How to Use Essential Oils in Skincare

I see essential oils, as nature’s precious gift to us.

I have to admit that I love working with essential oils.

The creation of The Naked Chemist was partly due to my fascination with aromatherapy.

I’m qualified as a clinical aromatherapist and extremely passionate about the art of using essential oils. It never ceases to amaze me, how tiny plants can create such wonderful precious oils, I really love just how powerful aromatherapy is for our well being.

Properties of essential oils

They are highly volatile compounds and can be extracted from the roots, leaves, woods, petals, and resins of botanical flowers, fruits, and trees.

The most common form of extraction is steam distillation, the expression is a specific method that is also used, for extracting citrus oils.

Delicate materials such as Jasmine and Rose Absolute, are extracted by way of a solvent or CO2 extraction, this is due to the fact that the delicate oils can be very volatile and easily damaged by heat.

It is important to note that essential oils are very concentrated, using them neat or in high quantities can irritate the skin and they aren’t water-soluble, so you should never use them directly on your skin, as they can cause major irritation.

Essential oils and their use on the skin

Some components of essential oils are beneficial for the skin. Those rich in sources of potent antioxidants like caffeic acid and rosmarinic acid, or that contain antibacterial ingredients like manuka oil found in SOS soothing complex, can protect against visible skin problems and acne inflammation.

However, many essential oils are not ideal for facial skin, many of my clients experience reactions on their faces, so I am really cautious about what essential oils I use in my facial products and in treatment if any.

An important fact to remember is that your skin is very good at hiding when it’s being irritated. So, even if you don’t see a reaction, the inflammation is still occurring beneath the surface, cumulatively it can lead to problems you will see later on. I believe that irritation and inflammation is ageing.

It’s also worth mentioning that we are obviously all metabolically different, so different amounts work for different people, our school of thought is ‘less is best’ when working on clients with essential oils, increasing my dose if required from there.

Using essential oils on the body

Dosages

This will obviously differ depending on the application you are using your essential oils for.

  • For massage oil, I recommend for every 100ml using 1 ml of essential oil. You can gradually build up from there, depending on the concern you are treating
  • For shower gels and rinse-off products, I recommend using around 2-3ml

Pregnancy

Pregnant mothers should avoid using essential oils if possible, as some can bring on menstruation; these oils are referred to as emmenagogue.

Most importantly have fun getting creative, and venturing into the wonderful world of aromatherapy, I can guarantee it won’t be long before you become addicted.

10 thoughts on “How to Use Essential Oils in Skincare

  1. Amanda says:

    Love this article! Essential oils are very beneficial for skin care and skin diseases. These oils work great for many skin problems. These contain many active ingredients that are beneficial for skin problems. Thanks for sharing the wonderful article.

  2. Shermie Tee says:

    Dear Samantha,

    Almost skin care products in the market contains essential oil, including sensitive skin care range.

    When I check with the seller, one that claim that less than 1% essential oil contains in their products.

    I am wondering it is safe for my sensitive skin as from your article, a maximum of 5% essential oil is suggested in the skin care.

    • Verified Author Samantha Miller replied:

      Hi Shermie
      This is a massive topic and there is so much misinformation available about this subject. When we consider essential oils and skin we need to think about transdermal absorption and the particular constituents. In the skincare and aromatherapy world, adverse skin reactions are divided into the following categories:Contact dermatitis, phototoxicity, and hypersensitivity, so as you can imagine it is difficult to ascertain what is the root cause of the reaction. My advise if you are having problems with sensitivity why not purchase a product without essential oils? And eliminate the risk. If you are considering to use them however the safe limit for facial cosmetics is 0.2 to 1.5% according to Robert Tisserand.

  3. Serena says:

    Hi Samantha,
    Thank you so much for the great information. My daughter has really bad eczema with itchy dry skin and scarring. I am looking for essential oils and other natural remedies to treat it. She is 4 years old, it’s all over her body and even her face. Do you recommend any oils? Im unsure of how many drops of each I should put. Any advice would be really appreciated! Thanks.

    • Verified Author Samantha Miller replied:

      Hi Serena
      I feel for your daughter i really do, especially as i have such flare ups.
      Eczema is far more complex than just applying a cream, I think it is systemic and should be treated as such, through an immunologist what is triggering the flare ups? I don’t recommend putting any essential oils on at all they are known irritants for eczema, the only thing I recommend is a soothing balm maybe with some chickweed, kawa kawa and manuka or even just a gentle calendula oil or lipid rich serum…..sorry I can’t be of more help but like I say it is internal rather then topical, be very careful what your put on the skin and make sure it is fragrance free as just about everything can set off eczema. Samantha

  4. Winona Moore says:

    I have very dry skin due to hypothyroidism, low estrogen, and pain meds for fibromyalgia. I wish to make some body lotion bars and wondered which EOs would be best for me to mix with the butters, etc.

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