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What Essential Oils Are Good for Your Face

The thought of putting oil on your skin can sound counterintuitive, at the least, especially if you have problematic skin. However, using natural, essential oils on your skin might just be the out-of-the-box solution you need for your oily skin. 

If you’ve tried everything to get glowing, radiant skin only to be left frustrated with another failed product, you’re going to love how essential oil skincare can literally transform your skin and keep it healthy from the inside out.

What are essential oils?

Essential oils are concentrated plant extracts, and they have numerous uses. These oils are taken from different parts of the plant—roots, stems, seeds, nuts, fruit, and blooms are all sources of highly potent, plant-based compounds that give a plant its characteristics. You may have used essential oils for aromatherapy, but the benefits of essential oil aren’t just aromatic.

There are different methods of extracting essential oils from a plant. Most commonly, plant parts are steamed or pressed for oil extraction. Once an oil is extracted, it is purified so it can be safely used in other products, and you can get to oiling up that nutrient-thirsty skin. 

Can I use essential oils on my face?

Absolutely—we actually encourage it! Essential oils have been used for centuries for their skin-nourishing properties. 

Now before you go all Instagram model and drizzle essential oil all over your face, take this word of caution. As beneficial as essential oils can be for your skin, you’ll never want to use a pure oil directly on your face without dilution beforehand. 

Always make sure your essential oils are diluted in a carrier oil like almond oil or coconut oil, or they’re included in a formulated product. 

Here’s how you can start using essential oils to get skin that is seriously next level healthy.

Gorgeous glow, here we come! 

Oil cleansing

Using oil to cleanse your skin might sound counterproductive, but it’s a time-honored way to heal and nourish your skin. If you’ve got problem skin (i.e., bumps and blemishes that just won’t quit), oil cleansing can help. 

Oil cleansing works on the scientific principle that like dissolves like. Let’s throw it back to chemistry 101. When one substance has a similar polarity (electronic charge) as another, it can dissolve it. What does this mean for your skin? It means if you have oily skin, using oil to cleanse it can help eliminate excess oil and bring your skin back into balance. 

Oil cleansing is highly recommended for users with oily skin to help them eliminate greasy spots and calm down areas that are prone to breakouts. 

Product to try: UpCircle Cleansing Face Balm. UpCircle’s blend of plant botanicals mixes perfectly in this cleansing balm to deep dive into pores and dig out everything from excess sebum to makeup and even environmental toxins. It even removes sunscreen (zinc-oxide users, rejoice). 

Follow up with a water-based cleansing solution to wash away the dirt and grime that this cleansing balm surfaces from your pores. 

Oil moisturizing

Put down the oil-free moisturizer, because you can do better. Essential oils are natural and work synergistically with your skin to keep it hydrated. 

Oil-free products can contain harsh chemicals that dry your skin, strip it of natural moisture, and leave it irritated. 

Using oil-free products can even make your skin more oily. When a product dries out your skin, your sebaceous glands go into overdrive producing more oil to compensate. 

An essential oil-based moisturizer helps balance your skin’s natural moisture levels. Look for formulas that contain jojoba oil, a plant-based oil that is closest to your skin’s natural sebum in chemical structure. Derma E’s Anti-Aging Antioxidant Day Cream is one of our favorites!

Serums

We all love the concentrated benefits a serum gives the skin. Essential oil serums, like Andalou’s Brightening Turmeric + C Enlighten Serum or the Sahara Rose Divine Beauty Serum, are the best way to get high-impact plant power deep into your pores. 

Serums are perfect for honing in on specific skin issues. Whether you’re dealing with dryness and irritation or looking for a way to eliminate fine lines and wrinkles, there’s a serum to target the problem.

Why should I use essential oils?

There are tons of reasons why you’d want to consider including an essential oil blend in your skincare routine, but none more important than that they’re plant-based and natural. Natural ingredients work holistically with your skin without causing irritation or dryness. 

They’re vegan

Essential oils are always vegan. Extracted from plant parts, you’ll never have to worry that an essential oil doesn’t mesh with your lifestyle. 

They’re clean

So many of the products that line store shelves are filled with ingredients you can’t even pronounce—not cool. Essential oils are extracted using methods that preserve the integrity of the oil, so what ends up in your product is pure, unadulterated, and easy to read. 

They’re fantastic for sensitive skin

Sensitive skin? Say less. Even the most sensitive skin types have success with essential oil skincare. The compounds contained in an essential oil help protect, heal, and nourish the plant, and they do the same for your skin. 

Which oils are right for my skin?

No matter your skin type, there’s an essential oil that will work for you. Here’s how to shop for essential oil skincare based on skin type. 

Oily skin

Trust us on this one; oil is good for oily skin. Here are our top picks for essential oils that benefit oily skin types. 

  • Jojoba oil. Taken from the seeds of the simmondsia chinensis shrub, this oil is remarkably similar to our skin’s natural oils. Jojoba helps settle down overactive sebaceous glands.
  • Tea tree oil. Known for its astringent-like properties, tea tree oil helps remove excess oil and tighten pores. The nose-tingling scent also has quite a bit of zing to it. 
  • Squalane oil. A natural compound contained in your own sebum, plant-based squalane helps regulate natural moisture production and aids in fading fine lines and wrinkles. 
  • Sea Buckthorn oil. Extracted from a shrub that grows in the Himalayas, this oil has healing properties that help reduce irritation and keep skin properly hydrated. 
  • Cedarwood oil. Cedarwood oil has antibacterial properties, making it a powerful aid for dealing with acne-prone skin and acne scars. 
  • Neroli oil. Taken from the bitter orange tree, neroli oil has antiseptic and antioxidant properties that help troubled, oily skin find balance.
  • Grapefruit oil. Antiseptic and antimicrobial properties of this citrus-based oil make it perfect for cleansing oily skin and taming over productive sebaceous glands. Just note that grapefruit (as well as bergamot and other citrus oils) are phototoxic, so you should be wary of using too much on skin that is exposed to sunlight. 
  • Frankincense oil. This ages-old oil can help reduce the appearance of scarring and stretch marks and help soothe acne inflammation. 
  • Clary sage oil. This fresh-scented oil can help control excess sebum and has the potential to reduce the appearance of aging.
  • Rosemary oil. This herbaceous oil also fights against excess sebum, leading to clearer, more balanced skin. 

Normal to dry skin

Skin that leans toward the dry side can benefit from essential oils, too—we’re all about inclusivity, people. Here are the best essential oils for treating normal to dry skin. 

  • Argan oil. Rich with vitamin E, oleic acid, and linoleic acid, this oil works like an emollient to keep skin conditioned, hydrated, and soft. 
  • Rosehip oil. Rosehip contains fatty acids that help support deep hydration. Rosehip oil is especially beneficial for dry, itchy skin types. 
  • Vetiver oil. Vetiver oil works as a humectant, meaning that it draws moisture from the air and holds that moisture in your skin to keep it hydrated. 
  • Geranium oil. Geranium works for normal to dry skin types because it helps balance the skin’s moisture levels and works to reduce the appearance of wrinkles.
  • Marula oil. Perfect for virtually any skin type, marula is normally used for its emollient properties. It helps fill in cracks and smooth over dry areas keeping skin conditioned and soft. 
  • Orange oil. Loaded with vitamin C and anti-inflammatory properties, this oil helps brighten and rejuvenate dull, lackluster skin and improve overall complexion. If you’re looking for other citrus oils, consider lemon or lime essential oil for similar vitamin C benefits. 
  • Lavender oil. The soothing properties of lavender essential oil are beneficial for users who suffer from eczema and excessive skin dryness. Plus, it just plain smells nice. 
  • Cinnamon oil. Believe it or not, cinnamon oil has benefits beyond its sweet, relaxing scent. It stimulates circulation and may help reduce the effects of stress, so your natural, glowing skin is revealed. 

Essential oils just might be essential for your routine

Make a clean break with your oil-free products. No matter what your skin type or issue, essential oils are a better solution, whether you choose refreshing peppermint oil or spicy clove oil. 

Backed by the power of plant compounds (and some serious science), using essential oils is a solid choice for keeping your skin healthy and radiant, naturally. Sounds like another win from Mother Earth to us. 

If you want to sample the very best options, sign up for the Kinder Beauty Box and get your hands on the newest and most promising plant-based products available. We’re always clean, vegan, cruelty-free, so you can work on living your best life while helping the planet live hers, too. 

 

Sources:

Aromatherapy: Do Essential Oils Really Work? | Hopkins Medicine.org 

An Overview of the Biological Effects of Some Mediterranean Essential Oils on Human Health | NCBI 

Linking Science With Literacy | Primary Connections.org