Oils have been used since the ancient times for beauty care. The ayurvedic system contains thousands of prescriptions using oil. Here we are referring to pressed oils, like olive oil, sesame seed (til) oil, mustard oil, coconut oil, almond oil, sunflower oil, castor oil, etc. They have been commonly used as massage oils for centuries.
In Aromatherapy, essential oils are used. They are very different from the pressed oils. Essential oils are present in a large number of plant products, like flowers, leaves, seeds, or even the bark of the tree. The fragrance of rose, sandalwood, jasmine, lavender and so on is due to their essential oils. Essential oils should never be used by themselves. They should be mixed with pressed oils, or with lotions like rose water. One also has to mix them in the right proportion. Fragrant Body Massage Oil: Add a few drops of rose oil or sandalwood oil to any pressed oil, like almond oil, sesame seed oil or olive oil. This makes a fragrant massage oil for the body. Sandalwood protects the skin from rashes and rose helps to improve blood circulation and tone the skin. Both these essential oils, due to their aromas, also induce relaxation of the mind. You can add 5 drops of essential oil to 50 ml pressed oil.
Dry Skin: Mix egg yolk with a little olive oil and apply on the face. Wash it off with water after 20 minutes. If you wish to lighten skin colour, add lemon juice to the mixture.
Face Mask for Normal to Dry Skin: Mix 2 teaspoons wheat bran (choker) with one-teaspoon orange peel powder, one teaspoon each of honey, curd and olive oil. Apply and wash off after 20 to 30 minutes.
Dry Hair: Egg yolk and almond oil can be applied on the hair too, to nourish dry hair, repair split ends and add shine. It will also add body to the hair.
Cradle Cap: Babies also develop a scaly condition on the scalp, called "cradle cap." The scales should not be pulled out. They should be softened with pure olive oil, applying it with cotton wool. The next day, wash the baby's scalp with a baby shampoo that does not sting the eyes.
Hands: Massage olive oil or til oil into the skin. Then take half teaspoon sugar and scrub on the hands till the sugar has dissolved. Wipe off with a moist towel.
Nails: Heat almond oil and massage the nails and cuticles (skin around the nails). It can also be massaged into the hard skin of elbows and knees.
Dark Circles and Wrinkles around eyes: Daily apply pure almond oil sparingly (very little quantity) around eyes and massage it lightly on the skin only with the ring finger for one minute under each eye. Leave on for 15 minutes and wipe off gently with moist cotton wool.
Hair oil with amla and methi: Take 10 to 15 gms of dry amla and one teaspoon fenugreek (methi) seeds. Grind both amla and methi seeds coarsely. Add them to 100 ml pure coconut oil or sesame seed (til) oil. Put all the ingredients in a glass jar with a tight fitting lid. Keep it in the sun daily for 15 days, shaking it each day in order to stir the ingredients. After 15 days, strain the oil through a clean muslin cloth and keep the oil in a glass jar. This oil may be used to apply on the hair. It will benefit all hair types, as well as dandruff conditions.