Even if you’re a snow bunny and spend all year glaring at the sun and hoping for snowflakes and crisp winter winds, there’s one thing we can all agree isn’t exactly ideal when it comes to cold weather: dry skin and irritation. If you’re prone to dry skin, nothing can cause a flare-up quite like cold, dry air. And if you live somewhere with a cold winter, it’s so hard to avoid this time of year!
If this is a problem for you, you’ve probably tried all sorts of potential skincare solutions over the years. While there are all sorts of ways to tackle dry skin and other skin conditions that tend to flare up during the winter, one possible helping hand you may not have reached for yet is essential oils.
Whether you’re all about your essential oil diffuser or are just dipping your toe into the wide world of essential oils, you may not have thought about using essential oils for skin. In addition to all of the great mood-boosting effects essential oils can have, they are actually a great option when it comes to improving some skin conditions with skincare products in an easy, affordable, and natural way.
What Causes Dry Skin?
While we’re thinking about winter now as temperatures drop, dry skin can affect you at any time and in spite of a perfect skincare routine. It’s especially prevalent not just in cold climates, but in dry, desert climates as well.
Basically, any weather that sucks the moisture out of the air is bound to leave you parched, and while drinking as much water as you can is good for your health, it doesn’t always do enough to keep your skin hydrated and ward off the appearance of wrinkles.
Dry skin also tends to occur more often as you get older. No matter what age you are, you’ve probably noticed that the super low-maintenance, always smooth, and hydrated skin of your youth has required more and more care over time. It’s also just possible you’re predisposed to dry skin in general, in the same way that some people are prone to oily skin or acne-prone skin. It just depends on your genetics and your lifestyle.
What Other Skin Conditions Can Essential Oils Help?
While we feel like dry skin is our number one concern at the moment because we’re starting to see frost on the windows when we wake up in the morning, there are other common skin conditions you can potentially use essential oils for, too.
Essential oils can be used to help oily skin. Some essential oils are even thought to be useful in soothing skin rashes or could help in evening out your skin tone if blemishes, acne scars or hyperpigmentation is a concern for you.
Basically, using essential oils for skin problems can tackle many different issues depending on your skin type and your needs.
Which Essential Oils Should You Use?
If you’re interested in trying essential oils to help tackle your dry skin and other skin issues, you might be wondering which essential oils are best for you and your needs. There are many different factors that go into choosing the right essential oil for you and your skincare needs, not the least of which is how pleasant you find their scents. But if you’re looking to use essential oils for skin concerns, the most important thing is the uplifting and healing properties each oil contains.
Lavender is a great essential oil to help with so many different problems. It’s probably best known for its ability to help you relax and unwind, but a little-known fact: it’s also great when it comes to helping your skin find its balance. Lavender essential oil may have a positive effect on your skin barrier, possess anti-inflammatory properties and it may even have antimicrobial and antibacterial properties.
This means using lavender oil topically can be amazing for your skin! If you’re struggling with dry skin, working some diluted lavender oil into your routine may help keep your complexion clear, even and help improve its ability to retain moisture.
Much like lavender, chamomile oil is known for its ability to help you relax. But another common use for it is to help soothe inflammation and increase your skin’s moisture retention. It’s actually a usual suspect in the mix for any cream or lotion meant to reduce the horrible itchiness of allergic reactions, mosquito bites, or even Chickenpox if you were unlucky enough to get them.
Whether you’re struggling with dry skin or another skin problem such as rashes or other inflammation, chamomile essential oil can help.
Peppermint or Tea Tree Oil
If you’re prone to allergies, or just have really sensitive skin, it can be super frustrating to have your complexion constantly interrupted by inflammation or minor rashes when you come into contact with something that bothers it. Luckily, essential oils like peppermint oil or tea tree oil can be super effective when it comes to soothing your skin.
Both also have cooling effects, so if you have a particularly irritating rash or are experiencing a reaction that makes your skin feel uncomfortable and hot, using one of these minty fresh oils can help bring you relief.
Clary sage is a little off the beaten path when it comes to essential oils, but that doesn’t make it any less useful! If your problem isn’t dry skin but instead oily skin, you need to find something that will tell your sebaceous glands to take a day off and stop producing excess oil.
Enter clary sage. This helpful essential oil can work wonders when it comes to potentially controlling your skin’s oil production. It’s also thought to be useful in terms of getting acne under control. So if you’re looking for an essential oil to help with chronic breakouts, this is your girl.
Neroli or Geranium
Neroli and Geranium are two delicious floral essential oils that can also help when it comes to getting your oily skin under control. Geranium is alkaline and is often used in soap or other products that are targeted toward getting your skin’s pH level on the level. Neroli is useful when it comes to balancing out oily skin, without being harsh or drying.
Another great option when it comes to essential oils for skin if your issue is dryness is Sandalwood. Sandalwood is thought to promote all sorts of processes that help keep your skin moist and bouncy, even in the driest of seasons. In addition to smelling amazing and keeping you hydrated, Sandalwood also helps to reduce inflammation.
How Do You Use Essential Oils?
Although incorporating essential oils into your routine is simple, it isn’t quite as straightforward as just applying the essential oil to your skin. In fact, it’s important that you don’t apply pure essential oil to your skin.
If you’re going to use an essential oil topically, you first want to dilute the essential oil with a carrier oil like sweet almond oil or jojoba oil. The proportion of essential oil to carrier oil will vary depending on how strong you want your solution to be. If you purchase one of our essential oils, we offer a chart to help walk you through the proper dilution! This is crucial because applying a pure essential oil to your skin can irritate it rather than offer any health benefits.
Carrier oils can be anything from olive oil to grapeseed oil to coconut oil, and many oils in between, depending on your skin type and your preference. Grapeseed oil tends to be a bit lighter, so if you’re addressing skincare concerns around sensitive areas like your face, you’ll want to stick with something like that so you don’t clog your pores with thicker oil.
When you’re blending your own essential oils, you aren’t limited to just one! If you think a few different types of essential oils will give you the best benefits, like rosemary oil, citrus oil, and argan oil, you can mix different oils when making your solution. That said, it’s important not to forget about diluting the essential oil; if you add more essential oil, you’ll need to add more of your carrier oil too.
If diluting your own essential oil feels like too much of a hassle, you can get essential oils pre-diluted and pre-blended in the form of a handy roll-on container, like our Skin Lift Roll-On Essential Oil, which comes already diluted with a carrier oil and ready to be applied directly to your skin as needed.
You can also use an essential oil diffuser to promote an uplifting environment that promotes healing and whatever positive qualities the essential oils you use possess! All you need to do is add a few drops of your favorite essential oils to the water tank of your diffuser, and voila! Instant spa vibes.
You may not have considered using essential oils for skin-related issues before, but essential oils actually have a lot of qualities that can be beneficial to your overall skin health, which we can really use now that we’re getting into winter and the inevitable bouts of dry skin! If you’re looking for a new way to tackle skin care challenges, essential oils may be for you.
Dry Skin - Self Care | National Library of Medicine
Anti-Inflammatory and Skin Barrier Repair Effects of Topical Application of Some Plant Oils | International Journal of Molecular Sciences
Essential Oils Used in Aromatherapy: A Systemic Review | Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine