Natural skin is buzzing lately with more and more people shifting to a natural skincare routine. In the current age and era, essential oils are having a major moment in the beauty world. Most essential oils trace their roots back to ancient beauty rituals where for centuries, many cultures have looked to essential oil to enhance beauty, support wellness, and perform religious rituals.
Navigating the beauty world of skincare is rather tough. It gets more interesting after learning that most skincare products that claim to provide solutions to skin issues are filled with toxins and ingredients that are not as gentle to the skin as advertised. On the contrary, these products only end up damaging your skin even further.
Table of Contents
- What are essential oils?
- Differences between Essential Oils and natural oils
- How to Use Essential Oils
- Guide to diluting essential oils
- Common Skin Conditions Treated with Essential Oils
- 7 of the Best Essential Oils in the Market Today
- Tea Tree Oil
- Frankincense oil
- lavender Essential Oil
- Carrot Seed Oil
- Pomegranate Seed Oil
- Rosemary Oil
- Neroli Oil
- Risks and precautions when using essential oils
- Take Away
We are glad to have you whether you stumbled here by chance or because you seek more information on the best essential oils for skin. Least assured that we have something for everyone. Adding a few drops of essential oils to your skincare routine has a broad spectrum of benefits and not all essential oils are created equally; there seem to always be a never-ending list of options and you must choose wisely. In this post, we will review the best essential oils for the skin.
What are essential oils?
Essential oils are plant extracts obtained from leaves, flowers, roots, seeds, or backs of natural growing plants. EO can also be described as highly concentrated volatile plant extracts obtained primarily either through steam distillation or cold pressing.
These oils are considered ideal for aromatherapy but you are bound to reap lots of benefits when you use them on the skin.
Differences between Essential Oils and Natural Oils
- Essential oils
- Essential oils are a concentrated mixture of natural volatile and aromatic compounds obtained from plant materials. Primarily through cold pressing and steam distillation.
- Essential oils feel watery and most of them don't sink deep into the skin, rather evaporate way too easily.
- Think of essential oils as pure plant extracts.
- Essential oils cannot be used on their own, they must be diluted with a carrier oil.
- EOs carry a distinct scent.
- Natural oils
- Natural oils are fats taken from plants usually seeds, nuts, or kernels.
- Natural oils are not as concentrated as essential oils
- They stay on the skin longer compared to essential oils.
- Natural oils support skin barriers whereas essential oils provide therapeutic benefits specific to each plant.
How to Use Essential Oils
Essential oils enter the human body through ingestion, inhalation, or direct application on the skin. The following is a guide on how to use essential oils:
Diffusers are tools that help disperse essential oils in a room so that you can breathe the steam in a practice called aromatherapy. Diffusion rarely benefits the skin, it is ideal for menstrual pain, relieving stress, anxiety, enhancing mental focus, and treating depression.
ii. Massage and Direct Application
This is the most effective way of treating the skin. Typically all you have to do is massage the oil directly into the skin until fully absorbed. Pretty basic, right? Well, never make the mistake of applying undiluted oil to your skin. This applies to all skin types.
iii. Bathing Water
Adding a few drops of essential oils to your bathing water or as a shower shampoo seems the most convenient way of treat the skin. This is particularly ideal in treating a variety of skin conditions, especially in hard-to-reach areas.
How many of us can comfortably apply oil to our back? The truth is, some areas can't be reached, well unless you are lucky enough to have someone always available to apply the oil on your back. Nevertheless, by bathing with essential oils you are least assured every part of the skin will get a fair share.
As a precaution, it is important to note that the oil can make the bathing tub slippery. Be careful, like you have always been.
Guide to Diluting Essential Oils
A crucial part of using essential oils on your skin is first diluting them with a carrier oil. Most pure EO oils have no lipids in them and when used directly on the skin can be very drying and in some cases react negatively with the skin.
Most researchers have pointed out that the more diluted an essential oil is the less risk there is for an adverse skin reaction. And what most people fail to understand is that using more concentrated oil doesn't necessarily mean reaping more benefits.
Mixing essential oils with a carrier oil or moisturizer helps form a barrier on the skin slowing down its absorption which means that the oil will stay on the skin longer. Examples of carrier oils that can be used to dilute EOs are; coconut oil, olive oil, jojoba oil argan oil, sweet almond oil, and grape seed oil.
Common Skin Conditions Treated with Essential Oils
Skin is the largest organ in the human body. Acnes due to oily skin & clogged pores and premature skin aging are the common skin issues most of us suffer from.
i. What can make the Skin Oilier than it should be?
While oily skin is mostly genetic, some of our habits could be making it worse. Only someone with oily skin will understand the struggle of blotting and washing their face only to still have a layer of shine on the surface a few minutes later.
How can you know that you have oily skin? If you wake up in the morning and your skin feels sticky because of the oil produced overnight. Habits that will make your oily skin worse:
- Using heavy beauty products
Using a lot of makeup too often or using heavy cream-based products tends to block the pores and increase oil production making the skin oilier. Essential oils are light hence you can rest least assured that they will not clog your pores.
- Not washing your face regularly
Don't go overboard with face cleansers. Instead, wash your face as often as you feel the need and when it starts to get oily. It is also recommended that you wash your face immediately after a workout to control oil production and reduces the chances of acne breakout.
- Not drinking enough water
The importance of staying hydrated cannot be over-stressed. When the body is dehydrated, it sends signals to the glands triggering the production of more oil to balance the moisture levels on the skin.
ii. What causes Wrinkles?
Wrinkles are creases, folds, or ridges on the skin. As we age the skin is bound to develop wrinkles which appear on the face area where the skin naturally folds during facial expressions like smiling, frowning, or squatting. When young the skin will bounce back after these expressions but as we get old the skin gets thinner and less elastic resulting in permanent grooves. Also, areas exposed to too much sunlight have a high likelihood of developing wrinkles. Not forgetting using toxic beauty products.
Best Essential Oils for Skin
When it comes to essential oils for the skin, we are spoilt of options. Deciding on what to what purchase is not always an easy task. We have compiled a list of the top 7 essential oils suitable for the skin.
1. Tree Tea Oil
Tea tree oil also known as melaleuca oil is an essential oil derived from steaming the leaves of Melaleuca alternifolia, a small tree native to Australia. The oil has many benefits to the skin and ideal alternative for conventional treatment.
It has antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, antibacterial, and antiseptic properties making it the first choice for acne and oily skin.
Tea tree oil soothes and heals a wide variety of skin issues including but not limited to:
- Treats dry skin and eczema
- Itchy skin
- Combats acnes
- Remedy to oily skin
- Reduces inflammation
2. Frankincense oil
Frankincense oil also known as olibanum is derived from the resin of the Boswellia tree [Boswellia carterii]. How? Incisions are made in the trunk of the tree to produce exuded gum which appears as a milky-like resin. The resin then hardens into an orange-brown gum resin known as frankincense.
It is not by chance that Frankincense essential oil is known as the king essential oils. It has tons of benefits to the skin which include:
- Soothes the skin
- Even out the skin tone
- Promote the growth of new skin cells
- Tighten the skin and removes premature wrinkles and fine lines
- Reduces the appearance of scars
- Rejuvenates a dull skin
- Remove excess oils and regulates the production of sebum
3. Lavender Essential Oil
The relaxing aromatic lavender oil is derived from the flowers of the lavender plant [Lavandula angustifolla]. Famous for aromatherapy to relieve stress and anxiety you simply can't ignore its skincare qualities.
Lavender essential oil has the following benefits on the skin:
- Repairs dry and cracked skin
- Reduces redness and swelling on the skin
- Promotes healthy cell turnover
- Fights skin blemish and spots
- Helps even skin tone
- Treats acne
- Fights hyperpigmentation
Calmoura's French lavender essential oil is 100% pure, therapeutic grade, and certified organic!
4. Carrot Seed Oil
Carrot seed oil is a unique type of essential oil extracted from the seeds of the Daucus Carota plant. It is important to note that carrot oil and carrot seed oil are not the same things. Carrot oil is made from crushed carrot roots. It is a carrier oil, not an essential oil, unlike carrot seed oil.
Carrot seed oil has unique remarkable skin revitalizing and toning properties. It has antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-aging or properties all of which are essential for healthy glowing skin.
Unique benefits to the skin include:
- Assist in removing toxins and water build-up on the skin
- Improving skin complexion
- Reduces signs of skin aging
- Reduces scarring
- Promotes healing of wound on the skin
- Used as an essential ingredient in sunscreens
5. Pomegranate Seed Oil
Pomegranate seed oil is derived from the ripe seeds of the apricot fruit famously known as nature's power fruit. Pomegranate tree Punica granatum is a highly adaptive plant that thrives well in arid and semi-arid climates.
Pomegranate seed oil is versatile with benefits cutting across all aspects of life from health, skin, and hair. In particular, the oil is ideal for the skin given the fact that it’s hypoallergenic and suitable for all skin types.
Benefits to the skin include:
- Fighting ace and pimples
- Removing dead skin through exfoliation
- Soothes dry and cracked skin
- Excellent moisturizer
- Protects the skin against sunburns
7. Rosemary Oil
Rosemary oil is an essential oil derived from the rosemary herb. Rosemary tree [Rosmarinus officinals] otherwise known as the queen of herbs is an evergreen shrub with needle-like leaves and a woody aroma, native to the Mediterranean.
Benefits to the skin include:
- Soothes irritated skin
- Heals burns
- Skin hydration
- Regulates the production of sebum
- Fights acne
- Makes the skin appear firmer
5. Neroli Oil
Neroli is the prettier name given to the bitter orange flowers. Neroli oil is an essential oil extracted from the flowers of the bitter orange trees [Citrus aurantium] through steam distillation. The oil has a rich floral scent with citrusy overtones.
The distinct aroma of neroli oil makes it a perfect ingredient for making perfumes, creams, lotions, and massage oil. Benefits to the skin include:
- Reduces scarring
- Fights pimples
- Minimizes age spots
- Smoothes wrinkles
- Lightweight hydration
Risks and precautions when using essential oils
- Most essential oils have no additives and are chemical-free. However, there is always a possibility of an allergic reaction. If you notice redness or irritation on the skin after applying a particular essential oil, stop immediately. It is recommended that you carry out a patch test before applying the oil on large parts of the skin. Avoid using on genitals and areas around the eyes.
- The essential oil you purchase must be from a trusted producer and should not have additives.
- Most essential oils don't have a long shelf life. Be cautious about the expiry dates. If you notice something strange about how the oil looks and smells chances are that it's spoilt and should be tossed off.
- Never use it on children without consulting your doctor. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should also proceed with caution.
- Store the oil in a cool and dry place out of rich from children.
Essential oils are taking over the beauty world. Perhaps in the realization of the numerous benefits these oils possess: is it something you should try out on your skin? Well, that's up to you. What could go wrong? Maybe, just maybe, essential oil is the missing link to get that youthful, soft, and glowing skin you have always