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Health & Wellness

7 Essential Oil Choices for Healthy Winter Skin

We all have favorite individual essential oils, as well as favorite blends. If you're anything like me, you've played around until you found the perfect blends for specific situations. Need to get a boost of energy for the post-lunch workday and sharpen your mental focus? There's an essential oil blend for that! Need a relaxing background scent to help bring you down at night? There are several blends for that! I don't know just how much you like to mix and match and how detailed you get - but there are plenty of options when it comes to creating blends for your specific needs!

Essential oils have a variety of incredible uses, and we all know that they can be used on everything from creating healthier skin to easing inflammation to killing stress and anxiety. It is really easy to set up essential oils or blends for a particular physical or mental problem, but what about for seasons? Obviously, there are different challenges between spring and winter, summer and autumn.

Many of us find winter to be one of the most challenging seasons for healthy skin, and there are a variety of reasons for that. For some people who live in an area with the same weather all four seasons, this won't be as nearly as much of an issue. For those of us who don't live in San Diego, the good news is that there are many great essential oils that can help make sure you have great healthy skin - even during the driest and coldest of winters.

dry cracked lips The Skin Challenges of Winter

There are plenty of challenges to take on when it comes to keeping healthy skin during the winter, and understanding all these challenges will help you focus in on your favorite essential oils to counteract these common problems. Winter brings a lot of challenges to health in general, but especially when it comes down to skin 1 .

A few of the major issues include:
- Increased damage from UV rays (and their reflection from snow)
- Extreme dryness
- Flaky skin
- Flare-ups & breakouts
- Patches of itchiness
- Redness & general irritation

Many of these skin issues can happen outside of winter and are related to each other, but they are especially common during the winter season, which means you need to be more aware of them. All of these issues can work together to really do a number on your skin. UV rays can damage the skin in summer, and most people don't think about them in winter, but they reflect off of snow and any skin that is exposed, doing damage as if you were on the beach without any protection from the sun's direct rays 2 .

There's no denying cold air is dry air, and that extreme dryness is a constant struggle when it comes to skin health and skin care throughout the season. This leads to other problems like flaky skin, red skin, breakouts, and more. This is even going over general redness, itchiness, and other similar issues. All of these lead to skin that doesn't look as good, doesn't feel as good, and that combination is definitely frustrating.

Essential oils that specifically look at tackling these issues are going to be good options for winter. While this helps lead you to a good short list, there's another area that gets overlooked far too often when it comes to winter skin care.

While it's easy to focus on all those physical issues that directly affect the skin, it's also important to look at various essential oils that focus on things like mood. Psychological care, avoiding depression, and keeping a good mood are crucial parts of putting yourself in the right mindset so you have the energy and focus to tackle the extra self-care needed to keep your skin in really good condition over the trying winter months.

What Would Make a Good Winter Essential Oil?

The top essential oils for winter are ones that take on the special challenges of winter. Direct treatment oils should be a part of any overall plan. Look for essential oils that fight UV damage, fight dry skin, fight redness, and help to moisturize. This is a really important part of keeping the best-looking skin during the season. You also want supplemental oils that make a difference via keeping away skin damaging factors as well as boosting mood during a season that is known for seasonal issues and mental health.

Looking at the Top Essential Oils

While this isn't a comprehensive list by any means, these are some of my favorites when it comes to essential oils that work solo, in mixture, or in combination to have a healthier and happier winter season. This goes for your mind, your mood, and your skin. In the same way that mental health and physical health are often tied to one another going both ways.

lavender-3479492_640 Lavender

Should anyone be surprised that lavender takes the top spot at this point? The most versatile essential oil by far, lavender appears on virtually every single list of top essential oils. A versatile, gentle, and healing essential oil, lavender has an incredible number of uses and is great when it comes to taking care of your skin. Considering how rough a time my skin has during dry winter conditions, this is a really big deal!

Lavender oil not only helps keep the moisture in the skin and can be applied directly to the skin even without a carrier oil, but many people have reported results from putting a few drops directly on serious acne (psoriasis), various blemishes, scars, and stretch marks 3 . Add in the anti-inflammatory effects that lavender is known for and that makes it a great choice!

While not directly related to skin, there are some other positive benefits of lavender that can help, as well. When used in a diffuser, lavender can help in clearing up congestion, a stuffy nose, or other issues that can cause side effects like inflammation or extra dryness in the facial area.

If you want an even heavier burst of hydration to deal with dry and flaky skin, then consider combining lavender with jojoba oil to get that little extra bit of moisture to keep your skin healthy, even during winter.

mint-1433826_640 Peppermint

I haven't made any secret of the fact that peppermint essential oil is one of my all time favorites! I love the scent, love the burst of positive energy it gives me, and it just smells like happy winter Christmas - at least to me. While well known as a major mood booster, it can be easy to dismiss peppermint when it comes to winter mixes because it's not as well known for being one of the top choices when it comes to moisturizing skin - but there are some very good reasons not to dismiss it so easily!

The healthier your immune system, the better your skin will be, and the happier you are (and more energy you have) the easier it is to take care of yourself. If you find yourself whammed by seasonal mood disorder, you're not going to care a lot about doing all the small things right or having the mental strength to make good food and self-care choices.

Peppermint essential oil helps boost your mood, boost your energy levels, and boost up your immune system 4 . This helps make sure the mind is good so you're in a better mood, a happier mood, and this will put you in the right space to make good decisions that will help throughout winter. Add in the seasonal flavor, and this is a great scent to set the winter stage!

sandalwood Sandalwood

Sandalwood is another essential oil that gets a lot of attention for its skin care, and for good reason! This essential oil already has a reputation for being an excellent treatment for wrinkles, acne, and other skin issues. This can be applied directly to the skin in small amounts (two to three drops is usually the ideal amount), although if your skin is sensitive, then make sure to dilute it a little bit. Throw in the skin softening effect of sandalwood and that makes this a winner!


Cedarwood is another one of those essential oils that virtually everyone who believes in essential oils is going to have. Dry skin is one of the major issues in winter because of the lack of moisture, and Cedarwood, in particular, is known for being a solid moisturizer. It also contains antibacterial benefits and many individuals have commented on it as being really helpful when treating skin that is prone to breakouts of acne. This is a great option for dealing with dry, flaky, and cracking skin in the dry winter months.

Oregano Oil

Oregano isn't just for spaghetti sauce! Oregano oil hasn't caught on quite as much as some of the other really popular options out there, which is actually rather surprising considering how many benefits oregano oil brings to the table. It boosts the immune system and has a wide array of good "anti-" properties seeing as how oregano oil helps stop bacterial infections, fungal infections, inflammation, parasites, and even certain viruses. In other words, this feels like an essential oil made for winter even before looking at the skin benefits. This combination of fighting common infections, fighting skin-damaging causes, and keeping negative things at bay just makes other essential oils that much more effective when moisturizing your skin and protecting it from the potential harms of winter.

lemons-2100124_640 Lemon Oil

Lemon essential oil is a really interesting addition to the winter group. Known more for boosting mood and fighting bacteria, lemon essential oil has been reported by some to have the unusual effect of helping to reduce cravings for sugar and other sweets. Eating less of these leads to healthier skin, so in a weird roundabout way, the refreshing scent of lemon oil in the air can really help with that winter essential oil plan to come out with the best skin possible.

Frankincense Oil

This seems appropriate considering the time of year, doesn't it? Frankincense essential oil is a popular option that continues to gain popularity for a variety of reasons. Whether it's boosting the immune system, alleviating anxiety to help sleep, or improving mood, Frankincense is a popular option that also brings more to the table 5 . Gentle on the body's systems, making sure they run smoothly helps the skin and in a proper mixture, this has had some positive moisturizing effects as well. This is another popular option for the diffuser, which definitely helps to set the stage for better skin.

room diffuser with plants around it Direct Application & Diffuser

One of the great things about essential oils is the fact that they can be used through multiple means. There are some blends I love applying directly to the skin while others create a scent in the air. That not only keeps moisture in the air to prevent you from drying up, but by using the right essential oil mixes in the air you will also get the skin healing benefits that the right essential oils can bring to the table.

If you are going to trump over winter this year, you want to make sure you are tackling treatment from multiple angles. When you combine direct application essential oil with diffused essential oils in the air, you will get the best possible benefit that helps your skin heal. Being able to keep your skin healthy during the winter season takes some serious effort, but it is possible when you know what essential oils to use and find the combinations that work best on you and your specific skin!

In Conclusion

There are plenty of options out there, and for those of us who struggle to keep good looking fully-moisturized skin during the long dry winters, this article is going to be a great help. While it takes some effort, there are plenty of options there to make sure you get the best possible skin through winter and beyond!

Photo credits: AfricaStudio/, Cessna152/, paultarasenko/

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