There are some skincare staples we always have on hand: a trusty cleanser to wipe off the day’s grease, a blemish stick for those unexpected pimples, maybe a clay mask for #selfcaresundays.
It is also important to nourish our skin from within with good quality collagen supplements and skin loving nutrients. However, that might not be enough if you are still struggling with skin issues, such as winter dryness, acne or eczema.
With all the potions we use daily, we sometimes miss out on the most basic items that can effectively help when we’re faced with different skin issue. And they don’t have to be the expensive kind either -- the ones we have in mind are super-affordable and easy to find: essential oils.
Essential oils are our favorites when it comes to calming our nerves and improving our sleep. Most of us might not know essential oils are also good for moisturizing, treating acne, healing skin and reducing signs of aging.
Different essential oils can target different skin issues:
- Essential Oil for Dry Skin
- Essential Oil for Acne
- Essential Oil For Aging Skin
- Essential Oil For Healing
Like the spices we keep in our kitchen to whip up all sorts of dishes, we recommend these 5 important essential oils for your skin that you should have at hand (or in your bag!) at all times.
Note: Always get the most natural essential oils—not ones that have been mixed with artificial perfumes. If you have sensitive skin, always do a patch test first to ensure you don’t have an allergic reaction.
1. Rosehip Oil
Rosehip oil is an essential oil derived from the seeds of rose bushes. It has developed a cult following thanks to supermodels like Miranda Kerr touting its many benefits. As told to GoodHousekeeping.com by Gary Goldenberg, MD, “There is no scientific proof that rosehip seed oil is the best thing for your skin, but that’s not to say that this seed extract isn’t good for your skin."
So, what is rosehip oil good for? Let’s dive in and detail these benefits, shall we?
Rosehip Oil Benefits
Dr. Goldenberg also revealed that rosehip oil contains nourishing fatty acids that keep skin hydrated and smooth, helping combat signs of aging while also preventing them. Well-moisturized skin is always less likely to show fine lines and wrinkles than dry skin.
Vitamins A and C and anti-inflammatory fatty acids go a long way in helping to diminish signs of aging like wrinkles. “These ingredients allow rosehip oil to treat signs of aging and pigmentation, hydrate skin and repair damaged skin, and provide a strong protective antioxidant boost — all without the oily feel of a traditional liquid oil," Sonam Yadav, MD, told GoodHousekeeping (1)
Brightening and Evening Skin Tone
The vitamin C in rosehip oil can help fade away dark spots and discoloration that can make skin look splotchy and dull. Combined with vitamin A and fatty acids, vitamin C can also help fade away minor scarring, even stretch marks (a type of scarring that occurs when skin is stretched too much). "Together these help undo and prevent oxidative damage and help the skin re-build collagen," says Tsippora Shainhouse. Collagen is an essential protein that keeps skin firm and bouncy.
How To Use Rosehip Essential Oil
Apply a few drops directly on skin before applying any cream or moisturizer. No need to dilute, as rosehip oil is sometimes used as a carrier oil too.
2. Jojoba Oil
Jojoba oil is one of the best-known essential oils currently on the market thanks to its use in a variety of skincare products. Most known usage are Jojoba oil for face and hair
Jojoba oil is derived from the nut of the jojoba plant, which grows in harsh desert climates in North America. It is a very gentle oil that has a waxy feel to it and is compositionally similar to human sebum, which makes it very compatible with skin.
Jojoba Oil Benefits
Jojoba oil is a humectant, meaning it can help seal in moisture to keep skin hydrated. In studies, it has shown the ability to help protect and repair the skin barrier (4). This is significant in that the skin barrier prevents irritants from penetrating skin and causing problems like dryness, redness and itching. Jojoba oil can also potentially help minimize the symptoms of eczema and psoriasis.
Jojoba oil has anti-bacterial properties that can potentially give it the ability to help fight against acne, which is caused by the P. acnes bacteria. As a gentle oil, it can also help control sebum production.
Antioxidants are very important in the world of skin care. Antioxidants help neutralize free radicals, which are unstable atoms that damage cells throughout the body, including skin cells. They accelerate aging and can lead to a variety of other problems. As an antioxidant, jojoba oil can help scavenge the free radicals that promote aging and the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.
Promotes Collagen and Wound Healing
Jojoba oil has shown a propensity to assist in wound healing. One study has linked the ability of an antioxidant to help stimulate collagen synthesis. As a powerful antioxidant, it stands to reason that jojoba would be able to do this as well. Wound healing has also been noticed as an effect of jojoba treatment in studies. Research has shown that jojoba can help bind skin cells that have been damaged and torn apart, as may happen in a scratch. (8)
If you have sensitive skin, fear not, jojoba oil is very non-irritating and allergic reactions from use are very, very rare. Jojoba's hypoallergenic quality makes it a great product for use on all types of skin, hence its appearance in so many hydrating beauty products.
How To Use Jojoba Oil
Apply a few drops onto skin or problem areas. No need to dilute.
3. Lavender Oil - Promote Skin Healing
Lavender essential oil has many benefits, one of the most popular of which is its ability to calm through aromatherapy. When applied to the skin, however, it has shown the ability to reduce acne, improve wrinkle appearance and calm inflammation. Lavender also has a soothing scent that can help to de-stress. It is derived from the lavender plant and can be taken orally in addition to being applied directly onto the skin.
Lavender Oil Benefits For Skin
Lavender can help reduce acne lesions thanks to its ability to fight acne-causing bacteria on the surface of the skin. It can also help to unclog pores, which often become infected and turn into pimples if left untreated. To use lavender oil as an acne fighter, always dilute it in a carrier oil like coconut oil for best results. (9)
Eczema is a skin condition that results in very dry, scaly and itchy skin that can make the sufferer extremely uncomfortable. Due to its antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties, lavender oil can help soothe the symptoms of eczema. It has also shown a similar benefit in the treatment of psoriasis, another inflammatory skin condition.
When it comes to aging, lavender oil can help reduce the signs because it is full of antioxidants. You can essentially use lavender oil as a moisturizer on a daily basis by diluting it with a carrier oil and applying directly to your face.
Like jojoba oil, lavender has also been noted for its wound healing properties. According to one study, lavender oil was able to induce collagen in order to promote the healing of a wounded area in the skin (11). You can use lavender on small wounds like minor scrapes and cuts to help accelerate healing.
There are a number of skin problems that are caused by inflammation that can be alleviated with lavender oil. A mild sunburn, for example, can be soothed with lavender oil thanks to its ability to fight redness and inflammation. Minor burns in general may also be treated successfully with lavender oil.
How To Use Lavender Oil
Add a few drops to a carrier oil like coconut oil. Lavender oil may be sensitizing for some skin types.
4. Argan Oil
Argan oil is another quite popular essential oil you may recognize from being in a variety of skincare and haircare products. It’s neither too heavy nor too light as an oil, and thus can be used on all skin types without problems. It is derived from the kernels of the argan tree fruit, and is used as a culinary staple in Moroccan dishes.
Skin Benefits of Argan Oil
Thanks to fatty acids, argan oil acts as a very effective moisturizer to hydrate skin and leave it feeling supple and smooth. Argan oil is also very rich in vitamin E, one of the most potent antioxidants available and a very popular ingredient in skincare products.
Improve Skin Elasticity
Argan oil has shown the ability to improve skin elasticity in studies done on post-menopausal women. Skin that is more elastic is less likely to develop wrinkles and fine lines or sagging. (14)
Treat Acne and Eczema
Although more research is needed, argan oil has been traditionally used to treat some skin infections. On the other hand, its anti-inflammatory factors are well known, and this may explain why argan oil may be able to treat skin conditions like acne and eczema (15). Argan oil can be applied directly to skin and doesn’t need to be diluted with a carrier oil like lavender oil does.
Dandruff and Dry Scalp
The oleic and linoleic acids found in argan oil are responsible for this ability to moisturize hair. This ability can potentially help alleviate a dry, itchy scalp and even reduce dandruff.
Argan oil is great for use on nails and cuticles, as it can soften rough skin. The moisturizing effects of argan oil can smooth away cracked skin that takes away from nail beauty.
How To Use
Apply directly to the problem areas you want to treat. No need to dilute.
5. Tea Tree Oil - Treat Inflammation
Tea tree oil has a variety of skin benefits, and is often used as an alternative treatment to various skin problems. It is derived from the leaves of Melaleuca alternifolia, a small tree found in Queensland and New South Wales, Australia. Tea tree oil is very safe and effective as long as it’s used correctly.
Tea Tree Oil Benefits Include
Tea tree oil has the ability to reduce dryness, irritation and itchiness in skin. It has also been shown to be more effective than zinc oxide in treating eczema. (17)
Tea tree oil has anti-inflammatory properties that can help soothe irritated, red skin. It may even help with reducing swelling. (18)
Tea tree oil can greatly decrease wound healing time. You can add a few drops of tea tree oil to any kind of wound ointment and apply it directly to skin.
Tea tree oil’s anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties make it a great potential acne fighter. It can help reduce inflammation, redness and swelling so common with pimples (20). You can use it as a toner by diluting two drops with two ounces of witch hazel.
How To Use Tea Tree Oil
One or two drops of tea tree oil should be diluted with 12 drops of some type of carrier oil. You can also add a few drops to your favorite moisturizer, lotion or even sunscreen and apply to your face and body.
As you can see, these 5 essential oils cover the entire gamut of skin concerns—and you can easily incorporate them into your routine to keep your skin clear, bright and uplifted. Add them to your skincare “pantry” and let them take turns saving your complexion!