Essential Oils: basically the foundation of “natural” beauty. Essential oils almost always have a place in organic beauty, from skincare to fragrance and beyond. Ask any celebrity that uses natural skincare what their secret is to glowing skin and chances are, they’ll name at least a few essential oils in their regimen.
Individual essential oils have some major skincare benefits. Seriously, there’s one for everything and it’s a plus that they’re derived directly from the earth. To name a few, Lavender can help the healing process of skin irritations, Ylang Ylang helps normalize oil production in oily skin, Frankincense can help with hyperpigmentation and elasticity, and Chamomile can aid eczema, inflammation and rosacea. For a more complete list of essential oils and their individual benefits, check this out.
With all of those benefits, it’s easy to want to jump in head first but the thing about essential oils is that you must proceed with caution. “Natural” is not synonymous with “gentle”. Contact dermatitis, an allergic reaction that makes skin red, inflamed or irritated, is on the rise due to the increasing popularity of essential oils. It’s great that essential oils are basically “straight from the source”, but they’re extremely potent and powerful and that should be kept in mind.
If you have super sensitive skin, essential oils may not be for you. If you’re going to use essential oils, do not forget to dilute them! They are powerful and NEED to be diluted with a carrier oil or water to prevent chemical burns. If an essential oil is too strong for your complexion, dermatologists warn that it can also result in hyperpigmentation and/or minor to severe irritation. That’s not to say you shouldn’t use essential oils, just be sure to dilute them or look for them closer to the bottom of ingredient lists. Some essential oils can also cause sun sensitivity so if you’re one to skip sunscreen, don’t. Protect your skin and get that SPF. My last tip is a classic, do a skin patch test. Use the oil on a spot on your body (inner wrist and behind the ear are common) for a few days before applying to your face to test whether you have any sensitivity or allergenic reaction to the oil.
Again, essential oils are great and they’re fantastic for channeling what the earth has created into your daily beauty routine. Just be sure that you’re using them correctly in order to experience their full benefits, pay close attention to what your skin is telling you to be sure that an oil is right for your complexion and when in doubt, ask a professional.