I discovered essential oils for skin care several years ago, and was amazed how luminous they made my skin look and feel. An added bonus? Every drop I apply to my face is all-natural with no harmful, chemical ingredients.
Here are my picks for the best anti-aging, skin-smoothing essential oils that will give you a youthful glow and overall healthy complexion. They address a wide variety of skin concerns and work well on all skin types, so find the one that speaks to you and start applying!
1. Rose oil
Used in skin care for thousands of years and packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, rose oil is perfect for moisturizing dry or aging skin. It can help refine skin texture and control inflammatory issues like psoriasis and dermatitis. Offering antiseptic and astringent properties as well, rose oil can help treat acne-prone skin.
Rose oil vapor has also shown the ability to protect against oxidative stress, which is associated with depression. It demonstrated its strength and effectiveness as a safe, all-natural antidepressant and anti-anxiety treatment. So, a little rose oil on the face not only improves your complexion but also your mood and overall mental well-being.
One note: It takes tens of thousands of rose blossoms to yield one ounce of rose essential oil. That makes it one of the most expensive essential oils. The good news? It's super-concentrated, so just one drop goes a long way.
2. Neroli oil
Great for oily, sensitive or mature skin, neroli oil (orange blossom) helps smooth fine lines and tone sagging skin. This rejuvenating oil contains the natural chemical citral that helps regenerate cells and improve skin elasticity. A powerful healing oil, neroli helps prevent and smooth stretch marks, scar tissue, acne and broken capillaries. It's also great for soothing damaged or irritated skin, improving circulation and reducing fine lines and wrinkles.
3. Jasmine oil
Known as the “King of Oils,” jasmine essential oil is traditionally used to restore skin. Relaxing, uplifting and exotic, jasmine increases skin’s elasticity and helps balance moisture in the skin to naturally reduce dryness. Its natural antibacterial properties protect and aid skin’s immunity while healing blemishes and scars, and is fantastic for toning all skin types.
4. Ylang ylang oil
Its rich, floral fragrance smells so good I want to eat it! Ylang Ylang helps control oil production and minimize breakouts, while also helping regenerate skin cells, smooth fine lines and improve skin elasticity. Excellent for every skin type.
5. Bergamot oil
The oil from the peel of the bergamot fruit can help remedy a myriad difficult skin conditions from acne to dark spots, hyper pigmentation and eczema. It's also an antiseptic, which encourages wound healing and skin regeneration. If you have old acne scars, eczema, psoriasis or even cold sores, this oil can help the skin heal faster by regulating the distribution of skin’s natural pigment, melanin. (Note: Bergamot oil is photo-toxic and should only be used at night, as going into the sun with this oil on your skin can lead to sunburn.)
It's important to remember that essential oils are very powerful. For skin care, you should dilute them by blending with a carrier oil. I recommend any of the following:
- Coconut oil
- Sesame seed oil
- Grape seed oil (good for oily skin)
- Sweet almond oil
- Wheat germ oil
- Sunflower seed oil
- Olive fruit oil
- Avocado oil (good for dry skin)
A 2% dilution is a safe level for skin application for adults. That’s 12 drops of essential oil to each fluid ounce (30 mL) of carrier oil.
Do you use essential oils on your face? What are your favorites to use and blend together?
Make sure to use 100% pure, rich therapeutic-grade essential oils derived from flowers and botanicals from a reputable company that guarantees the purity and quality of the oils.
Kate Eckman is the author of The Full Spirit Workout: A Ten-Step System to Shed Your Self-Doubt, Strengthen Your Spiritual Core, and Create a Fun and Fulfilling Life. She is a broadcast journalist and TV personality who brings her expertise in communications, performance, and mindfulness to her practice as a success coach for business leaders and professional athletes. She earned a B.A. in communications from Penn State University, where she was an Academic All-American swimmer, and received her master’s degree in broadcast journalism from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. She graduated at the highest level from Columbia University’s executive and organizational coaching program and is a certified ICF coach (ACC) and a licensed NBI consultant. Passionate about mindfulness practices for both brain and body health, she is also a meditation teacher and course creator for Insight Timer, the world’s number one–ranked free meditation app.