Acne, eczema, dry skin, wrinkles, spots, oily skin, sunburn – your skin really does take a battering. Why not try using essential oils for your skin problems? Cosmetologists often use botanicals or phytonutrients in beauty products and essential oils are known to be some of the most active ingredients.
Before you use the following essential oils, here are some safety tips:
- Essential oils must always be used in their diluted forms and should never be applied directly to the skin, instead they should be blended with a carrier oil or cream first.
- If you're using essential oils that have been extracted from citrus fruits or blossoms, you should avoid exposure to the sun.
- If you're pregnant or are on any medication, consult a trained aromatherapist or doctor before you use any essential oils.
- Do a sensitivity test: If you have sensitive skin, do a patch test on the side of your face 24 hours before you use the essential oil in a home-blended moisturiser, toner or massage oil. If a rash develops or your skin feels sore, discontinue use of that oil.
Bergamot: Soothes acne and eczema; don't use before going into the sun as your skin could burn very easily.
Camomile: Useful in the treatment of dry skin, eczema and skin rashes.
Frankincense: This essential oil has skin balancing and rejuvenating properties and is therefore used for acne and ageing skin.
Geranium: Balances sebum production in oily and dry skin.
Lavender: Known for its healing properties, this oil is used to treat sunburn, burns, insect bites, pimples and acne.
Neroli: Used for normal to sensitive skin.
Rosewood: Softens dry skin.
Sandalwood: Has anti-inflammatory and healing properties to treat extremely dry skin, acne and eczema.
Tea tree: Renowned for its antiseptic qualities; used for the treatment of spots, acne and dandruff.
Pick a carrier oil that suits your skin type:
Apricot kernel: Suitable for all skin types. A light oil that is easily absorbed. It contains lots of vitamin A, which helps in collagen production.
Grapeseed: Suitable for oily and combination skins. A light oil, packed with protein and antioxidants to help in the fight against ageing.
Jojoba: Suitable for all skin types. Great for soothing inflamed or irritated skin.
Macadamia nut: Suitable for dry skin. This oil is rich in vitamins A, E and F and helps regenerate ageing skin.
Peach kernel: Suitable for dry and sun-damaged skin. Full of vitamin A, this oil is also used to treat stretch marks.
Soya bean: Suitable for oily skins. A light oil packed with vitamins and minerals that nourish the skin.
Sweet almond: For dry skin. It soothes itching and inflamed skin.
Wheatgerm: Suitable for all skin types. Contains vitamin E and proteins to balance skin and revitalise prematurely aged skin.
- (Health24, updated February 2008)