Everybody is unique, and finding the right ingredients that are specifically suited to us is an essential step in skin and hair care product selection. When we look closely at the ingredient list for our favorite mask, serum, or cleanser, it seems more complicated than it should be to understand what goes into what we're using.
Drawn from botanicals and boasting benefits to rival even the most complicated cream, essential oils are nature's answer to straightforward skincare. Just a few drops into a carrier oil and the potent healing, hydrating and oil-absorbing properties are dialed down to a level that's safe - and deeply beneficial - for your skin.
Essential oils have been used in cosmetics by many cultures around the world for centuries, as well as providing spiritually and emotionally uplifting properties. It is impossible to know exactly when plants were first used for medicinal purposes but if we go back in history, the Ancient Egyptians were innovators in the use of essential oils. They used them in sacred rituals, such as mummification and anointing statues of their deities, and in daily life for other religious rituals, medicine, makeup, and bathing.
Thanks to their versatility, essential oils are still used across the world. Their varying uses, aromas, and scents – refreshing, soothing, romantic – have made them ideal for use in alternative and holistic health and beauty treatments.
Here are a few of our favorites:
Lavender Oil Balances Your Skin’s Texture
Lavender is a precious ingredient because it has natural soothing properties, which can help to calm irritated skin. It also has antiseptic and antibacterial properties that make it a useful addition to any household bathroom cabinet. Lavender oil is said to help ‘normalize’ any skin type and stimulates surface skin cell renewal.
Great for acne and blemish-prone skin, lavender essential oil helps to unclog pores, reduce inflammation, and kill bacteria. It also has a soothing benefit, making it great for dry skin sufferers as well as oily.
Lavender oil also has a double duty for insect bites. It acts as an insect repellent, and it can relieve itching after a bite occurs. Many commercial mosquito repellents contain lavender oil. Since it’s a natural remedy, you can spray it on your body and your clothes before you go outside.
Insect bites cause redness, itching, pain, and can sometimes become infected. Lavender oil helps relieve the bites by warding off bacteria and reducing inflammation. It also naturally helps relieve pain.
Geranium Oil Soothes and Renews Your Skin
Using geranium as a cosmetic ingredient is far from a new trend. The Native Americans historically used geranium roots to make a tonic to refresh and tone the skin. These days, geraniums are grown around the world, and their essential oil is added to perfumes and cosmetics to help our skin in a number of ways.
Geranium oil is a fantastic natural ingredient when used in facial products, as it works to tighten your skin, without reducing moisture or suppleness. This means it reduces fine lines and wrinkles, making it a highly effective anti-aging ingredient. Applied topically every day, you may start to notice your skin looking more youthful.
This essential oil also has a calming effect on your skin. Its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties purify and soothe the skin. A 2017 review of studies on geranium essential oil indicated that it’s beneficial for reducing acne breakouts, skin irritation, and infections when applied topically.
Geranium essential oil can also balance your hormones. Whether your skin is oily or dry, geranium essential oil has been shown to effectively regulate sebum production. It helps to unblock pores and control the levels of oil and moisture on your skin’s surface, leaving it looking and feeling fresh.
Applying geranium oil undiluted can irritate your skin, so it’s best to combine it with a carrier oil. You can easily buy geranium oil and add it to the products you use, or even better, find products that combine it with complementary ingredients to work wonders on your skin!
Tea Tree Oil is Your Best Ally Against Blemishes
Tea tree oil (also known as melaleuca oil) comes from a tree native to Australia, where it has been used for over a century because of its antimicrobial and antiseptic properties. More recently, it has gained popularity worldwide in skincare and cosmetic treatments. From banishing breakouts to eliminating oily t-zones, tea tree oil is a natural miracle worker on your skin.
Tea tree oil is a quick and effective way to treat spots and blemishes, thanks to its bacteria-fighting abilities. Using a facial cream or cleanser infused with tea tree oil twice daily will clean and clear pores of dirt, oil, and makeup while keeping your skin hydrated. If you have a breakout, the oil can be applied in a higher concentration on isolated blemishes using a cotton bud, to avoid drying out areas of the skin which aren’t affected.
Amazingly, tea tree oil helps with both dry and oily skin. It can soothe dry skin by reducing itching and irritation. This makes it a great ingredient for treating eczema. The antiseptic properties of tea tree oil may contribute to its ability to combat excessive oil production, especially for those with oily or combination skin. Mixing a few drops into your toner, moisturizer or sunscreen can help to balance your oil levels.
As with geranium, tea tree oil should not be applied directly to your skin. It is toxic if consumed, but can be safely used in a low concentration topically on the skin. Find products that already combine it with other beneficial ingredients, or dilute it with a carrier oil such as olive, coconut, or almond oil.
An Essential Part of Self Care
By simply adding just a few drops of these essential oils to your daily beauty routine, you can help to prevent acne breakouts and signs of aging, oily skin, redness, inflammation, and more. Lavender, geranium, and tea tree oils are just a few of our favorites, but there are so many to explore. Our skin is unique, and finding the right ingredients for you is an important step in your journey to a beautiful complexion.
Whether you want to relax your mind, heal your body, or elevate your skincare routine, essential oils are all-natural and beneficial.