Using essential oils for beautiful, healthy and vibrant skin is nothing new. Ancient Egyptians were a culture known for its understanding of the value of essential oils for healing, gorgeous skin and aromatherapy. There is evidence of oils being used over 5,000 years ago in ancient Egypt.
Understanding Your Skin
Did you know that skin is the largest organ? If you are an adult, you have about eight pounds and 22 feet of skin on your body. Skin is a waterproof, insulating shield that protects the body from extreme temperatures, sunlight and harmful chemicals. It produces antibacterial substances to prevent infection and makes vitamin D for conversion to calcium for bone health. Skin is also packed with nerves and transmits information to the brain. Skin is truly an amazing and complex organ and one which deserves attention and care.
We have three layers of skin and they all age in a somewhat different manner. The outside layer, also known as the epidermis is what forms a physical barrier for our skin. The dermis, or the middle layer, contains collagen and elastin. These provide strength, firmness, and elasticity. The deepest layer of skin is where you find connective tissue and fat.
As we age, so does our skin. A number of things happen that cause our skin to lose its youthful vibrancy. One of the first things that happen as our skin gets older is that collagen begins to break down. This is the support structure that keeps our skin firm. We also begin to lose subcutaneous fat – another support structure. This means our skin is thinner and it is more difficult to heal when we get a skin injury.
Because of the loss of subcutaneous tissue, some things become more prominent such as pores, hair follicles, and oil glands. Skin also becomes more sensitive to light and heat as skin structures become weaker.
Other things you may notice as you age are the fact that you seem to have more freckles and liver spots. These are the impacts of the sun. It is so important to protect yourself from the sun as you age.
While all this may sound dismal, there are ways to reduce the signs of aging and promote healthy skin. One of the best tools for this job is essential oils.
Do you suffer from dry, cracked or flaky skin? Millions of people suffer from dry skin which is characterized by a lack of enough water in the epidermis layer of the skin. Older persons are more prone to dry skin due to a lack of natural oils and lubricants. Some environmental factors such as humidity and temperature play a role in how much moisture the skin retains.
Essential oils can help replenish and nourish dry and flaky skin. These essential oils can help the body make more skin oil and calm dry and inflamed skin.
Other Skin Conditions
There are a number of things that can go wrong with our skin, conditions that change the appearance of our skin and can cause irritation and pain. Here are some common skin conditions.
- Bug Bites
- Cold Sores
Using Essential Oils Safely
A common belief is that because essential oils are natural, they are always safe to use. Unfortunately this isn’t always the case. When using essential oils for skin care, consider the following safety points.
- Always dilute an essential oil in a carrier oil before topical application. You can see a big list of carrier oils and what they are good for in our guide here. A 2% dilution is advisable.
- Do not apply essential oils on or near the eyes, lips or mucous membranes.
- If irritation occurs, discontinue use immediately.
- Avoid the use of essential oils on broken, irritated, damaged, or diseased skin.
- Some essential oils increase photosensitivity. Do not use these oils before going out in the sun. For a full list oh phototoxic essential oils.
- If pregnant or nursing, educate yourself on which oils you can use safely. If in doubt, don’t use an oil. This guide will help you safely use essential oils while pregnant.
15 Best Essential Oils For Face and Skin
The great thing about essential oils is that they are highly versatile and can be beneficial for a number of skin conditions. Here are the best essential oils for face and skin and how they can benefit a variety of skin conditions and improve the overall health and vitality of your skin.
1. Lavender essential oil
Besides its enchanting aroma, lavender oil is a circulatory stimulant that has soothing moisturizing properties that increases blood flow to the skin. This improves the skin’s appearance because it increases the delivery of nutrients and oxygen.
Free radicals are very unstable and reactive molecules that cause damage to living cells. Here are some of the places that free radicals come from:
- Lack of sleep
- Lack of exercise
- UV rays
- Bad food
As we age, our skin has less ability to defend against free radicals. We need antioxidants to fight the damage caused by free radicals which include signs of aging like wrinkles and fine lines.
Research shows that lavender essential oil helps the body produce three powerful antioxidants, glutathione, catalase, and superoxide dismutase. These antioxidants can reduce the damage caused by free radicals.
Lavender oil mixed with frankincense oil along with a carrier oil such as sweet almond oil, can help lighten age spots, common with aging.
Lavender also possesses powerful anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce the irritation and inflammation associated with skin conditions such as acne, eczema burn, and even insect bites.
2. Frankincense essential oil
Aging can cause our skin tone to become uneven and create splotches. For sun spots, age spots and uneven skin tone, frankincense essential oil is an excellent choice. Frankincense oil, from the resin of the Boswellia sacra tree, can also help strengthen skin and can be used any place your skin sags such as under your eyes, your neck or abdomen.
3. German Chamomile essential oil
Chamomile essential oil has a calming and soothing impact on skin. It has a high content of azulene which gives it a blue color and also has anti-inflammatory and skin calming properties making it a good choice to remedy dry skin. Chamomile has the ability to penetrate deep into skin layers and promote moisture retention. This essential oil is a great choice for people with sensitive skin.
4. Tea tree essential oil
Tea tree oil is powerfully antiseptic and can battle against a variety of bacterial infections. It also has antiviral and antifungal properties making it an effective remedy for conditions such as ringworm, warts and toenail fungus. Used widely to treat pimples and acne, tea tree oil also contains a mild sedative and can be used topically for corns, boils, cuts, burns, and calluses. A little tea tree oil will quickly relieve the pain and inflammation from bug bites.
5. Geranium essential oil
Geranium oil has a beautiful floral scent and is used extensively in skin care products. It balances sebum secretion which makes it useful for both dry and oily skin. This aromatic oil contains antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. When applied to scars, geranium oil has the ability to accelerate healing and fade scars. Geranium oil can help with acne, dermatitis and other skin conditions by reducing inflammation, fighting bacteria and calming skin. Apply diluted geranium oil to bug bites to stop pain and itching and promote healing. Because geranium oil is an astringent it can minimize the appearance of wrinkles by tightening the skin.
6. Rosemary essential oil
Rosemary has an alluring scent and is a warming oil which has a stimulant effect on the body. Although used often in hair care, rosemary is also highly beneficial to the skin. It has antimicrobial and antiseptic properties which make it an effective remedy for eczema, dermatitis, oily skin and acne. As an all over massage oil, rosemary helps relieve dryness and promotes healthy, toned skin.
7. Peppermint essential oil
Peppermint oil is a bit of a paradox, it is cooling and refreshing and also warming and stimulating. It softens, tones and calms skin and has potent antiseptic and antimicrobial properties. Research published in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine found that peppermint oil is an effective remedy for blackheads, dermatitis, inflammation, sunburn, ringworm, scabies and oily skin.
8. Lemon essential oil
Lemons are refreshing, invigorating and toning for the skin. The antiseptic, antimicrobial and antibacterial properties make this oil a hydrating remedy for nourishing damaged skin. Research shows that lemon oil is able to reduce cell and tissue damage caused by free radicals. This is due to the oil powerful antioxidant and anti-aging effects.
The antiseptic and astringent properties of lemon make it appropriate for oily skin and skin infections such as acne and boils. The astringent properties of lemon oil help combat wrinkles.
9. Neroli essential oil
Neroli has calming and uplifting properties and a very sweet floral fragrance. This oil also contains a chemical called citral that helps cells regenerate. Because of this it can heal stretch marks, balance oil production and shrink the appearance of pores while still leaving the skin moisturized
10. Rose essential oil
Rose oil has a sweet aroma and numerous properties that are great for skin. It cools and tones and has a positive impact on the vascular system. It can help remedy broken capillaries, reduce inflammation, itching, and dryness while reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
11. Myrrh essential oil
The anti-inflammatory properties of myrrh essential oil benefit aging skin. This oil helps to improve firmness, skin elasticity, and tone while reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, in addition, myrrh helps remedy sun damage, rashes, eczema and chapped skin.
12. Patchouli essential oil
This oil has powerful antiseptic, antibacterial, and antifungal properties and can help skin conditions such as dermatitis, psoriasis, acne, and eczema. In addition, patchouli is wonderful for aging skin and can promote new cell growth while smoothing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
13. Tangerine essential oil
Tangerine essential oil has antifungal and antiseptic properties that make it an excellent choice to battle acne. This essential oil is also known for its ability to reduce the signs of premature aging and increase the regeneration of cells and collagen production.
14. Cypress essential oil
If you cut yourself, it is great to have some cypress essential oil on hand. Because of its potent antiseptic properties, cypress oil can heal external and internal would and also prevent infections. A study published in the Complementary and Alternative Medicine found that cypress oil has antimicrobial properties that can keep bacteria at bay. Because of this, it is a great oil to remedy pimples and skin eruptions.
15. Carrot seed oil
Carrot seed oil offers potent antioxidant protection that helps skin renew quickly. It works well for skin that has been stressed by the environment. It has a pleasing, rich and earthy aroma and moisturizing capabilities.
DIY Essential Oil Recipes For Face & Skin
Here are just a few ways to use essential oil for healthy and vibrant skin.
DIY Under Eye Cream
This homemade eye cream made with frankincense essential oil helps to moisturize skin and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
- 10 drops frankincense essential oil
- 1-ounce pure aloe vera gel
- 1-ounce organic shea butter
- 1-ounce melted organic coconut oil
- ½ teaspoon vitamin E oil
- Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Mix well.
- Store in a glass jar with a lid.
- Use around your eyes in the morning and evening – being sure not to get any in your eyes.
Invigorating Face Scrub
Use this refreshing face scrub a few time a week for radiant skin.
- 1 ¼ cups coconut sugar
- ½ cup coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Zest from ½ lemon
- 5 drops peppermint essential oil
- 5 drops lemon essential oil
- Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl.
- Apply to a clean face in a circular motion.
- Rinse and pat dry.
- Save the rest in a glass jar with a lid.
Skin Softening Body Wash
This body wash is delicate enough to use all over your body and smells wonderful.
- 3 cups water
- ¼ cup steel cut oats
- ¼ cup liquid castile soap
- 12 drops lavender essential oil
- 1 teaspoon vitamin E oil
- 2 teaspoons avocado oil
- Boil the water and pour over top of the oats. Let it sit for 2 hours and strain the water off. Set the water aside and discard the oats.
- Mix the castile soap, essential oil, vitamin E oil, and avocado oil with a whisk.
- Fill your foaming soap dispenser 10% with the soap/oil mixture.
- Fill the rest of the dispenser with the oatmeal infused water.
All Purpose Skin Solution
This skin solution is great for all over moisturizing and can help heal conditions such as eczema while reducing fine lines and wrinkles.
- 1 tablespoon aloe vera gel
- 1 tablespoon organic coconut oil
- 6 drops lavender essential oil
- 3 drops frankincense essential oil
- Combine aloe, coconut oil and essential oils in a food processor. Process until smooth.
- Store in a glass jar in the refrigerator.
- Use daily as needed to relieve dryness and promote moist and vibrant skin.