While you may be familiar with essential oils as they pertain to aromatherapy, or even in the making of perfume and other scents, perhaps you might not be aware of their many skincare benefits. Yes, that’s right! Although we often associate them with holistic healing, they work wonders when applied to the skin (although not directly, as you’ll discover below). Read on to find out what essential oils are, how they differ from carrier oils, and the best essential oils for skin.
IN A NUTSHELL
Main Takeaways: Essential oils aren’t just for aromatherapy. Essential oils for the face are a vital part of any great skin care regime.
Good to Know: While highly beneficial for the skin, most essential oils must be combined with carrier oils, as they are too potent to use directly on the skin.
Recommended Products: Deluxe Set.
Essential Oils vs Carrier Oils: What's the Difference?
Even if you’re a big essential oils fan, you may not have heard of carrier oils, but they play a super-important role in skincare. Just as their name implies, carrier oils are used to dilute potent essential oils that would ordinarily be too strong and/or irritating to apply directly to the skin.
Like essential oils, carrier oils usually come from nature (specifically seeds and nuts) and have a mild or non-existent smell. Some great examples of this would be jojoba oil or rosehip oil.
Essential oils, on the other hand, are very potent and usually cannot be applied directly to the skin, as they are just too strong and can easily irritate it. This is why essential oils for skin care are usually blended with carrier oils. Derived from different parts of plants (i.e., roots, leaves, seeds, and even flowers), they usually have a very strong aroma.
10 Best Essential Oils for Skin
With that in mind, let’s chat a bit about the best essential oils for the face! Whether you’re looking to moisturize your skin or restore its glow, there’s an essential oil out there for you!
1. Pink Grapefruit Oil
Looking at the almost unfathomable range of pink grapefruit oil benefits, it’s hard to come up with a single bad thing to say about this wonder fruit, which is why we included it in some of our products like So Clean! facial cleanser. From its ability to brighten the skin (thank you, vitamin C!), to its ability to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles (thank you, vitamin A!), pink grapefruit oil is a wonderfully effective anti-aging ingredient. That's why we've included it in our Nectar of the C vitamin C serum.
We've also included pink grapefruit oil in Crème de la Cream brightening moisturizer, since it has the ability to exfoliate and purify the skin, helping to restore its glow. This is especially beneficial if you have dull skin.
2. Rose Essential Oil
Literally pressed from the petals of roses, rose essential oil provides moisture to the skin, as well as cooling hydration. Its gentle, soothing effect on the skin is why we included it in our Rose and Shine rosewater toner, in the form of rose hydrosol. (A hydrosol is a colloidal suspension of essential oils in water.) Not only does our toner hydrate the skin with a light mist, it has a lovely, subtle smell of roses! Pro tip: keep it in the fridge for a refreshing blast of hydration!
Is there anything lovelier than lavender? Somewhere between the way it looks (oh, to be in France during lavender season!), and the way it smells (light, delicate, fresh), not only is it a magical skincare ingredient, it’s also a fabulous essential oil. Known for its calming, soothing effect on skin, lavender oil also contains cleansing properties that help purify the skin. That’s why we’ve included it in our Eyes Eyes Baby eye cream, as well as our Prince Charcoal detox mask. It may not be a trip to France, but it’ll help your skin look and feel great!
4. Lemon Grass
Between all the environmental toxins our skin is exposed to, the dirt and oil that clogs our pores, and even excess perspiration that can irritate our skin, we need an ingredient to help detoxify our skin. Enter lemongrass essential oil. In addition to enhancing skin’s overall texture, lemon grass also helps cleanse and detoxify pores, removing excess oil in the process. For those reasons, we’ve included it in our Prince Charcoal detox mask–if you need a really great pore clean out, give it a try!
5. Ylang Flower Oil
Speaking of our Prince Charcoal mask, you may not know that it also contains ylang flower oil (pronounced yuh-lang), which is known for expertly balancing the oils in your skin. This oil gives the mask its sweetly floral scent.
6. Geranium Flower Oil
There are few flowers more lovely to look at, or a scent more pleasing than a geranium, but that’s not where it's talent stops. Geranium flower oil is known for its ability to tighten and tone the skin, not to mention its ability to help purify it. We’ve included it in our H2 Oh Yeah hydrating moisturizer. This intensely hydrating cream provides the deep, long-lasting hydration your skin craves. It will also smooth your skin and help diminish the look of fine lines and wrinkles.
We’ve also included geranium oil in our Just Dew It hydrating serum, which will provide next-level hydration to the skin, revitalizing dry, dehydrated skin.
7. Rosemary Essential Oil
One sample of rosemary essential oil, and you might wonder how you ever did without it. Known for its ability to purify and cleanse the skin, it’s perfect for those of us whose skin has a tendency to become congested or irritated. It’s also known for being able to balance oils, making it an especially great choice for those with oily skin. We’ve included rosemary oil in our So Clean! facial cleanser.
8. Chamomile Essential Oil
You know how a nice cup of chamomile tea makes you feel relaxed and calm? That is pretty much what chamomile essential oil does for your skin! Its antioxidant properties help defend skin against environmental stressors trying to harm it while renewing the look of beautiful skin.
There’s almost nothing more refreshing or more revitalizing than the scent of eucalyptus – but that’s far from its only benefit. As an essential oil, eucalyptus helps with everything from hydrating the skin, to soothing irritated skin.
Known as “The King of Oil,” this oil is derived from resin from the Boswellia tree. It may be familiar to you from Bible stories, but did you also know it’s great for your skin? Frankincense is great for dry skin and is also said to help minimize the appearance of dark spots. As if that weren’t enough, it also helps tighten and firm your look.
With all that in mind, we hope you’ll consider essential oils for skin care as part of your regular routine. As you can see, it’s really just a matter of incorporating just a few products for great results (and lovely aromas)!