm.
While diet plays a significant role in how our skin looks and feels, there are other ways we can help improve the complexion to create a more youthful, glowing look with fewer wrinkles and less visible crow’s feet – without resorting to drastic measures like going under the knife or even high-priced department store creams.
Those store-bought creams typically come with a host of toxic chemicals too, but by making your own homemade eye cream, you’ll not only save cash, but you’ll potentially save your good health too. Using shea butter along with pure, natural oils is safe and effective, helping to moisturize your skin, including the areas around your eyes, and reduce the appearance of wrinkles, including those pesky crow’s feet.
The nutrients and other compounds in essential oils that appear in the recipe below offer all sorts of benefits that are detailed under each one.
Super Moisturizing Shea Butter Eye Cream with Essential Oils
In this fabulous cream, in addition to shea butter, you’ll find a number of essential oils, and there is a specific reason why each one is used.
Shea butter. Shea butter has been called a “skin superfood.” It’s derived from the seeds of the fruit of the Shea tree and is naturally high in vitamins A and E as well as offering some UV protection. It provides essential fatty acids and nutrition to the skin that’s important for collagen production, and contains linolenic, stearic, oleic and palmitic acids which protect and nourish the skin to prevent drying. Its rich concentration of vitamins and fatty acids also make it outstanding for remedying dry skin, keeping it nourished and moisturized, while also reducing inflammation.
A study out of Japan conducted in 2010 showed that due to shea butters cinnamic acid and other natural compounds, it offered anti-inflammatory properties that reduced skin inflammation
Aloe vera gel. Aloe vera gel has been used for hundreds of years to naturally moisturize, protect and heal the skin. The gel is extracted directly from the leaves of the aloe plant and contains 18 amino acids which work together to soothe and heal dry skin. It’s particularly beneficial for wrinkles and dryness, thanks to its high level of essential vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A, C, B12 and vitamin E along with zinc, calcium, magnesium, proteins and amino acids which help to battle free radicals that can speed the signs of aging like wrinkling. It also helps return moisture to the skin with its humectant abilities, keeping the skin more smooth and supple, while also offering anti-inflammatory effects that help to lessen puffy under-eye bags and even dark circles.
Unrefined coconut oil. Coconut oil is jampacked with healthy fats that provide us with energy, the ability to fight microbes in the body, and a wealth of benefits that positively impact the skin. Its saturated fats are mainly medium-chain fatty acids that when applied to the skin, help keep it smooth to the touch while retaining moisture content at the same time. The oil’s vitamin E content helps it to repair wear and tear on the skin, protecting it from cracking and preventing premature aging, including wrinkles.
Coconut oil is able to penetrate the skin on a deeper level than even those expensive store-bought products due to its low molecular weight and the way it bonds with proteins. It’s naturally antibacterial, antifungal, moisturizing and great for many different skin conditions, including atopic dermatitis.
Frankincense essential oil. This warm, exotic oil offers anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, astringent and antiseptic properties, and is known for its ability to heal age spots, in addition to other benefits like boosting immunity, fighting cancer and shortening the life cycle of a cold. Frankincense essential oil is cytophylactic, which means that it helps protect existing cells, encourage new cell growth, and reduce the appearance of large pores. Its anti-aging properties make it great for reducing wrinkles, including crow’s feet, as well as tightening sagging skin and under-eye bags.
Jojoba oil. Jojoba oil is one of the top anti-aging oils out there. It’s also one of the most hydrating, yet it hydrates without leaving the skin oily. It’s rich with many beneficial nutrients, like vitamin E, vitamin B, chromium, zinc, and copper, and it’s also very similar to something known as sebum, an oily substance secreted by the sebaceous glands in the skin. As we age, these microscopic glands produce less sebum, which is why we get dry skin. That makes jojoba oil particularly beneficial as it takes on the role sebum does by keeping the skin moisturized naturally when the body does not. The oil is also unique in that it’s good for oily skin and acne too, as it’s able to remove excess oil and sticky buildup.
Jojoba oil moisturizes by forming an oily layer on the skin that traps water, eliminating or reducing dry skin that’s caused by water loss in the skin’s upper layer. It also prevents scaly, rough patches, and irritation. Its antioxidants help to soothe fine lines, reduce wrinkles and naturally slow other signs of aging too.
A study conducted by Italy’s Department of Environment and Life Sciences in 2011 found that jojoba oil can also speed the wound healing process. The researchers proved that it accelerates wound closures and also stimulates collagen synthesis without side effects.
Lavender essential oil. Lavender essential oil is one of the best essential oils for healing skin conditions as it specifically targets the skin and improves cellular communication within the skin. It’s been used for medicinal and religious purposes for more than 2,500 years – the Romans used it for bathing, cooking, and aromatic purposes, while the Egyptians used it as a perfume, and for mummification.
Lavender essential oil’s many health and beauty benefits can be attributed to its antifungal and antiseptic properties that have been effective for everything from acne and psoriasis to wrinkles, eczema and a host of inflammatory conditions as well as speeding the healing of wounds, cuts, sunburns and other burns. Thanks to its potent antioxidants, it also helps to fight free radical damage to prevent premature aging. Research from China found that the oil actually helps the body produce three of its most powerful antioxidants: glutathione, catalase, and SOD, within 22 hours of using it.
Vitamin E oil. Vitamin E is an essential nutrient and an antioxidant that’s highly beneficial for the skin, particularly when combined with other antioxidants such as those offered in the recipe here. It helps to fight against free radicals and other environmental damaging effects. It also treats wrinkles by boosting collagen production, which is important for skin tone and elasticity, as well as supporting new skin cell growth and speeding cell regeneration.
Now that you know why all of these ingredients are included to make a super powerful, ultra-moisturizing eye cream, without further ado, here is the recipe so that you can begin enjoy all of its amazing benefits.
- 2 ounces shea butter
- 1-ounce pure aloe vera gel
- 1-ounce unrefined coconut oil, melted
- 1 teaspoon jojoba oil
- 5 drops frankincense essential oil
- 5 drops lavender essential oil
- ½ tsp vitamin E oil (break open a vitamin E capsule and squeeze out the oil)
Carefully place the measured shea butter, melted coconut oil, aloe vera gel and jojoba oil into a bowl. Using a beater, whip until it’s smooth and then slowly add the essential oils, blending as you pour each one in. Whip for another one to two minutes after all ingredients are added. Once blended, store in an airtight glass jar.