Essential oils have made a splash in the wellness industry for so many reasons. The potent oils extracted from plants can be used as alternative medicine, for aromatherapy purposes, and also to improve your skin and hair. In fact, many essential oils are active ingredients in your favorite skincare products, as they each a difference purpose.
“As an esthetician I love taking a look at what oils have the most impactful healing benefits and watch skin heal oftentimes overnight,” explains Leila Aalam, Esthetician and Founder of Beuti Skincare. In general, she explains that problem skin sufferers or those who experience frequent breakouts, rosacea, eczema, want to stick to oils that offer benefits that include anti-bacterial, anti-inflammation and nourishment.
But keep in mind that while many essential oils smell delectable, there are only a few that actually work to perfect the skin, points out Annie Tevelin, Clean Beauty Authority & Founder of SkinOwl. “In many cases, essential oils are too active for consistent use or useless with concern to skin benefits,” she says.
While essential oils can help with a variety of skin problems, Aalam does point out that if you are experiencing skin complications with cystic acne or rosacea, you should definitely consult a dermatologist before incorporating any new skincare products or ingredients.
Also, Tevelin reminds that when it comes to essential oils, a little goes a long way! “Remember to steer clear of putting essential oils directly on the skin or acne spot,” she advises. “Dilute them in organic pure plant oils to calm and balance the skin alongside the benefits of your favorite essential oil.”
Remember to steer clear of putting essential oils directly on the skin or acne spot. Dilute them in organic pure plant oils to calm and balance the skin alongside the benefits of your favorite essential oil.
Acne and Rosacea: Pomegranate Seed Oil
Pomegranate seed oil is the holy grail of all oils, according to Aalam, as it contains rare omega 5 known as punic acid and has three times as many antioxidants as green tea. “It promotes pro collagen synthesis and studies show it helps skin regeneration, which can reverse past damage to reveal newer younger skin,” she explains. “The punic acid content pomegranate seed oil contains offers strong anti inflammatory powers which is excellent for reducing redness and heal acne prone skin.”
Skin Regneration: Neroli Oil
Many products list Neroli oil as a main ingredient. “Neroli is a fantastic skin regenerating oil and will help to fade scars and stretch marks,” says Aalam.
Healing Wounds: Sea Buckthorn Seed Oil
If you are concerned about healing wounds on your skin, look for products with sea buckthorn seed oil. “This is an excellent oil for wound healing and contains fatty acids to plump and rejuvenate the skin,” says Aalam.
Reducing Inflammation: Softalia Oil
Softalia oil is extracted from the nut of Santalum spicatum, which is cultivated in a sustainable plantation in Australia. “This superior nut oil is obtained by CO2 extraction and is a natural source of an unusual triple bond fatty acid with unique activity on the skin,” says Aalam. She maintains that the “super oil” reduces inflammation linked to skin ageing and visibly reduces fine lines after eight days.
Multiple Uses: Lavender Oil
Lavender oil is basically the multi-tasker of all the essentials. “It has many skin loving benefits including anti-inflammatory and anti bacterial which helps to reduce acne breakouts and redness. It also increases blood flow which brings more nutrients and oxygen to cells which helps in cell turnover creating beautiful flawless skin,” explains Aalam.
Dark Marks or Cystic Acne: Geranium Oil
Tevelin recommends geranium essential oil for dark marks, or any cystic acne on the cheek, chin or jawline.
Dry Skin: Clary Sage Oil
If you're looking for help with chronically dry skin, fine lines, and fatigue, Tevelin’s go-to is organic Clary Sage essential oil.
Eczema: Rose Oil
Eczema can make skin so itchy and unbearable that people will begin scratching excessively, causing skin to inflame and even bleed. According to Heather Marianna, founder and CEO of Beauty Kitchen, rose oil helps skin retain water (moisture) and promotes healing while calming down the sloughy texture of dry, rough skin.
Psoriasis or Dermatitis: Juniper Oil
“Juniper oil has antiseptic, detoxifying and astringent properties, making it strongly beneficial to those suffering from acne, psoriasis and dermatitis,” says Marianna. “When applied to the skin it helps to unclog pores and balance out super oily skin.” She also adds it can be used to treat cellulite as it reduces water retention and encourages firm skin.
Rosacea: Chamomile Oil
Rosacea is a medical condition that makes skin very red, flush and semi-swollen. “Chamomile reduces redness and helps inflamed skin calm down,” says Marianna. “It can help reduce agitation to many different skin conditions.”
Age Spots: Frankincense Oil
Frankincense oil promotes cell growth and division, according to Marianna, which essentially encourages faster healing. “With this being said, it helps lighten age spots since it's aiding in the development of new cells,” she maintains.
Acne: Tea Tree Oil
One of the most popular essential oils to treat acne, Marianna endorses tea tree oil as antifungal, antiseptic, and antimicrobial which means it will help treat and prevent breakouts.
Cellulite: Helichrysum Oil
According to Marianna, helichrysum oil helps improve blood circulation and damaged skin by encouraging cell regeneration and lightning scars. “This is the go-to oil for cellulite,” she says.
Serious Hydration: Hemp Seed Oil
According to Lauren Lovelady, the cofounder and CEO of the all-natural deodorant brand Each & Every, Hemp seed oil has a lot of fatty acids, which are excellent for conditioning the skin without clogging pores. “Since underarm skin is very thin and more delicate, it gives the area some much-needed love and care,” she explains. “We get a lot of questions about why cannabis and it's because hemp seed oil from the cannabis plant is a skin conditioning powerhouse.”
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What is Eczema? National Eczema Association. 2020.
Rosacea. Harvard Health Publishing. December 2018.
Hammer KA. Treatment of Acne With Tea Tree Oil (Melaleuca) Products: A Review of Efficacy, Tolerability and Potential Modes of Action. Int J Antimicrob Agents. 2015;45(2):106-10. doi:10.1016/j.ijantimicag.2014.10.011