Could daily use of a good quality moisturizer help to reduce anxiety, panic, PTSD, phobias and social anxiety by reducing inflammation? Last week I blogged about a new pilot study on how a skin moisturizer reduced inflammation in older adults and extrapolated these results suggesting this may well be applicable for you if you suffer from anxiety because of the reduced inflammation. The benefits of touch, the oxytocin boost and slowing down for some self-care most likely play a role too. I promised to share some DIY home-made moisturizer recipes so here goes. You’ll see that many of these include ingredients that are helpful for anxiety when used stand-alone, so you get that benefit too.
Dr. Mariza shares Lavender-Cocoa Body Lotion Bars and a Soothing Skin Roller Blend
Dr. Mariza Snyder, author of The Essential Oils Hormone Solution (my Amazon link) and Smart Mom’s Guide to Essential Oils (my Amazon link), has a lovely recipe for DIY lotion bars on her site which she gave me permission to share here. She describes these bars as a “luxurious chocolaty-lavender post-shave moisturizer.” She adds that “Lavender and Geranium essential oils are the perfect combination when it comes to softening the skin while helping you to relax in the process.”
Lavender-Cocoa Body Lotion Bars
1 cup beeswax pastilles
1 cup cocoa butter
1 cup coconut oil
2 teaspoons vitamin E
10 drops lavender essential oil
10 drops geranium essential oil
Directions: Combine all ingredients except essential oils in a double boiler or a glass bowl over a smaller sauce pan with 1 inch of water in it. Bring to a boil. Stir ingredients until they are completely melted and smooth. Remove from heat and then add essential oils and stir. Pour mixture into silicone bake cup molds for the lotion to solidify, allowing them to completely dry before removing them from the molds. Store lotion bars in a clean container and apply to body after a shower. The heat from your body will melt the lotion! Yield: 10-12 bars (depending on molds).
Check out her blog for other self-care recipes like a salt scrub, a cooling peppermint shaving cream and a razor burn serum (with versions for both women and men).
When I reached out to her for recipes, Dr. Mariza also shared a soothing skin healing blend recipe saying: “I’ve used this blend to reduce inflammation and redness on irritated skin with incredible success! I’ve treated a lot of acute eczema and psoriasis with this blend flare ups.”
Soothing Skin Roller Blend
5 drops Melaleuca/Tea Tree essential oil
5 drops Geranium essential oil
6 drops Rose essential oil (optional)
6 drops Lavender essential oil
6 drops Frankincense essential oil
Fractionated Coconut Oil or Carrier Oil of choice
Directions: Add essential oils to 10ml roller bottle and top off with Fractionated Coconut oil, or carrier oil of your choice. Apply directly over the area of concern to reduce red, irritated skin. Use as needed.
You can read my review of her book here): The Essential Oils Hormone Solution.
Dr. Z and Mama Z share their most used recipe: DIY Healing Skin Serum
Dr. Eric Zielinski, author of The Healing Power of Essential Oils (my Amazon link), and known affectionately as Dr. Z, and his wonderful wife, Mama Z, gave me permission to share this DIY Healing Skin Serum recipe. They run the Natural Living Family site.
Mama Z’s DIY Healing Skin Serum
1 tablespoon cold fresh frozen aloe, or aloe vera gel
1 tablespoon organic coconut oil (softened or melted)
5 drops lavender essential oil
2 drops frankincense essential oil
- Blend the aloe gel, coconut oil and essential oils in a Magic Bullet or food processor until smooth.
- Once well mixed, store in a class jar or glass salve container in a cool place so the coconut oil remains hardened.
- Store in fridge or cool place and enjoy at least once per day. Make fresh each week.
Notes: No matter what allergies you may have, there’s a carrier oil that’s right for you. You can use any, or a combination of these: Avocado, Fractionated Coconut, Grapeseed, Jojoba, Sweet Almond.
Be sure to read the entire blog post to get the back story on how Mama Z used this to heal her face after experiencing some chemical burns from store bought facial cleansers and creams when she was a teen, how it helped her dad with some skin cancer on his hands, some tips on aloe and some recipe variations.
Dr. Z gives it this glowing endorsement: “This is by far the most proven and most used DIY recipe that we have. It helps people with everything with skin cancer to sun burn, eczema to acne to psoriasis to you name it.”
Here is my review of Dr. Z’s book: The Healing Power of Essential Oils. You’ll find additional recipes here.
If you’re looking to learn how to use essential oils, I highly recommend their Essential Oils for Abundant Living 10-Part Video Masterclass.
Rachael, herbal skincare formulator, shares a lovely Skin Repair Souffle recipe
Skin Repair Souffle Recipe
A glass jar–4 oz is preferred
A small double boiler/bain marie
Heat element (stove, cooktop, hot plate)
A small whisk
Small hand mixer, milk frother, or immersion blender
30 g shea butter
30 g jojoba oil
15 drops total essential oils (Frankincense, Helichrysum, Geranium, and Lavender are the essential oils Rachael likes best for barrier support. She says either choose one or create a blend).
- Heat your double boiler until the water is boiling, then reduce to a simmer.
- Add the shea and jojoba and whisk gently until completely melted.
- Remove the vessel from the heat (careful not to get water into the mixture), and cool to room temperature in an ice bath while stirring gently.
- Add your essential oils, one by one, stirring gently.
- Blend gently with your milk frother or blender until the mixture begins to rise with a meringue-like texture (usually about 60 seconds)
- Pour into your jar. Close the jar immediately. Refrigerate overnight.
Dr. Keira, The Skin Whisperer, shares Lavender Bath Oil and Rejuvenating Serum
Dr. Keira L. Barr, MD, Founder and Chief Wellness Officer of Resilient Health Institute and author of The Skin Whisperer: A Dermatologist Reveals How to Look Younger, Radiate Beauty and Create the Life you Crave (my Amazon link), shares two wonderful recipes.
Lavender Bath Oil
30 ml Almond Oil (or other carrier oil)
3 drops lavender essential oil
1 drop jasmine essential oil
1 drop myrrh essential oil
Mix all oils together in a bottle and shake well. This oil can be applied to skin in the shower, added to bath water or used after bathing or showering (while skin is damp but not completely dry to aid in absorption). Note: essential oil is 1% dilution.
4ml Rosehip Seed Oil
3 ml Argan Oil
1 ml Pomegranate seed Oil
1 ml Sea Buckthorn Oil
1 drop carrot seed essential oil
Pour into 10 ml amber or dark colored glass bottle and label
Blend all the oils together adding the carrot seed essential oil last. Shake thoroughly and store in the refrigerator. Apply 3 to 5 drops after cleansing the skin nightly. Can be used on the face, neck and back of hands.
Calming essential oils and the original blog
As I mentioned above many of these recipes include ingredients that are calming and helpful for anxiety when used stand-alone, so you get that benefit too:
- Intoxicating fragrance: Jasmine as valium substitute? New 2019 research confirms this
- Blend of lavender, ylang-ylang, marjoram, and neroli reduces stress and lowers cortisol
- Essential oils to help alleviate anxiety and improve sleep
If you missed the original blog with the research or would like a recap here it is: Could a daily moisturizer help to lower markers of inflammation and reduce anxiety, panic, PTSD, phobias and social anxiety?
You can learn more about the study; why poor skin health leads to inflammation; the role of inflammation on anxiety and other mental health conditions; the many nutritional approaches for reducing cytokines and inflammation; some studies on the benefit of touch and a boost of oxytocin; and tips for adding skin moisturizing to your daily self-care routine.
Skin moisturizing, diet and calming nutrients
As I said in the original blog, I feel very comfortable saying you now have a new tool – daily skin moisturizing – to add to your toolbox to help lower inflammation and reduce anxiety, panic, PTSD, phobias and social anxiety. Let’s use this – together with dietary changes and key calming nutrients – to eliminate anxiety and feel your absolute best.
These recipes provide safe and fun options for you to try. Have fun with these recipes and be sure to share which ones you try and like or if you have your own favorite. Also share what your moisturizing self-care routine is like.
I have more to share – all the feedback from a recent Facebook post on favorite home-made and store-bought moisturizers and will share this in the next installment. Do let me know what else you’d like me to cover.
Additional Anxiety Resources