Hi there, beauty nerds. I am in love with the essential oils, and they are my key ingredient in my natural cosmetics recipes. So many people make cosmetics and are really experienced in carrier oils combinations, but when it comes to the essential oils, they either neglect them or just ‘add some drops according to your preference’ for fragrance. I don’t agree, and I do the opposite; I build my recipes around the essential oils. There are so many essential oils, and each has its unique properties.
Recently I have written a post about the use of essential oils for hair, and many people have asked me how to use the essential oils in skin therapy and beauty products. So I decided to dedicate this post on essential oil use in skin care. If you have followed my posts, you already know what are essential oils, their natural origin, and magical healing powers.
Basically essential oils, as the name suggests, are the essence of the plants. They contain the life-force, the essence of the plants and have real healing properties. Essential oils have different benefits for the hair and the skin, and each essential oil has its own unique properties, which are still not fully studied. This allows you to use a specific essential oil depending on your skin type and effect you want to achieve. For complete solutions, I use combinations of essential oils. A good combination of essential oils brings a broader range of benefits to your skin, and you can balance them according to the most desired effect.
Always have in mind that the essential oils are highly concentrated and should not be used directly, undiluted on your skin. Undiluted Use of Essential Oils On the Skin Can Be Harmful and Potentially Cause Severe Irritation or Sensitization. This is where the natural carrier oils come.
Carrier oils are actually planted oils, obtained from different plants, and they have their own benefits for the skin as nourishing, moisturizing, revitalizing, and many others. I recommend you to use unrefined organic carrier oils on your skin because during the process of refining they lose many of these healing benefits. Carrier oils are not only valuable for their healing properties, but they also have different physical properties as hardness, melting temperature, skin absorption speed and so on.
So according to your choice of carrier oils will also depend the properties of you final product like hardness, absorption and so on. It is very important to know that often you will need to heat the carrier oils in order to melt and mix them. On the other side, the essential oils can evaporate very fast when heated and thus to lose their healing properties. So I highly recommend adding the essential oils last once the temperature of the carrier oils drops below 120F.
How to Dilute Your Essential Oils for Use on Skin
To understand how to use essential oils on skin you need to first understand how to dilute them. I would advise you to prepare natural homemade cosmetics where you will incorporate the essential oils. These could be cosmetic creams for face and body, lotions, face serums, anti-aging products, soap bars, and so on. Alternatively, you can simply dilute them in single carrier oil depending on the desired effect. Whatever you choice is the basic rule is to use maximum 2% of essential oils in your preparation. If you prepare products for children, you better use 1% or even 0.5%.
The easiest way to calculate your essential oils is to add 12 drops to each fl. oz. (30ml). If you prepare larger quantities of product (like soap or body cream) have in mind that one teaspoon is about 100 drops. Have in mind that some essential oils can have a lower recommendation like lemongrass, for example, should be diluted to 0.7%. Chamomile essential oil on the other side is very safe, and many therapists say it can be used on the skin even undiluted though I don’t recommend it.
If you have a favourite commercial cream or lotion, you can add essential oils to it using the same calculation. Just before doing that check the ingredients list as some high quality natural commercial cosmetics may already contain essential oils and you don’t want to overdose it. However I will recommend making your own cosmetics as the commercial products, even the natural ones contain at least preservatives. Without preservatives, they will have a very short shelf life and will be practically unsellable. Also, you will have control over the carrier oils to be sure that they are unrefined. Most cosmetic companies use refined carrier oils as they are odourless, but the refining process also reduces the healing power of the natural oils.
How to Use Essential Oils in Homemade Cosmetics
When I speak about essential oils, I don’t like to generalize. Each essential oil has its own special properties and fragrance though some effects on the skin can be common for several essential oils. The skin properties of the essential oils vary from antiseptic effect to moisturizing, regenerating, soothing and cleansing. I always advise a combination of 2-3 essential oils for a complete effect. Of course you can also use single oil when you are looking for a very specific effect, and if you also have preferences to a certain fragrance. You can check more details about each essential oil in my blog.
Here I will give you two examples of how to use essential oils in a luxury homemade anti-aging cream and a simple anti-acne serum.
Anti-aging, moisturizing, and luxury face and body cream for all skin types
This recipe is excellent for all skin types and will smoother the skin make it clear and soft. It will also moisturize and nourish dry and tired skin. You can use it also as a luxury anti-aging night cream.
This is one of my favourite and if you follow the instructions and do it right. I promise you will become addicted to this cream.
Ylang Ylang essential oil helps regenerate skin cells, smoothing fine lines and improving skin elasticity. I will add just a little Ylang Ylang for its great skin benefits, but I am not very fond of its fragrance. The three of them are a perfect combination for any skin type.
I will dilute them in a coconut and almond oil and will add a little bit of beeswax to harden the final product. Coconut oil is an excellent skin moisturizer and contains a high amount of Vitamin E, which also makes it good antioxidant preventing premature aging and wrinkling of the skin. The Sweet Almond oil is hypoallergenic oil that can be safely used even on baby skin. It has fast and easy absorption into the skin and help regeneration of the skin cells.
- To prepare 9-10oz luxury face and body cream you will need:
- 3 Tbsp Unrefined Organic Almond Oil (Sweet)
- 2 tbsp cup Unrefined Organic Cocoa butter
- 5 Tbsp Organic Unrefined Shea butter
- 1 Tbsp Coconut oil
- 1/2 Tbsp Organic Beeswax
- 10grams emulsifying wax (to create nice and smooth emulsion between water and oils)
- 7oz Chamomile Floral water (Hydrosol)
- 3oz Organic Aloe Vera Gel
- ½ tsp Vitamin E oil as a strong antioxidant. It will protect the oils from oxidizing.
- 10 drops Geranium essential oil
- 15 drops Lavender essential oil
- 5 drops Ylang-Ylang essential oil
Heat the oils, the beeswax, and the emulsifying wax in a double boiler until completely melted.
Remove the oils from the heat and let them cool down to 140F.
Mix the hydro sol and the aloe gel and heat a bit to 140F so the both mixtures have the same temperature.
Blend the oils and waxes with a powerful 450W stick blender until reach a fluffy cream.
Add the chamomile hydro sol and aloe gel and blend again for few min until reach homogeneous cream. It is amazingly smooth and pleasant to touch white cream. At this point, the temperature must be 120F or lower.
Add the essential oils and blend again to mix.
Once ready I advise you to leave it overnight in a cool, dry place and use it next day. The quantity you will not use in the next month keep refrigerated. In the fridge, it can stay for at least 3 months without changing.
You will have an amazing cream made by yourself, and I promise you will be addicted to it. The recipe may look a bit complicated but once you start it is fairly easy. Just follow the instructions and you will not regret.
Simple and Miraculous Anti-Acne Lotion with Essential Oils
This is one traditional and simple way to use essential oils for their skin benefits. It is extremely easy to make, and all that is required is the correct dosing of the essential oils. This recipe works wonders against acne and eliminates acne scars and pimple marks.
Ingredients and instructions:
In ½, a cup of unrefined organic jojoba oil, add 8 drops of rosemary essential oil, 10 drops of lavender essential oil and 5 drops of tea tree essential oil. Mix it thoroughly with a spoon.
Well, that’s it. You are done and ready to use it. And because I promised to explain why I use exactly these essential oils from all the available ones, I will finish with few words about them.
Rosemary essential oil skin benefits
Rosemary essential oil does wonders for revitalizing skin. It’s well known for its abilities to reduce excess oil on the skin, which is our primary target when we have acne prone skin. Rosemary also contains anti-inflammatory properties known to ease redness and puffiness, which is perfect for treating breakouts. Besides helping to clear skin, Rosemary also improves circulation, which can help firm and tone.
Lavender essential oil skin benefits
If you need a more soothing essential oil for fighting acne, lavender is your oil. Lavender essential oil can help calm skin and reduce blemishes at the same time. Lavender is the most versatile essential oil with many benefits and suitable for all skin types
Tea tree essential oils skin benefits
Probably the best antiseptic essential oil you can buy. Often (if not always) in acne breakouts are involved bacteria. Tea tree oil contains some serious antibacterial, antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties. I regularly use tea tree oil to prevent any acne flare-ups before they get nasty. I use it also in anti-dandruff shampoos and conditioners due to its anti-fungal properties.
Remember: Chose properly your essential oils in your homemade cosmetic recipes. They are not only for fragrance. Give them the same importance as to the carrier oils, cosmetic butters, waxes, and clay.