by guest author, Rufina James
Essential oils and beautiful skin are natural companions. Ancient civilizations knew the nourishing and restorative powers of essential oils for skin and used them in their highest quality cosmetics and skin care formulations. In the centuries since, very little can match the versatility, regenerative abilities and effectiveness of essential oils on the skin.
The skin is the body’s largest organ. It is the “armor” that protects us from pathogens and excessive water loss, as well as help insulate the body, regulate temperature and provide the sense of touch. Perhaps it is because we have so much skin that most of us take it granted, until it begins to show signs of aging, especially in the face.
The face tends to show the effects of aging more than anywhere else in the body perhaps because it is exposed to the elements more than other parts. Another reason is because, of all the skin on the body, the areas under the eyes and around the eyelids have the thinnest skin. These are typically the first areas to show signs of aging, in the form of sagging skin, “crows feet” and wrinkles.
The good news is, aromatherapy skin care provides natural skin restoration, can reduce fine lines and wrinkles, diminish age spots, even out skin tone and increase the elasticity and density of skin.
Essential oils work so well for the skin because of their inherent properties. Unlike most chemical molecules, essential oil molecules are small enough to absorb easily into the skin.
They are soluble with the lipids in the skin and renew the skin by penetrating all the way down to the dermal layer where new cells are generated.
Skin problems can occur for several reasons, including:
- The skin being stressed and drying out
- Build-up of bacteria, pus, or excess sebum, as in acne and rashes
- Issues related to the liver, colon, and/or digestive process
- Hormonal imbalances
- Normal aging
Each of the above conditions requires a different approach that can be summed up as a yin or yang approach. Essential oils considered Yin are soothing and calming to the skin, while Yang oils are cleansing and energizing.
When skin conditions arise from bacterial or fungal infections, yang oils that help reduce inflammation and combat infection are needed, such as:
- Eucalyptus radiata – Antimicrobial and antiviral, very helpful with acne.
- Frankincense – One of the oldest oils in use from antiquity, frankincense is helpful and supportive to the skin in every way, from smoothing wrinkles to helping balance oily skin to preventing acne to regenerating the skin and helping heal scar tissue.
- Geranium – Balances sebum, helps cleanse oily skin, revitalizes skin tissue, restores and enlivens pale skin. Has been used for centuries for skin care.
- German Chamomile – A gentle but powerful oil that promotes the regeneration of the skin and reduces nflammation. It helps support digestive, liver and gallbladder functions.
- Helichrysum – Well-known for its ability to regenerate tissue and nerves, as well as improve circulation and skin conditions.
- Lavender – Ideal for skin care as it prevents the build up of excess sebum and helps with acne, dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis, rashes and stretch marks.
- Melaleuca – Can prevent the recurrence of breakouts and blemishes. Has been shown to be as effective as benzyl peroxide in combating acne (acne vulgaris).
- Mountain Savory – A strong anti-infectious, antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, antiparasitic oil that a powerful energizer. Must be diluted when used on the skin, and only use on skin in when an anti-infectious oil is needed.
- Oregano – A powerful anti-infectious, antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, antiparasitic oil that an immune stimulant. Must be diluted when used on the skin, and only use on skin in when an anti-infectious oil is needed.
- Palmarosa – Antimicrobial, antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral. Stimulates new cell growth, regulates oil production and moisturizes skin.
- Rosemary Cineol – Antifungal, antibacterial and antiseptic, this oil stimulates and supports endocrine gland balance.
- Thyme – Highly antimicrobial, antifungal, antiviral and an immune stimulant. Must be diluted when used on the skin, and only use on skin in when an anti-infectious oil is needed.
When skin conditions stem from drying out or stressing the skin, yin oils that soothe the skin and rejuvenate are best, such as:
- Blue cypress – Excellent in skin care – helps circulatory system and lessens scar tissue
- Clary Sage – Helps with balancing hormones (especially female) and is helpful to dry skin.
- Davana – Stimulates the endocrine system, improves hormonal balance and soothes rough, dry, and chapped skin.
- German Chamomile – A gentle oil that promotes the regeneration of the skin and reduces inflammations. It helps support digestive, liver and gallbladder functions.
- Lavender – Ideal for skin care as it prevents the build up of excess sebum. Also promotes tissue regeneration, is calming and relaxing and nourishes stressed or sunburned skin.
- Myrrh – Has been used in Arabia for centuries for many skin conditions, such as chapped and cracked skin and wrinkles.
- Patchouly – Very beneficial for the skin and may help prevent wrinkles and chapped skin. Although it is anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial, is has a sedating, calming and relaxing effect.
- Rose – Used for the skin for thousands of years, rose oil is anti-inflammatory, prevents and reduces scarring and highly nourishing to
- the skin
- Rosemary Verbenon – Milder than rosemary cineol due to its lower camphor and higher verbenon levels, rosemary verbenon is ideal for skin care.
- Rosewood – Helps create skin elasticity and tissue regeneration. Gets rid of candida of the skin and slows the aging process.
- Sandalwood – Can hydrate and repair dry or damaged skin and has the ability to repair DNA, helping reverse the signs of sun damage in the skin.
- Spikenard – Although it is antibacterial, antifungal and anti-inflammatory, is has a relaxing effect on the skin and is often used as a skin tonic. It is known especially for helping treat allergic skin reactions.
Some oils have both yin and yang properties and are found on both lists. These oils can be used alone or in blends. Combining these oils with more yin oils can make them more yin, while combining them with yang oils can bring out their yang properties. In certain combinations, a yin oil can tame a yang oil, and vice-versa.
A well-blended combination of essential oils can do wonders for the skin, as in Essential Oil Beauty Serum.
Essential oils can also be incorporated into natural bases and creams with additional ingredients such as rosehip seed oil and wolfberry seed oil for additional moisturizing and nourishing. For example, the A·R·T® Essential Oil Skin Care System utilizes an advanced system of skin restoration that combines premium essential oils for skin, a proprietary anti-aging peptide complex and advanced enzymatic DNA skin reconstruction technology.
When using essential oils on the skin, make sure that you use only the highest quality oils. Otherwise, you’ll get none of the regenerating or rejuvenating effects and will be left disappointed.
Rufina James, M.M. is a natural health blogger, publisher and consultant. She has been the editor of The Real Essentials Health News for over 12 years and has first-hand experience with many chronic conditions as well as female problems and the most effective natural solutions to them.
Rufina loves using pure, therapeutic-grade essential oils on her sensitive skin. See Essential Oil Skin Care for more blends and creams incorporating essential oils that restore the skin.