Look at our ingredient lists, and you’ll see that vetiver oil is in all of our Puristry formulas. It’s one of our current ingredient obsessions, so here we’re shining the spotlight on it in two of our fave products: Nopal Cactus Cleanser and Flower Water Toner, both ultra calming and soothing products that pack a powerful punch with their vegan and non-toxic ingredient lists. Vetiver, the little known oil with incredible skin benefits, an elegant aroma, and sustainable production practices, equips both formulas with its powerful and naturally occurring skin-loving properties.
A grass from the Poaceae family of plants, scientifically called Chrysopogon zizanioides, vetiver is a naturally fast-growing and perennial grass that hails from Haiti, Java, Japan, the Philippines, and Réunion. The oil is famous all over the Indian subcontinent (it’s popularly known as “khus”), where its musky scent is thought to have a cooling effect on the body and an anxiety relieving effect when used in aromatherapy. The oil is obtained through steam distillation of the grass roots – oil is derived from roots up to 24 months old, which have been freshly extracted from the soil, cleaned, dried, soaked in water and distilled. Post distillation, the formula separates into essential oil and hydrosol – the oil is skimmed off, mellowing and intensifying in fragrance and concentration as it ages. What’s left is a plant-based lipid with naturally occuring levels of benzoic acid - a colorless, crystalline solid with powerful antibacterial properties. The oil is also an organic anti-inflammatory, a skin cell regeneration catalyst, and when ingested, improves circulation and immunity. That said, it’s a true heavyweight in our Puristry formulas, working synergistically with our other cold-pressed oils to get you a glowing and healthy dermis. As always, we only use organic vetiver oil (and all of our products are USDA organic).
Lets dive more into the overachieving profile of this underappreciated oil.
Antimicrobial Vetiver Oil for Fighting Acne
Vetiver oil is a powerful antibacterial and antimicrobial agent – so much so that it efficiently stops the growth of Staphylococcus aureus, the bacteria responsible for causing sepsis. What this means? That it’s a fitting tonic to treat acne and dermatitis. It can be used daily as part of an anti-acne regime, helping provide a check on future breakouts and sustained healing of currently active blemishes. And the good news is that unlike other conventional acne-targeting acids that are synthetically derived, it’s ultra gentle, soothing, and non-irritating.
A Powerful Moisturizer for the Skin
In fact, vetiver oil is a rich moisturizer – vetiver roots retain water to a remarkable degree, so much so that vetiver grass is planted and propagated when topsoil is dry and damaged, as vetiver roots can effectively regenerate and re-inject dry and eroded topsoil with hydration and nutrition. The roots are also a naturally occuring botanical solution to polluted soil, as they exhibit the incredible property of metabolizing and digesting toxins found in toxin-contaminated earth. This process is called phytoremediation, and amounts to cleansing the environment – think cleansing and hydration for soil. Taking our cue from nature, we’ve included vetiver oil in our formulas for these intense hydration, cleansing and water-retaining properties – when the root’s oil is applied topically, skin reaps its potent moisturizing action and skin protection benefits. Overall, it’s an effective remedy for dry and flaky skin, with its antimicrobial and antibacterial properties working synergistically with its moisturizing properties to make it an ideal ingredient to treat combination or sensitive skin that suffers from both dryness and breakouts.
Vetiver oil has also been observed to enhance processes of skin cell regeneration, thanks to its antioxidant content. It promotes the growth of new tissue in areas affected by acne scarring, discoloration and skin irregularity, replacing dead and darker tissues with a more uniform skin tone and even complexion. This makes it an effective supplement to incorporate into an anti-aging regime, and a helpful stimulant for enhanced collagen production. The big picture? Its capacity to heal skin and fade dark spots makes it an all purpose problem solver for a variety of skin ailments, for faces of all ages.
How to Use Vetiver Oil in Your Skin Care Routine
With these stellar benefits in mind, we’ve incorporated it as an essential ingredient in both our Nopal Cactus Cleanser and Flower Water Toner. Skin cleansing should be effective without stripping your skin, so we drew upon the natural powers of vetiver oil to produce a deep clean while also providing nourishment, anti-redness, and soothing anti-inflammation.
Our Nopal Cactus Cleanser is an ambrosial and fragrant oil-based formula with skin-calming and brightening properties and a carefully constructed ingredient blueprint. In addition to featuring vetiver oil, the formula incorporates yuzu citrus (an exfoliating and brightening vitamin C blast), organic honeysuckle extract (a good source of antioxidant packed flavonoids and saponins) and nopal cactus (for oil control). It’s a gentle oil cleanser with a natural scent and a lightweight texture that will leave your skin cleansed and soft, never tight or dry. Use it in conjunction with our Flower Water Toner, an ultra-calming post-cleanse treatment featuring vetiver oil for its antibacterial action, plus rose and calendula hydrosols for their therapeutic moisture renewing and pH balancing properties. This is a must-have duo for anyone with combination skin, or mature skin that occasionally still suffers from breakouts (we’ve got your back).
The takeaway? We heart vetiver oil. It’s known as “fragrance of the soil” for a reason – thanks to its super earthy and sweet aroma, sensuous golden hue, and remarkable resume of healing properties. With a rich history of cosmetic and health applications, and having been identified as one of the most biochemically complex of all essential oils, we’re keeping our eye on this emerging super-ingredient. Ayurvedic wisdom describes its cool and watery nature – a function of its relationship with the soil in which it grows – as working against heat, or Pitta Dosha, in the body and mind. We’re on board.
Check back with us here for more ingredient spotlights and product stories!