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The Best Essential Oils for Every Skin Type

For the last several years, essential oils have seemed to be everywhere in the health and beauty space. They’re touted as a homeopathic treatment option, a self-care staple, and even a DIY perfume option.

You may already know that essential oils have a ton of potential uses in your health and beauty routine. But do you know which oils are best for your unique skin type? If not, this guide is for you! Consider this an essential oil FAQ to pick the option that’s best suited to your skin.

essential oils in skincare

How do essential oils work?

Essential oils can be placed on your skin for any of the reasons we explained above. For headaches, many people love to dab some on their temples. For a perfume effect, the inside of your wrist is great. You can enjoy essential oils in many ways—the key is just to dilute any essential oil you use in a carrier oil. Why? Carrier oils are meant for contact with our skin, so having a high concentration of them on our bodies is perfectly fine. Essential oils are incredibly strong, and putting them on your skin undiluted can cause irritation and even toxicity concerns simply due to the potency. By diluting your essential oil in a carrier oil, you’ll achieve the desired concentration and ensure that it’s safe for your skin.

Another very important factor with essential oils and using them topically is that some are PHOTOTOXIC. This means that your skin can be severely damaged if you expose the area with the essential oil to the sun. These essential oils must be used with extreme caution if you will be exposed to sunlight.

Plant Therapy has an excellent blog post about Phototoxicty . You can read more about it here.

What are the best essential oils for skin care?

Since there’s no one-size-fits-all skin care routine, we’ve gone ahead and separated our recommendations into the skin type categories below. Depending on your skin concerns, check out our picks for sensitive skin, acne-prone skin, dry skin, oil skin, and aging skin.

Can you use essential oils for sensitive skin?

Yes, you can! You may want to stick to certain essential oils that are considered especially gentle on all skin types, including lavender oil and sandalwood oil. If you want to try another option on the list, dilute it more than usual with your carrier oil and do a small patch test in one area of your face. If your skin seems to accept it just fine, you can try your face and then decrease the dilution back to normal levels.

What are the best essential oils for acne?

Tea tree oil is one of the most popular essential oils for acne-prone skin. It’s an antibacterial and an anti-inflammatory—two properties that help keep acne at bay. Note that this is one exception to the need for a carrier oil. You actually can safely put tea tree oil directly on your skin, but you can still start with a small amount or a patch test to see how your skin reacts.

Other options: lemon oil (make sure to learn how to pick the best lemon essential oil in order to avoid phototoxicity), cinnamon oil

What are the best essential oils for dry skin?

Lavender oil is a popular option for dry skin. It offers hydration along with anti-inflammatory properties—plus, it smells amazing. If you need a soothing moisturizing option before bed, lavender oil is a perfect choice.

Other options: sandalwood oil, helichrysum oil

how to use lavender essential oil

What are the best essential oils for oily skin?

Rosemary oil is a favorite for oily skin due to its ability to mitigate excess oil production. It’s also an anti-inflammatory, which is a great bonus that addresses other skin care concerns.

Other options: tea tree oil, lemon oil (make sure to learn how to pick the best lemon essential oil in order to avoid phototoxicity).

What are the best essential oils for aging skin?

If anti-aging is one of your skin care priorities, consider adding lemongrass oil to your lineup. It has a high concentration of antioxidants, which can help target damage left by free radicals in your body. Damage from free radicals often manifests in the wrinkles and other features that we associate with aging, so lemongrass oil is a great line of defense.

Other options: rosehip seed oil, frankincense oil

Can I mix multiple oils together for my skin?

Yes, you can! We’d recommend sticking to no more than two oils mixed together at first. You’ll also want to be careful with the dilution process, as the two oils together should count as “one” essential oil for purposes of dilution. Don’t make the mistake of doubling the concentration of essential oil just because you’re creating a mixture!

If we missed any of your pressing essential oil questions, please reach out to let us know! We hope you enjoy incorporating essential oils into your skin care routine and that you see the results you’re looking for.

essential oils safe for topical use

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