Essential oils are plant extracts made from flowers, leaves, and seeds. Some may have properties that can treat certain skin conditions.
Many essential oils have been shown to be beneficial to skin, but it’s important to dilute them in a carrier oil such as Argan oil or Coconut oil so that they’re safe to apply. Alternatively, use only products that are pre-blended for use on skin to further decrease risk of irritation.
Using essential Oils.
Essential oils are either inhaled or used directly on the body. They’re not safe to be ingested orally. When applying essential oils to skin, always do a patch test ahead of time to make sure there is no allergic rection, and do not use them around the eyes.
(A patch test involves placing a small amount of the diluted essential oil on the skin, say the forearm, then wait 24 hours to check for any allergic reactions before using on a larger area of skin.)
Massage and Direct Application
When treating skin conditions, essential oils are most likely to work best topically. This entails using small drops of an oil. Always dilute the oils with a carrier oil, such as Almond, Argan, Coconut or Olive oil first before using. Use a few drops per tablespoon of carrier oil for best results, then massage into skin until fully absorbed.
Bathing in essential oils can also work well for a variety of skin conditions, especially if trying to treat hard-to-reach areas like the back. Simply by adding up to 10 drops of oil to a running bath.
Essential Oils for Dry Skin
Dry skin can occur during certain times of the year, especially in the hotter drier months. Dry skin can also occur naturally from age or reduced activity in the sebaceous (oil) glands in the pores. Dry skin is often remedied with creams and moisturisers, but some essential oils can provide relief and assistance with soothing.
Everyone know that lavender is great for sleep, calming and relaxation, but this multipurpose oil also has many healing properties. Lavender is one of the most versatile essential oils. It can help to balance out moisture levels in the skin. It’s an anti-inflammatory that can reduce redness and a natural hydrator that can repair dry skin without making it too greasy.
Chamomile oil contains an ingredient called Azulene, known for increasing moisture and reducing inflammation. Chamomile also has nourishing properties. People commonly drink it as a tea but it is incredibly beneficial when applied to the skin.
Sandalwood contains compounds known for reducing inflammation while promoting moisture in the skin.
Essential Oils for Oily Skin
Oily skin is the result of an overactive sebaceous glands, creating excessive oil on the surface of the skin. Factors like humidity, heat, and hormones can make oily skin worse. The following essential oils may help alleviate oily skin issues.
Clary Sage Oil
Clary Sage contains active compounds like linalyl acetate and geranyl, Clary Sage is known as a go-to essential oil for controlling excess sebum. It may also help control acne and reduce the appearance of wrinkles in mature skin.
Rosemary oil is known for its anti-inflammatory, stimulating, and analgesic properties. Its key ingredients help keep excess sebum at bay. It also helps with both greasy hair and dandruff and may even stimulate hair growth.
Frankincense oil can help to alleviate oily and acne-prone skin while providing lipids for aging skin. For anti-aging benefits, look no further than frankincense oil, it is ultra-nourishing for dry and mature skin.
With its alkaline properties, Geranium oil is said to help balance out skin oils, by assisting to even out hydration levels.
Neroli is another essential oil that contains Citral. It helps balance out sebum without drying the skin.
Essential Oils for Sensitive Skin
Sensitive skin can be either dry or oily, and can sometimes occur alongside allergies, eczema, and other skin conditions.
Those with sensitive skin, should stay away from oils that are highly acidic, such as Lemon and Lemongrass. The following oils are considered safe for all skin types:
Essential Oils for Acne-Prone Skin
With acne, it’s crucial that to remove excess oils and bacteria without drying the skin, as this can lead to increased oil production. Inflammation can be another contributing factor to acne breakouts.
Both Rosemary and Frankincense oils are known for treating acne by reducing microbials and inflammation. Clary Sage is also used for acne and on oily skin. The following oils may also help acne-prone skin types.
Lemon oil, derived from the peel of the citrus fruit, can help fight inflammation and free radicals that can contribute to acne and photoaging.
Lemongrass also has natural astringent properties. These can help fight pimples by acting as an antimicrobial while also removing excess dead skin cells.
Cinnamon essential oil is also considered a powerful anti-inflammatory thanks to key antioxidant compounds like cinnamic acid. This may help inflammatory acne symptoms like cysts, nodules, and pustules.
Tea Tree Oil
Derived from the melaleuca tree, Tea Tree oil is one of the most notable antiseptics in alternative medicine. It’s naturally anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial, decreasing skin surface bacteria, fungus, and viruses. It helps fight bacteria and inflammation, both of which can contribute to acne breakouts.
Peppermint oil is best used in really small doses, but the natural menthol content provides an analgesic effect on the skin and sore muscles.
Essential Oils for a Skin Rashes
Certain essential oils also have the ability to balance out moisture and alleviate itchiness of skin rashes. These include eczema and psoriasis.
Potential essential oils for skin rashes include:
Another consideration is the pain that can sometimes occur with skin rashes. In this case, the following essential oils have pain-relieving properties that can assist with this aspect:
Peppermint - It cools down hot rashes
Wintergreen - It acts as a soothing agent on painful skin rashes.
Eucalyptus - It provides moisture to itchy, painful skin rashes.
Patchouli - known for reducing both pain and inflammation.
These qualities are especially helpful for treating eczema rashes.
Essential Oils for Pigmentation
Whether these are a result of acne scars or age spots from sun exposure, certain essential oils may help even out skin tone when used as a serum.
Pomegranate oil has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that can promote healthier, more even skin.
Carrot Seed Oil
Carrot Seed oil is used to decrease scarring. It may also help reduce the appearance of wrinkles in mature skin.
Tangerine oil also has a high antioxidant profile, which makes it useful for promoting smoother, more toned skin.
Ylang-Ylang helps inhibit skin pigmentation.
Some other useful oils for pigmentation include:
• Frankincense for age spots
• Geranium to even out tone
• Lemon to fight free radicals
• Lavender for reduced redness
Essential Oils for Mature Skin and Anti-Aging
Skin naturally loses elasticity and collagen with age, which can lead to sagging, fine lines, and wrinkles. The following essential oils have been studied for their potential anti-aging benefits.
With antioxidants like vitamins A and C, Rose oil can help promote skin cell turnover, which often slows down with age. In turn, this could create younger-looking skin with fewer lines.
Rose Hip Seed Oil
Made from the fruit of rose plants, Rosehip oil contains both vitamins C and vitamin A, which can protect against signs of aging. Plus, it’s wonderfully rich in essential fatty acids which can improve overall skin texture and hydration levels.
Historically, Myrrh was used by Egyptian women for anti-aging skin care routines. This antioxidant-rich oil is thought to promote circulation, creating brighter, more refined looking skin.
Jojoba oil has been noted for repairing the top layer of skin, thanks to its natural fatty acid content. Other oils that provide similar results include Argan, Coconut, and Sunflower seed oils. Jojoba is also known for being lightweight, which makes it a good choice for oily skin.
Other anti-aging oils include:
• Carrot Seed
• Clary Sage
Whilst essential oils have their benefits, they can also cause rashes and / or irritation if they are not diluted beforehand with a carrier oil.
Before using an essential oil, always place a small amount of the diluted oils on the skin, say on the forearm, and wait 24 hours to check for an allergic reaction.
While essential oils are natural, they can be just as powerful as traditional medications. They should never be taken orally, and shouldn’t be used in an attempt to self-treat any underlying medical condition. Always ask a doctor before using essential oils if pregnant or breastfeeding.