Essential oils are more popular than ever, thanks to their ability to help with a variety of issues. But what’s the best oil for skin healing? As it turns out, there are quite a few to choose from. Here are ten top healing oils for skin, along with some helpful tips for using them.
What are Essential Oils?
In case you’re brand new to essential oils, here’s a very quick intro. Essential oils are botanical extracts named for the aromatic plant “essences” they contain. Many essential oils are derived from flowers, while many others come from leaves, bark, resin, roots, or even nuts. A single drop of essential oil typically contains the aromatic essence from several pounds of organic material, and a little bit of essential oil goes a long way.
A Quick Guide to Essential Oil Safety
Always Conduct a Patch Test
Before using any essential oil for healing a skin condition, be sure to do so safely. The first rule of essential oil safety is to always conduct a patch test. This simply involves placing a drop of diluted essential oil inside on the inner bend of your elbow, waiting 24 hours, and looking for signs of irritation. If you notice any redness or feel a stinging sensation, wash the area thoroughly and gift that essential oil to a friend or simply enjoy it in your diffuser.
Know Your Allergies
The second rule is to never use an essential oil from a plant that you’re allergic to. If, for example, you are allergic to daisies or plants in the daisy family, you’re probably going to be sensitive to chamomile, roman chamomile, and other essential oils sourced from daisy relatives. Go ahead and try them if you like, but be aware that you may not be happy with the results.
Remember to Dilute
The third rule for safe essential oil use is to dilute essential oils before placing them on your skin. There are a few oils that are considered safe for neat (undiluted) use, however there are many experts who warn against ever using essential oils – even lavender – without diluting them first. It’s best to exercise caution, particularly when you’re first starting out.
Essential Oils and Pregnancy Don’t Always Mix
Fourth, essential oils aren’t generally recommended for use during pregnancy or while nursing. Always check labeling or ask your doctor for advice. Even though they are inhaled or applied topically, they are absorbed by the body.
Use Extra Caution with Essential Oils for Kids
Last and not least, be extra-careful when applying essential oils to children’s skin. Kids are far more sensitive than adults, and it’s very important to dilute appropriately for your child’s age. Most essential oil companies offer dilution guidelines and warnings for their products.
How to Dilute Essential Oils
Essential oils should be diluted in a carrier before being applied to skin. A carrier is another substance, usually an oil, which slows down the rate of absorption and helps prevent evaporation. While you can go for higher or lower dilution rates, most experienced aromatherapists agree that a two percent dilution rate is safe and effective for topical use. This comes out to 12 drops of essential oil per ounce of carrier.
Carrier oils such as coconut oil, jojoba oil, and sweet almond oil offer different benefits on their own. Of these, coconut oil is a fantastic choice thanks to its antibacterial and antifungal properties. As you become more familiar with essential oils, you will discover that there are many other carrier oils to try depending on your goals.
If you like, you can use unscented lotion, conditioner, shampoo, or body wash as a carrier. Your favorite unscented facial moisturizer makes a good carrier for DIY facial recipes, as does your favorite clay mask. Aloe vera can be blended with essential oil as well.
Storing Diluted Essential Oils
Be sure to keep your essential oils and remedies out of direct sunlight. They’ll last longer when they are kept cool. Glass containers with tight-fitting lids are best for long-term storage. Sterilized bottles and jars are ideal!
Top 10 Healing Oils for Skin
While many essential oils are great for skin, some stand head and shoulders above the rest. Here are ten to consider.
Basil (Ocimum basilicum)
You know that basil makes food taste amazing. At the same time, you might be surprised to discover that basil essential oil is a fantastic addition to your first aid kit, since it can soothe insect bites quickly while offering a gentle touch to sensitive skin. Basil essential oil also shines as a natural acne remedy, thanks to its ability to ease redness and swelling while killing the bacteria that contribute to breakouts.
Chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile and Chamomilla recutita)
If you suffer from dry, cracked skin, rosacea, or eczema, you’re likely to appreciate chamomile essential oil for its ability to provide comfort and healing. This is one of the best essential oils for acne, too. Thanks to its anti-inflammatory compounds, chamomile fights inflammation and redness. If you’re looking for a good anti-aging essential oil, chamomile is among the best, as it fights free radicals that lead to rapid aging.
Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus and Eucalyptus salicifolia)
While eucalyptus essential oil has an outstanding reputation for its ability to soothe respiratory ailments, it’s also an outstanding oil for a variety of skin conditions. Offering anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and pain reliving effects, this essential oil fights fungi, bacteria, and viruses while helping to ease pain. Eucalyptus essential oil is a good choice for taking the sting out of insect bites, and it can help clear up irritation, too.
Frankincense (Boswellia carterii, Boswellia serrata, or Boswellia ferreana)
Soothing, sweet smelling frankincense essential oil is wonderful for treating skin inflammation in general, plus it helps heal acne while reducing the appearance of scars. This essential oil does more than help heal skin conditions: It has been studied for its ability to enhance the immune system, and it has anti-cancer properties. While there is no proof that frankincense essential oil heals skin cancer, exciting studies are underway.
Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens)
If your skin is generally stressed, too oily, or prone to breakouts, geranium essential oil can help. When diluted and applied to a cut or wound, this essential oil can keep infection at bay. If you suffer from body acne or dermatitis, you can simply mix two drops of geranium essential oil into your daily body wash and scrub as usual. This is a fantastic addition to natural insect repellents, too.
Helichrysum (Helichrysum italicum)
Also known as immortelle or everlasting, helichrysum essential oil is excellent for healing minor wounds, and it has a good reputation for eliminating small scars. If you have acne, this essential oil can help clear it up while minimizing the appearance of scar tissue. While it is among the most expensive essential oils available, a very small amount goes a long way toward healing skin. Additionally, it’s one of the best essential oils for rejuvenating aging skin.
Juniper Berry (Juniperus communis)
With a sharp, crisp fragrance that makes it fantastic for holiday-themed diffuser blends, juniper berry essential oil is also an excellent remedy for skin conditions. Like other evergreen essential oils, it is very strong, and needs to be heavily diluted for safety. Juniper essential oil promotes circulation, and it helps speed wound healing time while helping to prevent infections. If you’d like to make your own astringent for acne, juniper is a great oil to add to the blend. It’s also a natural remedy for dandruff – try adding two drops to your daily shampoo for a flake-free scalp.
Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)
Lavender is one of the best essential oils for sores on skin. It’s fantastic for treating acne, and it is wonderful for use in first aid antiseptics for minor cuts, scrapes, and burns. It’s also fantastic for adding to DIY sunburn remedies, soothing lip balms, and more. If you’re feeling stressed or suffering from insomnia, try adding a few drops of lavender essential oil to your diffuser. The calming effect is almost immediate! You can also add it to magnesium oil for a soothing, skin-relieving bath that helps you enjoy total relaxation.
Myrrh (Commiphora myrrha)
Myrrh essential oil is fantastic for helping cracked, chapped skin heal. It offers antifungal and antibacterial benefits, and is a good choice for treating minor wounds, jock itch, and athlete’s foot. Myrrh is a great addition to homemade acne remedies. Studies show that it is capable of killing staphylococcus (staph) bacteria, yet it is gentle enough to use in DIY diaper rash cream. This very versatile essential oil even doubles as a safe insect repellent that helps keep ticks and mosquitos from biting. Like its close relative, Frankincense, Myrrh is being studied for its anti-cancer benefits.
Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternifolia)
Also known as melaleuca, tea tree essential oil has countless uses. Because it is antibacterial and antifungal, it’s the best oil for skin healing when your goals include clearing acne or eliminating athlete’s foot. Tea tree essential oil makes a great addition to your natural first aid kit too, since it can be used to cleanse minor cuts and scrapes while speeding up the healing process. If you have an insect bite or a sunburn, this fresh-smelling essential oil can help! tea tree essential oil offers the advantage of being one of the least expensive essential oils available, and it is versatile enough to go into bath and body products as well as DIY household cleaners.
Which Essential Oil Brand is Best?
That depends on who you ask! Look for a company with a good reputation for selling pure, unadulterated essential oils, and you’ll be on the right track. If you have clicked on any of the links in this post, you’ll notice that we enjoy and recommend several different brands. It’s always a good idea to see what others have to say, compare sizes and prices, and make up your own mind rather than listening to marketing hype. There’s no such thing as the best essential oil brand – there are lots of good ones out there!
Whether your goal is healing acne naturally or simply dealing with the occasional scrape, essential oils can be a wonderful alternative to drugstore products. Try adding one or two to your natural health regimen and enjoy the difference!