Tap to Read ➤

Essential Oils for Skin

Madhurjya Bhattacharyya
Everyone aspires to have normal flawless skin as it is not too dry and not too oily. Applying essential oil helps achieve a balanced skin tone. Essential oils have multiple healing properties, so choose one according to your need.
Essential oils are also known as 'volatile oils', they are the extracts of various plant parts. These are usually made by distilling the roots, barks, flowers, stems, or leaves of the plants. Most oils are clear, but some of them might be yellow or amber in color.
They are highly concentrated, which is why they need to be diluted before use. Carrier oils are extracted from the fatty portions of plants (i.e. seeds). These help in carrying the volatile oil into the skin.
Essential oils differ from fragrance oils or perfumes. The latter are produced artificially and do not have any therapeutic benefits, while the former are made from natural substances and offer excellent physical and psychological benefits.
Essential oils help nourish, rejuvenate, and heal damaged skin. These can penetrate the skin and reach the subcutaneous layer (inner layer) of the skin, when combined with carrier oils.

Lavender Oil

Lavender oil is one of the best essential oils for skin care. It is one of the few volatile oils which can be directly applied without diluting it. Its powerful and gentle antiseptic properties make it one of the most popular oils to treat skin injuries.
Lavender oil is safe for everyone, and even pregnant women and children can use it. It has the capacity to balance the natural production of the skin oil. Moreover, it also helps in clearing blemishes on the skin, and is useful for hydrating dry skin. This oil can be used by a person having dry aging skin, oily skin, or sensitive skin.

Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil, which is extracted from the leaves of tea tree, is pale yellow in color. Due to its powerful antiseptic and antibacterial properties, it is a popular ingredient in numerous skin care products. It is known to reduce pimples and their recurrence within a short time. It can be used directly on the pimples in a diluted form.

Geranium Oil

The oil extracted from geranium works wonders on wrinkled and sensitive skin. Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, it can also be used on dry or oily skin. The regular use of this oil gives a radiant glow to the skin and helps in promoting blood circulation.

Clary Sage Oil

The oil is extracted from Clary sage flower by the process of steam distillation. It is beneficial for people affected by asthma, stress, sore throat, labor pains, gas, exhaustion, dysmenorrhea, coughing, and amenorrhea.
The constituents of this oil include pinene, phellandrene, myrcene, sclareol, and linalool, which are natural products extracted from plants.
Clary sage oil helps to improve the respiration, immunity, circulation, and lower the stress levels. Moreover, this oil also helps in healing inflammation of the skin, and helps in curing ulcers, boils, and acne.

Sandalwood Oil

An excellent oil for skin infection and acne, this oil is a powerful antifungal and antibacterial agent. It works effectively on stretch marks, and helps in relieving stress and depression. It can cure bronchitis and leucorrhea, due to its antibacterial properties.
In case of a neck sprain, a mixture of cocoa butter and this oil applied on the affected area, relieves the pain within a day or two. Moreover, the application of diluted sandalwood oil has a softening effect on the skin.

Lemongrass Oil

With its refreshing aroma, lemongrass oil is an excellent moisturizer. It works well as a skin cleanser, as it eliminates toxins and wastes. It makes the skin taut, and reduces the signs of aging. Adding 10 drops of this oil in the bath water, gives a refreshing sensation and improves the skin condition.

▶ Safety Tips

Essential oils are highly concentrated liquids, which is why they need to be used in a diluted form or else they might cause harm. Some safety tips that need to be followed while using the oil are:
• When using an essential oil for the first time, check if it suits your skin, by applying a small amount of undiluted oil on the inner side of the elbow. Wait for a day, and see if there are any reactions. In case of any reaction, strictly avoid using that particular oil.
• In case of pregnancy, epilepsy, asthma or any other ailments, ensure that a qualified professional is consulted before the usage of essential oil.
• Essential oil should be used in very small quantities. If a drop works well, then avoid using two drops of oil.
• Consult a doctor before using volatile oils such as sassafras, bitter almond, rue, wintergreen, horseradish, camphor, onion, pennyroyal, and wormwood.
• Essential oils should be stored in a safe place, and should be out of the reach of children.
• The consumption of essential oils is recommended, only if prescribed by an aromatherapy practitioner.
• Ensure that the essential oils are kept away from fire, as they are flammable.

▶ Buying and Storage Tips

There are numerous artificial products available in the market under the essential oil category. So, you need to ensure that you buy authentic products. Follow the tips that are given below to ensure that you are buying the oils made out of the natural products:
• The production of essential oils is an arduous and time-consuming process, thus the cost of production and the price is high. The low-quality oils available in the market should be strictly avoided.
• Since essential oils do not contain fatty acids, they are not slippery or greasy like vegetable oils. In fact, they are watery. You could check the oil before buying it, if it is oily, that means it is impure.
• While buying volatile essential oils, look for the terms 'organic', 'g&a', or 'vintage' on the cover.
• To increase the shelf life of essential oils, ensure that you use a plastic cap instead of a rubber one. Rubber has a tendency to react with the vapors of the oil, which may cause air to enter into the bottle. Air oxidizes the oil, and reduces its healing properties.
Thus, these oils have a variety of uses, and are known to heal numerous skin problems. If you have any doubts regarding a particular oil, it is best to consult a professional aromatherapist.

Disclaimer: This story is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for advice of an aromatherapy practitioner.