Can I Use Essential Oils on my Skin?
Essential oils are a fundamental element in relaxing the mind and body. Often used supportive ingredients in complex formulas, essential oils have huge skincare benefits. But can you put essential oils directly on your skin? The short answer: yes. The longer answer is also yes but there’s a few things to know first and considerations to keep in mind when applying essential oils directly to the skin.
What are essential oils?
Essential oils are extracts from plants, often through cold pressing or by using steam or hot water to pull extracts from the plant. They’re highly concentrated so just a few drops go a long way. Essential oils are probably most known for their powerful scent, often used in oil diffusers to add a pleasant smell to a room, as an addition to a bath, or during massage.
Common essential oils come from well-known botanicals, such as peppermint,
lavender, eucalyptus and lemon. Just like how plants offer different nutritional benefits to the body, each essential oil has its own topical benefit to the skin. Some are great for detoxification, others for antioxidant protection and many for balancing skin oil production and skin hydration. But education is key with essential oils. Due to their potent nature, some types shouldn’t be applied directly to the skin without dilution due to potential irritation.
Benefits of essential oils
It’s no secret that at ClarityRx, we love plant-based skincare. Natural ingredients improve the overall health of the skin while working to improve your individual skin concerns. That’s why we love essential oils. These potent ingredients pack a punch against some of the most persistent skin concerns. Benefits of applying essential oils to the skin include:
- Calm and soothe the skin and the mind.
- Fight acne-causing bacteria.
- Reduce inflammation and redness.
- Assist in skin hydration and moisture retention.
- Balance oil production and reduce excess sebum.
- Improve circulation and flow of oxygen.
- Protect against oxidative damage from sun exposure and pollution.
- Minimize the signs of aging and prevent the formation of fine lines and wrinkles.
- Soothe sensitive skin conditions, including rosacea, dermatitis and eczema.
- Relieve itching and cool rashes.
- Minimize the appearance of spots left behind by breakouts and dark spots from the sun.
Choosing the right essential oil
Just like all botanicals and plant-based skincare ingredients, there are many benefits of incorporating essential oils into your regular skincare routine. But to maximize the benefit, it’s important to find the right type of oil for your skin type and skin concern. At ClarityRx, we like to use a wide variety of essential oils in our formulations to harness the power of natural ingredients to improve your skin’s health. Many of our formulations include more than one essential oil, so you know you’re getting many benefits out of a single product.
The ideal essential oils for dry skin are lavender, chamomile and sandalwood. All three naturally increase the skin’s hydration levels without leaving the skin feeling greasy. Try lavender in Peace Of Mind™ Be Calm A Touch of Lavender Aromatherapy.
For oily skin, sage, rosemary, frankincense and geranium help balance the skin’s oil production. Try sage and geranium oils in Pick Me Up™ Skin Booster Pads which helps detoxify pores and clear the skin. Regular use helps minimize the appearance of enlarged pores and improves skin tone.
To calm and soothe irritated, sensitive or acneic skin, lavender, chamomile and geranium can assist in reducing inflammation, redness and skin dermatitis. Live + Be Well™ Probiotic + Pink Himalayan Salt Mask has both lavender and chamomile extracts, among other plant botanicals, that help soothe the skin.
How to use essential oils on the skin
Essential oils are commonly used as ingredients in intricate skincare formulations. However, most can also be applied independently as needed to the skin. Some, but not all, essential oils can cause irritation when applied directly to the skin, but there’s an easy workaround: carrier oils.
Carrier oils help “carry” the essential oil into the skin without causing topical irritation or redness. They don’t diminish the effectiveness of the botanical, but rather help enhance the benefits by allowing the skin to fully absorb the ingredient without negative side effects. If the formula is a pure essential oil, meaning it’s not pre-blended with other oils, try a carrier oil when applying.
There are a lot of different types of carrier oils and the right one for you will depend on the type of essential oil you’re using, your personal preferences and what’s accessible. Common carrier oils are:
- Unrefined coconut oil which is rich in fatty acids and great for skin-nourishing benefits and massage.
- Jojoba oil which doesn’t clog pores and is ideal for those with oily or breakout-prone skin.
- Apricot kernel oil that serves as a calming carrier oil for irritated skin.
- Sweet almond oil for its sweet and nutty scent and ability to absorb quickly into the skin.
- Olive oil which is a great choice for those with limited access to other oils and alongside essential oils for dry skin.
As with all things in skincare, if you’re looking to improve the health, quality and appearance of your skin by using essential oils, consistency is key. Once you find your favorite essential oils, start using them on a routine basis. Add a couple drops to your nighttime moisturizer, mix a few drops with your favorite carrier oil and apply right after the shower, try a drop or two in your favorite oil-based nighttime serum. These are easy ways to start incorporating essential oils into your daily, or weekly, routine.
Whether you’re looking for the right essential oil for dry skin, to improve breakouts or minimize the signs of aging, using essential oils on the skin can elevate a skin care routine. Trial and error will likely be your friend to find the right botanical and your favorite way to use it, but when in doubt mix with a hydrating, already reliable product in your routine. As you apply these super potent ingredients, remember to take a deep breath and enjoy the mind and body relaxation benefits that come with essential oils.