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Health & Wellness

Which Essential Oils Are Good for Your Skin?

While we often focus on the benefits of essential oils as they pertain to mood, these elixirs from nature also offer amazing skincare powers, in part due to the vitamins and antioxidants that are the foundation of each.

Essential oils not only protect against the signs of aging by keeping skin pliable, radiant, and plump, they can also help prevent acne or treat existing blemishes. Some oils are best for specific treatments, while others are flexible and can treat a wide range of different skin ailments.

The most important thing when choosing skin-friendly scents is to select 100 percent pure oils from respected proprietors who source their products from regions that have nutrient-dense soil so oils aren’t degraded in any way.

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Anti-Aging Essential Oils

Carrot Seed Essential Oil

This oil, while without the vitamin A of the root veggie, offers plenty of skin-friendly antioxidants including beta-carotene that help boost the production of collagen and elastin, improving the appearance of skin.

Not only can it help reverse signs of aging, but it can also improve the appearance of scars because collagen can help fill in depressions and heal the structural layer of skin.

Carrot seed essential oil also acts as a mild sunscreen with an SPF of around 40, although it should not be used as one’s sole sunscreen option. It also offers moisture, which keeps skin looking radiant. 1

Lavender Essential Oil

This lovely oil promotes relaxation thanks to copious amounts of linalool, so using it is like a trip to the spa in a bottle. Lavender helps infuse the skin with moisture while encouraging the regeneration of skin cells, so wrinkles and dark spots are kicked to the curb, along with any lingering anxiety.

Lavender also increases circulation at the skin’s surface, helping speed cell turnover so healthier cells are revealed more quickly, giving skin a more radiant look.

Patchouli Essential Oil

Patchouli is not only an exotic, intoxicating scent, it also helps ease signs of aging. Patchouli helps promote new cell growth, which strengthens the skin’s structural layer, improving the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It also acts as an antibacterial, so it can fight off acne.

Lemon Balm Essential Oil

Lemon balm contains linalool, which encourages the production of vitamin E, an antioxidant that is especially skin-friendly. Vitamin E also protects against free radicals, which are attracted to collagen and elastin, so it acts as a barrier between the skin’s structural layer and damaging oxidation.

Neroli Essential Oil

Neroli, from the citrus family, offers citral which helps regenerate collagen and elastin skin cells, so the skin’s structural layer becomes stronger and more pliable, improving the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles on the skin’s surface.

woman with acne

Essential Oil for Acne

Tea Tree Essential Oil

A powerful antibacterial, the medicinal yet invigorating scent of tea tree oil helps kill the bacteria associated with acne, reducing the number of breakouts.

Tea tree oil also works to regulate oil production by providing the right amount of moisture, so parched skin doesn’t trigger the production of sebum, which clogs pore and leads to acne.

Myrrh Essential Oil

While it was used in early history as an embalming agent, myrrh is an anti-inflammatory that helps protect against acne and speeds up the healing of wounds. It also acts as a natural moisturizer, making it a great option for clearing up acne-prone skin. 2

Essential Oils for Scars

Frankincense Essential Oil

Scars often become more noticeable because of an increased level of collagen production in response to the initial wound. Frankincense keeps collagen levels initially low, so healing occurs more uniformly, without raised scars, so appearance is minimized. Frankincense also keeps scar tissue moist, so it can heal better.

The Multi-Taskers

Geranium Essential Oil

Geranium oil is another multi-purpose essential that fights signs of aging and helps control acne outbreaks, eases the appearance of scars, and moisturizes deeply for radiant skin. It is also effective for conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.

Antioxidants within this oil also help encourage the production of collagen and elastin, which reduce signs of aging, while emollients add rich moisture which penetrates beneath the surface layer of skin, reaching the structural area where it can benefit the skin the most.

Because geranium oil helps encourage blood circulation at the skin’s surface, it also speeds up the sloughing of surface cells, revealing more radiant, youthful skin. 3

Essential Oils to Avoid Using on Skin

While all essential oils offer benefits, some should be avoided on the skin, especially if you are going outside. Essential oils in the citrus family— lemon, lime, orange, grapefruit, and bergamot especially, can cause photosensitivity, making your skin more sensitive to the sun. 4 For the most part, however, poor-quality essential oils are the bigger danger.

woman sleeping

Sleep Is the Skin's Best Friend

One of the most important things you can do for your skin is to get enough sleep. During the hours when you sleep, many of the body’s functions shut down, allowing the body to rebuild on the cellular level.

At night, people undergo cellular renewal to reverse the damage of the day, according to Dr. Howard Murad, a Los Angeles-based dermatologist, which is why skin that doesn’t look its best is often a reflection of a poor night’s sleep, a night that didn’t allow for the skin recovery sleep generally provides. 5


Whatever benefit you're trying to find for your skin, it's very likely that there's an essential oil to help. Ensure that you're diluting these essential oils with a carrier oil to avoid any skin irritation, and enjoy the benefits that these potent aromatic compounds provide as part of your skincare routine.

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