Cleopatra was gorgeous. According to all reports, a real beauty. And it’s very possible that her beauty was at least partly down to Frankincense. Since ancient Egyptian times, this rich botanical oil has been used in skincare because of its natural rejuvenating properties. One of my all-time favourite essential oils, I love it’s heady, woody scent, and use it in my skincare routine every day. Frankincense Oil, or Boswellia Carterii, is made from the resin of Boswellia trees, commonly grown in Somalia and parts of Pakistan. Used in many traditional and alternative medicines, frankincense is often found in natural, premium skincare products.
Here’s everything you need to know about this miracle oil, plus how to incorporate it into your natural skincare routine.
Frankincense lifts, tones and tightens skin. A natural astringent, it speeds up the natural regeneration of skin cells, leaving skin softer and less dull-looking, preventing wrinkles and fine lines. Because it absorbs easily into skin and leaves it conditioned and healthier looking, it’s popular in anti-aging formulas in skin care, and is often found in moisturisers.
Frankincense Oil can be used on its own to condition and tone skin, but for maximum impact, it’s great mixed with other natural botanicals like hyaluronic acid, jojoba or Japanese Rice Bran Oil. When I was formulating our Face Cream combined all of these, and added Crocus Bulb Extract along with more than twenty other natural botanical oils and extracts to create a natural hydrating moisturiser that’s incredibly high impact.
Known for its amazing healing properties, Frankincense oil has long been used to reduce dark spots, heal and prevent acne scarring and generally reducing the appearance of scars, stretch marks and general wear-and-tear on skin. It’s a very soothing oil, highly effective on irritated skin thanks to its natural anti-inflammatory properties, so it’s great for skin that’s been damaged by sun or cold weather. It also adds shine and strengthens skin and hair.
As it heals and soothes, it gives skin a natural glow, allowing the healthy new skin cells to shine and improving skins natural radiance. Because it’s a natural antioxidant too, it made perfect sense as a key ingredient in our Balancing face Oil, a botanical-packed powerhouse that hydrates, nourishes and enhances skin appearance and health.
As I mentioned, Frankincense is a natural astringent, speeding up the natural regeneration of healthy skin cells. This makes it an ideal ingredient in a natural exfoliant. When combined with other botanicals with cleansing and exfoliating properties, it adds a rejuvenating, reconditioning element which repairs skin cells more quickly as the exfoliant clears away dead and damaged cells.
I combined it with some selected AHAs - naturally occurring fruit acids from pineapple and papaya that cut down to the pores, removing impurities - and bamboo to create our natural Exfoliating Powder, to perfectly complement the healing properties of Frankincense.
The scent of Frankincense is instantly recognisable. It’s earthy and woody, but also fresh and even a little fruity. It’s so unique and exotic. I love it. For thousands of years, Frankincense has been used in religious rites and meditation, because of its grounding, calming qualities. In aromatherapy, it’s a balancing oil - calming but not causing drowsiness - and lingers, rallying you and clearing your mind, allowing you to focus.