There are so many essential oils to choose from that it can be very confusing. Do you just choose one based on your preferred scent? Or are there other factors to consider?
Since essential oils are used for aromatherapy, scent is certainly a good gauge. But these oils go beyond just helping alter your mood with their relaxing or energizing smells; they can also be used to give you smooth, glowing skin. Read on to find out the best skin care oil for your specific skin-care needs.
Essential Oils 101
Essential oils are natural oils extracted from plants through a process called distillation, which allows the oils to retain the properties of the plant source, scent and all. They are highly potent and can cause irritation when used in large doses, so it’s best to use them sparingly and blend them with carrier oils when using them on skin or hair.
Coconut oil is one of the more popular carrier oils. On its own, coconut oil already offers some skin benefits—it has natural fatty acids that help improve skin, and may have anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties—so combining it with an essential oil can give you a supercharged skin-care oil. (Try Aura Cacia Coconut Oil, available at Healthy Options.)
Another lesser known carrier oil is jojoba oil. This oil comes from a plant that is native to North America and likewise offers a host of skin benefits, from moisturizing to fighting oxidative stress to soothing skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema. Unlike coconut oil, jojoba oil is noncomedogenic—in fact, it’s very similar to the natural sebum we produce and is thus a great option for those with oily skin. (Try Aura Cacia Jojoba Skin Care oil, available at Healthy Options.)
Best Natural Skin Care Oils
Various skin care oils can be used to address different skin concerns. Below are some you can try:
Grapeseed oil. Grapeseed oil is extracted from the leftover seeds of grapes after they are pressed during winemaking. It contains compounds that are beneficial to skin: linoleic acid that can help control acne; other fatty acids that can help make skin feel soft and smooth; Vitamin E and Vitamin C, which can fight skin-aging free radicals and minimize the appearance of acne scars; and polyphenols, which can address fine lines, wrinkles, and other signs of aging. It also has anti-inflammatory properties, which can provide relief to those who have skin conditions like eczema. (Try Aura Cacia Grapeseed Skin Care Oil, available at Healthy Options.)
Lemongrass oil. One of the best skin care oils for acne is lemongrass oil. This citrusy essential oil has drying properties that can help those who have to deal with pimples.
Neem oil. Neem oil comes from a tree that’s native to India and has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for ages. It has a strong, pungent aroma so mixing it with some delicious-smelling coconut oil can help tone it down.
Neem oil may be used to treat acne as well as wounds and other forms of inflammation. Studies so far have been limited but one published in the Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology showed that the topical application of neem on photoaged hairless mice could prevent wrinkles. Thus, neem oil shows promise an anti-aging agent.
Tamanu oil. Tamanu oil comes from a tree that is native to Southeast Asia. It’s also called beauty leaf oil, calophyllum oil, and Alexandrian laurel oil, among other names. Its anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and moisturizing properties make it a possible treatment for acne, stretch marks, razor burn, ingrown hairs, rashes, and dry skin. It may also be used for treating wounds. (Try Aura Cacia Tamanu Skin Care Oil, available at Healthy Options.) A caveat: Tamanu oil comes from a nut tree, so it may not be safe for those who have a nut allergy.
When on a quest to find the best skin care oil for you, always make sure to do a patch test first on a small part of your skin and give it a week to see if you have any adverse reactions. Also keep in mind that as essential oils are very potent, you should start with the minimum amount when applying it on your skin.