Your skin is the first thing that people notice about you, and everyone wants to offer an ethereal radiance that leaves a great first impression.
For this purpose, skincare aisles are littered with products that offer to erase fine lines and wrinkles, restore elasticity, and bring back a rosy glow to the skin.
However, that rosy glow is usually created by a tint that wipes away with the first signs of summer sweat, and other products often don’t provide results as quickly as the individual need for immediate gratification demands. So, many toss the cream or serum and continue the quest for something else.
Essential oils are different because they offer benefits from nature—not chemical versions of those natural products. While synthetic ingredients look the same as natural ingredients beneath a microscope, the body absorbs and reacts to synthetic ingredients differently or not at all.
The answer, of course, is to go directly to the natural source and take advantage of all the skincare benefits that essential oils harvested from nature are able to bring to your skincare routine.
The Essentials: Essential Oils for Skin Repair
Some key essential oils suited to help target signs of aging and other skin issues include:
Rosehip Essential Oil
In addition to fatty acids that add essential hydration that keeps the skin looking dewy, rosehip essential oil contains vitamins A and C, both of which fight off the fine line and wrinkles by protecting collagen and elastin cells, according to dermatologist Dr. Sonam Yadav. Rosehip oil also helps rebuild collagen and elastin cells, so it can improve the appearance of existing scars.1
Lavender Essential Oil
Immediately familiar because of its lovely, soothing aroma, lavender is packed with skincare benefits. Additionally, it helps promote sleep, which is also important for skin repair.
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The skin performs most repairs while individuals sleep because the rest of the body—which usually commands all the attention—is at rest. This allows skin cells to have an opportunity to heal.
Additionally, although it’s not recommended to use lavender essential oil as your sole sunscreen, a 2014 study in the journal Photochemistry and Photobiology found that lavender essential oil can help protect against the sun’s UV rays.2
Another 2015 study from Brazilian researchers found that lavender’s antioxidant power helped ease inflammation, which could reduce redness and improve overall complexion.3
Lavender also helps boost circulation, improving cell growth—including collagen and elastin—so skin appears healthier and more radiant.
Frankincense Essential Oil
One of the oldest of the essential oils, frankincense contains compounds that help ease irritated skin while evening out skin tone. Frankincense essential oil also contains fatty acids that hydrate skin and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.4
Star Anise Essential Oil
Star anise contains two compounds that benefit skin: limonene, an antioxidant that fights free radical damage, protecting collagen and elastin from oxidative stress; and linalool, which help stimulate the production of vitamin E, another antioxidant that fights free radical damage. The combined actions of these two compounds helps the skin retain its elasticity and radiance.
Blue Chamomile Essential Oil
Also known as German chamomile, this gentle essential oil contains bisabolol, a powerful anti-aging weapon that fights free radical damage, protecting the collagen and elastin cells that make up the structural layer of skin. This means that it helps protect against fine lines and wrinkles as well as sagging, discolored skin. It also helps penetrate the skin deep beneath the surface layer, where real healing occurs.5
Myrrh Essential Oil
The best way to keep skin looking young and free from signs of aging is to fight free radicals with the power of antioxidants. A 2010 study from researchers in Egypt found that myrrh essential oil is packed with antioxidants, especially glutathione. This compound fights free radicals that attack collagen and elastin.6
Neroli Essential Oil
One of the skin’s best friends is vitamin C, an antioxidant that targets dark spots and helps generate new collagen cells, helping restore skin’s structural layer. According to the Linus Pauling Institute—the definitive source on vitamin C benefits—vitamin C is found in the dermis and epidermis of the skin and is sensitive to toxins and sun’s UV rays.
Neroli’s high vitamin C content makes it a wonderful choice for restoring vitamin C levels where the skin needs it most.7 Other citrus-based essential oils that can improve the appearance of skin due to vitamin C and other antioxidants include wild orange, grapefruit, bergamot, lime, lemon, and tangerine oils.
Carrot Seed Essential Oil
Carrot seed oil is a moisture-rich oil that is able to sink beneath the skin’s surface layer to the dermis where healing begins. The power-packed antioxidants in carrot seed help rejuvenate the skin’s structural cells, improving the appearance of the skin.
This oil also offers carotenoids, which help lift away dark spots associated with photoaging and stimulate cell renewal beneath the surface of the skin. Some studies have also suggested carrot seed oil offers protection against UV rays, but that 2009 study also included other essential oils, to create a sun-blocking blend.
Still, the antioxidant power of carrot seed oil can protect against the damage from sun exposure, and that is an excellent way to slow down the aging process.8
Lemon Balm Essential Oil
Anecdotally, lemon balm has been used to improve the appearance of skin since the 14th century, and for good reason. Lemon balm contains linalool, which encourages the production of vitamin E, one of the most skin-friendly antioxidants.
Vitamin E offers a wealth of skin benefits. It not only hydrates parched skin, but it is also a powerful antioxidant. Most importantly, it strengthens the skin’s barrier layer, which has the ability to help block toxins such as free radicals, protecting collagen and elastin cells from damage.9
Whether you’re looking to reduce the signs of aging or simply looking to give your skin a healthy boost, the potent compounds found in nature can help you achieve these results. Try out one of the essential oils mentioned above topically with a carrier oil like coconut or jojoba oil and prepare to reap the benefits.
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