Whenever you experience some skin irritation or changes, your skin might be trying to tell you something—and you should listen to it. Sometimes, you might need to stock up on new skincare products or visit a dermatologist, and other times, you might benefit from a natural boost. For the latter, give essential oils a try. Each oil is different and can target certain skin concerns.
There are truly so many wondrous capabilities when it comes to essential oils, including improving sleep, boosting immunity, easing joint pain, reducing nausea, relieving headaches, and of course, improving skin health. Just a little addition of one or sticking to essential oil–based products may help balance, moisturize, and heal the skin so that it glows. Here, we share some of our favorite essential oils for the skin.
Some Tips For Using Essential Oils on the Skin
Before you start, you should know that essential oils are potent and powerful and should never be applied directly to the skin. They require adding a few drops to a neutral carrier oil such as almond or grape-seed. Also, before you go all in, test it out slowly with a spot test first and observe for a minimum of 72 hours to detect any reactions or sensitivities.
Since essential oils are best tolerated in the cooler winter months, be sure to avoid any excessive sun exposure, and use sparingly if you have acne-prone skin. Not all essential oils are created equal, and when it doesn't work, you'll know.
The Best Essential Oils for Your Skin
Often called the "feel-good" oil, rose oil is more than a delicate, floral essence. It's actually a well-known anxiety, stress, depression, and pain reliever. The anti-inflammatory oil contains high levels of vitamin C and vitamin A, which keep the skin soft and moisturized and tissue regenerated, which is crucial for healing scars.
"There's a reason rose Damascena flower oil is just as relevant now as it was in ancient times. Not only does it smell divine, but it's also an incredibly powerful ingredient," says Isabel Lazo, founder of Isa Lazo. "Rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, it is able to help with a variety of skin concerns, such as signs of aging or dry skin. It's gentle enough for sensitive skin and is a fabulous ingredient that promotes a healthy and radiant glow!"
Lauded for its wonderful skin-nourishing benefits, this Isa Lazo's lightweight facial oil is formulated with rose oil and vitamins E and A, which have powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-aging properties.
Bring back vitality to dry skin with this powerful mix of oils that soothes the most sensitive skin. It contains 10 plant extracts, including rose petal, evening primrose, rose hip, carrot seed, and neroli blossom. Massage on to clean skin twice weekly for lasting protection and hydration.
A refreshing astringent, rosemary oil helps decongest acne and oily skin types while maintaining balance to prevent new ones. Dubbed "the face oil to end all face oils," this product calms irritation, detoxifies pores, and deeply hydrates skin.
This light, herbal moisturizer features purifying essential oil derived from the rosemary leaf that helps to hydrate the skin and control oil production with antiseptic properties. Combined with a maximum-strength salicylic acid solution, this will keep the complexion clear and healthy-looking.
This whipped hand cream is rich in antioxidants and antibacterial properties due to its sustainably sourced rosemary leaf extract. Mixed with organic coconut oil, olive oil, sunflower-seed oil, and rooibos-leaf extract, the cream leaves the skin soft, hydrated, and nourished without a greasy feel.
To use lavender oil for acne, dilute it in coconut oil or another carrier oil, and apply it to your skin after washing your face, or use it as a toner by soaking a cotton ball in two drops of lavender oil with one teaspoon of witch hazel and gently rub over your face.
This hydrating yet easily absorbed body lotion contains antioxidant-rich vitamins and sweet almond oil that delivers deep nourishment to the skin. Pure lavender essential oils contribute an uplifting, all-natural fragrance, as well as inflammation-reducing and refreshing properties.
Soothe the delicate underarm area with the antimicrobial and calming scent of crisp lavender, fresh Persian lime, and golden myrrh. "Scent is a vital part of Taos AER deodorants and we use essential oils to give aromatherapy benefits and set a mood for the day. Essential oils can energize, give focus, aid in meditation, promote a sense of well-being and confidence," says Kristine Keheley, co-founder Taos AER. "We want to elevate daily essentials so you look forward to using our products as part of the structure of your day. That means high performance of course, but we also prize sensorial experience."
Derived from the white flowers of the common jasmine plant, the romantic floral essence brings out the natural beauty of the skin and also eases the mind.
"Jasmine is the most important oil to help us de-stress and relax. The active molecule, indole, is a natural sleep inducer without the hangover effect. A bath with jasmine half an hour before bed will induce deep and gentle sleep," says Margo Marrone, a London-based pharmacist specializing in herbal medicine and the founder of The Organic Pharmacy.
Containing antibacterial jasmine essential oil, this body lotion treats, hydrates, soothes, softens, and protects from top to toe. In addition to its fragrant scent, precious jasmine essential oil helps to increase cell turnover, calm, and renew the skin.
A natural astringent, bergamot oil has clarifying and oil-reducing properties that help balance overactive sebum production, as well as helping to reduce hyperpigmentation from acne scars.
With antibacterial properties, bergamot essential oil is a natural cleanser in this serum that balances out any oily T-zones, minimizes the appearance of pores, and reduces excess oil. Skin is left with a supple, dewy finish.
A comforting essential oil great for all skin types—be sure to choose a product that is 100% pure essential oil and extracted through a cold-press method.
Moisturize your skin from head to toe with this gentle, non-greasy oil. It can be massaged over your entire body, put into your bath, or worked into your hair to tame and moisturize.
Much-loved for its antibacterial, moisturizing, and anti-inflammatory benefits, eucalyptus is helpful in treating eczema, acne flare-ups, and wounds.
This energizing bodywash leaves skin hydrated and refreshed with the protective benefits of eucalyptus. It removes sweat and impurities but doesn't dry out the skin.
Moisturize your skin from head to toe with this gentle, non-greasy lotion that contains a mix of refreshing essentials including the sweet and woodsy aroma of eucalyptus. In addition to building immunity, clearing congestion, and relieving muscle tension, the medicinal plant is helpful in clearing up skin flare-ups and inflammation.
Rough skin gets the exfoliating treatment with this essential oil blend of eucalyptus, lemon, and lavender that helps to stimulate and refresh tired, achy feet, especially when combined with the granulated pumice that thoroughly soothes rough skin and hard heels.
Cedarwood essential oil is great for preventing the signs of aging, like fine lines. In addition to helping to soothe irritation and inflammation, it guards the skin against environmental pollutants and toxins, which can cause oxidative stress that ages the skin.
A gentle spot treatment enriched with skin-healing cedarwood, this active gel works to reduce redness and clear the complexion without drying or irritating the skin. "Cedarwood is very balancing. It's one of my favorite oils for oily or dry skin because it balances oil production whether overactive or underactive," shares Marrone.
8. Tea Tree
No essential-oil skincare list would be complete without including tea tree essential oil. In addition to having a moisturizing effect, which soothes and reduces itching and irritation, the oil is especially helpful in treating acne as it is antibacterial.
This hydrating cleansing oil thoroughly cleanses the skin and helps to calm the appearance of redness and blemishes.
Target acne and excess oil production with a moisturizer that purifies, refreshes, and helps prevent new blemish breakouts.
Essential Oil Diffusers to Shop
Refresh your space with the best of the best when it comes to diffusers. Offered in a variety of colors, the brand sells its own essential oils as well for easy skin combinations.
A smaller option, this diffuser helps you indulge in the small moments of relaxation, whether in your bedroom or on the go.
This is perfect for naturally scenting your home, and it will look beautiful while doing it, whether on your bedside table, countertops, or shelves.