How to Use Essential Oils for Skin Care

Erica Jones MHS Essential Oils 2 Comments

by Erica Jones MHS

Essential Oils for Skincare

So it’s a month or so into the new year and you just stocked up on a new moisturizer and this new serum that some celebrity swears by–but your skin still doesn’t look like hers. You can practically see your wrinkles getting deeper and you hate smiling now because you’re self-conscious about your crows feet and smile lines.

First of all,  your smile is beautiful. And second, expensive skin care products without key natural beautifying compounds just aren’t going to cut it. I don’t care what that commercial said about their “new cutting-edge technology”. Those are just a bunch of buzzwords.

If you’re sick and tired of still looking sick and tired after all the money you’ve thrown down the drain on skin care products then you’ve come to the right place. Essential oils are about to become your skin care posse. They’re potent, powerful, and paramount when it comes to getting radiant skin.

Essential Oils Buying Guide

In this article I’ll give you a list of the top essential oils for skin care, why they work wonders, and what they target. After, I’ll dive into other skin care issues that can benefit from essential oils and easy DIY recipes you can make today.

Why Use Essential Oils in Your Skin Care Regimen  

For the majority of history, medicine came from what could be manufactured from plants. Essential oils have been revered as powerful healing agents since ancient times, and that still holds true.

These volatile compounds are derived from the flowers, leaves, roots and barks of plants where they formed deep within the cells to attract pollinators and to protect themselves from disease and insects.

Biological properties found in essential oils support skin health, promote serious hydration, and eliminate blemishes and bumps. Even more than that, essential oils can help more serious skin conditions like psoriasis, eczema, and dermatitis.

Basically, essential oils are the most natural way to treat concerns like those related to skin care– for 5 main reasons:

Anti-inflammatory

Signs of skin inflammation can be anything from redness, swelling, and pain to breakouts and bruises. Luckily, essential oils have anti-inflammatory properties that help tamp down inflammation without extra toxic chemicals found in most skin care relief products.

Adaptogens

All essential oils are adaptogens. Adaptogens are incredible natural substances that improve the body’s ability to overcome stress and become balanced. This is huge for skin care because most issues we see with the skin are a result of oxidative and hormonal stress.

Antiseptics

Many essential oils are antiseptic meaning they are antimicrobial. So when essential oils are applied to skin tissue, it reduces the risk of infection. Essential oils with antiseptic properties are especially helpful with minor injuries.

Antioxidants

Everyone knows that antioxidants do wonders for your skin (or at least you do now). Antioxidants are wrinkles worst enemy and beauty’s best friend. Essential oils contain antioxidants that work to rejuvenate and replenish your skin so you love looking in the mirror.

Antibacterial

Many essential oils contain antibacterial properties which fight off bad bacteria that causes the skin to break out among a host of other nasty things.

Best Essential Oils for Skin Care

Lavender

You might already know that lavender is the perfect aromatherapy for relaxing the mind, well when applied topically it has the same effect on your skin. Lavender oil works to soothe and calm angry, red and irritated skin.

Lavender oil is also ridiculously effective for reducing discoloration and restoring your skin to its beautifully natural and healthy skin tone. Say see ya later to scars and sun spots, because lavender has been proven to regenerate skin cells (1,2).

Lavender oil is a good choice for all skin types. It works remarkably for oily, dry, and normal skin and is one of the best essential oils for skin repair. Add a couple of drops to a carrier oil or your normal moisturizer to tamp down redness and bring your skin back to life.

Skin Care Properties

  • Antiallergenic
  • Antibacterial
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Antimicrobial

Skin Care Uses

  • Acne
  • Dermatitis
  • Dry skin
  • Itchiness
  • Sunburn
  • Wounds

Melaleuca Oil

More commonly known as Tea Tree, this essential oil contains antibacterial properties making it a solid blemish buster and fungal fighter- and one of the best essential oils for skin care. In addition to being antibacterial, Melaleuca is anti-inflammatory and antiseptic which work together to reduce redness, swelling and irritation. The oil is a superpower solvent that breaks down oil and dirt that clogs pores.

Blackheads and breakouts can forget about coming around anymore if you apply a drop of melaleuca to the affected area (test on a patch of skin first to make sure there are no reactions). I apply melaleuca undiluted and directly to target specific blemishes – using the end of a q-tip or a clean finger works perfectly. For more broad surface areas of the skin (like applying to the whole face) definitely dilute in a carrier oil or add a drop to your cleanser to wash impurities away.

For details on the best skin care oils that don’t clog pores check out this article. To avoid sun sensitivity it’s better to use melaleuca at night.

Skin Care Properties

  • Antimicrobial
  • Antibacterial
  • Antifungal
  • Anti-inflammatory

Skin Care Uses

  • Acne
  • Blemishes
  • Fungi
  • Oil-prone skin
  • Sunburn

Frankincense

Frankincense used in skin care and cosmetics dates back to ancient Egypt and Sumeria. They really knew what they were doing back then because Frankincense is the very best essential oil for skin repair. This oil works to heal and rebuild the skin which is why it’s in my daily regimen of essential oil use.

Frankincense works marvels on aging skin by promoting rejuvenation and reducing inflammation (there oxidative stress is again!). This anti-aging oil kicks wrinkles and dullness to the curb.

Add frankincense to your beauty bag for more youthful skin. Combine a couple drops with another skin care beautifying oil like jojoba and apply to fade age spots and smooth fine lines and wrinkles.

Skin Care Properties

  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Anti-aging
  • Antifungal

Skin Care Uses

  • Wrinkles
  • Fine Lines
  • Age Spots
  • Scars
  • Wounds

Sandalwood

Sandalwood is going to be your go-to for hydrating your skin. As the best essential oil for dry skin, Sandalwood has been used for 4,000 years to treat problem skin. Maybe the greatest part about Sandalwood is that with nourishment and hydration comes de-aging!

Add sandalwood to your skin care essentials to combat wrinkles, scarring and aging skin. Its anti-inflammatory properties work hard to calm common skin problems like irritation. Bonus: sandalwood has an amazing aroma so not only will it make your skin glow, but also smell amazingly good. Can’t get much better than that.

Skin Care Properties

  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Antiseptic
  • Anti-aging
  • Hydrating
  • Nourishing

Skin Care Uses

  • Wrinkles
  • Dry skin
  • Eczema
  • Scarring
  • Wounds

Helichrysum

Helichrysum essential oil smells of sweet honey. But that’s not all it’s good for- helichrysum is one of the best essential oils for skin care. Over the years, the oil has gained popularity for eliminating scars and stretch marks. Even the old ones.

In addition to reducing scars, helichrysum oil has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties that help fight acne. If the honey aroma, scar reduction, and acne elimination weren’t already enough, how about the oil’s ability to treat rashes, burns, and bruises? Helichrysum will be your jack of all trades go-to when it comes to skin care. Just remember that with scar fading (especially those old scars) it takes time and consistent application to see results.

Skin Care Properties

  • Antiallergenic
  • Antimicrobial
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Antibacterial
  • Anti-aging

Skincare Uses

  • Acne
  • Aging Skin
  • Bruises
  • Dermatitis
  • Eczema
  • Rashes
  • Scars
  • Stretch Marks

Patchouli

The scent of Patchouli was popular among hippies in the 60s and 70s. But Patchouli is much more than a popular incense burner. This essential oil is vital for tightening and toning the skin. Patchouli oil improves with age, just like your skin will when you add it to your beauty bag.

This essential oil not only works to plump skin but it also helps with acne, scarring, and eczema. If you don’t have any of these problems, patchouli is still a basic skin care addition you can use daily. This oil is best used with your toner. Spray a cotton ball with toner, add a drop of Patchouli and swipe over the skin. You’ll notice a lifting effect as it works to shrink the appearance of pores and lines.

Skin Care Properties

  • Antibacterial
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Antimicrobial
  • Anti-aging

Skin Care Uses

  • Acne
  • Thinning skin
  • Clogged Pores
  • Cellulite
  • Eczema
  • Scarring

Yarrow Pom

Yarrow Pom is doTERRA’s new proprietary oil blend and I am in love. It’s a blend of yarrow essential oil and pomegranate seed oil that answers the question: How do I get that glow? It will be your favorite anti-aging weapon in your arsenal to revitalize your skin.

It’s the best essential oil for skin tightening so apply topically daily to boost collagen. It works to activate skin-protecting proteins that will help stop the breakdown of collagen and elasticity. This is the key to keeping your friends saying “she just has good genes”.

It’s also the best essential oil for deep wrinkles as it repairs those dreaded crows feet and fine lines. You’ll get more than you bargained for with this blend of brilliance. Apply Yarrow Pom for healthy and young looking skin. You won’t miss your wrinkles and blemishes. I promise.

Skin Care Properties

  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Anti-aging
  • Antioxidants

Skin Care Uses

  • Wrinkles and fine lines
  • Dull, dry skin
  • Thinning and droopy skin
  • Revitalizing and rejuvenating
  • Blemish buster

HD Clear Topical Blend

HD Clear Topical Blend by doTERRA is another one of my favorite blends that I love for fading blemishes. Ingredients include Black Cumin Seed Oil, Melaleuca Leaf, Listsea Berry, Ho Wood Leaf, Eucalyptus Leaf, and Geranium Plant essential oils. This sweet but woody smell reduces breakouts and promotes a clear complexion.

If you want hydrated skin that’s clear and pure- this topical therapeutic grade blend will absorb perfectly into your skin so you can get the most out of its potent benefits. Apply to your skin daily to smooth out blemishes and re-hydrate. This is even perfect for your teenage daughter who is going through massive hormonal changes. Use as a spot treatment or apply a thin layer to specific areas. Don’t be afraid to dilute either.

Skin Care Properties

  • Antibacterial
  • Antifungal
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Anti-aging

Skin Care Uses

  • Hormonal or regular acne
  • Blemishes/imperfections
  • Clarity
  • Smoothing

Immortelle Anti-aging Blend

Another doTERRA wonder blend. This ultimate anti-aging blend is one of the most popular sellers. Because it really works. It has many of the most luxurious (and highly effective) skin care superheroes in one bottle: Frankincense? Yes. Helichrysum? Yes. Rose? Yes. Sandalwood? Yes. Myrrh? Yes! They are ALL here.

It helps to reduce the appearance of aging, fine lines, and wrinkles. Apply to face and neck to reduce the appearance of blemishes, wrinkles, and other signs of aging. You’ll want to keep it a secret.

Skin Care Properties

  • Anti-aging
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Hydrating
  • Nourishing

Skin care uses

  • Dull looking skin
  • Wrinkles
  • Dark Spots
  • Renew and rejuvenate

Other Skin Care Issues and Essential Oil Solutions

Besides using essential oils for their beautifying effects on skin, you can take full advantage of their healing properties for a host of skin injuries and diseases. I mentioned some of these issues above, but let’s dive a little deeper.

Essential oils for bruises

When a potent essential oil is diluted and applied directly to a bruise, swelling, healing time and pain decrease significantly. Oils like lavender, helichrysum, and frankincense are powerful oils that can help heal bruises quickly and efficiently. Apply 1 to 4 drops to a carrier oil and apply to bruise right when you see it. For more tips and information check out our article on essential oils for bruises!

Essential oils for eczema

Many over the counter eczema products either have a bunch of dirty chemicals, bad side effects, or just don’t work. Some essential oils I mentioned above like Melaleuca, Lavender, Frankincense, Sandalwood, and Helichrysum are all-natural healing helpers.

Their anti-inflammatory properties work to calm itchiness and irritation and while their antiseptic properties reduce the risk of infection sometimes caused by excessive itching. For more tips and information follow this link to our article on essential oils for eczema.

Essential oils for Psoriasis

Psoriasis is a painful autoimmune skin condition that causes breakouts of raised patches of irritated dead cracked skin that can occur all over the body. Essential oils with antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties can reduce pain and itching and help lock in moisture. The best essential oils for Psoriasis are Melaleuca, Rose Geranium, and Lavender. Dilute these oils and apply directly to the affected area to help prevent infections from over-itching and to reduce redness, pain, and irritation.

Essential oils for skin cancer

There has been recent information discovered about the use of essential oils for skin cancer. A case study done on a 56-year-old male with nodular BCC (Basal Cell Cancer, the most common form of skin cancer) supported evidence of a complete resolution of BCC after topically applying Frankincense directly on the lesions every day for four months (3).  

Another study in 2013 revealed that applying diluted frankincense and myrrh oils on BCC cancer cell lines may promote apoptosis or skin cancer cell death. While this research is very exciting, more evidence is needed. For the relief of skin support, dilute Frankincense or Myrrh oil in a carrier oil like coconut or jojoba and apply directly to the cancerous area (4).

How To Use Essential Oils For Skin

Add to existing skin care products

If your skin care routine doesn’t already include essential oils in it, adding a drop to your products will take them to the next level. But make sure to add the drop at application. Do NOT pour drops into the entire bottle. Here’s why:

  1. It decreases potency when you pour into the bottle; you’ll definitely lose some oil due to evaporation
  2. Essential oils are photosensitive and need to be kept in a dark bottle. Since not all skin care bottles are dark– it’s best to leave them in their appropriate bottle  
  3. Essential oils need to be in glass because they can eat through plastic

Adding at application will increase efficacy and provide better results.

Cleanser

Your cleanser is the first step in your skin care routine. Since this is the time you want to wash away all the guck and clear out those pores– try an essential oil like lavender or melaleuca.

Toner

Toner is next in line. The best essential oils for skin toner are going to tighten pores and tone the skin. Patchouli is the best essential oil for toning so add a drop to your natural toner for an extra tightening boost.

Moisturizer

Your moisturizer’s number one job is to hydrate your skin. It’s second is to keep you looking young. Look no further than sandalwood’s hydrating and nourishing properties to add to your daily moisturizer. You will no doubt amp up your moisturizer.

Night cream

Night cream is for repair and rejuvenation. Frankincense, lavender and doTERRA’s Yarrow Pom are powerful additions to your nightly routine. Since these essential oils are hailed for their repairing abilities, a key time to include them in your skin care is right before your beauty sleep.

Essential Oils Buying Guide

Essential Oils For Skin Care Recipes

Here’s some of my favorite (and simple!) recipes for gorgeous skin.

Frankincense Facial

We know by now that frankincense does amazing things for aging, this facial will moisturize and gently exfoliate to renew your skin. This recipe yields one 30 minute face mask.

  • 1 teaspoon of honey (raw preferred)
  • 1 teaspoon of yogurt
  • 1 drop of frankincense essential oil
  1. Mix in a small bowl until smooth
  2. Apply with your fingertips to entire face and any other area with dark spots
  3. After 30 minutes, rinse with cool water
  4. Follow up with your favorite natural moisturizer
  5. Can be repeated 2-3 times weekly

Lavender-Lemon Bedtime Serum for Puffy Eyes

This concoction is a magical de-puffer while you snooze. Lemon and lavender essential oils work to reduce swollen under-eye tissue while almond/jojoba oil adds moisture helping smooth the appearance of the delicate area. This recipe yields 1 ounce. Store in a dark-colored glass bottle in a cool, dark place.

Also, be sure to only use this mix at night. Lemon essential oil is photosensitive and should not be used if you’re going outside. So let this one work its magic just before you get your beauty sleep.

  • 1 ounce almond or jojoba oil
  • 10 drops lavender essential oil
  • 10 drops lemon essential oil
  1. Combine in a dark-colored bottle and shake well
  2. Gently dab 1-2 drops of serum with fingertips under each eye
  3. Use nightly

Patchouli Eczema Salve

This salve will effectively soothe your red and itchy eczema. Keep in mind, it’s normal for the salve to have a slightly gritty texture. This recipe will yield about 1 cup and the total time will be 15 minutes. Store leftovers in a glass jar

  • ¼ cup of organic olive oil
  • ½ cup of organic coconut oil
  • ¼ cup of finely ground oat flour
  • 8 drops of patchouli essential oil
  1. Melt coconut oil in a small saucepan
  2. Add oat flour and patchouli oil and stir well
  3. Add olive oil and stir until all ingredients are blended well
  4. Remove from heat and pour into glass ar and allow to cool completely
  5. Cover with lid
  6. Apply a thin layer to the area as need
  7. Store in dark, cool place

Essential oils are truly essential when it comes to skin care. Whether they’re keeping you young, blemish free, or hydrated–oils are a must when it comes to taking care of your body’s largest organ. If you already incorporate essential oils into your skin care regimen or tried one of the recipes above I would love to hear from you– comment below!

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Sources:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4880962/
  2. “The Health Properties Of Lavender Essential Oil Explained.” Maple Holistics, 16 Jan. 2019, www.mapleholistics.com/blog/properties-of-lavender-essential-oil/.
  3. “Management of Basal Cell Carcinoma of the Skin Using Frankincense (Boswellia Sacra) Essential Oil: a Case Report.” OA Elderly Medicine, www.oapublishinglondon.com/article/656.
  4. Axe, Josh. “Skin Cancer Symptoms, Prevention & Natural Therapies.” Dr. Axe, Dr. Axe, 20 Apr. 2018, draxe.com/top-5-skin-cancer-symptoms-natural-treatments/.

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2 Responses...

  1. Thank you for helping me decide what oils to use during which steps of my facial routine. I was curious when the best time to use Helichrysum and HD Clear topical would be?

    1. Post
      Author

      Hi Heather,

      I missed this comment so I’m sorry for the delayed response. I typically like to use oils for skin care at night. The skin and body are repairing and renewing anyway, so I find this to be a great time.