The use of essential oils dates back to the ancient times when the Chinese, Middle Eastern Cultures and Egyptians made use of these aromatic oils for ritual and medicinal purposes. Later on essential oils were blended for medicinal, pharmacological and culinary purposes.
Today, the use of essential oils is almost restricted to aroma therapy and beauty care products. The use and purpose of each essential oil is based on experienced of people over the centuries and there are no scientifically proven reports that indicate the use and effect of essential oils.
Readers are advised to make use of essential oils only after consulting a medical practitioner and thorough research. Due to its potency, some essential oils are best avoided by pregnant women, the elderly and children. Essential oils are also known to cause or aggravate allergies in some individuals. Hence, always handle essential oils with care.
What Are Essential Oils?
Essential oils are derived from roots, bark, leaves, flowers and other parts of a plant, herb or tree. They are naturally extracted using different methods like distillation or solvent extraction.
Essential oils are therapeutic and thus useful in holistic healing. They are a perfect addition to cleansing the immediate environment for a refreshing flow of energies. Essential oils are blended with carrier oils like olive oil, almond oil, and grape seed oil etc., which are absorbed easily by the skin. Essential oils are blended with carrier oils as they cannot be applied in large quantities. They are pretty potent in nature and might cause various kinds of reactions.
10 Essential Oils And Its Use In Skincare
We have compiled a list of 10 essential oils that are commonly used for various skincare regimes and problems:
- Lavender - Lavender oil is known to benefit all skin types. This light refreshing and revitalizing aromatic oil is anti-inflammatory, anti -viral, antiseptic and sedative by nature. It helps promoting cell growth and balances the effect of sebum i.e. the oil glands which makes it useful for both dry and oily skin. It is useful in treating sunburns, insect bites, boils, stings, psoriasis, acne and abscesses. It is one of the few essential oils which can be applied neat on the skin.
- Sandalwood - This woodsy essential oil is anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, astringent and an emollient. It is a great in rehydrating the skin while relieving itching and inflammation. It is balancing oil useful as an astringent for toning, prevents scarring and dry eczema. It is also used in anti ageing skincare products.
- Tea Tree – Tea tree oil is antimicrobial, antiseptic, fungicide, expectorant and stimulant. In skincare it is used to treat burns and sunburn, acne, abscesses, athlete’s foot, blemishes, diaper rash, dandruff and warts to name a few.
- Chamomile – The chamomile oil comes in two variants: German and Roman. German variety of chamomile is considered very effective in treating skin problems like eczema, dry skin, psoriasis, allergies and irritated skin due to its calming and anti inflammatory properties.
- Lemon - Essential oil extracted from lemon is citrusy fresh and sharp in fragrance. It has antiseptic, antimicrobial, anti anemic and bactericidal properties to name a few. The therapeutic use of lemon oil is in clearing and preventing acne, removing mouth ulcers, herpes, insect bites and removing dead skin cells.
- Patchouli - Patchouli oil has been in use as an antiseptic, insecticide since ancient times. The therapeutic properties like anti depressant, astringent, diuretic and deodorant are useful in treating various skin related problems. Patchouli is a good for regenerating tissues for new skin cells, healing wounds while preventing scars from appearing during healing. It is also used to treat rough and dehydrated skin, acne, eczema, ulcers, sores, scalp disorders and cracked skin.
- Rose - The most expensive essential oil, rose has anti depressant, antiseptic, antiviral, astringent and bactericidal qualities. It is well used for ageing/mature dry and sensitive skin due to its soothing qualities on inflammation and toning of skin. It helps moisturize, rehydrate dry skin. It is used to repair broken capillaries, eczema and herpes.
- Geranium - Geranium has astringent, diuretic & deodorant properties among other healing properties. It is used to treat skin problems like eczema, acne and dermatitis. It is useful as a skin cleanser that brings a glow to mature dry skin types.
- Ylang-ylang – This exotic sweet smelling essential oil found in tropical countries has antiseptic and anti depressant properties to name a few. It is a balancing oil and it controls the secretion of sebum thus making it useful for dry and oily skin as well. It’s a soothing oil used to promote healthy hair growth.
- Neroli - This relaxing, rejuvenating and calming oil has a sweet, floral and a touch of haunting to its aroma. It has properties like antiseptic, deodorant, emollient and anti infectious which are helpful in skin problems like preventing scar tissues, repairing broken capillaries, keeping stretch marks away apart from having regenerative effects on the skin. It is useful for a mature dry and sensitive skin as it improves elasticity and reduces the appearance of varicose veins.
These are only a few essential oils that we have listed apart from others like orange, juniper, sage, frankincense and bergamot etc that are known to have therapeutic effects on the skin. When used in appropriate quantities with prior knowledge of its uses, essential oils not only help reduce various skin problems but leave a lasting impression on the overall wellbeing of an individual.