Essential Oils For Skin
Our skin is what we show to the world and we often spend hundreds of dollars to make it appear as healthy as possible. You may be trying to control an outbreak of acne or even prevent signs of aging such as wrinkles or spots. However, many of the chemicals to remove oil or tighten the appearance of pores can do more harm than good.
Being the largest organ of your body, your skin is usually the first to show a reaction to your environment. It can have reactions with the material in the air, in your food, even on your clothing. Your skin is incredibly sensitive to change.
Essential oils have been used in myriad folk remedies for centuries around the world and have even been scientifically studied regarding their benefits. These are some of the top essential oils for natural skin care:
- tea tree
Essential Oils For Skin
You see lavender is just about anything that has a scent to it. Not only do most people find it to have a pleasing aroma, but it is also gentle enough that many people can apply the essential oil directly to their skin.
This essential oil is a proven antioxidant, as in it has not only the ability to repair damage caused by free radicals in the environment but it can also help further prevent damage. This damage often shows as brown spots on the face and hands as well as wrinkles near the eyes and mouth. (1)
In treating skin issues like acne, lavender is an excellent choice for its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. It can reduce swelling of the clogged pores and kill any bacterium that has become trapped inside.
How to use:
- add 2-3 drops of lavender to a warm bath so your pores will be open to absorb its benefits
- dilute 2 drops with an astringent such as witch hazel to help control oil
- use a carrier oil such as coconut or jojoba with to make a moisturizer that may prevent over dry skin. Use about 4 drops essential oil per tablespoon of oil.
There is a reason why the ancient world considered frankincense to be as precious as gold. Made from the resin of the Boswellia tree, frankincense has numerous benefits, including treating skin issues including acne, redness, and dry skin.
Frankincense has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties as well as being antibacterial. This may be due to steroid-like elements found in the oil that can help reduce the body’s natural reaction to events like an infection. It can also prevent germs from living on the skin and causing potential infections. (2)
How to use:
- add 2-3 drops of oil to a warm bath to help soothe any inflamed or dry skin
- mix 6 drops to about 1 ounce of carrier oil and apply to face and neck to help soothe redness and help skin retain elasticity
Be sure to use 100% therapeutic grade essential oil, especially if you are using on your skin. Start with a small amount and add on since overuse can be potentially toxic.
3. Tea Tree Essential Oil
Many of us have suffered from acne in our lives, either as teenagers as our bodies began to suffer from an influx of new hormones or as adults as we changed once again with age. These changes often show on our skin as excess oil which can lead to pores that become clogged with dead skin cells trapped inside that can then become infected.
Tea tree is one of the most common essential oils when it comes to skincare, especially that of acne breakouts. It has proven anti-bacterial properties that can be beneficial for the face as well as the rest of the body. This makes it ideal for use as a sanitizer for hands without harsh chemicals like alcohol. (3)
How to use:
- dilute 2-3 drops in a carrier oil and apply to breakouts on the body
- use with a mild soap such as castile soap and mix with oils such as frankincense and lavender for a face and body wash
Be sure to test tea tree oil on a patch of skin before overall use as can cause skin reactions in sensitive people. Also, it is not meant to be ingested and may cause nausea and dizziness.
Geranium has a reputation for being very good for the skin of your face. It may tighten skin that has lost elasticity due to age or oxidative damage and can even prevent further damage. It helps remove free oxygen radicals from your body, even as it repairs what has already been harmed. (4)
A studied anti-inflammatory and antibacterial, geranium may help in the treatment of acne, dermatitis and skin diseases. It soothes red skin caused by clogged pores and clears away any trapped bacteria. It also has the added benefit of being a topical analgesic and can relieve the pain associated with inflamed skin.
How to use:
- add 1-2 drops of geranium essential oil to your current facial moisturizer
- add 1-2 drops to a teaspoon of your current body wash to help soothe skin all over your body
- add 1-2 drops to a warm bath for a pleasantly scented all over skin cleanse
There are two common types of geranium: geranium and rose geranium. Both have similar benefits but many may prefer the smell of rose geranium over the other.
This herb is so much more useful than just seasoning your meat. Greeks used it for centuries for its antibacterial properties and the effect that its scent has on memory.
Rosemary has antioxidant properties that can help protect your skin and body from cellular damage and assist your cells with repairing themselves. This is good for the skin because it can prevent the signs of premature aging that may happen with exposure to toxic parts of our environments.
This essential oil is also well known for improving the health of your scalp and may be used to prevent or reverse hair loss. This is due to the antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that help the damaged follicles grow stronger hair strands and even encourage growth from follicles that had stopped producing hair at all. (5)
How to use:
- add 2-4 drops of rosemary essential oil to your current shampoo to aid in scalp health
- add 3 drops of rosemary to a tablespoon of a mild soap like castile soap to make a gentle hair and body wash that soothes inflamed skin and kills bacteria
- Though the oil can be taken internally, it may react with certain anticoagulants and diuretics. Be sure to use therapeutic grade oils and start with small doses before adding more.
Citrus oils like lemon have been in use in traditional Indian medicine for centuries. Lemon oil is a part of almost every common household cleaner and the scent has become synonymous with clean. Lemon possesses cleansing properties that are not only beneficial for your house but your skin as well.
Antimicrobial abilities clear away the bacteria that festers in clogged pores and removes the excess oil as well. Using lemon may prevent the over-drying that occurs with traditional cleaning chemicals, which, in turn, prevents overproduction of oil by your skin. (6)
How to use:
- add 2-3 drops with honey and baking soda to make a facial mask
- add 3 drops to a warm bath for a full body clean
- add 2-3 drops to a teaspoon of carrier oil and apply directly to affected areas
Lemon can cause your skin to become photosensitive. That is why it is best to not only dilute it in a carrier oil but to also avoid direct sunlight for at least an hour after application.
Our skin is the first line of defense when it comes to our environment. It keeps out the bacteria and viruses that could make us ill. However, we sometimes use chemicals or medicines that either do damage to our skin or allow further damage to occur.
To combat this issue, essential oils are being studied as an alternative to the products that may have side effects that lead to more issues. Oils like tea tree and lemon have been used for centuries for this very purpose and have been proven to be some of the most effective things you can do for your body and overall health.
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