September 11, 2019

How to choose the best essential oils for skin, based on your needs

Essential oils are loaded with vitamins and skin-loving nutrition, making them a powerful addition to any plant based skin care regime. They cover a wide range of skin issues, and will leave you glowing and gorgeous if you know the right application methods. Here we’re diving into the most beneficial essential oils for skin, and the ins and out of shopping for the right formula.

The first thing to ask yourself when choosing an essential oil for skin is whether you’re looking for something clarifying, soothing, brightening, or moisturizing. While many of our favorite oils can simultaneously treat a combination of issues, their unique chemical compositions render each of them more aligned towards some skin issues than others.


Clarifying Essential Oils

If you’re suffering from overly oily skin, breakouts, rough texture, and clogged pores, you need to look for an essential oil that will enhance your skin’s ability to remove dead skin cells, balance out sebum production, and keep pores clear of pollutants and irritants.


To treat these issues, opt for a clarifying essential oil that has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. One excellent choice is bergamot oil, a tonic with powerful antiseptic properties, meaning that it can effectively remove acne causing bacteria from the skin.


Another essential oil for acne is tea-tree oil, with a proven ability to penetrate deep into the skin. This essential oil helps to dissolve sebum and dead skin blockages within deep epidermal layers.  It’s especially beneficial for acne prone skin or oily skin!


Neroli oil has a similarly powerful anti-acne profile, with its resume of benefits proven to tone and tighten acneic skin. It’s super effective when it comes to balancing sebum levels, functioning as a natural astringent that breaks down excess oil without stripping the skin of its natural lipid barrier.


And finally the less common Myrr oil is another powerful clarifying option, with anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties thanks to to active compounds in the oil, known as “terpenoids” and “sesquiterpenes”.

Brightening Essential Oils

Skin discoloration can be caused by a variety of issues like post acne scarring, UV exposure, aging, or discoloration caused by chemical-laden cosmetics. The good news is that there are several essential oils which are proven to even out hyperpigmentation, and help you regain a smooth complexion.


The MVPs when it comes to skin lightening and brightening are citrus-based essential oils. One of the most potent, blood orange essential oil has been shown to increase your skin’s ability to absorb vitamin C, and encourage collagen production and blood flow. Both are necessary prerequisites for evening out discoloration and replacing it with new skin cells.


Rose essential oil is another brightening skincare savior. It’s chock-full of essential fatty acids and vitamin A: a crucial vitamin for encouraging skin cell turnover and fading discoloration.


Chamomile essential oil is another naturally brightening ingredient that works well in oil blends, with its ability to reduce redness and encourage healthy PH levels.  It has anti inflammatory properties that work great for sensitive skin.


Lastly, cedarwood oil is fantastic when it comes to treating hyperpigmentation - it effectively promotes circulation and blood, stimulating skin cell renewal and filtering toxins out of your pores.

Moisturizing & Hydrating Essential Oils

Essential oils can be an extremely helpful addition when dealing with dryness and irritation. There are several oil options to soften and ease flaking and redness, when added to your regular skin care regime.


Vetiver oil is loaded with hydrating benefits! This bunchgrass plant is a natural humectant that retains large amounts of water. So when applied to the skin, it delivers a hefty dose of H2O into your pores.


Known for it’s ultra soothing and anti-anxiety promoting aromatherapy benefits, lavender oil is similarly moisture friendly, but is unique in that it does a stellar job at balancing your skin’s oil production. That way skin won’t become too dry, or over-moisturized.

Finally, one of the most powerful essential oils when it comes to moisturizing is carrot seed oil, an ingredient that’s rich in antioxidants and nourishing essential fatty acids. It’s effective at neutralizing inflammation associated with dry skin, and is famous as a source of anti-aging vitamin A.

Remember that not all essential oils should be used directly on your skin. Some oils have been developed to be used in a diffuser or aromatherapy treatment, and aren’t pharmaceutical grade. Essential oils that are designed to be used in a diffuser are highly concentrated, and will leave you with irritation or an allergic reaction if you apply them directly to your skin.

Shopping for Essential Oils

When it comes to shopping for essential oils to use on the skin, it’s essential to look for ones that have been diluted, either in water or in a mild carrier oil, like coconut or jojoba oil  to avoid skin irritation. Look for oils that have been diluted to a maximum of 5% - this dilution will allow you to to reap the benefits without over-absorbing the chemical compounds. You can also add a carrier oil yourself, with a ratio of 2% essential oil to total carrier oil volume.

When it comes to taking essential oils internally, this can vary from person to person. Generally, they should be consumed in small quantities, again diluted in a water solution. Essential oils are extremely potent plant compounds, and have the potential to heal gut health and reduce internal inflammation. But the fact is that potency matters, so it’s important to use essential oils for ingestion extremely sparingly. Remember, it takes approximately 50 lemons to make one 15 mL bottle of lemon essential oil. That’s a lot of citric acid squeezed into one little bottle, so use strategically and safely!

For more essential oil spotlights, check out Not All Essential Oils are Created Equal and Citrus Essential Oil for Mood.

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