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August 28, 2020

You’ve likely heard about the myriad of benefits from these natural oils, but you may not be aware of exactly how to use them. While many bring benefits to your skin, there are some challenges with applying them directly. We polled experts in the industry for guidelines on reaping the benefits of these oils without harming your skin. Read on to learn what they had to say.

Mary Beckett

Mary Beckett

Mary Beckett is a Certified Aromatherapist. She is a mother of four and grandmother of four and operates Blue Ice Essentials from her home in Canada's Arctic.

For both cosmetic and therapeutic use

Aromatherapy oils, or essential oils, are traditionally used not only to scent a room but also by way of topical application on the skin for both cosmetic and therapeutic use. Since there are so many different oils within this category, it is difficult to give specific directions that will apply in all cases, but in general, here is what you need to be aware of.

1. Not all oils sold as aromatherapy oils are pure, unadulterated essential oils. It is important that when you are applying something on your skin, you know its entire composition. I prefer to purchase pure essential oils which I can dilute myself.

2. Some essential oils can be applied to your skin without dilution, but this is not necessarily the best way to use these oils. Essential oils are volatile and will evaporate quickly at body temperature, so dilution in a carrier of some kind is a good plan to hold the essential oil against your skin. Plus, it makes it easier to spread the potent benefits of the essential oil over a wider area when they are diluted.

I typically use either an unscented lotion or fractionated coconut oil if I am applying them to my body. When I apply essential oils to my face, I often use either witch hazel or simply add a drop or two of the essential oil to my moisturizer lotion.

3. Some essential oils are considered "hot" oils and can be particularly irritating to the skin, creating a rash. In these cases, you can get the therapeutic benefit by applying the diluted oil to the bottoms of the feet where a reaction is less likely.

4. Keep in mind that essential oils are a type of traditional medicine and will enter your bloodstream when you use them. As such, it is a good idea to check with your medical doctor in case of any potential interaction with any prescriptions you may have.

Claudie Pomares

Claudie Pomares

Claudie Pomares, MSEd, Co-founder of Mendability LLC.

Always read the label

Not all distilled essential oils are topically safe. Not all plants are good for skin care either: Lavender has such properties while citrus may irritate. Many fruity scents are artificial. What chemical compounds produced that aroma? Always read the fine print on the label before use.

Stephanie Ivonne

Stephanie Ivonne

Stephanie Ivonne is an esthetician turned freelance beauty and wellness writer. Find her here: smartstyletoday.com

Test and try

Everywhere you look you’ll find essential oils and aromatherapies being sold, and for a very good reason. They work. But before you think of applying your new bottle, make sure you know what you’re doing to avoid any adverse reactions that may possibly occur.

Some very popular oils that are used by many:

  • Lavender is known to help with sleep
  • Rose helps with anxiety
  • Peppermint gives you an energy boost
  • Bergamont helps in alleviating many skin conditions

Unfortunately, it’s highly recommended that you don’t apply the oils directly to the skin without a carrier oil to help prevent stinging, burning, and allergic reactions. By using a carrier oil to dilute your desired oils, you’re saving your skin from possible irritation.

Carrier oils such as argan oil and coconut oil make great options when paired with your chosen aromatherapy. Once the concentrate is mixed in with the carrier oil, you are safe to apply it to your skin. Begin by testing out a small amount on the inside of your forearm and wait to see if any reaction, if any, will occur within the next few hours. If you’re in the clear, your mix is ready to use for your personalized needs.

Jamie Bacharach

Jamie Bacharach

Jamie Bacharach is a Licensed Medical Acupuncturist and Health Coach in Jerusalem, Israel, as well as the Head of Practice at Acupuncture Jerusalem. Jamie uses her knowledge of medicine and healthy living to instruct her patients on how to lead a healthier lifestyle.

Check added chemicals

Aromatherapy oils can be used on the skin when diluted first with a pure carrier oil and assuming they are composed entirely of essential oils.

While essential oils are generally safe for skin, they must first be diluted in a carrier oil to ensure the best results and safety. Not everyone's skin will have the same reaction to various kinds of pure essential oils. As such, diluting the essential oil with a carrier oil will allow you to maintain its therapeutic benefits while being applied to skin safely.

However, if the aromatherapy oil in question contains added chemicals for scent and other artificial agents, it may not be safe to use it on skin. The ingredients list, as well as manufacturer directions, should be referenced accordingly.

Jasmine Gercke

Jasmine Gercke

Jasmine Gercke PhD, CEO Jazz Consulting.

Can be used on the skin

Aromatherapy can be used on the skin. In many cases, it is best to blend with a base. I adore coconut oil. The main use is in face care and massage.

For example, peppermint helps maintain vitality and a cooling effect when used in massage as a blend. The trick is to dilute a few drops with your base oil for optimum effect. I personally use lavender oil on my face to hydrate and accentuate the glow of my skin.

Frankincense is one of the more powerful essential oils in skincare. Just a few drops can moisturize dry skin and leave you feeling an increase in energy. Happy caring for your skin and body, as self-care is the key to happiness.

Adina Mahalli

Adina Mahalli is a hair and skincare expert at Maple Holistics.

Different essential oils have different properties

When it comes to using aromatherapy oils for skin, your biggest concern is dilution ratios and optimal essential oil blending. Most essential oils are too potent to be applied topically which means that you need to have a carrier oil for diluting.

Just as different essential oils have different properties for the skin, the same is true of carrier oils, but generally speaking, they’re highly hydrating oils that only serve to enhance the effect of the essential oil on the skin.

Some popular essential oils for skin include lemon, lavender, tea tree, and lemongrass. Popular carrier oils include coconut, sweet almond, avocado, and apricot oils.

Jessica Rose

Jessica Rose is a beauty expert and the founder of Clean Beauty Gals, a blog that aims to demystify the confusing clean beauty space. Jessica researches and writes extensively on a variety of natural beauty subjects on cleanbeautygals.com

An excellent addition

Certain aromatherapy oils can be an excellent addition to your skincare routine to target specific concerns.

Acne? Try adding a drop of tea tree oil to your cleanser or moisturizer to help kill the bacteria that lead to breakouts. Red or irritated skin? Add a drop of lavender oil to your facial oil to help calm the skin. Essential oils are affordable and powerful additions to any skincare routine.

This is a crowdsourced article. Contributors are not necessarily affiliated with this website and their statements do not necessarily reflect the opinion of this website, other people, businesses, or other contributors.

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