I once had a friend who had to use natural lotion on her entire body every time she showered or else her skin would get so dry it flaked. This was a very foreign concept to me, as I have naturally oily skin and almost never need lotion.
When I was younger, my skin was always oily and acne-prone. It was super great as a high school girl (*sarcasm*). As an adult, it has evened out some but still tends to be on the oily side. But, it also decides sometimes to be dry while still somehow being oily too!
On the one hand, I hope it means I have the same genes as my 85 year old great aunt who never seems to age or get grey hair. On the other hand, I’ve been trying to figure out what on earth to do with dry but oily skin.
I found that taking omega-3s and getting enough vitamin D makes a big difference. I also found that my skin now loves a few natural ingredients. Thus, a natural face cream with oily skin and acne-friendly ingredients was born. (At least after a few tries.)
Why Make a Natural Face Cream?
When you have oily but dry, irritated, or sensitive skin, it can be tempting to reach for a chemical concoction to try and alleviate the symptoms. Fortunately there are plenty of natural ingredients that are up for the task. Sea buckthorn oil is the star of this soothing face cream, and it has an impressive array of benefits for aging or irritated skin. Even my oily skin loves this natural oil.
Types of Sea Buckthorn Oil
There are two different types of sea buckthorn oil. One is extracted from the fruit, and one from the seed. They both have similar actions, but very different compositions. Some brands combine both the fruit and seed oil together. Just be sure to check the product information to see what kind of sea buckthorn you’re getting.
Sea Buckthorn Fruit vs Seed Oil
Oil expressed from the fruit is very high in palmitoleic and palmitic acids. Palmitoleic acid is an omega-7 that’s naturally produced by our oil glands and comprises 20% of our sebum. It’s found in all tissues and helps speed healing and protects against infections. Our production of this necessary omega acid declines as we age, so it’s helpful to supplement our skin with topical applications.
Sea buckthorn fruit oil also contains about 30% palmitic acid. This acid makes up 22% of our sebum and it helps to form a protective barrier on the skin.
Sea buckthorn seed oil is rich in linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid that plays a crucial role in maintaining the barrier and passage functions of our skin. This allows the nutrients in while keeping harmful substances out. You’ll also find high amounts of alpha-linoleic acid, which is an omega-3 that converts into the potent anti-inflammatory EPA and DHA.
Benefits of Sea Buckthorn
As a whole, sea buckthorn oil is high in essential fatty acids, phytosterols, antioxidants, and trace elements like copper, iron, and selenium. It promotes circulation in the skin and reduces inflammation to alleviate the pain of irritated skin. It also aids in skin regeneration, keeps skin supple, and slows down the signs of aging. Sea buckthorn is very high in the antioxidant and skin protector vitamin E, which is what gives the oil its deep, orange color. It is also the reason that this finished cream looks like it has turmeric in it!
Sea Buckthorn Face Cream Recipe
This recipe uses a base of grapeseed oil since it’s a light oil and helps balance out the heavier feel from the beeswax and sea buckthorn. Kokum butter is a very hard, flaky butter that helps thicken without the waxy feel you get from using too much beeswax. And geranium and lavender essential oils are well known for their soothing and skin regenerating properties. Geranium also slows the signs of aging and helps to prevent and get rid of wrinkles.
- heat-safe glass bowl
- metal spoon
- mixer with whisk attachment (optional but recommended)
Sea Buckthorn Face Cream Ingredients
- 1 tsp sea buckthorn oil (this one is sea buckthorn seed oil)
- 1/2 cup grapeseed oil
- 1 TBSP plus 2 tsp beeswax pastilles
- 2 tsp kokum butter (you can substitute mango butter or cocoa butter)
- 16 drops vitamin E oil
- 12 drops geranium or lavender essential oil
Sea Buckthorn Face Cream Instructions
- In a heat-safe glass bowl combine the grapeseed oil, beeswax, and kokum butter. Perch the glass bowl on a pot filled halfway with water and turn the heat to medium-high. This creates a makeshift double boiler and prevents the oils from overheating.
- Gently stir the mixture with a metal spoon until everything is melted, then very carefully remove the glass bowl from the heat. Stir in the sea buckthorn oil, vitamin E oil, and the essential oils.
- Allow the mixture to cool for a few minutes before transferring to the fridge. If you’re not whipping the face cream, then skip this step and just pour the blend into a glass jar and allow it to cool until firm.
- Refrigerate the face cream for 25 minutes, or until it’s no longer warm and has a hard salve consistency. You don’t want it to be rock hard solid though, or it won’t whip very well.
- Use your mixer with the whisk attached and whip the face cream until its smooth and looks like lotion. Transfer it to a glass jar and use very sparingly.
- You can use a blend of your preferred skin-friendly essential oils. I used 6 drops each of geranium and lavender because I wanted the benefits and scent of both.
- Frankincense and rose essential oils are pricier, but are also great options for this recipe. You’re only using a tiny amount, so overall it’s still way cheaper than many conventional options.
Need help deciding what natural beauty products are right for your skin? Check out this guide to finding the best skin care routine.
Do you have oily skin? Ever tried using sea buckthorn oil before? Share below!
Discussion (25 Comments)
Hi! I’m a 50 year old female with really oily skin on my face. Anything i use with oils in it has my skin even oiler with in a few mins. Would I still need all of the oils listed? Thanks Stephanie
So where did the print button go?
There is usually a printable version but it seems to be gone or did i miss it somehow..
It wasn’t working correctly so we’re working to fix it. You can still print without it by clicking File > Print at the top of your browser…
Can I add zinc oxide to this? If so how much? I like to have some sun protection in my daily moisturizer.
Hai Katie, it’s nice to land on your awesome blog. From now, it seem i will be the big fan of you.
Well done. I got GERD since a couple year ago. Recipe on your blog help me alot. Thanks once again..
I grew up eating sea buckthorn – went berry hunting with family every fall. It is still one of my favorite berries to eat and use in drinks. We make hot tea with it and also a beverage called ‘mors’, where the skins and seeds are boiled and sifted out and then the freshly squeezed berry juice is added. Really good and I suspect really healthy. I wonder why it is not cultivated in the US.
Hey Katie, just read your article about Seabuckthorn and found your intro very interesting— “I once had a friend who had to use natural lotion on her entire body every time she showered or else her skin would get so dry it flaked. This was a very foreign concept to me, as I have naturally oily skin and almost never need lotion.” I found myself wondering does Katie not know any ppl of color or black ppl in particular because we have to lotion or “oil” our skin daily or it becomes very dry or, as we culturally refer to as “ashy.” Our facial skin tends to lean on the oily side but our bodies require a good lotioning daily and that’s the norm for us. Isn’t it interesting that what’s foreign to one may be a norm for another, that’s what makes God’s creation so amazing!
Really enjoy your blog and the great info you continue to provide.
I’m a vegan. What can I substitute for the beeswax?
I was wondering if heating changes the properties of the sea buckthorn oil? At what temperature does it hold and which does it start to denature or break down?
I just made this and am excited to use it! Does it have a shelf life or need to be refridgerated?
PS – I have a food processor, a blender and a hand-held immersion blender but not a mixer. I wonder if I can make the cream without a mixer (and whisk attachment)?